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Rome opens its doors to Saudi dance, music and fashion

2013-11-16

For a few moments, the heart of Rome beat to the rhythm of Saudi music. It marked 80 years of friendship between Italy and Saudi Arabia. To celebrate, the Middle Eastern showcased its culture at a special event at Piazza del Popolo, a very strategic location.

ROBERTO LEONARDI
'80 Years: Italy and Saudi Arabia'
"It's a place of encounter with the people. A place of passage. A place, where many Italian and foreign guests pass through. It's a place that allowed us to set up this large window into Saudi Arabia, a place to show it off and to know the country.”

Thousands of people were able to explore its art, its exotic food, and even have their names written in Arab calligraphy.

But the most popular attraction were the Arab dances. The rhythm was so contagious that at times the spectators often found themselves clapping and drawn onstage dancing.

ABDULAZIZ S. ALMULHEM
Ministry of Culture and Information (Saudi Arabia)
"It's because of the beats and the melody, it's kind of strange to them and it's like a new style. And also the dances, the movement, it's very aerobic. The old people, they like it, because some of the movements, they are kind of easy going and very sportive. It was kind of doing slow aerobics.”

The exhibit's purpose was to break stereotypes. For this Saudi photographer, the outcome was very positive. With her help, visitors were transported to the authentic Arab landscapes.

SUSAN BAAGHIL
Professional Photographer (Saudi Arabia)
"I set up this tent with traditional attires to give Italians the chance to see how we dress, since some think that we only wear black. And yes we wear that, but today it's more of a coat we were on top. Underneath we dress with all types of clothes and all colors.”

During the time the exhibit remains in Rome, it'll show that often music and culture can be the best ambassadors


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