World’s one of the greatest mega events ‘Expo Dubai 20’ is under way. In November 2013, the United Arab Emirates won the right to host the World Expo in Dubai in 2020. This will be the first time that the World Expo is staged in the Middle East. Since the first Great Fair of 1851, World Expos have continued to be one of the largest and most enduring global mega-events. Lasting six months, World Expos attract millions of visitors who explore and discover pavilions, exhibitions and cultural events staged by hundreds of participants including nations, multilateral organizations and business corporations.
Dubai’s World Expo is held under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, echoing the powerful spirit of partnership and co-operation that has driven the UAE’s success in pioneering new paths of development and innovation. Through this theme, Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as a catalyst, connecting minds from around the world and inspiring participants to mobilize around shared challenges more especially during this Covid pandemic.
The Dubai administration deserves a big salute when it says that ‘we all have the power to build a better world and shape the future. Discover what makes Expo 2020 Dubai unique and how we’re ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’ through sustainability, mobility and opportunity.’ For the first time in World Expo history, every participating country will have its own pavilion allowing visitors to enjoy mesmerizing cultural experiences and discovering what makes each country unique.
Dubai’s World Expo is held under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, echoing the powerful spirit of partnership and co-operation that has driven the UAE’s success in pioneering new paths of development and innovation. Through this theme, Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as a catalyst, connecting minds from around the world and inspiring participants to mobilize around shared challenges, during a World Expo of unprecedented global scope, under the sub-themes of: Mobility, Opportunity & Sustainability.
Originally scheduled for 20 October2020 to 10 April 2021, the mega event however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere, saw new dates and was fixed for 1 October 2021 to31 March 2022. Despite being postponed, organizers retained the name Expo 2020 for marketing and branding purposes.
It will be a magnificent event, which will witness 60 shows every day, and will have 191 country pavilions, and will have more than 200 restaurants at the venue. As already mentioned, the theme of this year's Expo 2021 Dubai is Connecting Minds and Creating the Future. The sub-themes are Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility. The areas under focus for the Sustainability segment are industries, financial capital, governance, employment and education.
There will be five tracks, namely Leave No One Behind, Build Bridges, Thrive Together, Live in Balance and thus exploring and studying the biggest challenges for humanity facing today.
Looking at the entertainment section of this great mega event, superstar music maestro AR Rahman will present exciting new music when he first performs with the Firdaus Orchestra at Expo 2020 Dubai on October 23. The two-time Academy Award and double Grammy Award winner has been in Dubai since July. Rahman hopes that Expo 2020 Dubai will unite people and strengthen the concept of friendship and fraternity at the world fair next month. In an interview with ‘Gulf News’, the composer spoke about breaking musical boundaries and working with 50 female musicians from the Middle East, as part of a new ensemble. His observation on the participation of Middle East women in the field of music reminds one of popular lines of Hindu Scripture Manu-smriti where sage Manu quotes: “yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra devata---” which means where women are honored or worshipped, there the deities reside and feel charmed.
This whole verse highlights the importance of women in our society. It also highlights the importance of how women should be treated with dignity and respect. The verse line highlights that our good deeds don’t matter if we aren’t good to the women in our lives. Women bring blessings to the home and bring prosperity to the nation. Our great scriptures have offered respect and dignity to women who are an integral part of this Creation.
In other words, the nations that respect women and give them their due rights are the ones who are reaching pinnacles. On the contrary, the society where women are supposed to tolerate the wrongs and discriminations inflicted by men is the one that remains backward.
Unfortunately, the women in our society face everything. The rights that the modern era women are asking for in this era have been given to them very long ago by our culture and wisdom. The tradition of India has valued women, and so has whiz AR Rahman. Rahman’s meaningful observation that his ‘all-women ensemble is symbolic of women’s liberation and progress’ is indicative of his great message for all the unbiased music lovers.’ The chant quoted above is a reminder to work towards the betterment and empowerment of women.
To end up, it won’t be out of context to quote Margaret Thatcher, who rightly said: ‘Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.’
DR. SHIBEN KRISHEN RAINA, Writer and Translator, Currently in Dubai.