Keeping traditional cultures alive, Saudi Arabia's Janadriyah festival attracts thousands

The heritage oasis from various regions of the Kingdom and presentations by national and international organizations are good attractions drawing many visitors every day. (SPA)
Updated 16 February 2018
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Keeping traditional cultures alive, Saudi Arabia's Janadriyah festival attracts thousands

RIYADH: Visitors from Saudi Arabia and around the world are participating in the 32nd Janadriyah National Heritage and Culture Festival, annually organized to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s lifestyle and the symbols of its identity.
The heritage oasis from various regions of the Kingdom and presentations by national and international organizations are good attractions drawing many visitors every day.
The 18-day-long festival, which opened last Wednesday with India as the guest of honor, is seeing a huge rush of visitors, both citizens and expatriates.

US Army delegation 'impressed'
A delegation from the US Army Command and Staff College said it was impressed by the cultural heritage and folklore of the Kingdom during their visit to the festival.
The delegation on Wednesday visited pavilions of the regions, governmental administrations and markets participating in Janadriyah.
Col. Rosenburger, one of the delegation’s members, praised the development renaissance the Kingdom is witnessing.

KAUST displays innovations and startup projects
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is displaying innovations and startup projects, most notably selective hydrogen generation technology as an alternative energy source, energy-efficient light bulbs developed in cooperation with SaNoor, drones, the smart suit, the supercomputer “Shaheen II,” and smart dental brace technology.
KAUST’s participation at Janadriyah this year also features documentaries depicting the university’s various laboratories and facilities specialized in the process of water desalination and the reuse of desalinated water in a sustainable way, harnessing state-of-art technologies and alternative energy sources.

87 trips for students to festival
The oasis of the Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage has so far received more than 670 students from different parts of the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency said.
The director of the “Live Saudi Arabia” program at the SCTH, Hatim Al-Ahmadi, said more than 87 tourist trips will be organized for students to the festival. He expected more than 3,900 students to visit Janadriyah through the program.
The program also allows teachers and educators to participate in community and voluntary activities organized during such visits, he said.

Traditional sesame oil mill from Jazan
The corner of a sesame processing mill in the heritage village has attracted a large number of visitors interested in the traditional methods of producing sesame oil.
Eisa Al-Rajhi, one of the participants displaying the traditional sesame processing mill, said they wanted to demonstrate the traditional methods that most people still use in Jazan and Asir Regions.

Precious stones pavilion a hit among visitors
The precious metals, industrial rocks and ornamental stones displayed at the pavilion of the Saudi Geological Survey drew plenty of attention.
The pavilion features samples of gold, precious metals, and aluminum ores along with samples of the most important industrial rocks and minerals such as granite and stones.
SGS spokesman Tareq Aba Al-Khail said the strategy for mining aims to increase the production of minerals, metals, and rare-earth elements to grow production tenfold because mining is one of the national economy’s strongest pillars.

VIEW A GALLERY OF THE FESTIVAL


Exclusive: UAE mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor calls for a boycott of US firms, execs. who pulled out of Saudi investment summit

Updated 15 October 2018
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Exclusive: UAE mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor calls for a boycott of US firms, execs. who pulled out of Saudi investment summit

JEDDAH: In an Op-Ed column written exclusively for Arab News, UAE business tycoon Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor has called for an Arab boycott of US companies and executives who have pulled out of Saudi Arabia’s upcoming Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit, or decided to freeze ongoing dealings with the Kingdom. 
A number of media companies, including Bloomberg, New York Times, CNN and CNBC have announced pulling out of the partnerships with the FII summit happening on Oct. 28 in Riyadh. This was in the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, more than 10 days ago, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 
Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement with his disappearance, and has sent a team to assist Turkish investigators to find out what happened to the Saudi. 
Khashoggi’s vanishing has caused many to blame Riyadh, given he had recently become a vocal critic of its leadership in a number of columns for The Washington Post, while living in the  US. 
Pulling out of the FII media partnerships, or executives, such as Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi  cancelling their attendance, is unjustified, argued Habtoor, considering the investigation into the journalist’s whereabouts is ongoing.
The Emirati businessman also takes on London-based Virgin Group founder Richard Branson who suspended his negotiations on tourism projects in Saudi Arabia as well as discussions with the country’s Public Investment Fund.
“The Saudis’ Gulf Cooperation Council allies, as well as Egypt and Jordan, must stand shoulder to shoulder with Riyadh to show those companies they are not welcome to operate within our borders. They should be boycotted. Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the Kingdom, we will be next in line. Now is the time to prove our loyalty and transparency toward each other,” the businessman said.
Al-Habtoor said he was “shocked” that the US Congress is pressurizing President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East when the truth has not even been determined. He also condemned US media, government officials and lawmakers for rushing to judgement on an active investigation. 
“Last week, Saudi basked in America’s friendship. A single individual goes off the radar and Riyadh is targeted with warnings and threats from America’s political, financial and business sectors. Considering that the investigation is not yet over, if this is not gross overkill, then what is?” He said.