The Arbiter of Oriental Arts and Culture; Aida Sanz Jimeno

by Jonquil Dun

Aida Sanz Jimeno photographed in a traditional Halal restaurant in Cordoba, Spain

“Without art, design, and architecture there is no creativity. Without creativity there is no individuality, and without individuality there is no true human being.”

Shiri Abramson

How would our world look like without art? The Earth would have probably become just a pool of living organisms tossed into wilderness. Because of art we learned languages, built infrastructures, developed relationships, discovered new places, cook, play, seek, innovate, dress ourselves and we learned how to progress and we made Earth a fun planet to live.

One of the most interesting things about all these of discovery to make use of our artistic capabilities is human relationship. For much of history, humans are constantly travelling to explore new horizons, experience new things and learn from different culture and develop relationships. And understanding cultures is the key to world peace.

Sharing cultures is important in the development of the human race. And to better understand our topic, we have interviewed one of the most hardworking persons who worked in trying to bridge Eastern cultures into the West- Ms. Aida Sanz Jimeno.

Aida is an expert art curator, museologist and museographist, language interpreter and events organizer who founded Aioma Events from Spain whose works centralized in introducing the Oriental cultures and arts into the West.

“I’m a people-person, I love meeting people and hearing about their backgrounds, that’s make me choose in the last years to plan my life and working choices on this philosophy, even if sometimes the results are coming later than the usual working basis. Since the age of 19 years I’ve been living in different places of the world: Italy during my whole University education, Malaysia and some short terms in Hong Kong during almost 4 years and between 2015 and 2020 some short periods in Italy and Germany, sadly interrupted due to Covid Pandemic. I thank every day for having such opportunity because I could embrace the rich experience of learning by the art of observing and hearing from huge sources of knowledge.”

“Life, interests and work during all my life are combined by the common interests to different tendencies of the Art, Tourism Services and the organization of events relates not just to the mentioned sectors but also with Food & Gastronomy, Technologies and other focused in the Middle East and Asian Markets mostly. I consider that my curiosity and admiration for the diversity and common characteristics between Orient and Occident is what makes magical to discover every day the beauty of this World.”

During Modanisa Fashion show in Istanbul, Turkey (Photo by Aida)

2. You have a rich track record in your portfolio being an International Relations Specialist, Ambassador of Spain for Shukran App, art curator, foreign correspondent, interpreter, etc, how did you transition from one role to another?

“Sometimes I developed 2 roles in 1 because the necessities of the job and the sector permits to do it, sometimes I focused during years by studying and training throughout courses, Masters or like in the case of Interpreter and Translator by developing a specific role per years.

And what challenges did you meet along the way? One of the most important challenges was the different area of working, it’s good to mention that my main area of knowledge and academic education is Arts and Museology and Museography so when I accepted the role of Translator at Tribunal for almost 6 years, I had to change my mind from the creativity and playing freely with ideas and images to discover all the meaning and changes that one world can offer in one specific context. By the end, and concerning the difficulties along the years of working activity, in my case, I have to say that the non-payment or lack of earnestness.”

3. From your experiences, what is your favorite role? And what do you consider the most challenging one?

Cultural Facilitator and Business developer because I can develop old knowledge to the new experiences and ideas from the unexpected. The most challenging was working at the company that organized the first edition of Expo Halal Spain. It was the first time that I was involved in a project where marketing and commercial skills were fundamental but totally far beyond my background. After that, I started to follow courses in this field and working as a Freelancer.

Aida in Isfahan, Iran (Photo by Aida)

2. Did you grow up in Spain?

Yes, I did.

3. What attributes do you find appealing or do you like in the Spanish culture?

The rich mix of cultures and artistic and historic Heritage. You can appreciate it when travelling all around the country and taste the Gastronomy and meet the people and traditions. Spain is a clear example of reminiscences of a past where cultures such as Muslim , Jewish and Christian lived together and on my opinion this is one of the positive points and the perfect excuse to focus the country towards a touching marketingcampaign of sustainable and cultural destination.

5. How many languages do you speak?

English, and Italian, French not in terms of professional level, and by the end I’m in the way to learn German and Arabic.

6. Tell us about ME Aioma Art and Events?

Is a personal initiative that came on my mind when I was in Malaysia. At that time, I was working in the promoting of some artists and I needed a name to introduce myself in order to do more effective and professional my communication with the Asian market. Later I worked under Aioma Art & Events also to represent some Modest Fashion designers in Iran, Turkey, Italy or UK and as a Business developer in India.

7. How does it feel or what kind of impact representing the Middle East and Halal markets do on you personally? Or do you take it as a work or a moral responsibility?

Middle East and Halal Markets are part of my personality and interests since my time as university student but it really become more serious and decisive when I was in Asia and my circle of friends and networking came from Saudi, Iran, Oman and other. By the other hand, I think that the exchanging and open minded to that market is also a responsibility if we want to go ahead with certain kind of projects and invest in rich sources of knowledge in areas where maybe we don’t have the ability or patience to reach in the right way.

Aida attending Mr. and Ms. Bollywood in Delhi, India

8. What does Aioma do? What kind of role does it fulfill in international and cultural relationship?

Aioma does in 2 ways: One way is by receiving a proposal by mail or from some organization or company in order to participate to. A second way, by launching my own proposal to some of my network and if agreed, we can collaborate or work together along the idea. I am currently work on a new idea together people from different sector such as Education, Culture and Tourism, it will take some years to become definitely but I will be very proud if became real in all its executive points.

9. In our age of information, what do you observe, how do the Western world perceive Asian and Middle east culture?

Confused information, most of times, but the positive thing is that thanks to Internet and the different ways to find information on every issue you can do your own point of view and compare with other. By other hand, best way to know the real situation of people or country is travelling and reading about, or just learning from the correct person or source. Not all people is able to travel or have the occasion to do it because of individual or social circumstances.

10. Do you think the Asian and Middle eastern culture and history are being told or taught accurately in the West? And why?

Not at all. In my humble opinion, the main reason is because of lack of knowledge and, in some cases, unrespect toward ideas or way of living or thinking.

Aida in Istanbul. Turkey

11. What do you suggest cultural and foreign relations committee should work or improve in order to bridge understanding between East and West?

Of course, its most than necessary that occurs it, otherwise world is going to become a mix of incomplete and inaccurate purposes founded in the past such as per instance one of my favorite projects- the New Silk Route- with the participation of western countries as Italy and Germany.

Culture and Foreign relations are the best opportunity to close intelligent deals where not just the money or invest is the objective, but you can find friends and colleagues that increasing your network very important for the future communication between each other and you don’t feel alone in a world where individual life is hidden under the excuse of virtual life.

12. Lastly, why is studying and preserving culture important?

Culture is the base of healthy relationships and is particularly important in order to know the best way or strategy to make business.

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