By Saud Al-Balawi
I want to pay tribute to the way that Dr. Jasir Al-Harbash, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and the Supervisor of Cultural Attachés, interacted on the Twitter handle of Makkah newspaper in relation to an article I wrote on the new vision of cultural attachés.
What inspired me to write the article was the attractive title of the Eighth Cultural Attachés’ Forum held under the supervision of the Minister of Education: “Cultural attachés’ role in enhancing the Kingdom’s international position.” I was not only inspired by the title but also by its promises.
Four years ago, I wrote about the sixth meeting of the cultural attachés to emphasize what I feel is the importance of cultural attachés in showing and improving the image of the Kingdom on the international stage.
Things are now improving and getting better due to the promises of the Ministry of Education and its role in cooperating with Saudi Vision 2030, especially with regard to the awareness of the importance of education and how it should not eliminate cultural perspectives.
Unfortunately, there are some signs that there is more concern for education than culture, which does not contribute to enhancing the Kingdom’s international position. Furthermore, it limits the attempts of cultural attachés in exhibiting Saudi culture.
Years ago, I highlighted the importance of putting both education and culture on the same level. This can be achieved by cultural attachés taking care of cultural affairs and others taking care of education. Though many individual efforts have been made to present to the world the uniqueness of Saudi culture, this is a chance for Saudi culture to appear as never before.
I also want to highlight the importance of the role of cultural attachés in handling issues and making things clearer between communities and governments in a language that everyone understands.
Based on this, cultural attachés should pay attention to culture, communication and interaction, as this is what will interest and impress others.