Paris, June 27th, 2023 - Kassem Istanbouli, the renowned Lebanese actor-director and the visionary behind Tiro Organization, a member organization of the PRISMA European Network, was honored with the prestigious 19th UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. The award ceremony, held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on June 26th, 2023, recognized Istanbouli's exceptional contributions to preserving Lebanese heritage and fostering cultural activities.
Istanbouli's unwavering dedication to the rehabilitation of historical cinemas in Lebanon, such as Stars Cinema in Nabatieh, Al-Hamra, and Rivoli in Tyre, which lay abandoned or destroyed during the civil war, has played a pivotal role in safeguarding the country's cultural legacy. Alongside his international engagements focused on skills enhancement and youth empowerment, Istanbouli has championed various initiatives within Tiro Organization, a member of the PRISMA European Network, fostering arts and culture in Lebanon.
Notably, Istanbouli co-founded the Arab Culture and Arts Network (ACAN) in 2020, a dynamic platform that has successfully curated and implemented online cultural activities across the Arab region. With over 700 organizational and individual members from around the globe, ACAN has become a thriving hub for cultural exchange and collaboration.
The UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture, established in 1998 with the support of the United Arab Emirates, celebrates outstanding contributions to Arab art and culture. By recognizing Istanbouli's remarkable achievements, this prestigious accolade not only honors his artistic excellence but also highlights his profound impact on the preservation and promotion of Arab cultural heritage.