Acclaimed photographer Susan Baaghil organised a unique show in Rome that highlighted Saudi Arabia's history, art, culture, heritage, and natural beauty. This private exhibition, titled "Art and Culture of Saudi Arabia," was inaugurated on October 6 as part of the annual Fourth Day of Arab Culture event, coordinated by the Italian-Arab Society in Rome.
The exhibition featured a range of photographs that highlighted the Kingdom's cultural heritage locations, such as the Two Holy Mosques, archaeological sites, the Al-Ula Open Museum, the Rub' Al-Khali desert, Al-Ahsa, Abha, and Najran. It also included images of traditional clothing and well-known folklore.
Italian civil society activists, political party members, intellectuals, writers, and numerous Arab embassies to Italy, notably the Saudi envoy, attended the event, which was held in the Sala Promototeca, the halls of the Rome municipality headquarters.
During the ceremony, a musical performance was presented by members of the joint Italian military band, playing an Arabic hymn, "Talah Al-Badru Alayna."
Baaghil expressed her delight at the invitation to present the culture and heritage of her country and her strong connection to Italy. She emphasized that her participation was an opportunity to promote Saudi and Arab visual arts on an international stage, expressing gratitude to the Saudi ambassador in Rome and acknowledging the advancements in women's rights and empowerment in Saudi Arabia.
Baaghil regarded her participation in the exhibition as a moral duty to share Saudi culture and foster cross-cultural understanding and knowledge. She underlined the role that art plays in fostering relationships by highlighting the universal language of art and photography in uniting people and promoting peace and coexistence.
Her contributions have earned her international recognition, including the Italian order of knighthood, "Cavaliere della Repubblica," awarded by the former president of Italy in 2007. Baaghil was the first Saudi photographer to photograph the Hajj from a helicopter and was selected by the American embassy in Riyadh to capture images of women linked to the White House. She has taken part in more than 155 national and international exhibitions all over the world in the last 40 years.
Baaghil conveyed her sense of honor in portraying Saudi Arabian culture and heritage through her artistic work. She decorated Sala Promototeca with more than 100 images that showcased Saudi Arabia's abundant heritage, including photographs featuring King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Italian attendees were deeply impressed by these images and expressed a keen interest in visiting the Kingdom.