Assalamu aleykum jemeean. Abdulaziz, Thank you for the kind introduction.
Distinguished guests, good evening. I would like to thank Reconnaissance Research and the Den Gallery for organizing this important first-ever event.
It is a pleasure for me to be here to show my support, and the support of the U.S. Embassy, for Kuwaiti artists.
Earlier tonight, our Regional Middle East Intellectual Property Attaché, Pete Mehravari, organized a useful workshop for you the artists. He talked about how you can use intellectual property laws to protect your work from illegal copying and how to create new avenues to commercialize and market your impressive works around the world.
Pete’s workshop comes at an opportune time, since the National Assembly passed a new copyright law last summer. If this law is fully implemented and enforced properly it will spur investment in Kuwait’s growing creative economy.
While I only recently arrived in Kuwait (I am starting my third week), I have already been impressed with what I have seen of the originality and ingenuity of the Kuwaiti people. As I look around this art gallery, there is ample evidence of a vibrant and active cultural scene, and I am excited to learn more about Kuwaiti heritage and art. I have already visited some of your museums and strolled in the Al-Shaheed Park, which is beautiful; I was particularly taken by the originality of the sculptures, artwork and murals, all created by local artists.
Let me assure that the U.S. Embassy stands ready to support creators and artists in Kuwait. For example, we sponsor cultural exchange programs, in which artists from the United States visit Kuwait to perform or share their art, and to learn about Kuwaiti culture.
I have an abiding interest in promoting mutual understanding through cultural exchanges having spent time in my previous assignments overseeing our cultural affairs programs. Protecting original works through IPR laws not only protects works of art, but cultural identity itself.
I’m looking forward to touring this beautiful gallery and getting to know you better through your works. Bravo to each one of you! Shukran.