An international symposium on the “Relations of the Arabian Peninsula with Greek and Byzantine Worlds, from 5th century BC to 10th century AD” is being held at Riyadh KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) during the period December 6-9. It is organized jointly by the University of King Saud and King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies and Research in collaboration with the Embassy of Greece in Riyadh and the Institute of Oriental and African Studies in Athens, and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA).
During the opening ceremony, his royal highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz President of SCTA, pointed out in his speech that participation of SCTA in the organization of the symposium is based on its attention to the activities that contribute to highlight the cultural dimension of the kingdom locally and globally, in addition to being concerned with scientific research and activities associated with its antiquities.
Dr. Al Ghabban, Vice President of SCTA for Antiquities and Museums, stated that the commission is keen on participating in the symposium as it serves SCTA’s initiative that was launched by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of SCTA, to highlight the cultural dimension of the kingdom and the Arabian Peninsula.
SCTA’s efforts for executing such initiatives include benefiting from international relevant events and activities, including international symposiums, whether they were on antiquities or urban heritage.
The SCTA President urged people to pay attention to the history with common cultural understanding, which is inspired by lessons from the past, especially at this time, which is consistent with the international initiative that was launched from the Arabia by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz regarding cultures and religious dialogue and understanding among the nations, the initiative, which complies with the comprehensive attention of the cultural dimension of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that was launched by SCTA due to directives of the country’s leadership.
SCTA, in its efforts to implement this initiative, has adopted several formats, including intensifying excavation works, preparing heritage and antiquities sites, establishing new museums, upgrading existing museums, making essential developments in the perception of heritage and antiquities among citizens, especially the youth, in collaboration with Ministry of Education in order to make the national heritage a source of pride and attention in the future.
Dr. Al Ghabban added that, SCTA in participating in this event aims to shed a light on the latest discovered archeological items, which are expected to refute many previous postulates regarding cultural relations between Greece and the Arabian Peninsula. “Ancient relations between Greece and the Arabian Peninsula were significantly peaceful, centered on mutual trading interests and cultural exchange,” He added.
SCTA is presenting work papers on research related to cultural communication between the Arabian Peninsula and the Greco-Byzantine worlds. For his part, Dr. Abdullah al-Jabbar, Head of Organizing Committee of the symposium, said that more than sixty international and Arabian researchers, in addition to participation of high profile experts in the history of the Arabian Peninsula and Greek studies will participate.
His Excellency Mr. Dimitrios Letsios, Ambassador of Greece to the kingdom, said, “The organization of this symposium in collaboration with the participant authorities has taken over a year, and I am delighted with the participation of King Saud University and the SCTA in the symposium.”
“Greece is participating in the event with 15 Greek researchers who work inside and outside Greece, as well as the attendance of many of the professors in Greek universities, besides participation of the International Studies and Research Department of Oriental and African Studies, in addition to a group of foreign scientists who have reputations of International Studies in historical relations between the civilizations of the east and the west,” added Mr. Letsios.
The opening ceremony of was patronized by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Chairman of King Faisal Center for Islamic Researches and Studies in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz President of SCTA. The symposium is held at the Karawan Hotel from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.