This award is given to leaders, great thinkers, writers and artists who are making outstanding and effective efforts to protect and support the preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage in their country and whose impact can be seen in the elevation of the status of their nation’s folk art and folk culture.
During the IOV’s General Assembly in November 2016 in the Italian city of Bergamo, Mr. Ali Abdullah Khalifa was elected the President of the International Organization of Folk Art from 2016 to 2020. With a group of IOV leaders in eight countries, he presented a new action plan entitled ‘Time for Change’, which was translated into eight languages.
The new President and the Executive Council discussed how they could restore the old tradition of awarding the International Award in an innovative way. The award conditions were re-set and rebranded and a new medal was designed and debuted in 2019 when it was presented to His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Member Of The UAE Supreme Council And Ruler Of The Emirate Of Sharjah, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of folk culture in the gulf region, his efforts in establishing the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, his support for the international and local organizations specializing in the field of heritage and for establishing many cultural centers in Arab countries.
The new award was made from 18 karat gold and weighed 150.67 grams and was 70 cm long.