A UNESCO project with the kind support of
From the Al-Ahsa Oasis, Memphis and its Necropolis, to the oud as well as several living cultural traditions, the Arab Region boasts a rich and dynamic cultural landscape. Stretching over a large geographic area, the countries within the Region share a collective part of their identity through the Islamic culture and the Arabic language, inter alia. This, in turn, has strongly influenced the cultural and creative sector. Within the Region and beyond, the unfettered exchanges and dialogues since millennia, encompassing economic, social and cultural dimensions, have further permeated the wide variety of creative fields, from music, poetry, calligraphy, performing arts, crafts, design and architecture to the contemporary and digital arts.
In 2020 and still today, the COVID-19 health crisis has brought unforeseeable repercussions around the world – economies have been largely suspended and societies left reeling. Whilst this unprecedented crisis has exacerbated pre-existing fault lines and vulnerabilities within the cultural sector, it also brought about a reality check on the critical contribution of culture to individual wellbeing, social resilience and prosperity. More than ever, culture is regarded as a necessity for building back better and stronger.
Cultural policies across the region are showing renewed commitment to support the cultural and creative sector through a variety of measures and initiatives. Youth creative voices are growing and testifying to the dynamism of arts and culture across the Region, calling for greater investment in providing enhanced opportunities for vocational education and training, as well as working opportunities and perspectives in the creative sector, and innovative cultural entrepreneurship, leveraging the pivotal role of culture for translating their aspirations in forging more sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies.
The Arabic language and creativity:
Drivers for vitality and culture in the Arab region