Lebanese pianist Michel Fadel regales Jeddah music lovers

Lebanese pianist Michel Fadel performs in Jeddah on Thursday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 18 November 2017
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Lebanese pianist Michel Fadel regales Jeddah music lovers

JEDDAH: Lebanese composer and pianist Michel Fadel entertained his Saudi fans with a two-hour performance at Juman Park on Thursday.
This was the second concert for a famous Arab pianist to be held at Juman Park in the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The first, for the well-known musician Omar Khairat, was in March.
Michel Fadel told Arab News afterward: “I am so glad and proud to be here tonight in Jeddah; I feel like it is the first concert ever in my life. Everyone was asking me ‘what are you going to do in Saudi Arabia, is it true that concerts are possible there?’ The audience was awesome and people here were really enjoying it.”
Fadel performed a number of songs by legends of Arabic and international music, such as Umm Kulthum, Fairuz and Andrea Bocelli.
Afnan Al-Najjar, a Saudi housewife, said: “I really enjoyed this classy, well-organized night.”
Faris Eskandarany, a project manager at KAEC, told Arab News: “This is not my first time attending a concert in Jeddah, as the first was for the great musician Omar Khairat. But what attracted me to today’s concert was that we are from the same generation and I used to see him on Star Academy on TV, but I never had the chance to attend any of his shows. So, it is a wonderful chance to have him here today.”
Fadel has been playing the piano since the age of three. He received his master’s degree in piano from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music in 1998.
He studied musical composition and orchestra leadership in France at the Bologna Conservatory. In 2000, he took part in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood as an instrumentalist composer and won first prize in this category.
Fadel has worked with singers such as Elissa, Nancy Ajram, Carole Samaha, Nawal Al-Zoghbi, Ziad Botros, Adam and Nabil Shuail. He has played the piano at the concerts of Fairuz, Magda El-Roumi and Julia Boutros and has written soundtracks for several series, films and advertisements.
The concert was sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and E Plus, a Saudi entertainment company under the Okaz umbrella of companies that specializes in creating new events and concepts, and organizes international shows.
GEA has announced three similar concerts to be held by the end of the year for music legends Yanni, Khadim Al-Saher and Balqees.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 18 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”