Magazine L'Avenir, décembre 2004 – 2004/12
In its December 2004 issue, L'Avenir magazine devoted an entire report on a symposium held on November 4, 2004 during the Salon de la Culture du Festival du Monde Arabe (FMA) of Montréal. Jointly held by the FMA, the Concordia Section of the Concordia-UQAM Chair in Ethnic Studies and the Ministry of Culture and Communications, the symposium focused on « the necessary protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions », such as that which is currently being proposed by UNESCO, and involved many important personalities and officials concerned with the issue from Quebec and the Arab world. The symposium was marked by a deep concern for concrete and involved action. In order to make the process a platform for concrete and sustainable action, conference organizers and assistants, at the suggestion of Mrs Aïda Kamar, Vicepresident of FMA, ratified a number of recommendations, which included: Awareness-raising of the Arab region of UNESCO through a sustained effort by Mrs Aziza Bennani, Moroccan ambassador to UNESCO, in close cooperation with Mrs. Samira el Daher, Lebanon ambassador to UNESCO. The objective would be to increase awareness regarding the need for the Convention, which is just as vital as economic free-trade agreements and would ensure the survival of Arab cultures and could spearhead the influence of the Arab world; Launching a civil movement through the Institut du Monde Arabe, working closely with governments, and through active forces linking Quebec’s efforts to those of artists and associations from the Arab world, in close collaboration with the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity for the creation of other networks throughout the Arab world; The coordination of these movements with Quebec academic and artistic communities, as well as with officials involved with the issue of cultural diversity. A summary of the symposium and participant photos are available on the magazine’s website.