Works begins works on the ‘Al Ydar’ in line with the ‘Year of Zayed’

DUBAI, The Cultural Office of H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the beginning of works on the second edition of its ‘Al Ydar’ initiative, in celebration of the 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Works have started on the 140-metre long mural, under the ‘Year of Zayed’ theme, which include a variety of artworks created by 22 female students from the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University in Dubai over a period of a month. The mural will artistically depict the late Sheikh Zayed’s values, including wisdom, respect, sustainability and human development.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs, launched this second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ initiative last month on May 6, which coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed, in celebration of the UAE’s Founding Father’s esteemed value in the hearts of each Emirati national and people worldwide.

The large-scale mural will be displayed for a year on the outer wall of Dubai Ladies Club on Jumeirah Road starting from August 6, 2018, in commemoration of the anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed’s Accession Day. Over the course of the full year, the mural will serve as a form of an open museum for the public and art enthusiasts, attracting nationals, residents and visitors of all age groups to experience the artworks, explore the rich Emirati history and culture it shares and learn about the UAE’s Founding Father’s journey and values.

Al Maha Al Bastaki, Director of The Cultural Office of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “This year’s ‘Al Ydar’ project is a special edition, as the mural’s artworks celebrate the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, his dedicated efforts to found the UAE as the great nation it is, his legacy of giving and his achievements across fields.”

She added: “Our Founding Father’s heritage is that of values, humanitarian principles and accomplishments across all walks of life. It is this incredible legacy that is a source of inspiration for our talented youth to explore their imagination and pursue their passions. The ‘Al Ydar’ initiative is a platform through which members of this new, young generation can express themselves and their artistic creativity.”

Al Maha Al Bastaki highlighted that the project reflects Sheikha Manal’s commitment and continuous efforts to supporting the arts and supporting young artists in the UAE through various art and cultural initiatives implemented by The Cultural Office. These initiatives have demonstrated that art can be expressed through a wide range of artistic mediums, addressing and interacting with a variety of subjects, that all contribute to a thriving local art scene. Al Bastaki emphasised the significance of this second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ initiative, held under the ‘Year of Zayed’ theme and inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a distinguished, visionary leader who has founded the UAE to become one of the leading countries in the world.

The ‘Al Ydar’ initiative is a product of the Cultural Office’s collaboration with Zayed University to provide students with an opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity in such a large-scale artwork. The project is part of the overall college educational programme of the participating students of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University in Dubai. It will be counted as a summer course for the participating students and factored into their credit hours for graduation requirements.

This second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ initiative is a mural made up of 6 consecutive parts, each part of which has a variety of artworks: the desert, palm trees, the falcon, Ghaf trees, urban development and the sea.

Ann-Maree Reaney, Dean of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE) at Zayed University, said, “We are happy to be collaborating with The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in this second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ project. It is an honour given to the selected students for their participation as the artists, especially as the public artwork created will incorporate the four themes and the substantial values in the character and leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.” Reaney also highlighted that the artworks also reference the main pillars of the UAE which communicate past, present and future aspirations, therefore creating a fertile ground to inspire students and sharpen their creative talents.”

She pointed out that this type of student creative outreach activity in the community with a public audience enhances the role of the arts in our lives, especially arts that communicate to an audience directly and give students the opportunity to experiment and use new techniques within the context of contemporary culture.

She added: “The ‘Al Ydar’ project contributes to creating a working environment for students to encourage them to collaborate and work together to invest their skills in shaping, designing and translating them into artistic achievements that leave their aesthetic effects on the wider public. It also enhances the community work culture of students and sharpens their talents and skills to create an art that addresses the audience, which is also an important step in the field of learning.”

Reaney also praised the idea of the mural, noting the talent and technical skills enjoyed by female students, which were refined by their academic achievements and development in the university.

She highlighted: “The students were able to expand their visions to embrace wider horizons of knowledge and aesthetic experience, and they enhanced their awareness of how to invest in the arts and utilize their creative skills to serve their society, stressing that these students are truly creative and their contributions will soon become part of the cultural fabric of the UAE.”

Twenty-two female students from the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University in Dubai are participating in the second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ initiative.

Source: Emirates News Agency