São Paulo – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and the Embassy of Kuwait in Brasília hosted the Kuwait Cultural Week opening ceremony on Thursday evening (5) in São Paulo. The event kicks off at 10 am on Friday (6) with an exhibit featuring photographs, artistic calligraphy and handicraft at the Villa Lobos Park Library, in west side São Paulo. The exhibit will continue until Sunday (8).
During the ceremony at the Arab Chamber headquarters in São Paulo, prominent speakers, authorities and diplomats said cultural exchange paves the way for other forms of cooperation between countries.
“Brazil-Kuwait relations have grown tighter fast in the past few years,” said Chamber president Rubens Hannun. “However, we’re aware that in order for relations to yield results in trade, they must be underpinned by a connection between peoples. And this has been one of the purposes of the Arab Chamber since its inception: to promote a cultural connection between Brazilians and Arabs,” he asserted.
Kuwait ambassador to Brasília Nasser Almotairi said the Week serves the purpose of cementing bilateral relations and showcasing a bit of Kuwait’s cultural heritage to the Brazilian public. “Culture plays a big role in bringing civilizations together,” he said. The diplomat also said that this is the first time his country organizes a cultural festival in Brazil since diplomatic ties were established in 1968.
Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Middle East Department director Sidney Romeiro said that in diplomacy, culture is regarded as “a very important tool for building ties among countries. Culture promotes tolerance, tears down myths and prejudice, and brings peoples together. That paves the way for integration, travel, business and trade,” he said.
Tourism Ministry secretary for Culture Roberto Alvim said that he was visited by Almotairi in Brasília, and that he’s looking into putting in place a mechanism for the “circulation of art and culture” between Brazil and Kuwait. “To enable us to achieve mutual knowledge,” he said. He pledged to put forward a proposal by the end of this month.
Hannun pointed out that cultural exchange “paves the way for trade relations to be established in a very consistent way,” and suggested having a Brazilian Cultural Week in Kuwait soon, “inshallah” (Arabic for “God willing”).
Hannun mentioned Brazilian Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina’s recent trip to Kuwait, and both Romeiro and Almotairi revealed that Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro may visit the Arab country in January 2020.
“It will be the first visit of a Brazilian president to Kuwait, thrusting relations towards a broader horizon,” the Kuwaiti ambassador said. The diplomat mentioned that several institutions in his country are interested in doing business and investing in Brazil, in fields such as agribusiness, energy and infrastructure.
The ceremony was attended by Kuwait National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature joint secretary Issa Al Amsari, Kuwaiti calligrapher Farid Al Ali, UAE consul to São Paulo Salem Alalawi, the chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Bahrain to Brasília, Bader Al Hulaibi, Arab Chamber board chairman Walid Yazigi and board members, Arab community leaders and other guests.
Apart from the exhibit at the Villa Lobos Park Library, the festival will feature a lecture on the Arabic language and music concerts (see the schedule after the photo gallery below). Kuwaiti music group Al Takht and conductor Ayoub Khader performed on Thursday evening (watch a video at the end of this story).
Kuwait Cultural Week in São Paulo
Free of charge
Exhibit – photographs, artistic calligraphy and handicraft
Villa Lobos Park Library
Avenida Queiroz Filho, 1250
Alto de Pinheiros, São Paulo, SP
Lecture on the teaching of Arabic in Brazil
Dec 7, 9:30am-noon at Villa Lobos Park Library
Concert at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB)
December 6, 1pm
Rua Álvares Penteado, 112
Old Town, São Paulo
Music concert at Immigration Museum
Dec 7, 2pm
Rua Visconde de Parnaíba, 1316
Music concert on Avenida Paulista
Dec 8, 10am
Avenida Paulista, in front of number 283
Bela Vista, São Paulo
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum