SASA organizes cross-cultural dialogue


By Waqar Naseem Wamiq

— "We look different, we wear different clothes, we talk different languages, we eat different food and yet, when it comes to basic and essential values of life, how different are we?"

This was the question raised by Marie Louise Sodemann in an evening of a cross-cultural dialogue arranged by the Saudi Arabian Scandinavian Association (SASA).

The evening was given the title of “Bread & Salt”. The guests of were warmly welcomed with a treat of Bread & Salt with the addition of butter and Arabic coffee upon their arrival at “The Mud House” at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society (SHPS) on the premises of King Abdul Aziz Historical Center.

Marie Louise Sodemann, the chairperson of SASA, described “Bread & Salt” by saying that "bread stands for health, which is a fundamental thing in life, and salt is the spice of life, which is happiness, so it’s kind of a blessing that we give to the people".

The keynote speakers and the special guests on the occasion included Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, one of 30 women who were appointed to the Saudi Shoura Council in 2013 and a former undersecretary at the United Nations; Hoda Alhelaissi, one of the first Saudi women appointed to the Shoura Council and former vice chairperson of the College of Languages and Translation at King Saud University; Ole E. Moesby, ambassador of Denmark.

The keynote speakers shared their valuable thoughts and experiences in their lives.

Prof. Saad Albazei, vice chairman of SASA and former editor-in-chief of The Global Arabic Encyclopedia, former editor-in-chief of Riyadh Daily, and former president of Riyadh Literary Club presented his book to the keynote speakers as a gift.

The event was highly attended by people from different walks of life with the common desire of acknowledging the differences and cherishing the similarities.

The attendees exchanged their significant experiences, views, memories and interests in round table discussions followed by food. — SG