Senior Consultants

Pietro Ugolini

Urban Planning

“A Cultural and artistic bridge between two realities that have made history; the Discovery of that common denominator which, under different environmental conditions has been able to forge the will and direct the intelligence for a fruitful cultural and social development of their respective realities. Italy has specific historical, cultural and artistic affinities with the Arab world, through exchange and reinterpretation of culture and traditions of both worlds.”

He has taught in nine different sectors of urban planning in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Genoa and teaching in five different engineering degree courses (civil, environmental and construction) at the Faculty of Architecture of the Milan Polytechnic over a seven year period.

For seven years he also directed CRUIE (Research Centre for Urban Planning, Infrastructures and Ecology) – an organization uniting 40 lecturers with different kinds of specialist expertise – and of which he is still coordinator.

He has participated in many European Union projects and has run or coordinated seventeen of these. He has been a member of other research bodies such as the University Research Centers on transport, (CIRT) and the environment (CIMA). Member of the Faculty Board for research doctorate courses in Genova and Brescia, he has acted as Tutor for numerous doctoral thesis.

He is a member of many commissions and speaks at many national and international conferences. Author of more than 110 publications, he is consultant to organizations like Confindustria at national level and many other official bodies in the Region of Liguria, both as an advisor and coordinator. He has supervised 9 projects dedicated to the recovery and improvement of historical centers and urban peripheries as well as the relocation of productive activities and preventive diagnosis and renovation of historical buildings using renewable energy.

In University conventions and territorial bodies he has done feasibility studies dedicated to infrastructures and logistics in the field of urban sustainability.

He is president of the Liguria Section of the AITT (Association of Engineering for Traffic and Transport) and member of the Italian Association of Urban Planners. He has also been CTU (Technical Consultant) to the Court of Genoa.

Pietro Ugolini

Riad Ismat

Writer and Theater Director

“Heritage does not belong to the past; it addresses the future, as it inspires the new generations to maintain their identity and be proud of it.
Only arts can revive heritage in a modern, impressive and appealing way, to reach diverse civilizations, transcending the solid walls of museums to penetrate the human souls in our universe.”

Former Syrian minister of culture, Raid Ismat has also served as ambassador, general director of the State Radio & TV and director of the Academy of Dramatic Arts.
He is a visiting scholar at Buffett Institute, visiting lecturer at Northwestern University’s School of Communication and former professor at North Central College, Naperville. He is an acclaimed, award winning playwright and critic in the Arab World, with 12 plays, 7 televisions series, 6 story collections and 17 books of criticism on arts and literature to his credit. He graduated in English literature at Damascus University and the University of Cardiff in Wales; then became a Fulbright Fellow and was awarded a doctorate in Theater Arts. On his return to his homeland, Ismat directed extensively for the Damascus National Theater and the Syrian Academy of Dramatic Arts. His criticism books on MENA studies include a book on the Nobel laureate Nagib Mahfouz. Throughout his career, Ismat has emphasized bridging the gap between cultures, drawing from Arab heritage with a modern experimental approach, advocating humanitarian values of democracy, liberalism and human rights, while condemning the totalitarianism that represses the freedom of expression.

Riad Ismat

Francesco Ernani

Cultural Administration

“Working intensely for many years in arts institutions where capacities, skills and professional training are fundamental has confirmed the belief I held as a young man: that the cultural, and more specifically the artistic aspects of different peoples constitute real resources, especially when they are accompanied by creativity based on passionate study and constant and generous hard labour. Art and culture are a true bridge between the different geographical areas of our world, a kind of universal and symbolic language that can bring together even distant peoples. I am therefore convinced that the link between culture and research, in the way that C.R.C.World wants to develop them, can generate very concrete communications between rich human civilisations. It is an effective way of meeting and sharing that will open paths leading towards real education and cultural training, especially for the up-and-coming generations”.

He has been General Manager of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence, Rome Opera, Arena of Verona, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo, and Secretary General of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He has been president of Association of Italian Opera Houses and Eurolyrica in Liège in Belgium; vice president of OperaEuropa Association and of the Regional Union of the Italian General Association of Performing Arts (Agis) as well as board member of the National Association of Opera and Symphonic Foundations (Anfols). He has written many publications in the field of administrative and musical organization, and given conferences and lectures in universities, receiving many honours including the title of Grand Officer of Merit of the Italian Republic. His many international awards include such prestigious accolades as “First Degree of the Order of Independence” of Kingdom of Jordan, the “Golden Keys” of the City of Osaka in Japan and the “Commendation of the Government of the Ukraine” for his contribution in the field of cultural cooperation. He has sat on many committees of honour and scientific committees of international bodies such as Elysium-Between Two Continents in New York, the Association for the Economy of Culture, the Marforio Gold Award, the Scientific and Cultural Committee of the Puccini Festival Foundation, the Rome Baroque Festival and the Wanda Osiris Centenary Committee.

