A light of hope will shine in the region: what is it?

November 10, 2017 12:02 pm

Look at what is happening in the region. Turmoil!

Oil prices are moody to say the least, not sure what to make of the Saudi corruption arrests, war in Yemen, the Iran nuclear threat, the sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, , accusing Lebanon or war threats to Saudi, and of course the continuing instability in Syria, Iraq, and the war on ISIS.

Wow. Then sudden a light of hope emerges in our midst to remind us that the region is also a haven for art, culture and renewal.

The Louvre in Abu Dhabi will finally open its doors on November 11, an important day for all art and culture aficionados in the UAE and the Arab world.

Read: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is much more than just a museum

Watch: 9 things you NEED to know about the soon-to-be-opened Louvre

The Louvre has invested in not only providing us with colourful reminders of our past, but also into blending history and future in a message of cohesion, integration and peace and project a beacon of openness, tolerance, unity, acceptance and connectivity

How is it doing it?

Bridge between continents

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, said the museum will bring together East and West, demonstrating our ability to fight the dark with light.

On Wednesday October 8, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron dedicated a part of his state visit to the UAE to inaugurate the museum in Abu Dhabi.

He said that Abu Dhabi is at the center of the regional tensions whose conflicts have been affecting the entire world.

Read: Why the Abu Dhabi Louvre is a big French deal

“Beauty will save the world,” Macron quoted Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, expressing hope that the beauty of art would create a bridge between continents.

The president praised the aesthetics of the Louvre, saying that architect Jean Nouvel “has created a temple of beauty.”

What does the museum transcend?

The story of humanity

To begin with, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a massive structure, 97,000 sqm facility designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.

Nouvel was inspired by low-lying Arab settlements and designed a ‘museum city’ in the sea with its contrasting series of 55 white buildings.

The museum is one of the four total planned to open in Saadiyat Island, but the first to open with immense significance to the region, as it has a globally recognized cultural name among our midst, which will seek to preserve not only history, but also Arab heritage, including Quranic manuscripts, tent making, dhow building, as well as a children’s museum.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was nominated in the Times of London as one of the top 10 buildings in the world to get excited about.

Its galleries will tell the story of humanity in 12 chapters

More than 300 famous works, which are on loan from 13 leading French institutions including the Orsay Museum and Centre Pompidou, will showcase among others pieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh.

The museum has collected more than 600 artworks to date, including Ottoman daggers, Hindu figurines and works by French painter Edouard Manet.


Dana Halawi
By Dana Halawi
Senior Journalist
Dana Halawi has over seven years of experience in Journalism with articles published in multiple magazines and a newspaper in Lebanon. She specialized in Banking and Finance at the Lebanese American University and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs.