Saudi foreign minister: Qatar must end support for Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (AFP)
Updated 06 June 2017
0

Saudi foreign minister: Qatar must end support for Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday Qatar must take several steps, including ending its support for the Palestinian group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, to restore ties with other Arab states.
Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Qatar knew exactly what to do to restore relations with Riyadh and its Arab allies.
“We want to see Qatar implement the promises it made a few years back with regard its support of extremist groups, regards its hostile media and interference in affairs of other countries,” Jubeir told reporters in Paris.
“Nobody wants to hurt Qatar. It has to choose whether it must move in one direction or another direction.”
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain said on Monday they would sever all ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
“We took this step with great pain so that it understands that these policies are not sustainable and must change,” Jubeir said.
Jubeir added that Qatar was undermining the Palestinian Authority and Egypt in its support of Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood.
“We don’t think this is good. Qatar has to stop these policies so that it can contribute to stability in the Middle East,” he said.
Jubeir declined to say exactly what he wanted Qatar to do immediately, but said the measures taken by Arab states, including a sea, land and air blockade would have a considerable cost on the country.
“We believe that common sense and logic will convince Qatar to take the right steps. The decisions that were made were very strong and will have a fairly large cost on Qatar and we do not believe that Qataris want to sustain those costs,” he said.
The campaign to isolate Qatar is disrupting trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food, and deepening fears of a possible shock to the global gas market, where the Gulf state is a major player.
Jubeir also dismissed Qatar’s recent rapprochement with Shiite Iran — Sunni Saudi Arabia’s arch foe in the region — saying that countries that deal with Tehran “deal with it at their own peril.”
When asked whether there could be military measures should Doha not change course, Jubeir said: “I hope not.”


First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

Updated 27 June 2019
0

First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

  • The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah
  • Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetched SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction

JEDDAH: Art for Al Balad, the first charity auction of contemporary art in the Kingdom, achieved sales of SR 4.8 million ($1.3 million) on Wednesday.

The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, all of which sold, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah, on Wednesday. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with auction house Christie’s.

“It was much above our expectations; we are very happy,” said Michael Jeha, chairman of Christie's Middle East.

About 200 Saudi art collectors joined artists and other members of the Saudi and international cultural communities at the event. Bidding was highly competitive, with “Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetching SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Nassif House was built in 1872. Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, was received at this house upon his entry to the city in 1925.

• The Saudi government is keen to restore and preserve buildings with historic and cultural significance, and carries out regular renovation work.

• Al-Balad, or Jeddah historic district, is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. It contains about 600 buildings that date back to the 19th century.

 

“Where to” by Prince Badr bin Abdulmohsen was the second-most expensive work, selling for SR 500,000, while “Witness in the Desert” by Abdullah Al-Sahikh attracted a winning bid of SR 380,000.

“It was extremely pleasing, very encouraging,” said Jeha. “The energy in the room was fantastic. The enthusiasm was very strong. I think for the very first auction, we can all be extremely pleased.”

Jeha described the growth of the art scene and culture in general in Saudi Arabia as very impressive, and said that the Ministry of Culture has developed a strong platform and program for the coming years, which will help to establish art and culture in the hearts and minds of people in the Kingdom.

The profits from the auction will help to establish a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and support The Help Center, a non-profit organization that provides customized support to children in the city with special educational needs.

The auction received donations and funding from galleries, cultural foundations, private collectors, and artists across the Arab World, the assistance of which was acknowledged by the Ministry of Culture.

“This would not be possible without the generous support of both the donors and the talented artists,” said Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture, in his opening speech.

The ministry aspires to create and develop a cultural environment in which artists and other creatives can access a platform that celebrates a shared identity and builds understanding between people.

Speaking of the Ministry’s three main objectives in its cultural vision for 2019, Fayez said that it aims to support the nation’s cultural transformation by promoting culture as a way of life, enable the sector to contribute to the economy, and encourage international cultural exchanges.

Before the auction, the works on sale were on display to the public in an exhibition on June 23 and 24.