Francophonie 2019 highlights cultural, linguistic diversity

Belgian Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Piet Heirbaut held a joint press conference with the ambassadors and representatives of participating French-speaking countries in Kuwait to announce the launch of the annual ‘Francophonie’ celebrations.

At the press conference held at his residence on 3 March, the Belgian ambassador was joined by the Ambassador of Serbia H.E. Vladimir Kohut, the Ambassador of Romania H.E. Daniel Tanase, the Ambassador of Switzerland H.E. Dr. Benedict Gubler, the Canadian Ambassador H.E. Louis-Pierre Emond, the Ambassador of Egypt H.E. Tarek Al Kouni, the Chargé d’affaires at the French Embassy, Sebastien Lesaulnier who deputed on behalf of the French Ambassador H.E. Marie Masdupuy, and the spouse of the ambassador of Armenia, Mrs. Talar Kazanjian.

Expanding on the two-week ‘Francophonie’ celebrations, Ambassador Heirbaut said, “Every year in March, the 70-member states of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) celebrate the French language and the values it represents. This year the celebrations will be held from 10 to 25 March.”

“By promoting the French language, OIF promotes a world vision based on respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. Beyond this mission, OIF’s work also aims to support education, training, and research, with a special focus on young people and women. Finally, OIF strives to promote peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development.”

He went on to point out that there was a substantial Francophone community in Kuwait and that the use of the French language was increasing, as indicated by the growing number of students in specialized schools and institutes.

Noting that several events will be held in the coming weeks to celebrate Francophonie, the ambassador said that these events were planned in close cooperation and coordination with the participating embassies, Francophone cultural institutions in Kuwait and Kuwaiti partners, including several institutes of higher education.

Highlights of the cultural festival, most of which will be held at the French Institute of Kuwait located in Jabriya, will include the screening of select French-language films from Belgium, Lebanon, Canada, Morocco, Egypt, Romania and France on 10 to 19 March at 7pm. On 16 March, starting at 4pm, will be competitions on dictation, quiz and song, as well as a treasure hunt. A Belgian concert featuring well-known artist Karim Baggili will be held at the Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah on 20 March at 7pm. A Grand Bazaar will be open to visitors to the French Institute of Kuwait on 22 March. The celebrations will culminate with a videogame competition on 23 March at 4pm.

The cultural events planned during the two-week long Francophonie celebrations aim to share the cultural richness of OIF countries with the people in Kuwait.