There goes the bride … off to Nepal to help underprivileged children

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Razan was part of a team of four men and four women from Jazeel, the Saudi skills-based volunteering platform set up in 2015. (Supplied)
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Razan was part of a team of four men and four women from Jazeel, the Saudi skills-based volunteering platform set up in 2015. (Supplied)
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Razan was part of a team of four men and four women from Jazeel, the Saudi skills-based volunteering platform set up in 2015. (Supplied)
Updated 22 February 2018
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There goes the bride … off to Nepal to help underprivileged children

JEDDAH: Like any young bride, Razan Sindi’s wedding day was the happiest day of her life. But unlike most brides, Razan decided to postpone her happiness so that she could help deprived children instead.
On the day she should have tied the knot with her husband-to-be, Anas Al-Harbi, Razan was in Nepal with a team of Saudi volunteers working with the Butterfly Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organization that looks after poor and underprivileged young people.
The couple believe the foundation on which they should build their life together is that their “common interests should not conflict with their personal goals,” and Razan decided that the happiness of others was more important than her own. So, with Anas’s full support, off she went to Nepal.
Volunteer tourism is a unique experience, Razan, from Alkhobar, told Arab News. “You travel to discover the world and help those in need, carrying a message with you that represents the high values of your religion and culture.
“Volunteer tourism is a unique and completely different experience from volunteering in your city or hometown, because it introduces you to different cultures and environments, which will polish your personality and build your confidence.”
Razan was part of a team of four men and four women from Jazeel, the Saudi skills-based volunteering platform set up in 2015. In Nepal, the team opened a gift shop, the profits from which will support the Butterfly Foundation. They also established a library and a primary-care facility for the foundation.
Using their skills, the Jazeel team also developed a website for the Butterfly Foundation, translated into several languages, and created social media accounts for the foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
Razan’s mission for humanitarian work is inspired by her mother and her late father, and children's issues around the world are her main concern.
Nepal is one of the five poorest countries in the world, with nearly half the population suffering from hunger, two-thirds living below the poverty line and 60 percent illiteracy. Children are deprived of education because of poverty, underdevelopment, illiteracy and other socioeconomic problems.
Razan wants to change that reality, and she has been working as a training and activities manager with Jazeel since 2015.
“I am a person who finds pleasure in learning and benefiting from the cultures of other countries,” she said. “When you have a goal that you seek, you should work at what you believe in.
“I am sure that being part of a distinguished group of volunteers is a great platform for professional and creative volunteering. I am proud of being among all these professionals, and that encourages me to achieve a lot more with them.”
And those wedding plans? They were postponed, but not canceled. Razan and Anas married when she returned from Nepal, and the couple are now on honeymoon in New Zealand.


Pitbull and Akon wow crowds at Saudi Arabia’s Asharqiah Music Festival

Updated 18 min 49 sec ago
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Pitbull and Akon wow crowds at Saudi Arabia’s Asharqiah Music Festival

  • Earlier on Friday, planes raced over the waters of the Dammam Corniche, thrilling the crowd who had gathered to see the Red Bull Race
  • Although not the actual championship itself, the demonstration did not disappoint, with pilots pulling their aircraft through barrel rolls and high G-force turns along a floating obstacle course

DAMMAM: Week two of Sharqiah Season started with a bang as US rapper Pitbull performed at Dammam’s Life Park as part of the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday afternoon.
Although his Thursday night concert was canceled, fans were certainly not disappointed when he took the stage at 4 p.m. An energy-filled Pitbull hyped-up the crowd in minutes, and soon enough everyone was singing along to some of his most famous songs, including “Taxi,” “Timber,” “On The Floor” and more.
The rapper even teased a short sample of his newest song, “Cinco de Mayo,” leading the crowd in the opening chant before launching into the song’s intro.
He thanked his fans multiple times for their understanding over the delay of the concert, telling them how happy he was to have made it.
“I want you to be able to tell people, ‘I went to a Pitbull concert, and I had the time of my life, Saudi Arabia!’” he shouted, before launching into a rendition of “Time of Our Lives.”


Fireworks, confetti and a wildly enthusiastic audience made for a memorable experience.
Arab News caught up with Pitbull backstage after the show. When asked if he had something to say to his fans, he replied: “To everyone in Saudi I wanna say thank you for the love, I appreciate the opportunity. Great crowd, great energy.”
The performance was hastily rescheduled due to the rapper’s delay in Iceland on his way to Saudi Arabia for the festival.
Due to technical difficulties, his plane was grounded and unable to fly until a spare part was delivered from the US, causing him to miss the initial date.
Pitbull posted an apology video on Twitter, in which he promised fans an unforgettable experience at the rescheduled show. “Make sure you keep your tickets,” he told his fans.
Safa Hukrdoh, from Dammam, said she would have preferred to experience the concert at night, but had no complaints. “I think it was amazing. I have been to other concerts outside (of Saudi Arabia), but this is the first time inside.”
The festivities at Life Park continue today as Akon, French Montana and Amr Diab all take the stage for the second evening of the Asharqiah Music Festival.

It is one of 83 events planned for the Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi Seasons taking place across the country in 2019.
Earlier on Friday, planes raced over the waters of the Dammam Corniche, thrilling the crowd who had gathered to see the Red Bull Race. Although not the actual championship itself, the demonstration did not disappoint, with pilots pulling their aircraft through barrel rolls and high G-force turns along a floating obstacle course.
“It’s been a nice day for the family,” said Mohammed Saleh Al-Ghamdi, who had come out with his wife, his mother-in-law and his three children. “We come here every weekend, and every weekend there is a new surprise waiting.
“This time it is these air races, which my son, Hussam, found really exciting. We all had our photos taken with the planes and ate hamburgers, and now we are going to have some ice cream before the next plane comes out to perform.”
Sharqiah Season is the first of 11 cultural events organized by the General Entertainment Authority, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, The General Sports Authority and General Culture Authority.
The initiative falls in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to improve the quality of life in the Kingdom by providing enriching cultural pursuits and shows. The 83 activities planned for the festival, which is being held in 9 different cities, feature entertainment, educational activities, sports events and culture.
Sharqiah Season continues until March 30, with the weekends ahead also featuring the Formula 1 H20 boat race, as well as concerts in Dammam featuring Deadmau5 among others.