Hail rally champion Rajeh Al-Shammari dies in road accident

Al-Shammari clinched the title in the second edition of the Hail Car Rally in 2007 and made an impressive comeback seven years later in 2014, claiming the T2 championship. (File photo)
Updated 24 January 2018
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Hail rally champion Rajeh Al-Shammari dies in road accident

RIYADH: Rajeh Farhan Al-Ramali Al-Shammari, two-times Hail-Nissan International Rally champion, died in a road accident Sunday.
The rally champion was killed on Hail-Jiba road, north of Hail.
Expressing his condolences, Faisal Al-Tuwaihir, media coordinator of the Saudi Federation of Automobiles and Motorcycles, told Arab News Tuesday: “The death of Al-Shammari is a big loss for all sports-loving people. But he will ever be remembered for his contribution to this type of sport at the local, regional and global level.”
“Al-Shammari joined the first edition of Hail rally in 2006. In 2007 and 2014 he was the champion,” said Al-Tuwaihir, adding that in addition to the Hail rally, Al-Shammari joined a series of other contests at Jeddah and Abu Dhabi car rallies.
Nicknamed “fighter,” he was known for his high morale and being helpful to his colleagues when preparing their cars.
Having an excellent track record in the Hail rally, Al-Shammari, 38, participated in the latest edition of Hail-Nissan Rally 2018, where he organized a host camp for guests from inside and outside the Kingdom, said Al-Tuwaihir, who was an officiator in charge of the recent Hail rally.
The tent was working round the clock to meet the requirements of the competitors, he said.
Al-Shammari sustained a severe injury in 2007 with five fractures in his spine but, true to his nickname, he returned to the competition where he belonged. Although he was given medical warnings not to join the rally, he insisted on continuing and became one of its heroes.
Al-Tuwaihir said: “He experienced many accidents, the latest in Jeddah Rally 2016, where doctors advised him to stop rallying, otherwise his life would be in danger. But he kept participating in the event till he died.”


Sharqiah Season features interactive Van Gogh show at Ithra

A Vincent Van Gogh interactive exhibition opened at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) as part of the 17-day Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province. (Supplied)
Updated 9 min 23 sec ago
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Sharqiah Season features interactive Van Gogh show at Ithra

  • The initiative is lin line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program

DAHRAN: The story of Vincent Van Gogh has been brought to life in an interactive exhibition at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), through mesmerizing images projected on the walls and the voice of Lebanese actor of Jihad Al-Atrash.
Al-Atrash, who is famous for his role in “Grendizer” in the Arabic cartoon channel Spacetoon, narrates the story in Arabic, while Van Gogh’s famous paintings, such as “The Starry Night” and “Sunflowers,” fill the walls.
“It’s not only entertainment, it’s also cultural and educational,” said Khalil Itani, project manager of the exhibition, which is part of Sharqiah Season, a 17-day festival that’s taking place in the Eastern Province.
“There will be an English voiceover soon. The 30 minutes and 40 seconds describes the important timelines of Van Gogh, his struggles and achievements, his thoughts. He was an awakened and spiritual person, but he was very sad; no one understood him. Also, the voiceover explains each phase of his life and the most important paintings of his, and explains these paintings and their story, and the techniques and colors.”
Itani told Arab News that many artists have visited the exhibition. “It’s very inspiring too for artists to know how he lived — this is the added value of the Van Gogh exhibition in Ithra.”
Raghad Al-Blowi, a 20-year-old Saudi visitor, said that Van Gogh was one of her most cherished artists, and her favorite painting is “The Starry Night.” Commenting on the Arabic narration, she said: “It makes visitors really get into it in Arabic more. Locals can understand and learn about Van Gogh.”
Colombian visitor Audrey Rincon said that she also enjoyed the exhibit. “It is different from the usual exhibitions, because the paintings are displayed in an interactive and creative way. And he is my favorite painter. I love the colors he used in his paintings, and ‘Sunflowers’ is my favorite painting.”
Sharqiah Season is organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in collaboration with the General Entertainment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Culture Authority. The initiative is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to improve the quality of life for Saudis by providing enriching cultural pursuits and shows.
The festival, which began on March 14 and runs until March 30, has seen more than 80 entertainment and sporting events take place across nine different cities.