BAHRAIN'S biggest Christmas arts festival has been cancelled after organisers failed to get the necessary financial support.
The Jesus Christ Drawing Festival, organised by the Al Hussaini Society for Islamic Arts, was scheduled to take place from Friday until yesterday.
However, society officials could not find a venue for the event and no one came forward with sponsorships.
Over the past three weeks, the society tried to raise BD6,000 for drawing and painting materials, as well as refreshments and prizes.
It was also searching for a new venue after an overwhelming response resulted in overcrowding at the Jawad Dome, in Janusan, where it was held last year.
"We have been left to deal with a huge blow because this is the first time that we are unable to hold our event despite having 500 people showing interest to get involved," said society president Abdulnabi Al Hamer.
"Those registering for the event are from all faiths - Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jewish artists all with ideas to depict the occasion in their own way and to join hands with Muslim and Christian families, but sadly this gathering didn't happen."
However, Mr Al Hamer said the society was already working on plans to hold the event next year.
"I can't continue thinking about the only time we failed to hold one of our events and rather focus on holding next year's event," he said.
Jesus Christ is a highly respected figure in Islam and Muslims regard him not only as a prophet, but as the saviour of mankind.