Benedetta Paravia from the Italian Pavilion at the Sharjah book fair talks about the self-determination of Islamic women
“We must be proud of our Prime Minister” “In Italy we finally have a female Prime Minister and we must all be proud of her, both for her competence and for her long political career – which few other Italians can boast – despite her young age. In the United Arab Emirates, a woman has already headed the Ministry of Finance since 2004, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qassimi, and women in politics have always been numerous “- thus opened her speech Benedetta Paravia, in the panel dedicated to her and presented by the Director of Ita / ICE Amedeo Scarpa in the Italian Pavilion endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture and which this year is the guest of honor at the largest cultural fair in the Middle East: the Sharjah Book Fair.
Benedetta Paravia recounted her experience of life and work in the United Arab Emirates since she arrived in 2002, and then organized the first economic partnership forum between the U.A.E. and Italy at Fiera Milano in 2005, until she received the letter of recommendation for the Golden Visa from the Minister of Culture and Youth H.E. Noora Al Khaabi for her contribution to the U.A.E. country. A varied professional excursus that saw her as protagonist and advocate of the cultural evolution of the U.A.E., first bringing to Italy – for the first time in the history of collaboration between the two countries – more than 400 Emirati students for study purposes, and subsequently passing for the promotion of Italian companies in the Emirates (which in 2002 were just 15 and today there are over 600) up to the production of the cross media series dedicated to the role of women in the U.A.E. society with the patronage of the U.A.E. Ministry of Tolerance, the U.A.E. Ministry of Culture and Youth and the General Authority of Youth and Sports: a series that was a success with one million spectators per episode in prime time on Dubai One Tv.
She holds a positive story to tell to the many listening students and schoolchildren who were present at her event and to the local media who have followed her during her 20 years of activity between Europe and the Middle East. The meeting was closed by the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi Ida Zilio Grandi – the Institute in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which body aimed at promoting the Italian language and culture in the Emirates through ad hoc initiatives – who asked Paravia for her next projects. “On 2nd December in Venice at Palazzo Bembo my video exhibition of NFTs art against female genital mutilation will be inaugurated, a project for which I have already received the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Culture. At the end of the exhibition, the NFTs will be auctioned and the proceeds will be used to provide free operations to restore the pre-violence status to infibulated women “- concluded Paravia, who for this new humanitarian project has already received the “best project 2022 for women empowerment” at the House of Lords in London on 29 October 2020.