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CITYarts honours Sheikha Manal with specially crafted ?Royal Simplicity? award

May 19, 2009 - 07:31 -

WAM Dubai, 19th May 2009 (WAM) - On behalf of wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, HH Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), Dr.Lamees Hamdan Al Shamsi, board member of DWE, accepted a specially crafted award from New York-based CITYarts foundation yesterday at Sotheby's in New York, honoring Her Highness' commitment to supporting the development of artistic and cultural talents, particularly among the youth.

The unique �Royal Simplicity' award, specially created for Sheikha Manal by internationally acclaimed artist Ursula Von Rydingsvard, is a work of art in itself. Crafted around a brick that reflects CITYarts' driving motto - "We go brick by brick changing the neighborhood" - the award highlights the imaginative and tangible skills that go into creating extraordinary works of art.

The abstract creation references a castle or forest hideaway, and like most of Von Rydingsvard's work, demonstrates an interest in the point where the man-made meets nature.

The award represents a perfect synergy of the artistic endeavors of Sheikha Manal and those of the CITYarts foundation that work to build bridges of understanding among youth from divergent cultures through artistic collaborations that highlight social issues and encourage young artists to become active participants in shaping their communities and their own futures.

Sheikha Manal is the first Arab to receive this recognition, and was one of three extraordinary global women leaders to be honored at the CITYarts' Annual Benefit, Auction, and Awards Ceremony, celebrating the foundation's 41st anniversary.

Commenting on this achievement, His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture '&' Arts Authority, said: "HH Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has fervently supported arts in the UAE, taking the lead in promoting artistic and cultural works by young men and women from the UAE helping them achieve international recognition. She has been relentlessly involved in raising awareness on the vital role of art in expressing minds, opinions and being a means of communication between nations and races.

''Her Highness genuine advocacy of Emirati women has offered much encouragement and support to excel in different fields. Nothing stands as a better acknowledgement of her efforts than presenting Her Highness with this award by such an international organization," he added.

As an accomplished artist in her own right Sheikha Manal has been recognized for her keen interest and generous patronage of artistic endeavors in the UAE through youth-focused initiatives such as �The Sheikha Manal Young Artists Award' and the �Art Exchange Programme.' The designing of the award by Von Rydingsvard has particular poignancy for CITYarts' youth-focused artistic initiatives, as the artist's creations reflect her recollections of subsistence through humble means, having spent her early childhood in Nazi slave labor and post-war refugee camps.

WAM/TF