Musical event takes note of where ‘Holland meets Hijaz’

Students pose for a group photo with the ambassador, BMG Financial Group CEO, headmaster of Jeddah Prep Grammar School and the organizers.
Updated 13 January 2017
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Musical event takes note of where ‘Holland meets Hijaz’

JEDDAH: Visitors were taken on a musical journey stretching back more than 100 years this week, at an event centered on the Dutch people who lived in the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia.
“From the archives of the past, Holland meets Hijaz” organized by financial services firm BMG Financial Group (organized by BMG Foundation).
The evening took place at the Jeddah Prep and Grammar School (JPGS) on Jan. 10 in the presence of Dutch Ambassador Joost Reintjes.
Amsterdam-based professor Anne Van Oostrum gave a lecture on the old Hijazi music and recordings made by the Dutch envoys to the region many years ago.
The oldest recordings of wedding songs of a female Hijazi choir, other music and poetry were made using Thomas Edison’s wax cylinders, which marked new technology at the time.
Oostrum took the guests back in time to the old days of Hijazi culture and presented vintage photographs and musical clips to bring back authentic songs to the memories of the Saudi audience, and introduce them to others present.
She offered a mesmerizing journey to the 1900s, when the Dutch Arabist Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje was responsible for making what are now known as the oldest recordings of music and speech of the Hijaz. Hurgronje’s perception and appreciation of Arabic music are studied as expressed in his work Mekka (1888-1889) and in his commentary on some songs included in his collection of wax cylinders.
The JPGS and BMG initiative aimed to highlight the cultural aspect and bridge the gap between the East and West.( JPGS is school that hosted the event not an organisation with BMG Foundation).
Basil AlGhalayini the chairman of BMG foundation, wished that people could “put all differences aside and create a peaceful world for all of us and for the generation to enjoy the future.”
Speaking to Arab News, Jonathan Warner, headmaster of JPGS, said the evening had been a success. “I’m really keen to do more of this sort of event, because I’ve always believed (that) a good school should be and can be a cultural focus, and just like the BMG Foundation we have an opportunity to bring Hijazi culture and Saudi Arabian culture to many people of many, many different nationalities and enjoy the experience and learn from each other. That’s what education is all about.”
Mohammed S. Sayed Ahmed, manager of academic affairs at the education-focused Al Kafi Company, was among the attendees who enjoyed the evening. “We heard of this occasion on the history of Hijaz in the 18th and 19th century, so we came here to have an idea (of) what this subject is about, and it is a very interesting subject,” he said.
Oostrum told Arab News that what interested her in Hijazi culture was the poetry and external influence.
“This kind of music is very, very beautiful… here it is very strong and it is a combination of the two, music and language,” she added.
The JPGS students were also actively involved in the event, where some of them wore Saudi and Dutch traditional clothes, played piano, performed the Saudi, Dutch and British anthems, and others recreated famous Dutch paintings, such as “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” “The Milkmaid,” and “Woman Peeling Apples.”


Saudi communications minister receives youngest Saudi female journalist

Updated 19 July 2018
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Saudi communications minister receives youngest Saudi female journalist

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah Al-Sawah stressed the Kingdom's need to discover and support local talent.
He said that the ministry has paid increasing attention to technical talents, which has been represented through the organization of several events, the latest of which was the "Hackathon Digital Machines."
The event was aimed at creating a conducive environment to develop the capabilities of the digital youth and invest in their creative potential to maximize returns.
Al-Sawah noted that the event also aimed at "harnessing their abilities to develop the digital transformation process," calling for intensified and unified efforts in order to invest in Saudi talents for the benefit of the nation.
The minister was speaking during a meeting with Marian Taher Saleh, the youngest Saudi female journalist, alongside with her father.
Al-Sawah praised the role of her family, who have been supporting her from the beginning till she was able to enter the media field, expressing his appreciation for her media achievements.
For his part, Saleh's father expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the minister for his hospitality, appreciation and encouragement for his daughter.