Saudi-American relations to ‘reach ground-breaking levels,’ says SAPRAC chief

Updated 20 May 2017
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Saudi-American relations to ‘reach ground-breaking levels,’ says SAPRAC chief

JEDDAH: Salman Al-Ansari, president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), said US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia holds unprecedented strategic significance in strengthening bilateral ties, especially given that for the first time in history the Kingdom will be the first country visited by a sitting US president while on their duties abroad.
Al-Ansari told Arab News in an exclusive interview that for the US to afford any country this distinction constitutes a positive step in relations with one of its most trusted allies.
Trump’s visit also carries unique significance as it is not merely a visit to the Kingdom, but to the heart of the Arab and Muslim worlds, Al-Ansari said.
“It’s clear that the current US administration finds Saudi Arabia’s ability to unite the entire Arab and Muslim worlds against terrorism invaluable to America’s efforts to address the region’s challenges,” he said, adding that he expects US-Saudi trade to “reach ground-breaking levels.”
The Kingdom is poised to “bring in the latest in US technology and know how, allowing American companies to help Saudi Arabia with its ambitious infrastructure plans,” he said.
“The Kingdom will also massively increase its investments in the US, which may create upwards of 1 million American jobs. The sky is the limit, as US-Saudi relations are on the cusp of moving into a new era of mutual security, stability and economic prosperity.”


Saudi Movie ‘Joud’ to screen at Ithra during National Day celebrations

The film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom. (Social media)
Updated 20 September 2018
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Saudi Movie ‘Joud’ to screen at Ithra during National Day celebrations

  • Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the Saudi lifestyle.

JEDDAH: The Saudi film “Joud,” produced by the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), which is now screening in local and international cinemas in the Kingdom, will also be shown at Ithra’s own cinema from September 20 to 23, 2018, as part of the center’s National Day events.

The film, which dispenses with dialogue to make it more accessible to a global audience, features visuals inspired by classical Arabic poems that reflect the natural heritage and diversity of Saudi Arabia, the discovery of oil and the resultant social change. Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the Saudi lifestyle.

The film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom, “and we believe that its uniqueness opens the door to discovering more stories preserved in the hearts of our people and our land.”

He added that Ithra was keen for Saudi filmmakers to work alongside an international crew during production of the film. For example, assistant director Osama Al-Kharji directed scenes set in Makkah, with director of photography Abdullah Al-Shuraidah and cameraman Fahad al-Dajani, while Hussam Al-Hilweh helped to write the script. Composer Diaa Azouni contributed to the soundtrack, and co-director Osamah Saleh was responsible for behind-the-scenes photography for almost a year.

Andrew Lancaster, the film’s director, said that “Joud” “shows how music and natural landscape play a big role in communicating the soul of the movie.” He added that it "talks about a deep experience through culture, music and natural landscape. It was a great adventure for me to transfer this to the screen.”

Ithra, in Dhahran, aims to set new standards for excellence in the Saudi film industry, and create innovative projects through its relationships with partners and visitors by stimulating the sustainability of creative and cultural communities. Through its diverse programs, the center helps to develop new ways to foster creativity, supporting and promoting national talent by providing an environment for the production and exchange of knowledge, in a manner that respects diversity and promotes different concepts in science and the arts.