Sri Lankan student wins award

Updated 11 June 2014
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Sri Lankan student wins award

The Saudi Arabian Toastmasters Annual Conference (SATAC) 2014 was held in Riyadh recently. The event also featured the Gaveliers’ International Speech Contest in which Adnan Niyas, a 10th grader at Jeddah’s Sri Lankan International School bagged the first prize.
“The main objective of including a Gaveliers’ competition at SATAC 2014 was to enhance and promote the public speaking talents of youngsters for school gavel clubs,” said Mohan Kumar, a toastmaster and a member of SATAC.
“It was a fantastic presentation,” said Kumar, commenting on Adnan’s achievement. “Starting from club level, he managed to pass through division level and successfully reached district level-which is the final stage in the Kingdom and I congratulate him on his success.”
“SATAC 2014 has been nothing short of an opportune canvas to the public speaking artistry of Gaveliers; one that I am passionate about,” said Adnan. “It is an accomplishment that has been the harvest of persistent effort through guidance and support from the management of SLISJ along with my family and friends. It has been my utmost pride to represent such a passionate community.”
Adnan extended his gratitude to the officials of District 79 for making such an event possible. “I owe special thanks to Toastmasters Lakshman Sockalingam, Mohamed Fawzi and Sri Lankan School Chairman Mohammed Ilyas for their inspirational mentoring.”
He said that the convention has opened up doors for networking, allowing him to learn invaluable lessons from great minds, noting that every contestant had delivered a downright dynamic oration, leaving the judges in a challenging predicament. “Rising as champion from such a tense battle was truly electrifying,” he said.


Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Updated 58 min 58 sec ago
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Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attending the annual event.
The delegation was headed by Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who posted a selfie with Putin on his Twitter account.
“We responded to the invitation from our friends in Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg cultural forum, and it was an opportunity to meet with officials to promote cultural cooperation,” the post said.


The forum, which ran from Nov. 15-17, was held under the theme “Culture as a Strategic Potential of the Country,” was attended by visitors from 101 countries.
Opening the forum, the Russian president expressed hope that the event would develop fruitful dialogue between society and the state.
Putin said the forum gives others a chance to get to know Russia more closely, stressed that “what distinguishes his country is the diversity of languages and traditions.”
During the visit the Saudi minister held talks with the Russian president on the sidelines of the event.
He also met his Italian counterpart, Alberto Bonisoli, on the sidelines of the forum to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the two countries and means of enhancing Saudi-Italian cultural relations.
“I was delighted to meet with the Italian Minister of Culture and we have many opportunities for a future of strong cooperation between the two countries,” Prince Badr tweeted.

Bonisoli said that culture is “a means of communication” for politics, even when serious international crises occur.
“If there are problems between two or more countries, according to their positions, culture is still a way to convey the messages of partnerships, communities, politicians, and sometimes to promote fundamental values,” he added.
The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum annually attracts thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world.
Stars of theater, opera and ballet, renowned directors and musicians, public figures, representatives of and academic communities, all attend the event.
The year’s program includes 14 pavilions, including museums, circuses, theaters, cinema, literature, tourism, folklore and popular culture.