UAE proud to amplify exceptional global voices: Reem Al Hashimy

Expo 2020 Dubai hosts storytelling forum to mark Human Rights Day

Reem Al Hashimy. — File photo
Reem Al Hashimy. — File photo

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 10 Dec 2021, 9:23 PM

Expo 2020 Dubai hosted a ‘dignified storytelling forum’ under the theme ‘A Story can change the world’ to mark Human Rights Day.

Held in collaboration with Dubai Cares and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the event brought together storytellers, members of civil society, organisations, governments, the private sector, and international and regional agencies to highlight the importance of placing human dignity at the centre of storytelling, especially within development and humanitarian contexts.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, said that the UAE is proud to be leading by example in providing a platform to amplify the voices of exceptional people from around the world through Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The UAE is proud to be leading by example in the recognition and amplification of exceptional voices from all around the world, bringing new and extraordinary insights to a global audience, while maintaining the fundamental concept of universal respect, freedom with accountability, progress in hand with dignity.” Al Hashimy added.

Dr Tariq Al Gurg, commissioner general for the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and CEO of Dubai Cares, said that within the humanitarian and development sector, organisations rely heavily on storytelling as a platform for advocacy, as well as to connect with sponsors, in what has become an increasingly competitive ecosystem.

“I strongly believe that one of the primary causes for this is a lack of guidance on how storytellers should capture and share stories while preserving the contributor’s dignity at every step of the process.”

Since its launch in May 2021, Dignified Storytelling has encouraged a global network of organisations to commit to the Dignified Storytelling principles and storytelling practices cantered on deep respect, full transparency, and social responsibility.

Maher Nasser, commissioner general of the United Nations to Expo 2020 Dubai believes that in the age of social media every individual has the responsibility of adhering to the Dignified Storytelling principles.

“We are all storytellers today,” Nasser said. “With social media, every person can reach dozens of people, thousands of people, millions of people. And we have seen with Covid-19 and the misinformation and disinformation of stories. People shouldn’t see Dignified Storytelling and the 10 principles as something that only organisations and people working in the field of media and journalism should abide by. It applies to our individual actions, because they do have an impact.”

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