The president of the International Organisation of Folk Art (IOV), the poet Ali Abdullah Khalifa, will be in attendance at the forum hosted by the Department of Culture and Dialogue of Civilizations of the General Secretary of the Arab League from February 24th to February 26th in Cairo.
The Department of Culture and Dialogue of Civilizations honours Arab cultural heritage under the motto “Folk Heritage in the Arab World” in conjunction with the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, which has spent many years compiling the “Thesaurus of Folklore in the Arab World,” an ambitious cultural project to record the heritage of Arab communities.
About 22,000 Arabic words are included in this lexicon, organised into categories based on themes of the Arab world, all of which are considered part of the international intangible cultural legacy.
Mr. Ali Khalifa, while a Director General of the Arab Gulf States Folklore Centre in Doha, contributed to the first comprehensive Arabic lexicon, which was released in 1987 by the Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO).
The IOV Presidency Office of Bahrain provided support in the planning stages of this new lexicon, which will help address some shortcomings of the previous. This is a huge move forward for the Sharjah Institute for Heritage and a new cultural win for Arab culture, which has long overlooked its traditional legacy.