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Cultural Diplomacy

The Cultural Cooperation Between The Republic of Italy and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The rich and the diverse cultural relations between the civilizations of Italy and the Arabian Peninsula can be traced back to the peaceful cooperation ties that existed between the Roman Empire and Nabatea civilization. This is demonstrated by the rich archeological findings both in Italy and the Arabian peninsula, in addition to the fruitful commercial ties which existed for a number of centuries between the south east Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the land caravans and the fruitful intercultural relations that had often been able to reconcile the differences in cultural and religious identities, involving the Italian maritime republics such as Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, and Venice and the Arab merchants. Both sides had interest to obtain the double advantage of such economic and cultural exchanges.
All this is widely documented by the frequent accounts of travelers of both sides and by the rich archeological findings made on the Islamic culture, including thousands of manuscripts which are preserved by many Italian museums, libraries and archives. The Italian presence along the Red Sea coastal areas and the Gulf is well documented as much as the presence of Arabs in Italy, starting with the extraordinary experience of the island of Sicily during the Arab Norman time. With the bilateral cultural cooperation activities, which are included in Italy’s wide interest in the Arab world, the Governments of the Republic of Italy and of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intend to maintain alive this common tradition. In order to consolidate the importance of such endeavors, the two countries are keen to develop various initiatives of common interest through the contemporary cultures.
For this purpose, the Republic of Italy and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed in 1973 a bilateral Cultural Agreement whereby the Italian side makes available a number of scholarships, the secondment of Italian language university lecturers to Jeddah and Riyadh as well as the funding of professional training programs to enhance the teaching capabilities of the local Italian language lecturers and the supply of teaching materials. The Republic of Italy is engaged in financing specific cultural activities such as lectures and seminars held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Italian professors from various Italian Universities and research centers and chairs of the Arab language and/or Islamic art and culture. It is worth mentioning that more than thirty of them have in the past graduated from various Italian universities, particularly in the faculties of architecture and engineering. Currently, some efforts are underway to revive such exchanges between the academic institutions of both countries.
The bilateral scientific cooperation includes a number of scientists from Saudi Arabia who took part in the activities of the “Abdul Salam” International Centre for Theoretic Physics at Trieste. Furthermore, Saudi medical doctors and researchers are associated with research programs in Italy while Saudi experts in the oil and gas sector attend programs implemented mainly by the ENI Corporation and its subsidiaries on advanced technological innovations in oil and petrochemical derivatives. The King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have established contacts with the Italian Aeronautic Centre (CIRA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to cooperate in areas of common interest in satellite applications. These endeavors may pave the way for further cooperation between the Italian and Saudi universities with view to Saudi Arabia’s interest in the possible participation in the European Galileo satellite programs and with the prospective of forging further scientific cooperation with the Italian aerospace companies participating in this program.


CLIQ Association

CLIQ Association – Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità (Quality Certification of the Italian Language) is the body established to unify the former, distinct systems of Italian language certification. The CLIQ Association is therefore the new single system of Italian language certification.
The previous, internationally recognized certyfing bodies, Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Università per Stranieri di Siena, l’Università Roma 3 and Società Dante Alighieri, joined the CLIQ Association. With the signature of a convention with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the 14th June 2012, this association is the only one authorized to release official qualifications that certify the competency of candidates from outside Italy in the Italian language.
The CLIQ certification is the only one valid for all those foreigners who want to study or to work in Italy.
The Association, based in Italy, will carry out advisory service for the language certification activities abroad and will coordinate its Members’ activities in the issue of the CLIQ Italian language certification.