“Der Diwan – Arab Culture House” opens doors in Berlin
H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar and Sigmar Gabriel, the Foreign Minister of Germany, jointly inaugurated “Der Diwan – The Arab Culture House” in Berlin. The event serves as a major milestone for Qatar-German Year of Culture, and will also be a legacy of the year marked with numerous collaborative ventures and cultural exchanges.
Addressing the public at the opening, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar said:”With the opening of the Arab Cultural House in Berlin today, we celebrate the longstanding friendship between Germany and Qatar. Diwan will be a platform for lively cultural exchanges and development, and a testament of our commitment to building bridges with nations around the world”.
The attendees for the opening included government representatives and professionals from a variety of fields, who had the opportunity to learn about the unique history of the Diwan and its significance in the German-Qatar relationship.
H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany added: “The Qatar Germany Year of Culture 2017 has seen many inspiring initiatives to build bridges between our cultures. Today, we celebrate the opening of the Arab Cultural House in Berlin, which offers a distinct space for German and Arabic culture and its relations to be strengthened.”
The new “Der Diwan” is an invaluable contribution to German heritage and the latest addition to Berlin’s diverse and vibrant cultural landscape. The Cultural House carries the significance of being Qatar’s first culture centre outside of Qatar and its opening in marks an exciting new chapter in the Qatari-German cultural relations.
Located in the Zehlendorf district of Berlin, the cultural house, formerly known as Villa Calé, was built between 1904 and 1907 by publisher Franz Calé and is considered to be one of the most beautiful villas in Berlin. The Diwan has a rich and colourful history, having previously been used for private housing, then hosting the Institute of Film and Image in Science and Education, before the State of Qatar took over the building in 1997.