The Janadriyah Culture and Heritage Festival started its activities with a symposium on the dialectical relationship between the educated or cultured and the authority in the Arab world.
The session was presided over by Dr. Azizah Al-Mane’ in participation with the former Jordanian Culture Minister Dr. Haydar Mahmoud, Tunisian philosopher Abu Ya’rub Marzouki, former Moroccan Culture Minister Bin Salem Bin Hameesh and Qatari Minister of Arts and Culture Dr. Hamad Al-Kawari.
Topics discussed in the symposium included the basics of culture and the nature of relationships between the cultured and political authority in the Arab world.
Mahmoud underlined his experience in culture affirming that it had a long relationship with his job. The minister said though he is educated but to reach this rank one needs experience, he stressed while citing the example from the Islamic history of one of the Arab poets — “Al-Mutanabbi” and his relationship with the ruler, Saif Al-Dawla Al-Hamdani. Asked who is mentioned more in history, he said, Al-Mutanabbi for his broad knowledge and poetry.
Abu Ya’rub Al Marzouki was detailed in his discourse on the relationship, questioning its dimensions, classifying its levels, and talking about the understanding of the two relationships between power and legitimacy with authority and between power of knowledge and mentality with culture.
Bin Salem Hameesh talked about the historical visions of culture and the theory of circular history created by Bin Khaldoun, a great philosopher and author, with his comprehensive vision of the relationship between culture and authorities.
The symposium concluded with many comments and suggestions that discussed deeply the definition of the word “culture” or educated men and the vital role they play in the life of the community and the changes they generate for the life of their peoples.
Understanding the relationship between educated people and authorities is a complicated cause. Janadriyah is one of the world cultural festivals that supports the cultures of peoples, especially the Saudi people, and offers Saudi heritage to the world public.
On the sidelines of the festival, there were many contracts being discussed, meetings and visits taking place, so Janadriyah’s evenings initiated cultural critical decisions between many countries around the world.
The second session headed by Dr. Maysa’ Al Khawaja and Fakhry Saleh from Jordan was titled “The Arabian Culture and Political Changes.” It discussed Arabian culture and its relationship with political change inside the country. Fakhry Saleh said despite all the bloodshed in the Arab world, there is evidence of a bright future when Arabian culture can enact the change the whole world is waiting for.
He talked about the relationship between culture and the community he lives in, adding that when one rereads the terms of this relationship, new roles are found for the cultured Arab, especially in the current situations in the Arab world and the world at large.
Dr. Saeed Al-Sreihi said that one has to know clearly the changes people face these days and the challenges the cultured faces and find a solution to improve the main elements in society like justice and stability.
Al-Sreihi added: “Something very important we need these days for the sake of a good future for Arab culture is to lay stress on the history of culture in the Arab world. The cultured Arabs who don’t take their roles very well on the political arena will be on the sidelines of history, because history mentions only those who achieve milestones that changed the face of cities and countries around the world.”
The cultural activities in Janadriyah were divided into three sessions on the first day. The first talked about the Saudi-Korean relationship and culture, and the second meeting of Arab thinkers and intellects discussed topics under the title of “The Gulf States, from Cooperation to Unity.” And the third meeting was on the vision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on administrative and financial reforms and anti-corruption.
Janadriyah has contributed a lot to the culture in the Arab world. As such, thinkers, intellectuals, readers, writers, authors and cultured people come to Janadriyah to learn more about culture.
One comment from visitors was on the Arab culture and their relationship with the revolutions in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Libya. Other feedback included a question on whether Arab writings contributed to Arab culture and made any changes in the face of the Arab education.