King Salman receives grand red-carpet welcome on arrival in Malaysia

King Salman holds talks with Sultan Mohammed V, king of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2017
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King Salman receives grand red-carpet welcome on arrival in Malaysia

RIYADH: King Salman was accorded a red carpet welcome at the Parliament Square in the Malaysian capital on Sunday at the start of his four-day state visit to Malaysia.

Later the king was conferred the top Malaysian honor of Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara by Sultan Muhammad V, the king of Malaysia, at a banquet dinner hosted for King Salman and his entourage.
On arrival at the Parliament Square in central Kuala Lumpur, Sultan Muhammad V greeted King Salman together with Prime Minister Najib Razak, his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and members of the Malaysian cabinet. The welcoming ceremony began with the rendition of the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, followed by a 21-gun salute.
The king inspected the honor guard. Najib earlier welcomed the King at the Bunga Raya Complex of the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang. After landing at the airport, King Salman was joined by Najib for the 45-minute car ride to the hilltop Parliament Square in central Kuala Lumpur for the official welcoming ceremony. King Salman, later on Sunday night, attended a state banquet at Istana Negara (National Palace), which was hosted by the Malaysian king.
The event was marked by the conferment of the top state award on King Salman, said a report published by SPA. The Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara, which is a top Malaysian award given to high-ranking officials for their efforts in promoting friendship and understanding or for advocating noble causes, comprises a collar, a star and a badge. The late King Khalid was also presented this award in 1982.
Speaking during the banquet, King Salman extended greetings and thanks to Malaysian leaders for their hospitality.
“I would like to express appreciation of the government and people of Malaysia for warm welcome and generous hospitality,” the king said. “We are happy about the high level of relations and cooperation between our two countries in all fields as well as our efforts directed to upgrade and enhance them in all fields to serve our joint interests.”
He added: “We confirm that the Kingdom stands with all its might behind the Islamic causes in general and we are fully ready for assistance and cooperation with Malaysia on issues faced by Muslims.”
On Monday, King Salman is scheduled to have a working session with the Malaysian premier during which the king will witness the signing of several agreements.
Later, King Salman is expected to visit University of Malaya, where he will be conferred an honorary doctorate. The king’s itinerary also features receiving an honorary degree from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. The International Islamic University will confer the honorary degree as well as a lifetime outstanding achievement award on King Salman.
Other highlights of the visit are the convening of the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia Business Forum, a get-together with muftis and a meeting of Saudi and Malaysian students sponsored by the Kingdom.


Jeddah Season displays city’s rich heritage

Updated 5 min 59 sec ago
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Jeddah Season displays city’s rich heritage

  • Al-Balad district plays host to some of the festival’s activities enchanting visitors

JEDDAH: Jeddah’s Al-Balad district has been hosting Jeddah Season since the start of June, enchanting visitors with its journey into the rich heritage, art and culture of the city. The season continues to entertain visitors with exceptional performances, exhibitions and workshops that demonstrate the evolution of the city.

In July, the season brought together a lineup of musicals, street art, athletics, comedy shows and local dance performances, all accompanied by a wide range of retail options and a remarkable choice of cuisine.

Some of the new attractions are bound to keep visitors highly entertained. A new immersive theater will lure visitors into the artistic realm of fantasy and mystery, while the recent charitable auction inspired guests to contribute to worthwhile causes.

Bait Al-Dahaleezi — immersive theater

Visitors have the chance to test their courage and wits in an immersive theater experience called Bait Al-Dahaleezi. Inspired by Al-Balad folklore, this exclusive theater is an original work being supervised by Sidra Events Management, produced by the Jeddah Season team and directed by Todd Albert Nims, a Saudi-born American director who is passionate about cinema and entertainment in the Gulf region.

Taking place in the 200-year-old five-story family home of the Al-Jamjoom family, the play transforms the very concept of theater and creates a world of wonder and mystery.

Nims said: “I’m extremely proud to be involved in this new wave of immersive theater, where there’s an opportunity to boost the creative sector in Saudi Arabia. In line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, it’s an honor to be part of a great initiative, promoting local talent to the world. The immersive theater is a great platform to showcase the history, culture and local folklore of Al-Balad.”

He added: “I believe theater is the best form of expression. When a group of creative minds come together to present the rich heritage of the Kingdom and Arab lifestyles, it creates waves across the globe.”

The theater’s storyline has been developed in conjunction with Al-Balad historian and well-known writer Dr. Lamia Baishen, accompanied by local interior designer Nawaf Al-Nassar. Bait Al-Dahaleezi is also supported by acting coach Dr. Qassim Al-Gudah and costume designs by Arwa Abdulati.

Commenting on his collaboration, Al-Nassar said: “Bait Al-Dahaleezi is a stepping stone for local artists to showcase their talent and skills to a wide audience. This is the beginning of a new era in the field of theater, arts and entertainment in Saudi Arabia. I’m honored to be a part of such a group where creative minds and people work together cohesively to produce spectacular work.”

Visitors are encouraged to play the role of guests at the abandoned house, allowing their curiosity to guide them while trying to unravel its mystery. Guests have to wear masks as part of the play. These masks are made locally by Saudi artists, and the visitors get to keep them after the performance as souvenirs.

Thrust into a world of action and drama, the audience can relive their childhood as their favorite tales from the past are brought to life. The entire atmosphere is filled with a colorful cast of characters who will frighten and delight you simultaneously.

Christie’s auction

The Kingdom hosted Christie’s, a world-renowned auction house, at the Jeddah Season for Saudi Arabia’s first international art auction. Christie’s presented the “Art for Al-Balad” auction in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Hafez Gallery.

Celebrated artists from across the Arab region graciously donated beautiful pieces of art to raise funds for a heritage museum to preserve the culture of Al-Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Proceeds from the auction also went toward the Help Center, a Jeddah-based children’s school that assists pupils with special needs. The auction raised an impressive SR4.8 million ($1.3 million) for both causes.

The auction demonstrated the Kingdom’s artistic talents to the Arab world. These events provide artists with a platform to showcase their works to a global audience whilst supporting international exchange and cultural understanding, as well as elevating art within Saudi Arabia.

The season offers a summer experience like never before. Located in Al-Balad until July 18, event details can be found at https://www.livehjseason.com.