Doha Culinary Arts Diplomacy Forum .. When food turns into an “extraordinary ambassador” | Lifestyle

Doha- Food tables in our Arab world have been known since ancient times as one of the manifestations of generosity and celebration, but in our time they have become an important and effective element and a gentle force in promoting communication between peoples and societies, spreading cultures and even breaking down barriers between country leaders.

This was the most prominent thing that was confirmed during the activities of the Culinary Diplomacy Forum, which is organized by the International Public Diplomatic Network at the Cultural Village Foundation (Qatar) in the state of Qatar.

The International Public Diplomacy Network was established in 2014 by public and cultural institutions in 9 countries: Turkey, Sweden, Korea, Taiwan, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Singapore and the Philippines, and Qatar joined in 2017.

In addition to Qatar, the host country, the forum was attended by representatives from Mexico, Tajikistan, Georgia, Nigeria, Hungary, the Philippines, Romania, Kenya and Bulgaria.

The forum sessions focused on cultural diplomacy related to the culinary arts and its connection to national identity, during which participating countries reviewed the culinary arts and introduced their ancient traditional foods by presenting them in modern and innovative ways and invited the public to learn about their preparation. methods and enjoy their ingredients and authentic aroma.

Communication bridges

The organization of this forum comes to increase the role of culinary art in building bridges of communication and cultural exchange between peoples, emphasizing the role of culinary art in consolidating the national identity of societies, as well as emphasizing the role of chefs as cultural ambassadors to their countries around the world.

Secretary General of the International Public Diplomatic Network in Qatar, eng. Darwish Ahmed Al Shaiban – who chaired the forum – says that table diplomacy or culinary art is the use of food practices as a tool for soft power, with the aim of coordinating and developing international relations through a logical link between food geopolitics, customs and traditions, showing that the Art of Cooking can positively promote the image of a country, region or city.

Al-Shaibani explains – in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net – that cooking is not just about providing food, but is a kind of diplomacy that can be used and relied on to promote a country or the reputation of a people by emphasizing this. while cooking and serving food to other peoples of the world.

He adds that the main objective of roundtable diplomacy is to introduce the country through its cuisine, encourage investment and develop trade and tourism, in addition to influencing and persuading in official political forums.

He points out that during the forum sessions the skills and competencies that Qatar possesses in this field were examined and believed that all elements related to table diplomacy and culinary arts are very much available, but they need support, planning, coordination and presentation. for the benefit of Qatar, its economy and culture, emphasizing the need for qualified staff to present creative ideas, expresses food culture and highlights it to other cultures.

Arabic cuisine

Al-Shaibani believes that table diplomacy is an old issue and its elements are widely available in Arab countries, and Arab cuisine is characterized by wealth and diversity, yet food in any Arab country remains stuck and unable to move in. other places or to attract new ones. cultures despite the ability to eat to attract people to all countries.Expressing his surprise at this state of Arab cuisine, despite the fact that Arabs have historically been known as “hospitals”.

He stressed that table diplomacy should be cared for and exploited by encouraging chefs and highlighting them as innovators in their field and promoting their countries and transmitting the cultures of their countries through travels and meetings with peoples of different.

He believed that every country should adopt a meal or a plate of food that represents globally and present it with a special imprint to contribute to its cultural, tourist and economic support, demanding the need to adopt this issues diplomatically in order to be introduced. to the world in a professional and honest way.

Al-Shaibani pointed out that the organization of Qatar FIFA World Cup this year is a great and very important opportunity to highlight the food and dishes of Qatar and Arabia, as well as to introduce Qatari and Arab chefs to introduce fans Arabs, especially that the tournament will witness the participation of thousands from all over the world. So everyone should try to present their food and highlight it as a kind of identity that should be presented in the strongest and most fine way.

Food and political issues

Al-Shaibani also points out that food diplomacy plays an important role in many political issues and in concluding economic agreements, and often holds tables between presidents and officials and in bilateral or international and other meetings, emphasizing that the strongest time for informal discussions. is on the table and that most deals agree Items on the dining table.

Qatari chef Aisha Al-Tamimi says food plays an important role in introducing other people’s cultures and social customs, as the first thing a person presents when traveling to another country is to ask about restaurants. this country, emphasizing that this contributes to the strengthening of communication between peoples.

Al-Tamimi explained – in a statement to Al Jazeera Net – that visitors to Qatar are keen to visit the Qatari restaurant, expressing her hope to increase interest in presenting Qatari food and the desire to present it invariably, even if she believes it should be presented to you in a different and appropriate way for development.

The Qatari chef indicated that she is looking to take advantage of the organization of the 2022 World Cup from Qatar to introduce Qatari cuisine and food, stressing that she hoped to roam all over the world to introduce food culture to Qatar. and the hosting of the World Cup by Qatar will achieve this desire, as Doha will host fans from all over the world.

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