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Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation awarded highest French order of merit, the Chevalier Insigna in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor as decreed by the President of France

H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo Receives Highest French Civilian Honour of The Order Of Knight of the Legion of Honour.jpg 12th Nov 2017

H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo Receives Highest French Order of Merit – The Chevalier Insigna in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor

H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has been awarded the Chevalier Insigna in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, as decreed by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron. The honour is awarded in recognition of Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo’s significant contribution to the development and promotion of the UAE’s cultural sector and its cultural cooperation with France.


This highest French distinction was conferred by the French Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen, on behalf of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron. The special ceremony was held in the French ambassador residence in Abu Dhabi, in the esteemed presence of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance; HE Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council Affairs; HE Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Group CEO & Managing Director – Mubadala; HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, President of Zayed University; and HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General – Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.


Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo has dedicated her life to inspiring artists to create, generations to innovate, and communities to unite and prosper. She has worked tirelessly since ADMAF’s establishment in 1996 and is also the Artistic Director of its cornerstone event, the annual Abu Dhabi Festival. Since its inception, ADMAF has been dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, development, culture and creativity, pioneering new practices and new works that continue to develop audiences for the arts and nurture the careers of gifted young cultural professionals and practitioners throughout the UAE and Arab world.


Upon receiving the award, H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), said: “I wish to express my sincere thanks to the wise leadership of the United Arab Emirates for their continued dedicated support of ADMAF; their encouragement makes ADMAF’s work possible. I also wish to express my sincere thanks to President Emmanuel Macron for bestowing this honour upon me and to thank HE the French Minister of Culture, Mrs Francoise Nyssen for presiding over this special ceremony.


France and the United Arab Emirates share values of openness and respect. These cherished principles have been shared with us by the many French cultural organisations and artists who have become significant partners to ADMAF. Both our nations share a passion for their language; the belief that culture is at the very centre of our being; and the firm belief that being part of the world signifies sharing these values with others whenever, wherever possible.


These beliefs have underscored ADMAF’s commitments since its inception 21 years ago. Investing in and nourishing the country’s creative industries is a steadfast commitment to skills, knowledge and culture as the best route to mutual understanding and growth. At home and abroad, culture is the bridge to tolerance, a bridge we treasure and strive to make ever-stronger through our network of international strategic partners. I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for this honour, and I look forward to continuing to share the culture and creativity of the UAE with the world.”


H.E. Ludovic Pouille, UAE Ambassador to France, said: “It is with immense pleasure that I wish to congratulate Her Excellency Huda AlKhamis-Kanoo, who has been awarded the Chevalier insigna in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor by Her Excellency Françoise Nyssen, French Minister of Culture. With this award, we celebrate the outstanding contribution of HE Huda AlKhamis-Kanoo to the French-Emirati friendship and to the blooming of our cooperation in the cultural field. It spotlights the exceptional commitment of Her Excellency towards the promotion of arts, culture and humanities, through the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, which she founded and leads with a unique vision. ADMAF is now at the core of this sparkling energy thriving to empower new generations through creative thinking. As a stirring advocate for cross-cultural dialogue, especially with France, H.E. Huda AlKhamis-Kanoo, fulfilling ADMAF’s aim, has thus played a major role in bringing the world to Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi to the World.”


ADMAF enjoys a long and fruitful history of cultural collaboration with the French Republic which has seen the Foundation presenting performances by leading French artists both at home, as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Festival, and overseas. Over the past 15 years, the Abu Dhabi Festival has featured many French musicians, performers, orchestras and artists, and in 2016 the French Republic was honoured as the Abu Dhabi Festival Country of Honour. In 2008, ADMAF hosted a celebration of the French language in a dedicated Francophone week which included an exhibition about former President of Senegal, famed poet and philosopher, and founder of the Francophonie movement, Leopold Sedar Senghor. In recognition of common objectives and missions, ADMAF has signed strategic partnerships with eminent France-based international cultural institutions including the Institut du Monde Arabe, Institut Français, and the Opera National de Paris.


The Legion of Honour, full name National Order of the Legion of Honour (French: Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur), is the highest French order of merit for civil merits and military, established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte. The order is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand-Croix (Grand Cross). It is awarded to those with a minimum 20 years of public service or 25 years of professional activity with eminent merits. The eminent merits required to be awarded the order require the flawless performance of one's trade as well as doing more than ordinarily expected, such as being creative, zealous and contributing to the growth and well-being of others.