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Tunisia celebrates its Expo 2020 National Day with commitment to stronger bilateral ties and music by Lotfi Bouchnaq – ZAWYA

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We view Tunisia’s participation in Expo 2020 as an opportunity for cooperation and investment in the future
DUBAI – The Republic of Tunisia celebrated its Expo 2020 National Day on Tuesday with a reiteration of stronger bilateral ties with the UAE and a powerful performance by renowned Tunisian composer, musician and singer Lotfi Bouchnaq.
A high-level delegation from Tunisia, led by Her Excellency Fadhila Rebhi Ben Hamza, Minister of Commerce and Export Development, and Malek Besbas, Director, Tunisia Pavilion, was welcomed by His Excellency Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, UAE Minister of State.
HE Al Marar said: “Tunisia’s participation in Expo 2020 reflects its desire to take advantage of opportunities for cooperation and partnership, especially those aimed at youth empowerment, while highlighting innovative projects by young entrepreneurs to disseminate a message of hope for progress towards a brighter future for all.
“The long-standing diplomatic relations between the UAE and Tunisia, dating back to 1972, are continuously developing at the political, economic and cultural levels. In fact, the UAE – keen to develop its partnerships in areas of common interest – aims to work with Tunisia to bolster bilateral relations, including in the fields of agriculture, renewable energy and tourism for the good of our people, the region and the world at large. We view Tunisia’s participation in Expo 2020 as an opportunity for cooperation and investment in the future.”
HE Hamza said: “Choosing the slogan ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ for the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, in the face of various economic, social and environmental challenges, is a source of pride for all of us. By hosting this global event, the UAE is highlighting the world’s ability to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities through international partnerships based on innovation, creativity and positivity.
“Tunisia is deeply engaged in reforms that cover all vital areas of development, especially those related to infrastructure, logistics, technology, airports and ports, as well as projects in renewable energy and water resources by investing in desalination plants. We are determined to make the Tunisian development model a success, and keep pace with digital transformation to make Tunisia a dynamic economic and investment gateway, driven by the capabilities of our people and the support of our friends and partners, especially the UAE.”
The expressive voice of Lotfi Bouchnaq, and strains of mellifluous Arabic music, filled Al Wasl Plaza when Tunisia’s star singer gave a stirring performance at the end of the official ceremony.
Bouchnaq’s repertoire of Arabic music extends from secular Egyptian popular music and Algerian Raï music to sacred music and derived compositions. He is famous, in particular, for introducing Tunisian ma’luf (Andalusian music) to the outside world via his modern renditions of the old art form. In 2004, he became Peace Ambassador for the United Nations.
The celebrations continued throughout the day and ended at the Jubilee Stage late evening, with performances by some of the brightest stars of the Tunisian music scene, including Latifa, Zied Gharsa and Mehdi Ayachi.
The Tunisia Pavilion at Expo 2020, located in the Opportunity District under the theme ‘Inspiring Youth, Promising Future’, highlights the innovations and creativity of Tunisian youth. Visitors can explore historical and cultural sites in Tunisia through promotional films, and wear traditional Tunisian clothing, as well as experience the short multidimensional film that allows viewers to embark on a journey through time, starting from a vision of the future – ‘Tunisia 2050’ – to the present.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements, and showcasing their pavilions and programming. Each features a flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza, followed by speeches and cultural performances.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.
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