Culture has a crucial role to play as an integrating and self-reflecting process. Particularly now, as the Arab region is challenged to redefine itself according to the will of people, diversity is at the heart of the matter. Through a myriad of means and forms, creativity and open expression, the thinkers and cultural practitioners of the Arab region are stimulating important discussions and offering new perspectives. As the issues of the region are demanding more and more attention, arts and culture is growing into a wealthy resource for intellectual, political and social engagement.
In order to survive the challenges we are facing today, we need to cultivate long-term vision that is inclusive of all its members. Artists are the pioneers of addressing core community issues. They are the probes and feelers of society, awakening in anew our most valuable possessions: heritage, identity, creativity and vision.
Dr. Ghassan Salamé, January 2013