Popular Turkish actor Engin Altan Düzyatan discussed the role of “soft power” in influencing people on the inaugural day of the 21st Arab Media Forum on Tuesday.

Taking to the stage during a session, the actor, who is the hero of the series “Resurrection of Ertugrul,” which is one of the most famous and successful drama series in the history of Turkish art, talked about the “transformative power of storytelling” in today’s interconnected world.

He explained how cinema and theatre can mould perspectives and beliefs in nurturing cross-cultural comprehension.

The actor highlighted especially in the contemporary landscape, platforms for disseminating content possess far-reaching capabilities, attracting substantial viewership.

Awards ceremony

The event also witnessed a special award ceremony where Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council awarded Dr Mohammed Ghanem Al Rumaihi with the honour of the ‘Media Personality of the Year.’

A Social Science Professor, Dr Al Rumaihi is a multifaceted individual hailing from Kuwait, known for his roles as a writer, philosopher and translator.

Sheikh Ahmed also extended honours to Dr Sawsan Al Abtah, who achieved the distinction of being named the Best Columnist, another prestigious category within the Arab Media Awards.

She is a professor of Islamic civilisation at the Arabic Language Department of the Lebanese University in Beirut and regularly writes columns.

Furthermore, several other deserving winners across various categories within the Arab media field were also celebrated on the inaugural day.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking official in the region has stressed the significance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations working together to achieve long-lasting economic cooperation.

During a seminal discussion, Jassim Muhammad Al Budaiwi, Secretary-General of the GCC, shed light on the need and the importance of “neutrality” in supporting regional sustainable economic development between the six GCC states.

Speaking at a session, titled, “The Arabian Gulf’s Future Amidst Regional Conflict,” he emphasized the importance of member nations collaborating towards achieving enduring economic integration.

Budaiwi pointed out the significance of “neutrality, an open stance, and transparency in countries’ foreign policies.” He said, “We uphold an unbiased position, maintaining equal distance from all concerned parties.”

He also noted that this has been demonstrated by the meetings between GCC leaders and US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2022.

Addressing the recent surge in military and political tensions in the region, where Houthi militants from Yemen allegedly carried out a drone attack near Saudi Arabia's southern border, resulting in the loss of two Bahraini soldiers' lives, he said, “such incidents hinder the progress of the dialogue process.”

But he commended the economic and political coordination capabilities of the gulf countries.

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