October 8, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
A Week of Russian Culture is to be held in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s Minister of Culture and Information Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad said in an interview with TASS.
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“In the cooperation agreement, which we have signed with Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, we hope for a mirror Week of Russian Culture in Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Al-Awad said.
“The Week of Saudi Culture, which was organized in Moscow, is the first step towards understanding between our countries. In March 2018, we want to invite Russian editors to the international book fair in Riyadh, which is the biggest event of its kind in the Middle East. Besides, we think about hosting exhibitions from the State Hermitage. Those are just plans as yet, without exact dates or names of exposition projects,” the minister said.
Saudi film makers would also learn from Russian masters the minister hoped.
“Saudi film makers have a lot to learn from Russian masters. Exchange of gained experience in the film industry would be useful to our countries. We also hope to invite Russian students to study in Saudi Arabia to see and feel our culture and then to share the received impressions and knowledge with the public of their country,” the minister said, adding the third item would be joint archaeological expeditions in the kingdom.
“History of the Arabian Peninsula is thousands years long. But its cultural movement has begun only recently. This is why the topic of the Saudi culture’s openness is so important for us. And Russia with its rich cultural heritage is a best partner for the kingdom. I am in Moscow for only a couple days and already can see your potential, as well as the state’s attention to history of the nation,” the minister said.
“We know only little about each other. But I have seen the interest from the Russian audience. And it is most important – to reach out to the Russian people,” he told TASS.
Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies. He has an MA in International Relations and is interested in Great Power Rivalry as well as the International Relations and Political Economy of the Middle East and Latin America.