The Second Forum on Festivals in the Arab Countries is the only state-level Arab Festival event hosted in the Arab Region. The first Forum took place in Beirut, Lebanon in 2009 in cooperation with the Arab Administrative Development Organisation – (ARADO, League of Arab States).
The main objective of the Forum was to reveal valuable insights into the business of festivals and review key achievements and challenges facing festivals nowadays. There was a particular emphasis on Cultural Economics and the role of Social Media in the promotion of events. With a wide array of experts in divergent fields coming together, the forum displayed a wide variety of approaches and insights covered by high level speakers such as art protagonists, festival organizers, and enterprises. They looked at how to make festivals in the Arab and neighbouring countries more successful in preserving cultural understanding and values and allowing for venues to be centres of expression and celebration.
During Session I “Festivals is a Time and Place for Unusual Business”, IAMIC was offered the opportunity to present the Association. An-Heleen De Greef talked about its mission, goals, what IAMIC has to offer, its membership and the importance to have Arab countries being part of the Association. Ol’ga Smetanová, in turn, emphasized the importance of the Annual Meetings of IAMIC and its role in creating mutual understanding. She further expressed her vision on the future of festivals and their importance of raising awareness and understanding of the role of music and arts in general in society and of capacity building and social inclusion. Therefore she advocated to continue to raise awareness about the importance of the ethical and humanistic values of the arts, to manifest good relations among ordinary people, musicians and the general public.