UAE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh visited Washington, D.C. this week to participate in a number of discussions on the history of cultural diplomacy in the United Arab Emirates and how soft power is and can continue to be a beneficial tool in bridging understanding and creating long-lasting global partnerships.
Minister Nusseibeh provided a presentation and participated in discussions at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. on how cultural diplomacy helped transform the United Arab Emirates from simple villages to ultra-modern metropolitan cities with the help of forward thinking leadership and their vision to improve the wellbeing of their citizens and reach out globally to those in need.
In his remarks during discussion at the embassy, Minister Nusseibeh highlighted the influence the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder and first president of the United Arab Emirates had through internal and external initiatives aimed at improving lives and opportunities said, “today Sheikh Zayed’s legacy lives on through the diplomatic efforts of our leadership in developing and nurturing relationships with the international community and in promoting cultural exchanges”.
Pointing out how important cultural diplomacy is today as it has been in the past, Minister Nusseibeh said, “the only way to move forward is to establish relationships or friendships and cooperation with other cultures and civilisations, building bridges of trust and solidarity that bring prosperity and progress to all nations.”
The minister’s discussion was moderated by Smithsonian Institution’s Ambassador-at-Large, Dr. Richard Kurin. Over 100 guests were in attendance, representing the business, political, archeological, architectural, cultural, arts and other fields.
The following day, Minister Nusseibeh was invited to take part in a roundtable discussion at the Middle East Institute with leadership from government, business and the arts on the power of cultural diplomacy and fostering prosperous partnerships in challenging climates.
Minister Nusseibeh was invited to Washington to give the keynote address at the Protocol School of Washington, D.C.’s annual gala dinner. The Protocol School, which provides expertise in protocol, business etiquette and communication skills around the world using the highest educational standards has been instrumental in training Emirati protocol officers, diplomats, and business leaders from several UAE government and private sectors and has recently opened a regional school in the Emirate of Dubai.
In his address to newly graduated students and alumni, Minister Nusseibeh remarking on the important role protocol plays in cultural diplomacy said, “As protocol experts, you are the cure. You play a critical role in the fight against intolerance, armed with the tools of diplomacy, empathy, and respect. You are the pillars that support bridges between societies. You are the foundation for a better and brighter world.”
“It is a proud moment for our School to have His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh share his ‘pearls of wisdom’ at our Global Education Summit’s 30th Anniversary Gala. His remarks targeted the value systems regarding learning through cultural understanding, global diplomacy, and mutual respect,” said Pamela Eyring, President of The Protocol School of Washington. “Through His Excellency’s stories, we are inspired to believe in these values to build relationships and live more enriched lives.”
During his time in Washington, D.C., Minister Nusseibeh met with leadership at and toured several museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the African American History Museum.