By Arab News
King Salman on Sunday underlined the importance of shared human values in different cultures to promote peace and reconciliation.
The king was addressing a reception at Al-Yamamah Palace hosted in honor of the guests of the Janadriyah festival, the annual national heritage and culture event, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Welcoming the guests, which included writers and intellectuals, King Salman said: “This event captures Saudi Arabia’s heritage and culture and reflects our shared desire to promote cross-cultural communication and achieve coexistence and tolerance between the peoples of the world based on shared human values.”
The king welcomed the Republic of India as the guest of honor at the 32nd edition of the festival.
“We are aware of the importance of culture as an essential element for shaping a nation’s identity and values, and we believe diversity and respect are requirements for achieving global coexistence and peace.”
He also stressed the importance of shared human values in all cultures. “The cultural element has become fundamental for good relations between countries and people,” he said. “Therefore, strengthening it is necessary for international peace and security.”
The head of the All Pakistan Ulema Council, Tahir Ashrafi, thanked Saudi Arabia for its hospitality and warm reception.
He said: “This festival captures the great history of this country and conveys the message of tolerance, moderation, and mercy, which is demanded by our religion.”
Inaugurated by King Salman on Wednesday with the traditional camel race and operetta marking the opening ceremony, the 18-day festival encourages Saudis to celebrate their heritage and to bolster cultural exchange.
Every year the festival attracts a remarkable turnout of local and expatriate visitors, including school children and families, as well as visitors from outside the Kingdom.
This year the festival has launched a free application for smartphones, called “Janadriyah,” to guide visitors around the event and keep them updated on entertainment and cultural programs.
The app’s sections include: Learning about the festival, information on cultural activities and visits to Janadriyah, the Janadriyah newsletter, a Janadriyah festival map, information on parking, and a section for feedback (suggestions or complaints) and help contact details.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has set up a special pavilion as a tourism and heritage oasis with sections for children, visual shows, interactive screens, social media screens and tourism and heritage projects of the SCTH.