Germany’s foreign minister to lead Janadriyah delegation

German Ambassador Boris Ruge stresses a point at a press conference in Riaydh on Tuesday.

German Ambassador Boris Ruge stresses a point at a press conference in Riaydh on Tuesday.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will represent his country when Germany will be the guest of honor at the forthcoming Janadriyah festival to be held early next year.

Making a formal announcement about the participation of his country, German Ambassador Boris Ruge said at a press conference on Tuesday that it was a great honor for Germany to have been chosen as the guest country for the upcoming 30th edition of the festival.

“It is a recognition of the excellent state of our bilateral relations to have been chosen as ‘Special Guest’ for the most outstanding cultural heritage festival in Saudi Arabia.”

He pointed out that Germany and Saudi Arabia have a long tradition of friendly relations. Over the past years, the relationship has developed further. Trade has gone up significantly. At the same time, he added that cooperation on political and strategic issues has become steadily more important.

“Besides business and politics, we in Germany are also strong believers in the importance of culture, civil society, dialogue and what is sometimes called people to people contacts. And that takes us straight to the subject of today’s press conference which is Germany’s role as guest of honor at the 2016 Janadriyah Festival.”

He also said that the number of visits of Saudis to Germany for leisure and businesses has been increased during the past four years. This year, he said some 60,000 visas were in the Kingdom to visit Germany.

“Let me emphasize that we feel most honored to have been invited and we were delighted to see that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman accepted to be patron of the 2016 festival.” The German participation will take place under the slogan “Germany — Land of Ideas: Innovation has tradition,” as Ruge explained.

“In the German Pavilion, situated at the center of the festival site, the Saudi public will be able to learn more about Germany and experience the rich diversity of German culture and traditions.

“Germany is seeking a dialogue with the people of Saudi Arabia and we hope that the German Pavilion can contribute to the mutual understanding of each other’s culture,” Ambassador Ruge said.

In addition to the presence of Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the official opening of the festival, the envoy said, German artists, folklore dancers and musicians as well as renowned academics from Germany will participate in the 30th national heritage and culture festival at Al-Janadriyah.

“In the pavilion visitors will find ideas and projects ‘Made in Germany’ whether in business, science or society, and experience innovative solutions the country is offering to meet future challenges. We are inviting the Saudi audience to time travel through a typical German city,” Ruge noted.

The pavilion tour starts at a medieval city gate and proceeds over a moat into the inner pavilion. Visitors will then experience a historical market place and half-timbered houses, so called ‘Fachwerkhäuser,’ proceeding into modern German life and houses. Shops along the street will house various German companies and their innovative products and craftsmanship.

Just at the beginning of the old market place an exhibition about female pioneers in science and technology from Germany as well as from Saudi Arabia and the Arab and Islamic world will be shown in cooperation with Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah.

At the end of the modern town square a virtual exhibition of the Berlin based Museum of Islamic Art’s special presentation “Early Islamic Capitals” can be experienced.


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