DiplomaticQuarter: Italians in Saudi Arabia celebrate National Day in style

The event marks the 72nd anniversary of the birth of the Italian Republic.
Updated 10 May 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Italians in Saudi Arabia celebrate National Day in style

  • Festa della Repubblica was celebrated on May 7
  • Dignateries too part in the celebration at Ambassador Luca Ferrari residence

About 1,500 guests, including members of the royal family, senior diplomats and business leaders, gathered at the official residence of Italian Ambassador Luca Ferrari on May 7 to celebrate Festa della Repubblica, Italy’s National Day. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, governor of Riyadh region, represented the Saudi government.

“The event marks the 72nd anniversary of the birth of the Italian Republic and 86 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and Saudi Arabia,” said Ambassador Ferrari, welcoming guests. “Relations between the two countries are as strong as ever.

“Last year we agreed to establish a new strategic partnership, and therefore Italy has appointed a special envoy for Vision 2030 to work closely with his Saudi counterpart.”

“Italy is committed to the security of Saudi Arabia and will continue to guarantee and promote the security of the Kingdom and the region. In 1932, the two countries signed a treaty of friendship that constitutes the origin of Saudi-Italian relations. We have dramatically increased our relationship” since then, said Ferrari, adding that bilateral trade was worth $10 billion a year to the two countries.

He also pointed out that a million Saudis travel to Italy each year, representing a “60 percent increase in Saudi tourism.”

Italian Consul General Elisabetta Martini said: “I felt like I have to do more to promote my country because Saudi people, they do love Italy, but there was a gap. The younger generation didn’t know much about the Italian culture, while the older generation knew a lot.”

Martini said she considers herself lucky to be in Saudi Arabia at a time of such incredible change and development in the country.

“Italy is a country where men are very strong and women are just now starting to emerge in the political field, so I want to show that if we managed to do that in Italy, then Saudi ladies have all the chances to perform at their best.” 

Italy’s National Day, or republic day, commemorates the referendum in which citizens voted for a new form of government — a democratic republic rather than a monarchy — after the fall of Mussolini. It falls on June 2, the day of the referendum in 1946, but was held early in Saudi Arabia because the actual date will be during Ramadan this year.


Future leaders key to achieve ‘Vision 2030’

Updated 6 min 49 sec ago
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Future leaders key to achieve ‘Vision 2030’

JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Civil Service and Chairman of the Institute of Public Administration Sulaiman Al-Hamdan inaugurated the “Developing Future Leaders” roundtable on Wednesday. 

“The Kingdom achieved a distinguished civilizational status due to the wise developmental policies adopted by King Salman’s government as part of its engagement to move forward and achieve more successes and allow the Kingdom to assume its proper regional and international position,” Al-Hamdan said.

“I hope this event will reflect positively on the Kingdom’s administrative development process through the achievement of its objectives,” he said, noting that “the Kingdom’s strategic approach and ambitious vision pose an unprecedented challenge to the civil service system on various levels.”

“The ministry sought to provide an integrated human resources management system by empowering government agencies to effectively play their developmental roles. It did so through a series of directives such as reviewing and developing the executive regulations of the civil service system.”

Dr. Mushabab Al-Qahtani, the institute’s director general, noted that “preparing a second generation of leaders will greatly contribute to the achievement of the Kingdom’s vision.” 

“The subjects of this event aim at highlighting the importance of developing future leaders while discussing the latest means to do so and the role of current leaders in the process,” he said.

“The Kingdom, with the directives of its wise leadership, drew a road map leading to the future national development. It accorded great attention to building and developing human capital,” he added, pointing out that “King Salman’s government greatly focused on administrative and human capital development. This stresses its keenness to develop future leaders through diverse projects, plans and initiatives in order to achieve a sustainable development.”