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Janadriyah fest celebrates symbols of Saudi identity

King Salman claps while watching the camel race at Janadriyah festival. Right: A view of a camel race during the gala. (SPA)

RIYADH: The National Heritage and Culture Festival, named after the village Janadriyah, showcases the heritage of the Kingdom including camel shows, horse-racing, sword dancing, poetry and music as well as crafts such as carpet-weaving, pottery, regional costumes and cuisine.
The Janadriyah jamboree formally got under way on Feb. 1 this year.
The festival, organized by the Ministry of National Guard, was inaugurated by King Salman.
Traditional activities, including camel racing, arts and crafts exhibits as well as poetry recitation will be the highlights of the 17-day-long festival. It will also feature a miniature replica of Saudi Arabia’s various ministries and other government agencies.
The festival is considered a national occasion where it blends history and the current era to spell out the Arab-Islamic identity and consolidate the various aspects of national heritage to preserve them for future generations. The patronage of King Salman to this 31st session of Janadriyah festival affirms the enormous care given by the Saudi leadership in linking the contemporary cultural component to the Kingdom’s history.
As per the tradition, Janadriyah hosts a foreign country as guest country every year.
The Janadriyah Festival used to host a friendly or sisterly country as a guest of honor to present its culture, material and civilized products to the festival’s visitors.
In the last 30 years, the festival hosted a number of countries including Turkey, Russia, France, Japan, South Korea, the People’s Republic of China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany. In its current session, Egypt is the guest of honor.
The Janadriyah festival had also honored a cultural figure every year at the national level. During the past sessions, the festival honored some 21. This year, the Festival will honor Dr. Ahmed bin Mohamed Ali, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Shibaili and Safiyyah bint Zaqr.
To cope with current issues, the festival touches more sensitive topics and symposia such as “post-oil development,” “the Arab World and the new political changes,” “Media responsibility to boost our cultural identity,” “the concept of Shoura in Islam,” “Islam and the West, the historical roots,” “the Saudi experience in serving Islam,” “Arab-Arab dialogue” and “Islamic-Islamic dialogue.”
The festival also addresses topics of political and social dimensions such as “extremism … reasons and remedy,” “Arab TV channels between criticism and assessment,” “moderateness of Islam,” “King Abdullah’s vision on dialogue, peace and acceptance of others,” “the West and Islamophobia” and “King Salman … decisions and achievements.”
Meanwhile, the current session will explore regional and international issues related to cultural, political and economic topics.
Local experts will deliver lectures on the future of the Kingdom in terms of culture and economy in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 while other symposia will deal with regional issues such as “threats to the regional Arab system,” “ideology in the political landscape of the Arab World,” and “contemporary Arab novels and ideology.”

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