Definitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition
Sasol, the international integrated energy and chemical company, and the British Council, the UK's international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, in partnership with Qatar Museums, announced yesterday the ground-breaking "Definitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition" under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums. The event builds on Sasol's "Definitely Able" initiative and British Council's Arts and Disability Festival during Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture. Through the power of art and dialogue, the event will challenge perceptions about disability and build a more inclusive community that creates opportunities for people of all talents.
Taking place on 18-19 March, the Definitely Able Conference will bring together and give a voice to international, regional and local stakeholders working towards inclusion for people with disabilities into the community.
Hussain Ali Al Thawadi, Chief Operating Officer, Qatar Museums, said: "Qatar Museums and the Museum of Islamic Art are pleased to be partners and hosts of the Definitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition. Art is a form of expression that allows individuals to understand one another in a pure and emotional way. We look forward to the events and the opportunity to demonstrate how art can break down barriers in society."
Commenting on the conference, Marjo Louw, President, Sasol Qatar, said: "We owe a great deal of gratitude to Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani for her patronage and to Qatar Museums for its role and cooperation to render this conference successful."
Martin Hope, Director of the British Council in Qatar, commented: "Partnering with Sasol and Qatar Museums, the British Council's objective is to bring people together from around the world to share their knowledge and experience in the field of inclusion and disability and learn from each other. The recommendations of the conference will be implemented through a number of follow-up initiatives over the next year, which will ensure impact and sustainability."
More than 30 speakers from Qatar, the region and around the world will address the following topics over the eight sessions. Diversity champion Simon Minty will host the conference, which will include performances by the Al Noor Institute for the Blind featuring the talented child singer Rebecca Chalouhi. Renowned international speakers will share the stage with voices from Qatar, including Lord Holmes of Richmond, the UK Paralympic champion; Justice Zakeria Yacoob from South Africa; Maha Al Mansouri, CEO of Mada Qatar Assistive Technology Center; Prof. Dr. Georges Tamer, Chair of Oriental Philology and Islamic Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg; Dr. Asma Abdulla Al-Attiyah, Head of Department of Psychological Sciences, College of Education at Qatar University; Khalid Al-Shoaibi, from Al-Noor Institute for the Blind; and Mark Dyer, Accessibility & Inclusive Design Adviser – Programme Management Consultant, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
The ILHAM Art Exhibition will be open to the public at the Museum of Islamic Art from 18-27 March. Featuring the work of seven disabled artists from Qatar, Oman and the UK, unique pieces of art will be displayed for the first time ever during the Exhibition. Artists created new works melding their own style with Arabic influences during a trip to Qatar earlier this year, generously hosted by the MIA.
Full details about the conference are available online at Definitelyable. Follow the conference on Twitter (@definitelyable) and via the hashtag #definitelyable.