UAE foreign minister warns Europe over terror threat

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan addresses the Tweeps 2017 Forum in Riyadh Sunday.
Updated 22 May 2017
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UAE foreign minister warns Europe over terror threat

RIYADH: The UAE’s foreign minister has warned Europe that some countries could be classified as “incubators of terrorism” if they fail to better address extremism.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said that such countries should be publicly identified if they did not do more to address terror.
“Saudi Arabia is more keen to fight terrorism than the… Europeans,” Sheikh Abdullah said during the Tweeps Forum 2017. “The voices we hear calling for murder and shedding blood and stealing the wealth of people are in London, Germany, Spain and Italy.
“There will come a day when we see far more radicals, extremists and terrorists coming from Europe because of (a) lack of decision-making, and trying to be politically correct.
“From now on, we will name and shame these countries. We will classify them as incubators of terror if they don’t address this problem of terrorism in their lands.”
The Saudi and UAE foreign ministers took part of a panel discussion on digital responses to extremism, which was moderated by Francine Lacqua, anchor and editor-at-large at Bloomberg TV.
The two ministers discussed tackling the promotion of extremism on social media, with Al-Nahyan calling for wider criminalization of terrorist content on the Internet.
“Social media (players) must realize that there is content that is exploited by extremist and terrorist groups that want to recruit our sons and daughters and want to hijack religion,” the UAE minister said.
“Unfortunately, there is a legislative vacuum at the international level to criminalize this content.”
He pointed out that there is a responsibility for countries to legislate their national laws with the participation of international organizations and conventions.
He added that the establishment of a Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology, which was one of the outcomes of the US-Saudi summit, is a huge step by the Kingdom to confront radical thought.
Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that one of the challenges is not knowing the identity of users on social media sites.
However, companies have began to cooperate more by identifying those who instigate or plan terrorist acts, and it is only a matter of time before there is an effective mechanism that doesn’t affect the freedom of legitimate users.
“There must be a way of knowing who will misuse these means,” Al-Jubeir said.


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece Dhahran museum.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.