KUWAIT: 1.Officials and honored guests pose for a group photo during the event. 2. An international orchestra and Kuwaiti folk music band perform during the ceremony. - Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Minister of Information Mohammad Al-Jabri on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah inaugurated the 26th edition of the Al-Qurain Cultural Festival on Wednesday.

"Since its inception in 1994, Al-Qurain Cultural Festival has been a main cultural event showcasing outstanding cultural and artistic works and talents," Jabri, also minister of state for youth affairs, said in his inaugural speech at Abdulhusein Abdulredha Theater in Salmiya.

He pointed out that Al-Qurain festival and the Kuwait International Book Fair have also become important events for "showcasing the country's intellectual and cultural production, as well as its openness and effective interaction with other countries and cultures."

Meanwhile, Jabri announced that the organizing committee has chosen renowned Kuwaiti Poet Abdulaziz Al-Babtain as the main figure of this year's edition in recognition of his role in promoting Arabic language.

The festival commenced with a screening of the first Kuwaiti movie ever produced: 'Al-Asifa' (the storm). This black and white movie was produced by Kuwait TV in 1965, and is 27 minutes long. The movie was screened as a musical, during which an orchestra band lead by international Maestro Kamaludin Orenfy of the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan, and the Kuwaiti folk music band performed.

The movie did not feature much dialog, but instead mainly consisted of display of pictures depicting old sea heritage, including sailing and pearl diving. This work was presented on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of producing the first Kuwait feature film.

Different personalities were awarded during the event. Furthermore, the minister honored 'Al-Asifa' film director, the actors who passed away, the author, editor, and the members of the musical band; Hamad Bin Hussein for Marine Arts and the author of this artistic work Dr Sulaiman Al-Dikan.

The 18-day event, which is organized by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, features a plethora of cultural and artistic activities including music concerts, movies screening, art galleries, theatrical and folklore performances, lectures, workshops, art exhibitions and symposia. All the events are free of charge and will be hold in different locations. The schedule of the events is available on the official account of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters on Instagram : Kw_nccal or the website: nccal.gov.kw.