Artists and in­ven­tors win Beirut In­sti­tute recog­ni­tion

The National - News - - NEWS EMIRATES - Samia Badih

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.

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