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The Pavilion a glittering tribute to Fatima

posted on 26/03/2016: 1361 views

To walk through The Pavilion at the Mother of the Nation Festival, that runs until April 2, is to undertake a journey of the UAE's history and the multitudinous achievements and contributions of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood.

Since launching in early March, the festival hashtags have recorded over 650 million impressions on social media channels. The Arabic hashtag has received about 482 million hits, while #MOTNFestival received over 169 million.

The gleaming Pavilion, which stands as the centrepiece of the Mother of the Nation Festival, has captivated thousands of visitors since it opened on March 24 with its 13 uniquely designed exhibits that feature the far-reaching efforts of Sheikha Fatima. Measuring 30 x 40 metres, The Pavilion is wrapped in Mashrabiya panels painted with metallic gold and printed fabric. Each exhibit in this space invites visitors to reflect on the contributions of women to the welcoming, empowering, and forward-thinking community that is the UAE today.

Salama Al Shamsi, member of the Mother of the Nation Festival organising team, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said: "The Pavilion is testament to the festival's mission of celebrating the countless women whose collective impact has nurtured and cultivated a society that thrives on cultural diversity.”

Sam Katiela, managing and creative director of The Pavilion, said, "We spent about four weeks building this pavilion and producing the content elements in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the Crown Prince's Court. The pavilion is a museum about Sheikha Fatima and her life, and how she has been a major inspiration to so many people in the UAE.

"It is a beautiful journey in which people will greatly appreciate the content, and that is what we want — for people to feel and understand the history [of the UAE],” he said.

He added that The Pavilion has been built to offer the highest degree of interactivity with visitors.

Visitors are greeted with serene natural imagery and the soothing sounds of the ‘Mother Nature' exhibit, before entering interactive spaces including ‘Daughters of the Nation' and ‘Great Changes' that highlight the efforts of the country's dedicated, hard-working, and ambitious women.

At the ‘Value Tree', visitors are invited to add attachable ‘leaves' connecting their own values with those of Sheikha Fatima.

Dana Al Rumaithi, from the UAE, and one of the ambassadors at the festival, told Gulf News that as an Emirati woman, she felt very proud of Sheikha Fatima and her success in paving the way for so many other Emirati women.

"Sheikha Fatima is truly an inspiring lady, so to be a part of this event makes me proud as an Emirati woman, and to be able to show all her achievements is something I find to be empowering as well,” she said.

Al Rumaithi added that she was happy about the positive message the festival would send on the empowerment of Arab and Muslim women.

"This festival can send a very strong message on how women in our society have played a big role, and it is a reminder of how women will continue to achieve their goals and become even more influential in society,” she said.

Chantel Cayo, from the US, told Gulf News that she was happy to have learnt about Sheikha Fatima after visiting the pavilion.

"It was very interesting, I didn't know much about Sheikha Fatima before, and so it was very informative and enlightening to learn about all the things she has done,” she said.

Gulf News -


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