Dialogue is only way to promote harmony

Updated 23 June 2014

Dialogue is only way to promote harmony

Saudi Arabia has embarked on national dialogue to pave the way for greater understanding among citizens and the need for coexistence of nationals with the expats living in the country besides providing a wider platform for interaction among the youth.
King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), established in 2003 by a royal decree, also facilitates dialogue among various sections of the society to promote public interest and consolidate national unity based on the Islamic faith.
This year, under the “Ambassador Program for Cross Cultural Dialogue” KACND organized a multicultural meeting with the participation of children of expats from the Philippines, Azerbaijan, India and the host country.
The event aimed to encourage kids from a young age to spread the culture of dialogue and respect cultural diversity.
This can only be achieved by consolidating national unity within the framework of the Islamic faith and deepening it further through comprehensive national dialogue.
Part of the process for inter-faith dialogue is tackling social, cultural, political, economic and educational problems on the basis of dialogue as well as setting up channels for putting in place a mechanism for joint action in this regard.
Other objectives include encouraging the largest possible number of people to take part in the dialogue and to further strengthen the role of civil societies for ensuring justice, equality and freedom of expression within the framework of the Islamic law.
The center also promotes the concept of dialogue within the society, turning it into a method for dealing with various types of problems.
It also believes in developing a strategic vision for national dialogue and ensuring the applications of the results obtained in the process. KACND has various programs and divisions such as a forum, a national meeting, an intellectual database, letters of dialogue, a youth committee and the center’s departments’ regional supervisors.
The first meeting of the KACND was held in Riyadh on July 15, 2002. It brought together various Saudi scholars and intellectuals from all over the country representing diversified viewpoints. During the four-day meeting on national unity, the main agenda was the role of scholars in cementing their function and international relations.
The second forum on “fighting religious fanaticism and extremism” was held in 2004 in Makkah while the 3rd session on “women’s rights and their obligation to the society” was held in the same year in Al-Madinah.
KACND has already organized a number of national dialogues and hundreds of workshops and trainings across the country. It has also received foreign dignitaries and delegations working for international dialogue.
A forum entitled “Young Saudis’ Expectations” organized by the KACND in Dhahran garnered a lot of interest as it focused on the problems men and women are facing currently. Both males and females representing their provinces and cities attended this forum.

DiplomaticQuarter: Friendship to the fore as Koreans celebrate National Foundation Day

The event marks the legendary formation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333 B.C. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 14 min 3 sec ago

DiplomaticQuarter: Friendship to the fore as Koreans celebrate National Foundation Day

  • The event, on Oct. 15 in the Park Hyatt Lazard’s ballroom, marks the legendary formation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333 B.C

RIYADH: Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Jeddah Lee Sang-kyoun stressed the importance of the relationship between South Korea and Saudi Arabia as he welcomed guests to a special celebration of Korea’s 4,351st National Foundation Day.

The event, on Oct. 15 in the Park Hyatt Lazard’s ballroom, marks the legendary formation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333 B.C.

The diplomat and his family warmly welcomed the guests, including Ambassador Jamal Balkhayour, the director general of the Makkah region branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as they arrived at the venue, which was lavishly decorated with flowers and the Korean flag. 

In his opening speech, Lee said: “Korea and Saudi Arabia have shared strong companionship as ‘Rafiq,’ (friends) since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962.” 

He also emphasized the common values shared by the two countries, and their indispensable partnership and cooperation in a number of sectors, beginning with construction and energy in the early 1970s and developing through the years to now include the likes of renewable and nuclear energy, culture and more.

“Notably, the two countries launched a ministerial-level committee, Saudi-Korea Vision 2030, to bolster bilateral cooperation, focusing on supporting business ventures between the two countries,” Lee added.

He said he hopes to see an expansion of cultural and artistic ties between the nations, while also strengthening “person-to-person” contact between young people and future generations.

“Such cultural and human exchange will be a meaningful step toward fostering the values shared by the two countries — working in collaboration for future success and common goals,” he said.

The consul general explained that strengthening such human bonds will encourage an understanding between people of a kind that can only happen through art, history, academia and scientific exchange, which is why the consulate is establishing a cultural center as a “signature window for cultural exchange.” 

The consulate will also set up a foundation for students to “foster the common grounds in their interests and hopes” through an exchange program for Korean and Saudi youths.

Lee added that 2018 has been an important year for South Korea, with the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in PyeongChang, the Inter-Korean Summit, and the Singapore Summit between North Korea and the US.

As the celebration continued, Korean residents were brimming with pride and excitement as they celebrated their National Foundation Day in the Kingdom, while meeting and mingling with friends from Saudi Arabia and other nations.