by Muhammad Aamir
DUBAI, 19th April, 2018 (WAM) — Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State, has said that the UAE is proud of its partnership with France in cultural and educational fields, and will welcome all efforts aimed at deepening cultural ties between the two countries.
He also praised the role of Alliance Francaise (French Alliance), saying it is playing an important role in building the cultural ties between the two sides.
“Alliance Francaise has been actively engaged in promoting the cultural ties between the UAE and France, and we are proud of the partnership between the two countries which is founded on cultural and educational relations as well as economic and commercial exchanges,” Zaki Nusseibeh, told WAM after he inaugurated the new cultural spaces of the Alliance Francaise in Dubai, along with Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary-General of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
“Today, we see that more than 3,000 Emirati students are learning French language in French Alliance; which has a library that contains 25 thousands books,” the Minister said, adding, “We welcome all efforts that aimed at deepening cultural relations between the two countries, as we have seen that during the opening of Louver Abu Dhabi and Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.”
In his speech, the Secretary-General, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne highlighted that for more than 130 years, the Alliance Francaise has played a major role in the promotion of Francophonia, with 834 centres in the world, in 132 countries and 550.000 students, including 3,500 at the Alliance Francaise in Dubai.
“Thanks to global networks such as the French Institute and the French Alliance, more than 125 million people are learning French today,” he added.
On the occasion of the International day of Francophonia, last March 20th, French President Emmanuel Macron launched a major plan to promote the French language including around 33 measures to learn, communicate and create in French, with the aim of making French one of the major languages in the world and an asset for globalisation.
Maurice Gourdault-Montagne also highlighted the role of Francophonie in the UAE, observer country in the International Organisation of La Francophonie: at least 30000 pupils learn French in the private schools, Sorbonne university Abu Dhabi delivers French degrees and the country has decided to reintroduce French language classes in Emirati public schools.
For 35 years, the Alliance Francaise in Dubai has been a hub where students, teachers, trainers, and important personalities of the cultural, educational and economic field in the UAE meet, united by the will to learn, teach and practice French and to deepen their knowledge of the French and Francophone cultures.
He said that the seniority of this establishment, as well as the opening, in 1974, of the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi, is a proof of the importance of cooperation between France and the UAE in the cultural field, starting from the foundation of the Federation. In addition, the United Arab Emirates is a regional and global hub for cultural and tourist attractiveness, with the construction of an island of museums and the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab world which carries values of humanism and confidence in the future, dear to the French language.
About the “Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue” The Year of the “Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue” celebrates the historical ties of friendship and cooperation between France and the UAE, established upon the foundation of the Federation in 1971 and growing stronger ever since, the Secretary-General added.
The long-lasting friendship and strategic partnership between France and the UAE has been reasserted on the occasion of the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, on November 8th , 2017, by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“This “Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue” was born from the signing of a new cooperation agreement between France and the UAE on November 9th, 2017, to expand the scope of exchanges and encounters. In parallel with the Year of Zayed, celebrated in 2018, the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue is an opportunity to renew a long-lasting friendship through initiatives demonstrating the boundless energy of our creative communities and their willingness to achieve innovative projects,” he pointed out.
About the new cultural spaces of the Alliance Francaise Dubai, he said that Alliance Francaise has the only French-language media library in the city, a true resource centre regularly updated with more than 25,000 documents-books, periodicals, audio and video contents, offering the opportunity to become familiar with French and Francophone language and culture.
The inauguration took place on the sidelines of the 10th session of the strategic dialogue between France and the UAE, held on 18th April in Abu Dhabi, as well as in the context of the 35th anniversary of the Alliance Francaise in Dubai, of the French-Emirati Cultural Dialogue 2018 and within the Year of Zayed.
Ludovic Pouille, French Ambassador to the UAE also attended the inauguration, along with the Board of the Alliance Francaise in Dubai, chaired by Hussain Al Jaziri.