Atareek festival ends, having witnessed 500,000 visitors

The aim of the festival is to strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a source of Arab and Islamic culture, literature, history and heritage. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 10 April 2017
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Atareek festival ends, having witnessed 500,000 visitors

JEDDAH: The fourth edition of the 10-day Jeddah Heritage festival Atareek concluded on Saturday; it witnessed more than 500,000 visitors.
The festival included a group of international shows and about 65 events combining entertainment with the old traditions of Jeddah.
The panoramic dome where visitors watched a surround-system 7-minute show on the history of the city was very popular with the public.
The word “Atareek” literally translates as a “lantern” used to illuminate streets, houses and alleys.
This Hijazi term is also used to refer to Old Jeddah.
As the festival coincided with the spring holiday, people from all over the Kingdom and neighboring countries poured into Jeddah, the “Bride of the Red Sea” as the locals call it.
Historic mosques and old markets, or souks, offered a variety of commodities that cannot be found elsewhere.
The aim of the festival is to strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a source of Arab and Islamic culture, literature, history and heritage, and to contribute to linking the past to the present.
It also aims to highlight the historical region of Jeddah and introduce the visitors to its monuments and historical heritage, to develop a culture that preserves and revive the customs and traditions of its people, in addition to making it a tourist destination for families and visitors to the city.
The festival’s first edition started in the spring of 2014. It is considered the first Saudi festival to attract over 3 million visitors in its third edition.
According to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), Old Jeddah dates back to the era before Islam.
The turning point in its history came during the reign of Caliph Uthman bin Affan, in 647CE, who ordered Jeddah to be the sea port of holy city of Makkah in order to facilitate regional commerce as well as to receive Haj and Umrah pilgrims.


Al-Jubeir:  Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, said Saudi Arabia's foreign minister. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2018
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Al-Jubeir:  Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

  • Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, says Saudi FM
  • Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday. 

“Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, and the solution should lead to the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen,” said Adel Al-Jubeir.

“We support a peaceful solution in Yemen. We support the efforts of the UN envoy for the Yemeni cause,” he added.

“We are committed to providing all humanitarian support to our brothers there. We are also working on the post-war reconstruction of Yemen.” The Kingdom supports the envoy’s efforts to hold negotiations at the end of November, added Al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict, he said.

In contrast, Houthi militias are imposing restrictions on Yemeni cities and villages, leading to starvation, he added. 

They are also seizing humanitarian aid and preventing Yemenis from getting cholera vaccinations, Al-Jubeir said. 

The Houthis fire ballistic missiles indiscriminately at Saudi Arabia, use children as fighters and plant mines across Yemen, he added. 

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, he said.

Saudi Arabia did not want the conflict in Yemen; it was imposed on the Kingdom, Al-Jubeir added. 

Saudi Arabia worked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to develop the Gulf Initiative. 

This led to a transition from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the internationally recognized government headed by current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Kingdom also worked to develop Yemeni national dialogue that led to a Yemeni vision regarding the country’s future.

A new Yemeni constitution was about to be drafted when the Houthis seized much of the country, including the capital. 

Yemen’s legitimate government requested support, and the Saudi-led coalition responded under Article 51 of the UN Charter.