“The Reflective Mirror” art exhibition – held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment and Wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE – enjoyed a highly positive reception from the international audience, who visited the unique exhibition held from 22nd February to 15th March, 2010 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, USA. Attracting visitors from across the globe, the three-week exhibition featured 23 artists, including 13 Emirati artists from the UAE.
The event was held alongside the Economic and Social Forum (ECOSOC) event “Engaging Philanthropy to Promote Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment”. Coordinated by The Art Centre at Dubai Ladies Club and the United Nations Office for Partnership, the exhibition showcased the issues and concerns of women from varied cultural backgrounds and yet similar. Emirates Airlines was our valuable partners in supporting the arts.
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, of the United Nations, at the inauguration said: “I am very glad to host this exhibition this year, designated as The Year of Development – a year to set forward a clear plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals which vitally concern women. Women are the pillars of the societies they live in and they are faced with the responsibility of earning a living, taking care of their families and maintaining peace. We are confident that empowering women and supporting them will lead to uplifting society as a whole.”
Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, said: “The UAE has accomplished a great deal with regards to empowering women and giving them significant opportunities to participate effectively in developing the country, and we commend the role of HH Sheikha Manal, President of DWE, in furthering this process of empowerment. The prominence of Emirati female artists reflects the success that Emirati women have already achieved regionally and internationally, which in turn paves the way towards greater excellence in different fields whether educational, artistic, social or economic.”
“The Reflective Mirror” exhibition attracted more than 200 visitors on a daily basis who appreciated and admired the displayed works which revolved around the theme of empowering women. The winning works from the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award and students work from the Art Exchange Program featured prominently as part of “The Reflective Mirror” exhibition.
Muna Bin Kalli, Executive Director of Dubai Ladies Club, attended the opening of the exhibition in New York, accompanied by a delegation of UAE representatives. “The Emirati women are proof of the UAE’s progress, and this is particularly demonstrated by the continuous support of Sheikha Manal to women active in different artistic spheres. Women make up an important section of the labour force and play an effective role, especially in the developmental and governmental sector,” said Bin Kalli.
“The Reflective Mirror embodies independence of thought communicated by the Emirati woman, and expressed through art. The exhibition presents the universal issues and concerns of women,” she added.
Participating artists from the UAE expressed their gratitude at being presented with this enviable opportunity. Artist Karima Shomeyli commented: “I’m very proud to participate in such a prestigious event and to represent my country, which has always been incredibly supportive, and has given me this opportunity to showcase my unique perspective at such a prominent level. I would also like to thank HH Sheikha Manal for her continuous support and interest in arts and artists.”
Artist Salma Al Merri added: “An artist represents an image of their society, and has the responsibility to present its issues internationally. Being given the opportunity to achieve this goal is a great honour, and each one of us here is grateful to all those responsible for organizing this important and well-received event.”
Artist Reem Al Ghaith concluded: “Art offers an international message and is a tool of communication amongst different people. This exhibition is the perfect platform for us, as Emirati women, to express ourselves and showcase our work to experts and people concerned with women’s issues from across the world. I would like to extend my gratitude to all those who contributed to creating this event, which has enjoyed incredibly positive attention from various audiences.”
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