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Sultanate hosts Aga Khan awards

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Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman will celebrate and host the winners of the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture and Music at a ceremony on October 29, 30, and 31 in the presence of distinguished participants and winners, and senior guests.

His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Youth will preside over the distribution of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) on October 31.

As many as 463 projects contested the award’s 15th edition, hosted by the Sultanate of Oman for the first time. The event marks the 45th anniversary of the award.

The winners are the Urban River Spaces and Social Spaces projects of Bangladesh; the Blimbingsari Airport project of Indonesia; Argo Contemporary Art Museum and Cultural Centre project of Iran; Renovation of Niemeyer Guest House project of Lebanon; and the CEM Kamanar Secondary School project of Senegal.

It happens for the first time in the history of the Aga Khan award that both the architecture and music awards coincide at one time and in one country — the Sultanate of Oman.

His Highness Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham al Said will preside over the distribution of the Aga Khan Music Awards on October 30. The winners are Zakir Hussain of India; Afel Bocoum of Mali; Asin Khan Langa of India; Coumbane Mint Ely Warakane of Mauritania; Dawood Khan Sadozai of Indonesia; Benny Kandra Reni of Indonesia; Soumic Datta of the United Kingdom; Yahya Hussein Abdullah of Tanzania; Yasmin Shah Hosseini of Iran; and Zarsanga of Pakistan.

Special mentions included Dilshad Khan of India; Kalashan Band of Iran; Sin Zuhour of Pakistan; Zulkifli and Bur’am of Indonesia; and Syed Mohammad Mousavi and Mahor of Iran.

On October 29, 2022, His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd al Said, Secretary-General at the Secretariat-General of the Council of Ministers, will preside over the distribution of the Aga Khan Music Awards.

The ceremony includes the distribution of the “March of Creativity Award” to the accompaniment of the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra and the Aga Khan Music band. Music researcher Musallam bin Ahmed al Kathiri from the Sultanate of Oman will be felicitated for his contributions to the preservation of the Omani musical heritage.

His Highness Dr Fahd bin Al Julanda al Said, Vice-Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), will preside over a symposium for winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022. The event, due to take place at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, will begin at 9 am on Sunday, October 30, 2022, and continue until 1 pm. The symposium will be attended by experts, academics, and architects from the global community and the Sultanate of Oman. The first session of the symposium will focus on infrastructure in an Omani context. The second session will deal with the social impact of architecture from an Omani perspective.

Sayyid Said bin Sultan al Busaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth for Culture, gave the following statement: “The distribution of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and Music 2022 in the Sultanate of Oman offers a variety of opportunities to academic researchers, musicians, and architects. It will enable them to learn about new and outstanding areas highlighted by the awards. It will allow them to be in touch with winners from different countries of the world and the protocols associated with the awards. It will also expand the Omani cultural scene integration with various countries of the world and consolidate social awareness about participation in these international awards. The hosting of the events provides a true manifestation of Oman’s vision to become a destination for art, literature and culture.”

Al Busaidi said that Oman’s deep-rooted history and civilization make it a destination for awards and an ideal venue for international organisations and international cultural events. The Aga Khan Award already placed Oman among its key locations for the upcoming hosting, he said.

Al Busaidi explained that Oman gains intellectual and tourist depth through the presence of this elite selection of participants, winners, senior invitees and cultural figures who meet here to attend the award distribution ceremony. “Follow-up of the event via media platforms will highlight Oman’s economic and scholarly domains, thus achieving one of the most important pillars of the country’s cultural strategy, which targets cultural openness to the world and the global propagation of the Omani cultural identity,” said Al Busaidi.

Al Busaidi pointed out that Oman will host the 7th International Photographers Forum in the forthcoming period. Besides wide media coverage, the event will include meetings of the Arab Academy of Music aimed at promoting Oman.

The ceremonies, scheduled at the ROHM, will be held in the presence of ministers, under-secretaries, a selection of Omani architects and musicians, and about 250 international guests — in addition to members of the Awards Steering Committee, the jury, candidates, and winners of the Architecture and Music Awards.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established in 1977 and it seeks to identify, encourage and promote building concepts that successfully meet the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence since the award’s inception 45 years ago.

As many as 128 projects have received the award and nearly 10,000 construction projects have been documented.

The Aga Khan Award for Music was established in 2018 by the Aga Khan and is administered by a Steering Committee co-chaired by Aga Khan and his brother Amyn Aga Khan. Other members of the committee are Ara Guzelimian, Special Adviser and Honorary Representative at the Juilliard School; Artistic and Executive Director of the Ojai Music Festival; and Sir Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit; Joseph Melillo, Executive Producer and Professor Emeritus, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Salima Hashmi, Professor Emeritus, Beaconhouse National University (BNU); Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Asia (UCA); and Zhiba Rahman, Senior Programme Officer at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts. — ONA

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