Minister of Information and President of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah said Thursday the cultural activities play a great role in formulating the national identity, cementing the national unity and realizing the aspirations of the nation. He said at an award-giving ceremony, held on the sidelines of the 20th Al-Qurain Cultural Festival, the State of Kuwait attaches great importance to the culture as theoretically and practically through fostering the noble message of creative youth and intellectuals. Sheikh Salman who doubles as Minister of State for Youth Affairs was addressing the ceremony on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. He underscored the importance of publicizing the achievements of talented youth, creative artists and celebrated intellectuals. "The honoring of these respective people falls in the framework of the instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to contribute to the promotion of the cultural movement," he added. Meanwhile, Dr. Yaaqoub Al-Ghoneim, expressed, on behalf of those honored, gratitude to the government for "the constant support and encouragement" to the cultural and artistic activities. He also appreciated the role of NCCAL and its president for sponsoring the festival and the state awards for 2013. The laureates include Anisa Jaafar - a female media celebrity, Dr. Al-Ghoneim - a poet and historian, Mayam Al-Saleh, a female artist, Abdullah Khalaf - a man of letters, the film-makers Walid Al-Awadh and Yaaqoub Burahma, Abbas Ghallom - an artist, Dr. Ramadan Ali Al-Sharrah - a sociologist, Dr. Othman Homoud Al-Khidr - a psychologist, and the playwrights Bader Nasser Mhareb, Suadaa Saad Al-Daas and Mohammad Shaker.