Muscat: Activities of the fourth GCC Universities Theatre Festival for universities and higher education institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries began at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) Cultural Centre on March 27.
The opening ceremony was held under the patronage of Dr. Salim Bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Heritage Affairs in the presence of Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bemani, the vice chancellor of SQU and a number of academicians and students.
The first day of the festival included the opening of fine arts exhibition, in addition to a theatre show for the Al-Jouf University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The festival is being organised for the first time in SQU as it includes 10 theatre shows from GCC countries.
Commenting on the university hosting the event, Al Bemani said it is an honour for SQU to host the fourth such festival, which promotes the theatrical field.
“Such festivals are an opportunity for students to practice their theatrical skills and creativity. In addition, this festival is considered a cultural interaction, which interprets the efforts of the students and supervisors.
“It contributes to the enrichment of the Gulf youth’s talent in the field of theatre and acts as a platform for encouraging them to innovate and excel in the theatre field. Through the festival, the youth manifest their positive thought and maturity on stage, along with that, they carry the true message of the performing arts. The plays to be performed in the competition are the outcome of creativity and serious and purposeful work. We welcome all guests from CCG countries,” he added.
Minister Al Mahrouqi said the festival represents a qualitative addition to the academic communities at the level of the GCC countries, and there is no doubt that the Omani experience is rich and organising such events would make a qualitative addition to the university.
“The output of events like this would nourish the annual theatre festival and related events organised at the national level by the Ministry,” he said.
Dr. Yousef bin Salem Al Hinai, dean of Student Affairs and head of Main Committee of the festival, welcomed the participating groups from various GCC universities. “Theatre shows occupy a prominent place in our culture and play a major role in the intellectual and cultural identity. It is good to see that the opening of the theatre fest coincides with the World Theatre Day,” he said.
Apart from SQU, the following universities from GCC countries participated in the festival: the University of Al-Jawf, Jazan University, Taif University, King Abdul-Aziz University, Imam Muhammad bin Saud University, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (all from Saudi Arabia), the University of Bahrain, Kuwait University, Qatar University, and the United Arab Emirates University.