DAI Cultural Education Programmes


The purpose of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s cultural education programmes is to create opportunities for individuals to explore the art and culture of the region.  We would like our audiences to engage with the collection and exhibitions, but our purpose is to help our audiences engage in culture and community around them.

Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, director general of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah and co-owner (with Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Minister of the Amiri Diwan) of The al-Sabah Collection, recognises the unique educational opportunities present because of the collection.  To Sheikha Hussa, increasing the community’s appreciation for the objects – beautiful and important as they are – is not the ultimate goal of the DAI.  Instead, the objects are tools that can be effectively used to increase the community’s appreciation for the arts, culture and traditions of the Islamic world.

The use of the word “appreciation” was selected thoughtfully.  At a time when leaders are calling for increased cultural tolerance, Sheikha Hussa and the DAI hope to go several steps further.  Tolerance is defined as “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.”  To appreciate something, on the other hand, is “to value [it] or regard [it] highly.”   The goal of Sheikha Hussa, of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah and the cultural education programmes outlined on this website is to give audiences what they need to move through tolerance to appreciation.