Darat al Funun, in collaboration with the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, is pleased to host Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa as the guest speaker for this month’s Diwan al Mimar series. Sheikha Mai is the founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research. In celebration of the center’s twenty-first anniversary, Sheikha Mai will speak about its history and journey towards reviving the Bahraini heritage. The talk focuses on the role of culture in promoting and strengthening heritage ties, creating opportunities for exchange, and expanding horizons for creativity, dialogue, and social interaction.
The Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center opened in 2002 as a hub for cultural, artistic, and knowledge exchange. The center is a modern reconstruction of the original majlis of Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa in the city of Muharraq, built to revive, renovate, and preserve the unique architectural style of the city. Over the past two decades, the center has organized many events, acting as a forum for debate and exchange on cultural, social, and political issues.
In this talk, Sheikha Mai sheds light on the main stages of development leading to the realization of the project today and its impact on the historic city of Muharraq, culturally and socially.
The talk is in Arabic.
About Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa
Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa is a writer, researcher, historian, and cultural activist who holds a master's degree in Political History from the University of Sheffield. She held several positions in Bahrain including the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Culture and Information; the first female Minister of Culture and Information in the Gulf region. Sheikha Mai founded the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage and chaired the board of directors of the Supreme Council for Tourism in Bahrain. Her efforts contributed to the listing of the sites "Qal'at al-Bahrain", "Pearling Path" and "Aali Burial Mounds" on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. In 2019, her project, the Revitalisation of Muharraq, won the Aga Khan architecture award.
Sheikha Mai has received many awards, including The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award for Cultural & Scientific Achievements in 2019, the Heritage Personality of the Year Award for 2019 by the Arab Union for Tourist Media, the Community Creativity Award from the Arab Thought Foundation in 2010, the Arab Woman Award in Management and Leadership from the Center for Women's Studies in Paris, and the Colbert Award for Creativity and Heritage in 2010 from UNESCO. She was also the first Arab personality to receive the Paestum Award for Antiquities by the Mediterranean Stock Exchange for Archaeological Tourism and the Watch Award by the World Monument Fund in 2015. Forbes magazine ranked Sheikha Mai among the “50 Most Powerful Arab Personalities".
Sheikha Mai has authored several books on history, politics, and social issues.