Artists celebrate rule of King Abdullah

Updated 13 May 2014

Artists celebrate rule of King Abdullah

Seventeen Saudi artists have created a mix of artwork, including video documentaries and photographs, to celebrate the nine-year reign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The artwork went on display at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Jeddah on Tuesday. Prince Fahd bin Muqrin, who heads a national environmental education initiative, opened the exhibition.
The artists are Khalid Rashid, Mohammed Asiri, Mehdi Aghili, Saleh Al-Shari, Abidha Al-Faiz, Ashwaq Dali, Hind Naseer, Hana Neto, Mohammed Kahal, Salma Sheikh, Sadiq Ghalib, Wadad Ahmadi, Hisham Punjabi, Ghada Al-Rabih, Dua’a Bender, Ihab Haddad and Jasmine Khayat.
Khayat said it was a privilege to celebrate the anniversary by exhibiting her work. It was the duty of every citizen, who has enjoyed nine years of security, safety and stability, to thank King Abdullah, she said.
Prince Fahd praised the efforts of the artists and organizers and asked Allah to grant the king a long life. He said King Abdullah was like a father to the nation.
His many achievements include the expansion of the Grand Mosque, the train at the holy sites for pilgrims, the Zamzam water project and the Jeddah and Makkah metro train developments.
The king, said Prince Fahd, also created many jobs for Saudis, opened up several universities, developed the economic and industrial cities, created five medical cities and expanded many hospitals.
In addition, King Abdullah started a project to restructure the judiciary, established the national center for inter-cultural and religious dialogue and expanded the overseas scholarship program.
He also issued a decree to create the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said Prince Fahd.

BTS’s agency apologizes over K-Pop band member’s A-bomb shirt

Updated 14 November 2018

BTS’s agency apologizes over K-Pop band member’s A-bomb shirt

SEOUL, South Korea: The agency for K-pop superstars BTS apologized Wednesday for members wearing a T-shirt depicting the explosion of an atomic bomb and a hat with a Nazi emblem.

Japanese TV broadcasters recently canceled planned appearances in that country after images went viral of the musician wearing the shirt. The South Korean band ran into more trouble after news surfaced that another member wore a hat featuring a Nazi symbol in a magazine photo book and band members flew flags with what appeared to be the Nazi swastika during a past concert.

“We would like to again offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who has suffered pain, distress and discomfort due to our shortcomings and oversight in ensuring that these matters receive our most careful attention,” the band’s agency, the Big Hit Entertainment, said in a statement

The T-shirt portrayed an atomic bombing juxtaposed with the celebration of Korea’s 1945 liberation from Japan at the end of the World War II. The United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before Tokyo’s surrender.

Before its division into North and South Korea after the liberation, the Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan from 1910-1945. Many in both Koreas still harbor strong resentment against the Japanese colonial masters. But in South Korea, it’s extremely rare for anyone to publicly celebrate or mock the atomic bombings.

BTS’s agency said the A-bomb shirt’s wearing was “in no way intentional” and that it wasn’t designed to “injure or make light of those affected by the use of atomic weapons.” It said it still apologizes for “failing to take the precautions that could have prevented the wearing of such clothing by our artist.”

Regarding the hat furor, it said all apparel and accessories used for the photo book were provided by a media company involved in its publication. It said the flags in question were aimed at symbolizing South Korea’s restrictively uniform and authoritarian educational systems, not Nazism.

“We will carefully examine and review not only these issues but all activities involving Big Hit and our artists based on a firm understanding of diverse social, historical and cultural considerations to ensure that we never cause any injury, pain or distress to anyone,” the agency statement said.

The seven-member band, which has worldwide following, was the first South Korean artists in May to top the Billboard 200 albums chart with “Love Yourself: Tear.” The band began its Japan tour earlier this week.

South Korean K-pop and movie stars are extremely popular in Japan and other Asian countries.