culture

Officials from the Turkish and Israeli foreign ministries met for the first time in more than six years to discuss cooperation in areas such as energy, trade and tourism. As Turkey and Israel ease into a new era in their relationship, collaboration on more sensitive issues has been slower to emerge. [...] The two sides also agreed to future exchange visits by government ministers as well as business, academic and cultural delegations.

Taking advantage of the literature festival last weekend, a poet from Maldives made his way to Karachi with only one mission: share his country’s stories. Ibrahim Waheed Ogaru is a writer, a poet and a television show host who arrived in Karachi last week to attend the eighth Karachi Literature Festival on the invitation of Pakistan’s ambassador to Maldives, Syed Khawar Ali Shah.

Our interest in hosting international visitors comes from our own experiences abroad. My husband, daughter and I returned to the U.S. in 2012 following my two decades as an Associated Press correspondent on three continents. People welcomed us in their hometowns around the world. Even now when we vacation, we meet strangers who offer menu recommendations in Brazil or Slovenia, or who help us navigate subways in Moscow or Tokyo. 

The International Committee of All Africa Music Awards has called on the new leadership of the AUC to forge a deeper integration of Africa through cultural exchange, as a way of creating a brighter future for her teeming youth and future generations. [...] “It is worthy of note that African artists are breaking stereotypical and geographical boundaries to make their mark on the music, culture and entertainment scene around the world.

British producers association Pact UK will host its first UK-China cultural exchange. The Feb. 13 meeting will see 21 senior programming executives from major Chinese broadcasters in London meeting with over 70 production companies and broadcasters. Following the launch day, Chinese executives will spend the rest of their week in placements with 23 indies selected to take part in the exchange. 

Public diplomacy is one of the most powerful tools a president has to inform and influence the world by communicating American values and interests. By engaging with citizens overseas, we expand and extend our national security through the dissemination of news, information, culture, education, entrepreneurship and everything else that make a democracy strong.

When it comes to living in a democracy, Nato Thompson argues, nothing affects us more directly and more powerfully than culture. Culture suffuses the world we live in, from TV to music to advertising to sports. And all these things, Thompson writes in his new book, Culture as Weapon, “influence our emotions, our actions, and our very understanding of ourselves as citizens.”

President Tsai Ing-wen and her Guatemalan counterpart, Jimmy Morales, reaffirmed their commitment to relations and cooperation between the two countries Wednesday, with Tsai saying that Taiwan will continue to support a Guatemalan highway expansion project, a proposal put forward by Morales. Tsai received a military salute hosted by Morales at the National Palace of Culture. 

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