Barbados and Liberia mark their National Days at Expo 2020 Dubai

Dignitaries at the flag-raising ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza in Expo 2020 Dubai.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

With the closing date of Expo 2020 Dubai approaching, the Barbados delegation celebrated its National Day, led by  Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, accompanied by the Ambassador of Barbados to the UAE,  Gabriel Abed, and Ms. Kay Ann Brathwaite, CEO of Invest Barbados.

The National day celebrations included musical performances, dining experiences, discussions about the climate change crisis and more.

 Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, impressed the globe with her powerful address to fellow world leaders at last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, at which she highlighted the need to “try harder” to avert catastrophic climate change.

In conjunction with the Barbados National Day celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai, She hosted a youth forum on the climate change crisis, to create a discussion with the youth from countries on the front line of the climate crisis. To focus on the gravity of the current situation, and encourage adherence to this challenge, the event took place from 11am-1pm at the Expo Media Centre, where young visitors had the opportunity to have a spontaneous discussion with the Prime Minister of Barbados on a topic critical to the future of humanity.

The Barbados delegation continued its celebrations after the forum with an event hosted by Barbadian Chef Trevon Stout at Farrago Restaurant at Expo 2020 Dubai, to introduce Expo visitors to the flavors of the Caribbean island and traditional dishes such as Bajan fish cakes, as well as flying fish and cou cou, a creamy pudding made with corn flour and okra.

Following that, the Barbados delegation moved to the Platform of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza to launch the celebration ceremony by raising the flags of the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Barbados and playing the national anthem of both countries, in the presence of  Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and  Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation. Visitors then enjoyed the cultural dance and music performances of Barbados.

The Barbados delegation, led by Mia Motley, then headed to the Barbados pavilion, where His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak was hosted and had a special introductory tour of the pavilion, followed by a visit to the United Arab Emirates pavilion, in which the Barbados delegates learned about the history of the host country.

The events concluded with a concert at Festival Garden Stage, which featured a high-energy show by performers who have flown in from Barbados for the occasion. Some of Barbados’ finest talents, including Edwin Yearwood, TC, Arturo Tappin, Peter Ram, Mahalia and Nicholas Brancker, took the stage in a celebration of all things Bajan, presented by the Barbados National Cultural Foundation.

Liberia: Liberia celebrated its Expo 2020 Dubai National Day on Saturday with a visit by Dr George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia.

Dr Weah was welcomed by Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

George Weah said: “The theme of our pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Open and Business-Ready Liberia’ and embraces the idea that investment is an essential component of sustainable national economic growth and development. Liberia seeks to expand its potential in many areas, including the financial sector, in addition to sectors like tourism, agriculture and fisheries, which are yet to be exploited.

“I therefore use this opportunity to urge UAE investors to come to Liberia and tap into these traditional and virgin sectors, which will help us fill Liberia’s huge infrastructure deficit and foster economic development in Liberia.”

Sheikh Nahyan said: “Through its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, Liberia demonstrates the significant development strides it has made in recent history, such as leading the way on women’s rights, as well as economic reform. The pavilion also promotes the vast opportunities Liberia offers across multiple industries, such as agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development.’’

“The UAE is proud to share continuously developing relations with Liberia, and we look forward to witnessing greater opportunities for collaboration between our two countries in the near future, for our mutual benefit and prosperity.”

A cultural performance by the National Dance Ensemble of Liberia followed the speeches, featuring a drum concert and a traditional song about peace and unity, before Liberia’s Cultural Ambassador Juli Endee and well-known singer Janet Cole sang the Liberia Pavilion’s official Expo 2020 Dubai song.

The Liberia Pavilion, located in the Opportunity District, showcases the beauty of the country and the untapped potential in agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development. The pavilion, filled with beautiful woven fabric patterns, allows visitors to find out more about Liberia’s history and what the future looks like for the West African nation.

National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be held until March 31, 2022, and invites visitors from all over the world to create a new world together, in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.

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