Sham Bathija – Economic Advisor to Hamid Karzai, Afghan President
Penny Hamilton – Widow of Al Qaeda Victim Michael Hamilton
Rev Andrew Thompson MBE – Abu Dhabi Anglican Church
Farid Bukhari – Desert Designs, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
International Yehudui Menuhin Foundation
Cross Cultural Holdings Japan
Artisan Initiatives UK
It makes sense for this project to be based in the Gulf region. The Gulf has earned respect around the world for its forward thinking attitude and i would be honoured to lead this project with support from within the Gulf region. I propose to spend the first 3 months in an intensive Arabic course as i feel this will open more doors in the region and at the same time, build on my contacts in the area and plan the initial collaborations. Gulf musicians will be encouraged to take part in the project, with school visits, concerts and discussions regarding the need for cultural dialogue. It could prove fruitful to have a monthly concert series in the Gulf showing the fruits of the project. I have worked extensively with Arabic musicians and i will also study local music in one of the music centres in the Gulf.
It will be imperative to make a film of the project from the very beginning, to show the progressive nature of the Gulf's attitude towards the Arts and cultural dialogue in the region and the wider world. The film could be submitted to Film Festivals around the world, but should be premiered at one of the Film Festivals in the Gulf.
photos by Paul Thuysbaert