Pakistani filmmaker eyes Saudi Arabia for future projects

From left, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Matab Al-Saud, chief of the Top Events Co. and Knowledge Core, with Pakistani filmmaker Imran Raza Kazmi at the premier of a Pakistani movie held in Riyadh on Saturday. (AN photo)
Updated 03 February 2018
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Pakistani filmmaker eyes Saudi Arabia for future projects

RIYADH: In a bid to promote Saudi-Pakistani relations in the film and entertainment industry, the premiere showing of the Pakistani movie “Parchi” was organized at a makeshift cinema hall here on Saturday night.
Guests from the film fraternity of the two countries and diplomats attended the event.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Matab Al-Saud, chief of Top Events, welcomed the producer of the Pakistani flick, Imran Raza Kazmi, and other guests.
Kazmi said: “The show brought together film industry leaders of the two countries, paving the way for a possible production of Pakistani films and dramas in Saudi Arabia.”
Kazmi, who specially flew to Riyadh to attend the premiere show, also announced plans to work closely with the Top Events and the General Entertainment Authority (GEA).
“We are already talking to the GEA on cooperation modules in film, drama and entertainment sectors,” said Imran Ismael of Top Events.
Asked about the prospects of cooperation in the film and entertainment sector, Kazmi said he plans to visit the Kingdom with a group of filmmakers and artists to talk to the Saudi agencies for collaboration and to identify shooting locations across the Kingdom later this year.
“I am overwhelmed with the love and support given by Saudi brothers and Pakistani expatriates during this trip,” he added.
Malik Nadeem Sher, Riyadh-based bureau chief of a Pakistani TV channel, said: “I was really thrilled to watch the film with the producer of the film present at the show in Riyadh.” “It was really unbelievable…to watch the film, like I’m watching in a theater in Pakistan,” said Ghaffar Ahmed, who attended the first of the six shows.


Saudi Arabia to release 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners

Ethiopian immigrants returning from Saudi Arabia arrive at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport in this December 10, 2013 photo. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Ethiopians were sent home in 2013 but they have apparently been replaced by new arrivals in the succeeding years. (AFP file photo)
Updated 20 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia to release 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners

  • Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Ethiopian migrants were repatriated from Saudi Arabia in 2013.
  • Officials in Riyadh are in the process of deporting more than 500,000 Ethiopian migrants this year.

ADDIS ABABA: Saudi Arabia has agreed to release 1,000 Ethiopian nationals who have been in prison in the Gulf state for a variety of offenses, Ethiopian state-affiliated media said on Saturday.

The decision was made following a request by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was in Riyadh on an official visit this week, Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The agency said among the detainees were 100 women. It did not disclose what the charges were. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian nationals live in the Gulf region, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

Officials in Riyadh are in the process of deporting more than 500,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants.

So far, 160,000 have arrived back in the Horn of Africa country.

During his recent visit to Riyadh, Ahmed met with leaders of Ethiopian community and discussed setting up a strong partnership between the government and the community to address challenges they are facing.

The trip is his first outside Africa after three visits to neighbouring countries. The East African nation secured thousands of exit visas for its nationals and flew them back home.

Established diplomatic relations in 1948, Saudi Arabia is among the first Arab countries to open embassy in Addis Ababa.