Francesco Ernani

Vivien Hewitt

Writer and Opera Director

“Music, dance and storytelling are the universal common denominators of all advanced civilisations: sharing there riches opens the door to understanding on a broader basis. CRC World’s project offers a concrete and unique opportunity for artists and researchers not just to save heritage, but to regenerate it and project it into the future, using it as a powerful instrument for bridging the gap between different cultural backgrounds.”

Vivien is an opera director and costume designer who has collaborated with prestigious international theaters and festivals such as the Puccini Festival, Tokyo Bunka Kai Kan, Seoul Arts Center, National Opera of Beijing, Pearl Opera House in Guanzhou and the Damascus Opera House. She has extensive experience as a performance and production tutor with the Puccini Festival Academy, the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and the European Academy of Florence. With a strong research background, she is author of the books “The Land of Puccini”, “The Theatres of Leghorn 1782-1848” and “Caruso, Puccini and the hunchback match-seller” as well as several docudramas, screenplays and numerous essays about musical theatre.

Vivien Hewitt

Expert Collaborators

Daniele P. De Plano

Film, Television, Stage and Artistic Director

“In such a delicate moment for world peace, I believe that an ambitious project like the one carried out by C.R.C. World could be essential in restoring a fundamental criterion for cooperation among peoples: cultural exchange. Understanding diversity allows peoples to live in harmony and enjoy each other, the wonders they have created, the art they have cultivated and the passion that has led them to be unique in their journey into beauty. Making Culture means to creating beauty and coming into contact with other cultures also means to knowing an even greater beauty. That’s why I believe that civilization cannot neglect this awareness if it wants at least try to find the path towards happiness.”

He began his career as a director , directing much of international Opera repertory in Italian theaters and in the rest of the world. He’s Professor of Literary and collaborates with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Academy, forming the students of Maggio Formazione; He works as Artistic Director at the Puccini Festival Foundation and, with the same role, for Europa Cinema, taking care of the thirtieth edition. He directed several short films including “Il regalo di Natale” that wins more than twenty awards, included the Nastro d’Argento and a nomination at David di Donatello Award. He makes a movie titled “Ristabbanna” representing Italy at the International Film Festival at Shanghai in 2011 and wins, in the same year the Rome Independent Film Festival (RIFF). He works closely with the Italian public television (RAI), and he directs many episodes, around forty, of “Prima della Prima” (Rai Rai 3 and 5), program devoted to telling the Opera world. Also gives its contribute at “ La Musica di RAI-3”, at “Genialità Italiana” (Rai5 the Italian history through its most important composers of opera) and at “Lezioni di Suono,” ( Rai5- four specials entitled to the great composer Salvatore Sciarrino).

Daniele De Plano

Nabil Al Lao

Expert of Literature

“Through research you can discover new worlds. Studies around the world have proven that music is a fundamental element in any type of research because it is our universal language and it can help us to open up new cultural channels between Europe and the Arab world.”

PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Lyon, he has had many important positions in his career; a full professor at Damascus University, executive board member for the Research and Scientific Studies Center in Damascus and also at the Arabic Music group in Cairo, he is an honorary member of the National Arabic Music Meeting, President of the Al Rashid International University of Science and Technology, general manager of the Music Conservatory and general director Damascus Opera House in Damascus, he has published two books and more than 60 research papers on Arab and classical music.

Nabil Al Lao

Marcello Lippi

Artistic Director, Baritone and Writer

“The earth is populated by men with the same rights and the same dignity and art is the bridge that connects them in spiritual brotherhood.”

Marcello is artistic director of the Fondazione Teatro Verdi in Pisa and he has served as artistic director and general manager of the Teatro Sociale in Rovigo. He graduated from the Niccolò Paganini Conservatoire and graduated in Modern Literature at the University of Genoa.
In his early years he began a highly successful career as baritone and he has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious theaters. He has also written many publications in the fields of music, literature and the theatre.

Marcello Lippi

Nasser Ibrahim

Choreographer and Director

“Communicating with other people requires a comprehensible language – a language that needs to be carefully sought out, created and developed so as to connect cultures and minds. The fusion of culture, research and communication is an ideal solution for making understanding productive and sustainable.”

