Children fight stigma through art on World Autism Day

Updated 01 May 2013
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Children fight stigma through art on World Autism Day

World Autism Day was marked with artwork by autistic children at the Arabian Wings Gallery on Monday. The exhibition was organized by the Saudi Autism Society and Arabian Wings with the aim of spreading awareness on autism while at the same time bringing autistic children to the forefront of society to eradicate stigmas associated with the disability.
A number of guests and prominent personalities, including Saud A. Al-Sheikhi, general manager at the Ministry of Culture and Information's Makkah Branch, Ali Nazar, a famous Saudi artist and Faisal Laban, a folk singer, visited the exhibition.
The artists not only supported the cause but also put their paintings up for sale to help the charity.
“The paintings done by children and painters are both on sale and whatever money will be made will go towards helping autistic children. This is our main mission; it is our social responsibility towards our nation, country and society,” said Najla Felemban, founder of Arabian Wings.
Almost 30 pieces of artwork by children themselves were on display. The organizer from the charitable organization said that they did it to let the children feel normal and give them a chance to come close to normal children and society.
“Under the patronage of Hala Al-Talhi and Sama Al-Sayed, the Saudi Autism Society organized a workshop for children, where they made their paintings themselves and participated, marking a difference in World Autism Day, which was an excellent idea,” Felemban added.
Badar Mohammed Abdu also said that he is very honored to participate in this exhibition. He also emphasized on the awareness of autism and helping children and parents who are suffering with this problem.
“Such awareness and initiatives are the responsibility of all Saudi youth and others, as it is our social responsibility towards our nation and country,” said Badar Mohammed Abdu, son of prominent Saudi singer Mohammed Abdu.
The mission of Arabian Wings is to provide an artistic environment fostering determination, encouraging artists, developing the different fields of fine arts and fostering concentration and integration amongst artists, investors and society at large, added Felmeban.
“Arabian Wings is planning to participate in this day every year as part of their social responsibility,” she added.


Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

Saudi Arabia is expected to become a significant box office market. (AFP)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

  • Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion)

DUBAI: The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by 2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Saudi Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
Within months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50 to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
Shortly after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint combined.
In July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within five years.
VOX, which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five years.
“Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
He said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest” in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30. “The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and enthusiastic about cinema.”
Will Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter of time.