The Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, in partnership with the Zay Initiative, is pleased to announce the digital talk series Dialogues on the Art of Arab Fashion.
The Zay Initiative is a UK registered non-profit focused on advancing the preservation of cultural heritage through the collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical dress, adornment and associated stories. The Zay Initiative aims to promote an understanding of the evolution of regional Arab culture and an appreciation for this unique heritage. The entity is committed to intercultural dialogue and to the empowerment of women and their stories both regionally and globally.
Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, author of the book Sultani,Traditions Renewed; Changes in Women’s Traditional Dress in the UAE during the reign of Shaikh Zayid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan 1966-2004, cultural heritage expert, designer and historian established the Zay Initiative in 2018. The growing collection features over 1350 historic pieces predominantly from the UAE as well as from Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Kuwait, Tunis, Morocco, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Sudan and Lebanon. Under Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli’s leadership the Zay Initiative is building a digital archive and index of terminology. Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli describes the Zay Initiative as an ode to the past and a nod to the future.
“By continuously collaborating with artists, designers, scholars and institutions, old narratives are kept alive and intercultural dialogue is encouraged. This highlights our shared humanity, and it inspires us to create a sustainable future heritage” said Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli.
Each month an Emirati diplomat will join Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli and a guest to continue the Dialogue on The Art of Arab Fashion.
Tuesday 22 September – Dress & Diplomacy
Dress & Diplomacy online conversation between Dr. Reem Tariq Al Mutwalli and Rawdha Al Otaiba*, Deputy Head of Mission at the UAE Embassy in London
*Formerly Ms. Al Otaiba served as the Director of the American Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation (MOFAIC), during which time she was responsible for bilateral relations between the UAE and the Americas. She has also served in the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as the head of the IRENA section, liaising with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and overseeing the UAE’s IRENA host country affairs. She also represented the UAE as an active member state to IRENA, and helped lead the UAE’s negotiating team for Rio+20. Additionally, she was a member of the team working on the development of the UAE’s sustainability-related foreign and domestic policy. In 2009, she joined the UAE task force for IRENA campaign, which ended successfully with the UAE hosting the agency.