Artists and inventors win Beirut Institute recognition
A politician, a poet, an inventor, a composer and an actress were all honoured by the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi this week.
The recipients were Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State; Lebanese Oscar-nominated director and actress Nadine Labaki; Lebanese composer and producer Khaled Mouzanar; Sudanese-American poet Emi Mahmoud and Emirati inventor Fatima Al Kaabi.
Mr Nusseibeh was honoured for his outstanding political and governmental track record. Starting as a journalist in the 1960s, he edited the first English-language newspaper published by the Abu Dhabi government and helped launch the country’s first Arabic-language newspaper Aletihad. Mr Nusseibeh worked closely with Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father and throughout his career received many awards including the Gold Medal in the Arts from the Kennedy Centre in 2014.
Mouzanar and Labaki, the husband and wife team who made Capernaum, a film about children in the slums of Beirut, were also honoured. The film won an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film, a Bafta nomination and the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. After the film’s release, Mouzanar and Labaki started the Capernaum Foundation, which supports the film’s cast of amateur actors.
“We are trying to put some kids in school, trying to help their parents, remove them from the streets because that’s the hardest part. We had to try to convince some parents; we had to pay the parents to take them off the streets sometimes,” Mouzanar told The National.
Mahmoud was recognised for her spoken word poetry, which is a way of raising awareness of humanitarian issues. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador with the UN’s refugee agency.
Emirati inventor Ms Al Kaabi, the youngest recipient, was recognised for her technical innovations. She addressed the audience in a video message from Virginia Tech in the US, where she is studying AI.
The award event was part of the third year of the Beirut Institute Summit Abu Dhabi, which ended yesterday.