Yanni ‘so happy’ to perform in Saudi Arabia

Yanni and his daughter Krystal Ann at the press conference at Bay La Sun Hotel in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on Thursday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 30 November 2017

Yanni ‘so happy’ to perform in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Renowned Greek composer and musician Yanni, on his first visit to the Kingdom, said in Arabic at a press conference on Thursday that he is “so happy to be in Saudi Arabia.”

“I’m so happy and relaxed, more than my other concerts. The way people look at me makes me smile because they’re very welcoming and gentle," he said.

“You have to come to Saudi to feel this and to witness the changes... I’m really amazed by the speed of how things have changed.”

The press conference was held at the Bay La Sun Hotel in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) prior to his two concerts.

It was attended by Sultan Al-Qahtani, public relations manager at the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), Abdul Aziz Al-Dhuayan, chief communications officer at the GEA, and many local media representatives.

“I’d like to express my deep appreciation to KAEC, which has done so much to make this event a success,” said Al-Dhuayan.

“We’re aware of the huge leap made in bringing international stars to the Kingdom, with all kinds of events and concerts to entertain people and make them happy,” he added.

“More than 70 events have been organized by the GEA this year under the umbrella of ‘Winter Festivities’.”

Describing “every one” of his accompanying musicians as “a very special performer,” Yanni said music “gently opens both your heart and your mind.”

He added: “This is an extremely important time for me. It gives me great pleasure and makes me feel a great sense of responsibility.

“I want to provide something that’s suitable to your culture because you’ve trusted me with your eyes, ears and minds.

“I want the audience to be happy. I want to touch their hearts, and for them to leave the concert smiling and hoping to see me in the future. I want my music to bring love, peace and hope to everybody.

“I’m going to perform something very special for my Saudi fans, so you must stay tuned. I don’t want to say any more, but I want you all to see it.”

Yanni’s visit is part of his global 2017-2018 tour, in which he will play his most popular songs from his career that began in 1984.

King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 23 September 2018

King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.