Cinema in KSA will help women tell their stories, says filmmaker

Director and co-writer Hajjar Al-Naim
Updated 13 December 2017
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Cinema in KSA will help women tell their stories, says filmmaker

JEDDAH: Hajjar Al-Naim was one of the first women in Saudi Arabia who jumped into the field of filmmaking. Her country lacked cinemas and she studied abroad to fulfill her passion.
Al-Naim is the director and co-writer of a film called “Detained,” which was screened at the 2017 Dubai International Film Festival this week.
The movie is about a young Syrian refugee who fights to proclaim her innocence when the US Homeland Security detains her after her father is identified as the suicide bomber in a terrorist attack at a London airport.
After the screening of her film in the US and at the Dubai festival, Al-Naim told Arab News: “It represents the two perspectives — the American and the Middle East perspective. I am happy because I showed my movie to people in the US and the Middle East. I want the American audience to understand our struggle as Middle Eastern and Muslims.”
“There was a huge wave of questions; they were like, why would I make this type of movie? My answer was: ‘It’s because the media in the US and Middle East are representing both perspectives in a wrong way and my goal was to wipe these wrong perspectives away'," she said.
“My film was funded by Saudi individuals and institutions and I think these people deserve to see the movie they funded and helped to make happen in their country.
“I am so excited about the news… I can’t imagine that we will have cinemas in Saudi Arabia. Such a decision, I believe, will encourage the government itself to open institutions and to teach more filmmakers to become professional. I hope by this news more women will get their stories filmed,” the Saudi filmmaker said.
“As a Saudi female director and filmmaker, one of my goals is to teach filmmaking in Saudi Arabia and help female directors to film movies. I know that a lot of producers will control the content but I think it is our job now as directors to do our best to control the content and let the audience control it too,” she said.
“We want people to understand that we are trying to get better and we will take few steps, but at the beginning it might be a slow process because the culture might not accept the idea fully and immediately,” the filmmaker added.


Saudi Arabia's King Salman offers $1m to International Civil Aviation Organization

Updated 17 June 2019
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman offers $1m to International Civil Aviation Organization

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has provided $1 million to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Saudi Press Agency reported Monday.

The announcement came as part of the “Kingdom’s efforts in supporting international organizations and bodies and the leadership’s keenness to play an important role in the most important international and regional organizations,” SPA said.

The aid will go towards supporting ICAO’s No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative, which aims to assist developing countries in applying the standards and recommended methods for the safety and security of civil aviation.

The aid will also contribute to the costs of translating the organization’s documents and publications into Arabic.

The President of the Kingdom’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri thanked King Salman for his support to the aviation sector locally, regionally and globally, 

He said: “this contributes to the development of the aviation industry and to improve the safety and security of civil aviation in developing countries, least developed countries and island states.

The $1 million of financial assistance is an extension of the Kingdom's previous financial support in 2016 which “ the level of safety and security of civil aviation in the Middle East and Africa," Al-Mansouri said.

Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the ICAO’s president, thanked the king for the support.