2005 News Story

National Dialogue forum ends with vision for bridging cultural gaps

The fifth National Dialogue Forum titled “Us and the Others” concluded December 15 in Abha with the issuance of a unified national vision paper for how Saudi citizens should approach bridging cultural gaps with others, the Arab News reported yesterday.

This is the first time the forum has issued such a paper with concrete actions that can be taken instead of just issuing recommendations.

According to the Arab News, the main topics addressed in the paper included: dealing ethically and civilly with foreigners living in Saudi Arabia and enforcing laws already in place to protect their rights; initiating cultural exchange programs with visiting Muslims from around the world during the Hajj and Umrah seasons; increasing the number of printed materials, such as government press releases and books, offered in various languages inside the Kingdom; using Saudi embassies and consulates to offer more opportunities for dialogue around the world; engaging in more educational exchanges with students and researchers; and interacting with outsiders at an international level to address various social issues, such as human rights, women’s rights, poverty and unemployment.