Janadriyah festival showcases Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage

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Updated 09 February 2018
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Janadriyah festival showcases Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage

RIYADH: Janadriyah, the annual national heritage and culture festival named after the village on the northern outskirts of Riyadh, is busy celebrating the Saudi lifestyle as well as symbols of its identity, unity and integrity.
Inaugurated by King Salman on Wednesday with the traditional camel race and operetta marking the opening ceremony, the 18-day festival encourages Saudis to celebrate their heritage and to bolster cultural exchange.
This year the festival has launched a free application for smartphones, called “Janadriyah,” to guide visitors around the event and keep them updated on entertainment and cultural programs.
The app’s sections include: Learning about the festival, information on cultural activities and visits to Janadriyah, the Janadriyah newsletter, a Janadriyah festival map, information on parking, and a section for feedback (suggestions or complaints) and help contact details.
Every year the festival attracts a remarkable turnout of local and expatriate visitors, including school children and families, as well as visitors from outside the Kingdom.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) sets up a special pavilion as a tourism and heritage oasis with sections for children, visual shows, interactive screens, social media screens and tourism and heritage projects of the SCTH.
In its permanent pavilion based in Eastern Province House (Bayt Al-Sharqiyah), Saudi Aramco will also showcase an open exhibition at Janadriyah, featuring a maquette of Well No. 7, also known as the “prosperity well.”
The exhibition includes a number of legacy images which convey the story of discovering and developing the world’s largest energy reserves. The well’s oil discovery dates back to 1938.
The pavilion presents documentaries as well as old and modern photographs showing how the company’s operations have progressed since the early 1940s to date. The pictures will illustrate the stages of such developments, from exploration, drilling, production, refining and training to HR development in the company.
Organizers expect millions of visitors from Saudi Arabia and abroad.
The festival is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m and the first five days, from Feb. 7 to 11, are reserved for male visitors only. Women and families will be allowed to visit from Feb. 12 to 24.


Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

A choking cloud of sand covers the Saudi capital. (AP)
Updated 17 min 33 sec ago
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Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

  • People should take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, says scientist
  • Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo: The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles

JEDDAH: An eminent scientist has advised people to take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, which can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory complications.

Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo, professor at the College of Medicine at King Saud University, Riyadh, said that sandstorms are the main cause of bacterial and viral infections, especially among elderly people.

Meo, referring to a series of sandstorms that hit various regions of the Kingdom in the past six weeks, said that “a large number of people, exposed to sandstorms, have complaints of allergic rhinitis, runny nose, wheeze, cough, chest tightness, acute asthmatic attack, eye irritation, redness of the eyes, headache, sleep disturbance and psychological disturbances.”

These are in addition to the respiratory symptoms more common in children and elderly people, he said.

“The most vulnerable part of the body to sandstorms is the respiratory system,” Meo said. “People who are exposed to them are more vulnerable to the air pollutants, as the dust particles enter the respiratory system and cause various health problems.” 

The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles, he said.

He pointed out that the environmental protection agencies must make use of the print and electronic media to provide information about the exact date and time of sandstorms to minimize unnecessary exposure.

 He advised people to wear masks, which are designed to filter out small particulates, and also airtight goggles to protect the eyes. 

He also suggested that in the desert areas, people might “cultivate the land and adopt a fallow system” as the cultivation and fallow system minimizes the frequency of sandstorms. 

Meo said that the choking dust in sandstorms contains “a large number of bacteria, fungi and viruses.”