Nasser is one of the most famous choreographers in the Arab World; in over 30 years of artistic carrier he has created many performances and Arab operettas, 40 dance shows and over 2000 choreographies for around 30 major TV channels. In 1993, he founded “Ornina Arts-Events” a Company that created and produced shows all over the Arab World.

Nasser Ibrahim

Paolo La Spisa

Expert of Literature

“C.R.C. World is a high quality project. It aims at creating synergies between Mediterranean, Gulf and European cultures, making them capable of breaking down old and new psychological and political barriers. The current economic situation, political and social crisis could aggravate the ambiguities present in communications and social understanding causing a dangerous gap. Islam and Christianity have always been known for dialogue and coexistence, but also for moments of strong contrasts, capable of sparking wars and conflicts. Even today, international terrorism in its propaganda language adopts ancient labels and stereotypes that do nothing but stir up an old phenomenon now known as the “clash of civilizations. Migration flows, ever increasingly from the South to the North of the world, requiring political and cultural choices that national and supranational institutions in the developed world are still slow to adopt.

In this increasingly dramatic picture, accentuated by the crisis of the Arab countries, the C.R.C. World project fills a cultural void. The bridge between Italo-Arab cultures is the only road to go down if we want to get out of this deadlock. The project will find many solutions: in addition to cultural products such as books, music CDs and artistic events, there will be organized exchanges and twinning between schools and universities (ERASMUS MUNDUS), ensembles of artists from mixed nationalities, and all those artistic initiatives that culturally favor direct and prolonged contact between Italian citizens and citizens of Arab countries, within an institutional framework which ensures the right methods.”

Paolo La Spisa

Salim Dada

Musicologist and Composer

“The tasks of the political and diplomatic channels aimed at the development of ties and knowledge among peoples could fail, while the bridges of brotherhood and love are guaranteed through culture, art and science. From them you can extract the richness of human diversity.”

Salim is an Algerian music researcher and composer who graduated from the Higher National Institute of Music in Algiers and received his master’s degree from the Turin Conservatoire. His research on the evolution of Eastern music and orchestral polyphony earned him a Masters from the Sorbonne. Currently, he is a PHD research student in musicology at the “Institut de Recherche en Musicologie” at the Sorbonne, where he is preparing a thesis on “Al-Adhân: the call to prayer in Islam”.

He has directed groups producing Arab-Andalusian music and became the first composer in residence of the National Symphony Orchestra of Algeria. He is the composer in residence of the ‘Divertimento’ Symphonic Orchestra based in Paris. A member of SACEM (Association for Music Composers and Researchers), he has created over 80 works, has won several awards and has been performed in countries over the world. He has collaborated with various different orchestras.

Salim Dada

Alessandro Braghieri

Architect

“The landscape and its architecture are the stage on which individuals and enter peoples play out their lives, in a continuous mutual exchange, throughout time and space. The cultural and physical environment are therefore closely connected, each contributes to “form” the other. Intangible heritage grows up and evolves within tangible heritage; the latter is transformed day by day by the former, in a continuum that is called “history”. The “genius loci” – or spirit of a place – is a synthesis of physical and cultural location. No art can exist without a physical and cultural location that generates and embraces it and that is first permeated by it and then shaped by it. C.R.C. World’s illuminated project of cannot but take this fact into consideration.”

Alessandro works in the field of architectural design, restoration of monuments and urban planning – a discipline in which he obtained his PhD at the University of Brescia – and which he teaches like an adjunct professor at the Polytechnic School of the University of Genoa. He has also taught architectural restoration and museum and stage design at the same University. He has written several publications on urban planning and architectural restoration and participates actively at conferences with lectures and publications, in the debate on the design of religious buildings in the modern city, the subject on which he received his Master’s Degree at the University of Bologna.

Alessandro Braghieri

Onofrio Claudio Gallina

Music System Development

“Even though we live in a confusing world and in the grip of false values, music can and should be the key to bringing people and cultures together.
It is certainly not the solution to the problems that plague the world, but because it is a language that affects the sensitivity of every human being – irrespective of color or the language they speak – it makes us all closer.”

Pianist and conductor, award winner at national and international competitions, he has performed in many Italian and European theatres. He has worked as assistant to conductor Marco Balderi, with whom he improved his knowledge of the Italian Belcanto repertoire, the founder of the Company “L’ Opera in Piccolo”.
He has performed in over 25 operas ranging from Italian Belcanto to temporary music. He was a regular member of the juries in many international singing and piano competitions. He has been artistic director of the Fondazione Teatro Luigi Pirandello – Teatro Valle dei Templi. Today he is the assistant director of the Conservatory of Agrigento in Sicily and founder of Orchestra Filarmonica Città di Agrigento.

