Riyadh forum aims to promote culture of peace and coexistence

Saudi Arabia seeks to foster a culture of dialogue among people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds to bridge animosities, reduce fear and instill mutual respect. (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Riyadh forum aims to promote culture of peace and coexistence

  • Saudi Arabia aims to promote the use of dialogue to prevent and resolve global conflicts to enhance understanding and cooperation

JEDDAH: People from countries as diverse as Brazil, Japan and the US are among those taking part in a forum promoting coexistence, peace and tolerance.
The “Saudi Salam (peace) Forum” in Riyadh is aimed at forging stronger ties between the Kingdom and the global community.
One of the participants in the two-day event is Brazilian footballer Elton Jose Xavier Gomes, who plays for Saudi club Al-Qadsiah. He has lived in the Kingdom for 10 years and set up a football academy in Brazil called “Al-Saudiya.”
He has previously posted videos of his children singing the Saudi national anthem on Instagram, as well as saying that his son and daughter sing it regularly.
The 32-year-old midfielder will be joined by others who will engage in an honest and public conversation about their time in the Kingdom and living alongside Saudi nationals.
Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaamar, secretary-general of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), said the forum focused on the important values of coexistence, harmony, compassion and respect for the diversity of Saudi culture.
These were the basis of ties between Saudis and people from different races and religions, including those who contributed to the country’s development and progress, he added.

Moderate society
The forum was part of a wider effort to represent a moderate society in Saudi Arabia, he said, and there will be short films highlighting personal success stories or community-based initiatives for coexistence, as well as town hall-style meetings where nationals and foreigners can share their experiences.
Fahad Al-Sultan, the project’s executive director, was reported by the Saudi Press Agency as saying that the forum would highlight the progress, achievements and efforts the Kingdom has made for the benefit of mankind and world peace.
Saudi Arabia aims to promote the use of dialogue to prevent and resolve global conflicts to enhance understanding and cooperation.
The Kingdom seeks to foster dialogue among people of different faiths and cultures that bridges animosities, reduces fear and instills mutual respect.
Intercultural and interreligious dialogue helps build communities’ resistance against prejudice, strengthens social cohesion, supports conflict prevention and transformation and can serve to preserve peace.
The Kingdom has always supported the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The country is keen to combat all forms of discrimination based on culture, religion or belief by organizing events to overcome stereotypes in a long-term process that leads to a culture of dialogue that enables greater understanding of people of other cultures and followers of other religions.


Plans afoot to expand teaching of Chinese in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh. (SPA)
Updated 4 min 31 sec ago
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Plans afoot to expand teaching of Chinese in Saudi Arabia

  • Move to set up language learning in various stages of education in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education launched the “Teaching Chinese Language in Education” workshop at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh on Saturday.
It was attended by the Chinese ambassador to the Kingdom, officials from the Chinese Embassy, presidents of Saudi universities and education officials in the Kingdom.
Saudi Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said that the inclusion of the Chinese language in the various stages of education in the Kingdom stemmed from the desire to diversify the language tools in education, based on the strategic and economic importance of the Chinese language now and in the future.
He also stressed the importance of having a clear plan to qualify a number of teachers in intensive programs for up to a year to teach Chinese for the target stages, which could include selected schools from the secondary level in different regions in the first three years.
“There is a plan for numerical expansion, based on the requirements and expansion of the intermediate educational stage,” he said. “This expansion should be accompanied by training a number of teachers in programs developed in cooperation with the Chinese side for a year and with the department of external education to qualify teachers to teach Chinese.”
King Saud University reviewed the experience of teaching the Chinese language in the workshop, indicating that it started to introduce Chinese in 2010, and has graduated 35 students so far. They are currently working in the ministries of foreign affairs, media and a number of military sectors. They were used in translation programs, accompanying Chinese delegations, and during the pilgrimage seasons.
“When we say China or the Chinese economy is expected to be the primary economy (in the world) in eight years, this means establishing a strong relationship with this economy based on the common interests of the two countries,” Al-Asheikh said.
He said that the overall strategic goal of teaching Chinese was to make it the third language parallel to English and with the same level of horizontal and vertical spread in the two education systems.
Al-Asheikh expressed his optimism about the strategic direction of increasing cooperation between the Kingdom and China as great economies and civilizations.