During a ceremony, the Embassy of Brazil in Kuwait handed over 302 books of Brazilian authors in Portuguese, English and Spanish to the National Library of Kuwait (NLK) on 19 December. The gesture marked the 50th anniversary of Brazil and Kuwait diplomatic relations. The books donated belonged to the Embassy’s collection and were based on different fields of knowledge, including Brazilian and World History, Economics, International Relations, Literature and Brazilian traditions, such as capoeira, a Brazilian sports-dance originally from Africa.

The Director General of National Library of Kuwait, Kamel Sulaiman Al-Abduljalil, praised the embassy’s initiative and welcomed the Brazilian books to the NLK collection. Al-Abduljalil underlined the importance of books for any given society as a means to learn deeply about another society’s history and culture and, as a result, develop tolerance towards other nations. The Director General invited the public and researchers to visit the Library especially during this week when the Brazilian books will be an exhibit at the NLK entrance.

The Ambassador of Brazil to Kuwait, H.E. Norton Rapesta, delivered a lecture entitled ‘Brazil – Did you know?’, in which he highlighted the important aspects of Brazil apart from soccer and carnival that foreigners are usually unaware of, such as Brazilian history, literature, tourist destinations and the diverse yet one Brazilian identity of its people, including the Arab influence in it. In the end, the Ambassador of Brazil pointed to the 50th anniversary of Brazil-Kuwait relations, and stressed that although both countries have excellent diplomatic relations, trade exchange and friendship, both countries still have the potential to bring these relations to a new level.

At the end of the lecture, the audience participated in a Q&A session and asked questions to the Brazilian Ambassador. Among the participants was Kuwait’s former Ambassador, Faisal Rashed al Ghais, who served as Ambassador of Kuwait to Brazil from 1986 to 1992. Al-Ghais, who speaks fluently the Portuguese language for having learnt it when he lived in Brasilia during his diplomatic mission, took the floor to express his deep admiration to Brazil and shared his feelings and admitted he has identified himself in many ways with Brazilian society. Clearly, under strong emotion,  Ambassador Ghais recalled the support given to Kuwait by the Brazilian government and people during the invasion of his country by Iraq in 1991 – “a unique and unconditional support that I will never forget”.

NLK director Al-Abduljalil expressed to the Ambassador of Brazil his interest in developing partnerships between NLK and its Brazilian counterpart with a view to deepening the mutual knowledge of Brazilian and Kuwaiti societies through books. In the end, in an interview with the local media, Al-Abduljalil invited the general public and researchers to visit the Library especially during this week, when the Brazilian books will remain on display at the NLK entrance for seven days.

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