Onofrio Claudio Gallina

Giuseppe Francese

Orchestral System Development

“I trust only in one hope for humanity: the cultural wealth of peoples and their integration with each other.”

Giuseppe has developed an intense artistic and educational activity collaborating with prestigious foundations, opera houses and orchestras including the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Macao Orchestra, Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrucken, the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari and the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma.
He earned his Master’s degree in Administrative Law from UNICAM University in Camerino with a thesis dedicated to “Opera and Symphonic Foundations”. He has extensive experience of EU tendering.

Giuseppe Francese

Alessio Merlo

Informatics Research

“The development of a cultural bridge between Europe and the Arab world is the key to open the doors of brotherhood.”

Alessio Merlo, (B.Sc. in Computer Science (2003), M.Sc. in Computer Science (2005), PhD in Computer Science (2010)) is an Assistant Professor at DIBRIS, University of Genoa, where he works on Information Security and Operating Systems.
In 2012 he contributed to the discovery of some dangerous vulnerabilities in the Android OS, while in 2013 he took part in a research group aimed at analying the security of GSM and UMTS protocols. This joint effort had lead to the discovery of a critical vulnerability in both these protocols.
His research interests are focused on the study of security issues in mobile, web and distribution systems, as well as on the security analysis of ICT systems and the definition of new security solutions for emerging computational paradigms (e.g., Cloud Computing, Fog Computing).

Alessio Merlo

Flavia De Camillis

Translation studies

“Some people say languages are just codes. At the end, what difference is there between letters, numbers, notes, movements and colors if a human being limits himself to transmitting them? Translators, programmers and mathematicians just like musicians, dancers and painters are therefore mere interpreters of a language. Maybe in 30 years they could be all replaced by machines. Or maybe not. Perhaps all the languages in the world and all those professionals exist in order to demonstrate that a code is nothing more than the basis of communication, its starting point. With a code you don’t transmit: you create. For this reason all those professionals and many more have a duty, not just a right, to keep on creating new life.”

Flavia graduated in Translation Studies and took her upper degree at the University of Bologna (Italian, Spanish, and German) and took her and collaborates as translator and terminologist with the Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism of the EURAC Research Centre in Bolzano/Bozen, Italy in a team of international researchers who have been working since 1992 on the standardisation of legal terminology in this bilingual area.

Flavia De Camillis

Junior Collaborators

Marta Cicu

Artistic Coordinator

“We aim at creating a meeting place for sharing and valorising the intangible cultural traditions of European and Arab society, and look forward to creating opportunities for ensuring that the peoples of the Mediterranean can rediscover each other, highlighting their respective artistic and historical baggage.
Art reflects the natural voice of any society and reveals itself a powerful and effective means of communication and freedom of expression: this becomes an emotional channel that lends itself to an exchange that favours complicity and unity.”

Marta is a ballet teacher at Choreutics Italian High School and has a master’s degree in Dance Education from National Academy of Dance, in Rome, and a bachelor’s degree in Italian and Modern Literature from Sassari University.

Marta Cicu

Mirna Kassis

Cultural Promotion Manager

“We live in a society where communication represents the future, where the exchange of experiences is one of the most important concepts for all international cultural projects. The creation of an artistic bridge between Europe and the Arab World and the definition of objectives to pursue such as the enhancement of our mutual societies is an integral objective of our projects; we believe in a future for traditions rediscovered and brought to light through innovation and the new technologies nowadays available.”

Mirna is an operatic mezzosoprano and oriental singer; she is studying for her master’s degree at the Niccolò Paganini Music Conservatoire in Genoa and has a bachelor’s degree from Higher Institute of Music in Damascus.

Mirna Kassis

Salah Namek

Music Services – Executive

“Music has great power: it takes you back at the very moment that it takes you forward, so you feel, at the same time, both nostalgia and hope. Music, with its constant sound, is capable of transforming monotony into harmony. Wisdom is knowing how to live with difference without decreasing diversity.”

Salah is a classical and oriental cellist. He graduated from the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus and is preparing his master’s degree at the Niccolò Paganini Music Conservatoire in Genoa.

Salah Namek

Ilham Ksebi

Management consulting

“I firmly believe that bridging the gap between Europe and the Arab World has become a real necessity. Through this cultural channel people will not only be able to communicate, but they will also have joint access to communicative languages that are both up-to-date and original.”

Ilham is currently a PhD student in Economic Studies at Genoa University. She had a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, and a Bachelors in Economics from Damascus University (Core Subjects: Economics, Finance, Accounting & Statistics).

Ilham Ksebi