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Meeting Rimini, ‘the courage to say I’ from Pope and Mattarella to over 80,000 visitors


“The courage to say: I”, the slogan chosen for this 42nd edition of the Rimini Meeting, which started with the message of Pope Francis and with the inaugural intervention of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on video link from the Quirinale, reached at least 250,000 people who attended, in presence or in streaming, the conferences organized at 360 degrees on practically all human knowledge, from national and international politics to economics and finance, from culture to sport, from religious to scientific and to technological progress. Over 80,000 visitors, all with green passes, once again crossed the doors of the Rimini Fair, where the event was organized which saw 1,700 volunteers at work, after the last edition almost exclusively ‘remotely’ due to the pandemic for Covid. While the title of the next edition of the Meeting for friendship among peoples has already been chosen, it will always be held at the Rimini Fair from 20 to 25 August 2022, in the sign of the centenary of the birth of Fr Alberto Giussani: ‘A passion for the man’. As per tradition, the political presence was of the highest level: from party leaders Enrico Letta, Matteo Salvini, Giorgia Meloni, Giuseppe Conte, Antonio Tajani, Ettore Rosato to the ministers Luigi Di Maio, Roberto Speranza, Andrea Orlando, Giancarlo Giorgetti, Enrico Giovannini, Patrizio Bianchi, Vittorio Colao, Mariastella Gelmini, Elena Bonetti, Massimo Garavaglia; from the president of the European Parliament David Sassoli to the economic commissioner of the European Union Paolo Gentiloni. The presences linked to the economic world are noteworthy, from the president of Confindustria Carlo Bonomi to the general secretary of the CISL Luigi Sbarra. And to the ecclesiastical one, with Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti president of the CEI and the archbishop of Bologna Matteo Maria Zuppi. There is also a large group of writers and intellectuals: Edith Bruck, Elisa Fuksas, Susanna Tamaro, Eraldo Affinati, Carmen Pellegrino, Gian Mario Villalta, Andrea Benanti, Pupi Avati, Fabio Volo, Luca Doninelli, Alessandro Baricco, Sergio Givone, Jean-Paul Fitoussi were among the protagonists of the world of culture who brought their testimonies to the Meeting through video interviews or direct interventions. “We opened the horizon of a possible and sustainable restart, encouraging an assumption of personal responsibility in the face of the challenges of our time – the organizers underline – The title ‘The courage to say’ I ‘has prompted reflection on the initiative of the individual as the origin of a more supportive sociality and the urgency of existential questions as a source of truer relationships and more open dialogues to mutual enrichment. The invitation of the Holy Father to dialogue and witness was accepted with gratitude, and in the debates it was re took the call of the President of the Republic to the link between freedom and responsibility for the common good pronounced during the inaugural event “. The tragedy of Afghanistan was the focus of numerous meetings,” highlighting how freedom and democracy are anything but that you take for granted and that their defense depends on the one hand on the education and civil courage of a people and on the other on a geopolitical context capable of containing the most violent threats while respecting cultural and religious identities “. Over 70 total meetings, broadcast in digital and television form, also with direct translation in English and Spanish and with about twenty countries connected to the Rimini Meeting.The exhibition that recorded the greatest success was the one entitled ‘Living without fear in the age of uncertainty ‘whose main theme was the dialogue between the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, the Anglican theologian Rowan Williams and the president of Communion and Liberation, the Spaniard Julian Carron. In a multimedia journey, the exhibition presents various aspects of postmodern culture, “making it clear that secularization is a vocation, an invitation, an opportunity for Christians to rediscover and grow the experience of an authentic faith”. highlighted the relevance of Pasolini’s work; the impact of TV series on personal and social life; the virtuous examples of women who had the courage to create a job and friendship in the midst of a thousand difficulties. There was no lack of moments dedicated to the show. The ‘Meeting Music Contest’ with the finale at the Lido Arena in Rimini saw the participation of 137 young musicians and bands. Important evening shows were presented in the squares of the historic center of Rimini, including the inaugural concert with Maestro Uto Ughi and theatrical performances with Marco Martinelli dedicated to the figure of Dante. (By Enzo Bonaiuto)


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