The Institut des cultures arabes et Méditerranéennes (ICAM)'s chairman, Ambassador François Barras, and proprietor Alain Bittar, hosted a SWISS MADE - Arabic edition launch and book signing on March 1 at "L'Olivier" bookstore in Geneva.
The book's author, James Breiding, travelled from Zurich to take part in the event, as did Chahine Nemr, who edited, designed and oversaw the production of the Arabic edition.
Some 50 people braved the snow and ice to take part. Following a reception on the main floor of the store which included Lebanese canapés from Chez Fouad, the group assembled in the basement auditorium.
The Arabic edition's publisher, John McCarthy, thanked the hosts and introduced the guest of honor, Nicholas Niggli, Director General of the Department of Economic Development, Research, and Innovation in the Geneva Cantonal Government. In his speech, Niggli praised Breiding's extraordinary achievement in describing the Swiss values which have made the country the global Number One in competitiveness and innovation.
Niggli also expressed his delight that the Canton of Geneva may now boast of its first ever Arabic-language book publishing house. He saluted the book's Geneva-based Arabic translator, Besma Al Jouini, and the publisher, John McCarthy.
The following are excerpts from Nicholas Niggli's speech:
"It is amazing to team up with James Breiding again here in Geneva at this mythical bookstore, L'Olivier.
The original SWISS MADE has not lost any of its pertinence. Far from it! The Arabic version which we celebrate tonight is extremely timely. SWISS MADE is full of inspiring stories depicting what is at the heart of the Swiss success story...
Inclusiveness, Institutions, Innovation (my three I's), entrepreneurial drive, stability, liberal economic policies, strong emphasis on education have all been key elements behind Switzerland's success. Some elements which were originally perceived as disadvantages (cultural, linguistic, religious and political heterogeneity) have in time led to more tolerance and liberalism in our country. This is certainly interesting and very relevant for the Arab World.
While each and every nation's trajectory is unique, there are nevertheless quite a few things that can be reciprocated. There are roughly 250 million Arabic speakers in the world. I hope that many will read the Arabic version of SWISS MADE. At a time when so many jobs need to be created throughout the Arab World to give new perspectives to the rising generations, it is my humble hope that one or the other lesson of SWISS MADE may serve as an inspiration and help entrepreneurs and policy makers to make a positive difference.
I am obviously very proud that this Arabic edition of SWISS MADE has a very strong Geneva footprint! Geneva and the Arab World enjoy a long lasting and close relationship. May this new contribution add to the many previous ones and strengthen this relationship even further!"
Librairie "L'Olivier" -- the only Arabic-language bookstore in Geneva -- is located at Rue de Fribourg 5 and has a good stock of "SWISS MADE - القصة غير المروية عن سر نجاح سويسرا".