Algerian “Open Doors Week” in Tehran
Algeria's 'Open Doors Week', an expo presenting the country's art and culture, opened in a ceremony at the residence of Algerian Ambassador to Iran Abdelmoun'aam Ahriz on June 6.
The exhibition displays oil paintings, artifacts such as potteries and traditional food, costumes and sweets.
A number of Algerian films about the country's revolution and documentaries will also be screened at the exposition.
The event coincides with Tehran's International Handicrafts Exhibition and comes at a time when the Algerian people are preparing to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the country's independence from France (July 5, 1962).
The Ambassador of Algeria, Mr. Ahriz said the main goal of this exposition is to provide the Iranian people and art lovers with an opportunity to get a glimpse of Algeria's rich and diverse traditional heritage and learn more about the country's art.
"Culture plays a very important role in bringing people together. Even a country's cuisine, when viewed as a social act, is very important in fostering solidarity among two nations' people and bringing them closer to each other."
He added the event further aims to promote peace among people, remind them of the importance of culture in this respect and extend bridges of friendship and mutual understanding between the two nations.
"Currently, the Middle east is grappling with conflicts and crises. By performing cultural activities, such as the one currently underway, and through holding dialogues, regional states can get closer to resolving their problems."
He noted the reason Algeria has opted to put these items on view is that they represent the country's tradition and the Algerian people's mentality, adding some of the costumes date back to five centuries ago.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the weak cultural ties between Iran and Algeria, he said nevertheless, Tehran is doing better than Algiers in improving the relations.
"Iran holds an exhibit in Algeria every year."
On plans by the two sides to boost cultural ties, he said, "We plan to increase the exchange of university students, especially in the field of art and expand cinema cooperation through production of joint movies. I intend to discuss the issue with Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati."
He said Iran and Algeria have excellent political ties and regularly exchange high-ranking officials and delegations.
"Unfortunately, the level of the two countries' economic relations is very low. Of course, efforts are underway to improve the situation. Last May, I organized a visit of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Iran. The delegation held very fruitful meetings with officials of Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and businessmen. In September, Tehran's chamber of commerce is to dispatch a delegation to Algiers to pursue earlier discussions, follow up the implementation of the agreements and study Algerian investment opportunities in the fields of agriculture, industry and auto production.
Speaking in his opening speech at the ceremony, Ahriz added excellent political relations between the two countries are characterized by mutual understanding and trust and dominated by an atmosphere of solidarity and mutual respect. "Both countries are looking forward to expanding these relations in various fields, particularly culture."
He added Algeria has the firm conviction that cultural exchanges between countries play a major role in bringing people and cultures together and strengthening relations.
"My country is working to consolidate cultural ties with Iran and has signed an agreement in this respect in 2004."
Ahriz noted Iran held cultural weeks in Algeria in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, adding Algerian cultural week in Tehran was held in 2012.
He hoped that the understanding and friendship will extend in the near future to the rest of the Islamic nations which are going through difficult times and facing serious challenges that threaten their unity, stability and national security.