Visiting Expo 2020 Dubai: The flamboyant charm of connecting cultures, minds

The sounds of passion: "Leading" an African music troop

The sounds of passion: “Leading” an African music troop

By Habib Toumi

DUBAI: Wading through the large avenues and alleys in the huge Dubai EXPO 2020, I can sense the excitement and enthusiasm among the thousands of people coming from around the world for a unique experience of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

It is the United Nations in motion and the togetherness of the world away from wars, conflicts, politics and divisions is truly soothing.

At times such as the ones we are currently witnessing, the sight of a unique gathering of people, young and old, from all backgrounds, walking peacefully and especially joyfully among the pavilions is mesmerizing and comforting.

Some pavilions are expectedly larger, more impressive and more attractive than others, but they were all worth visits to learn about their natural landscape, learn about their history, and major traditions and how they are looking at the future of the world, what tools they have prepared.

People dancing to Indonesian music.

Indonesians and visitirs dancing to Indonesian music

It is obvious that Dubai was a gracious and graceful host, devoting funds and energy and mobilizing thousands of people, professionals and volunteers, to make the event, a true global engine of innovation and inspiration, one of the most, if not the most successful, expo ever.

I see the Kyrgyzstan sign and I decide to enter the country. I have been reading a lot about Central Asia and I have focused on Kyrgyzstan as delivering one of the most interesting experiences in dealing with the post-Soviet Union era. I have also come into direct contact with some Kyrgyz and their character and attitudes have reinforced my feelings of positivity about their country.

Elmira Kalybekova showing off Kyrgyzstan's rich heritage

Elmira Kalybekova proudly showing off Kyrgyzstan’s rich heritage

As I walk in, I am warmly greeted by a jovial Elmira with smiling eyes and a warm welcome into a pavilion that offered a great chance to “get acquainted with the country’s untouched natural landscape, explore the history, traditions and cultural heritage of the Kyrgyz people, and purchase unique souvenirs made from various environmentally friendly, natural materials.”

A Yurt, a round tent and the country’s important cultural symbol, sits in the middle, with a male and female models wearing traditional clothes. Large posters and a multitude of local items in the gift and souvenir section reinforce a generous feeling of being transported to Kyrgyzstan.

“Kyrgyzstan has become famous as a tourist destination in recent years, due to its beautiful nature and generous hospitality,” Elmira was quoted as saying.

“Our country possesses many qualifications that make it attractive to tourism throughout the year, thanks to its high mountains and natural rivers, in addition to health tourism, adventures, road trips, sports tourism and others.”

The pavilion is among the 192 countries participating in the expo 2020.

Gentlemn from Fiji produly wearing their national sulu, the kilt-like garment

Gentlemen from Fiji showing off wearing their national sulu, the kilt-like garment

Expo 2020 Dubai spokesperson Maha Al Gargawi said that the number “not only makes this the most international World Expo, but the most inclusive.”

“Expo 2020’s mission is to offer a global platform for ‘cross-pollination’ between cultures,” she said.

Going through the amazing Mobility District, I totally adhere to the promotion that it “creates connections to drive the world forward, breaking down the divide between the physical and digital worlds to build a harmonious, global society where information, ideas and goods are exchanged faster than ever before.”

This is where I get to “ride in an autonomous vehicle and see cutting-edge mobility technologies, learn about the latest developments in space explorations and see innovative mobility devices in action on a 330-metre track that runs both underground and out in the open.”

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