HE Shaikha Mai Al-Khalifa

HE Shaikha Mai Al-Khalifa - Bahrain

As president of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, renowned historian Shaikha Mai is the foremost public expert in the field, holding the unique portfolios of the Ministry for Culture & Information and the Ministry for Culture. She is a leading figure in the Arab culture and art scenes.  Shaikha Mai has spearheaded national efforts to develop the cultural infrastructure in the Kingdom of Bahrain for heritage conservation and the growth of sustainable tourism.

Being the founder of the Sheikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research and Chair of its Board of Trustees since 2002, she works actively to foster culture and preserve the traditional architecture of Bahrain. It was to this end that she launched the nation-wide ‘Invest in Culture’ initiative and built an unprecedented partnership between the private and public sectors for heritage preservation. This lead to the establishment of the Bahrain Fort Site Museum and the Bahrain National Theater. 

Shaikha Mai champions youth capacity building programs in the fields of heritage and culture development. She established Taa’ Al Shabab, a Bahraini youth forum for emerging talent in which cultural dialogue is cultivated. Amongst her myriad achievements are the 2005 and 2012 inscriptions of the Bahrain Fort and the Pearling: Testimony of an Island Economy as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Today, she is a role model for culture and heritage enthusiasts and the first laureate of the Colbert Prize for Creativity and Heritage. She has received the Légion d’Honneur, the Moroccan Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Grand Officer) and the Order of the Italian Star, as well as the First-Class Order of Merit from HM King Hamad of Bahrain. 

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