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"Bahrain: What lies ahead?"

Date: 25 April 2012 Time: 10:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
Venue: Grand Hyatt – Istanbul / Efes-Bizans Hall

Her Excellency Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa
Minister of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Moderator: D. Nigar Göksel

H.E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa
An established writer and historian, HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa has been recognized for her work in promoting art and culture and the revival of heritage. She established the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research and as Chair of its Board of Trustees since 2002, actively works to foster culture and the traditional architecture of Bahrain. The Center acts as an open cultural exchange and forum hosting well-known contemporary intellectuals, writers and artists in political, cultural and scientific debates. With the endorsement of Bahrain's private sector, she has renovated and restored some of the remaining historical landmarks of the last remaining Arabian Gulf city, Muharraq, and as Bahrain's Minister of Culture since 2010, HE Shaikha Mai has continued her active cultural discourse and heritage protection through innovative schemes which include 'Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy' and the establishment of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage in Manama.

International recognition of HE Shaikha Mai's contributions in the fields of culture and heritage has come in many forms. A recipient of France's most prestigious award, in 2008 she received the Legion d’Honneur in Arts and Literature from the Government of France and in 2010, this was followed by the Colbert Creation and Heritage Award which was presented for the first time by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Similarly, HM King Mohammed VI of Morocco awarded HE Shaikha Mai the Royal Nobility Medal in 2010. Renowned for her unrelenting drive, HE Shaikha Mai continues to support cultural dialogue, raising heritage awareness both within Bahrain and the Arab world and encourages intellectual debate.

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