Saudi multilingual enthusiasts and EU diplomats come together to celebrate European Night of Languages

  Europe’s rich linguistic diversity on full display to mark Europe Month in the Kingdom 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 30 May 2023 – On 31 May, the European Union Delegation to Saudi Arabia will host the second edition of the European Night of Languages, a celebration of the continent’s linguistic and cultural richness. The get-together will be held in the context of the month-long festivities around Europe Day, marking 73 years of peace and unity since the founding of the European Union in 1950.

Celebrating EU’s linguistic diversity, the event aims to create an opportunity for members of the Saudi society to practice their European language skills with European Ambassadors, the diplomatic community and professional language teachers. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of languages as a bridge-builder between cultures. More than 250 guests will be immersing themselves in 14 languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Greek, Dutch, Hungarian, Romanian and Finnish as well as Arabic as well as take part in fun interactive quizzes. The guests will also enjoy a musical performance by a Portuguese band Almanata and a truly European culinary experience.

The event will be held in partnership with Riyadh Language Exchange, a Saudi non-profit group, which aims to boost intercultural and multilingual exchange, as well as with the Alliance Française, Goethe Institut, Education First, SEK International School and the Embassies of the EU Member States in Saudi Arabia. It will be hosted at Hyatt Regency Olaya Hotel in Riyadh. The event starts at 7PM.

Commenting on the event, the EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Patrick Simonnet said: ‘’The European Union is a melting pot of different cultures and languages are what connect us as people. Guided by our motto ‘United in Diversity’, we believe language learning opens up immense opportunities in a globalized economy, but it also enables greater mutual understanding and cultural exchange. We are delighted to interact with so many Saudi language enthusiasts and strengthen our people-to-people relationships as we embark on an enhanced partnership journey with Saudi Arabia.’’

Reiterating the importance of languages as a bridge-builder between cultures, Mohammed Matham, founder of Riyadh Language Exchange, added: “We are thrilled to partner with the European Union Delegation to Saudi Arabia for the European Night of Languages. Riyadh Language Exchange is dedicated to fostering intercultural exchange and multilingualism. This event is a remarkable opportunity for Saudi society to engage with European Ambassadors and diplomats, practice languages, and celebrate the vibrant linguistic diversity of Europe. We are excited to contribute to strengthening people-to-people relationships between Saudi Arabia and the European Union through the power of language learning.”

The European Union – with its 27 member states and 24 official languages – values highly cultural and linguistic heritage with its nearly 450 million citizens reaping the socio-economic benefits that multilingualism has to offer, from global access to knowledge and education, to better job opportunities and from extensive social contacts to new business ventures.

In May 2022, the European Union introduced its Joint Communication on a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf, aiming to broaden and deepen the EU’s cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council and its Member States. The Communication presents concrete proposals to strengthen cooperation on energy, green transition and climate change, trade and economic diversification, regional stability and global security, humanitarian and development challenges, and closer people-to-people contacts.


About the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain opened in Riyadh in 2004. The EU Delegation is also accredited to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank. The EU Delegation works on many areas of cooperation between EU and Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain as well as the GCC, including political dialogue, economic and trade issues, regional security, education as well as climate change and transition to green energy/economy.

Read more about us on the EU Delegation’s website / Twitter: @EUintheGCC & @eusimonpa / Instagram: @EUinKSA/ Facebook: @EUinKSA

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