Saudi Cultural Week
From September 23 to 29, 2014, the Saudi Cultural Week showed the diversity of Saudi culture and dissolved many prejudices. Almost seven days, Saudi Arabia hosted and presented in the Sony Center and other places in Berlin a great cultural program with many guests from the Kingdom and Germany under the slogan: “Saudi Arabia herself”. Mainly women talked about their lives, including female diplomats, pilots, writers, artists and filmmakers. One of the invited: Raja Alem, who was awarded the LiBeraturpreis for her book “The Collar of the Pigeons” in October 2014 as part of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In the Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz there was a market with a Saudi village. Visitors tasted dates, could dress up in traditional robes or try henna tattoos. In addition to a stage program with dance and music, there was a children’s program and the unexpected as grafitti artist from Jedda.
I was responsible for the Culture Week’s public relations and designed a press campaign in close collaboration with the Saudi ambassador with press releases, interviews and press conferences, including one in three languages: German, English and Arabic. In advance, I organized a visit of the German Journalists Association Berlin (DJV Berlin) in the embassy. The journalists openly discussed with the ambassador about issues such as women’s rights, freedom of expression and democratization in Saudi Arabia.
On the opening day the rbb reported live for the evening show on Potsdamer Platz, I looked after the journalists and organized everything necessary.
In addition to information about the event itself, other reporting occasion should be created. In addition, the rather intellectually inspired program should be made accessible through other, powerful measures. So I invented the official cheesecake for the culture week: the most German of all baked goods was “Arabized” by the German cheesecake master Thomas Neuendorff. The cake was available from September in his shops. Thus, further contact points were created and a sensual, low-threshold experience was created, which was mainly reported by local media. The cut of the official cake with the ambassador was also an unusual image motif.
(c) photo Saudi Cultural Week