All the world’s a stage for Saudi writer

Updated 23 February 2018
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All the world’s a stage for Saudi writer

JEDDAH: Zoha Shabat, author of “A Face with Two Shadows,” believes plays are better than novels when it comes to telling a story — an approach that makes her a rarity among modern writers.
Shabat’s book created a buzz when it was released during the third International Book Fair in Jeddah in 2017, a year after she won a First Edition Award by the Jeddah Literary Cultural Club.
The Jeddah-born writer completed her BA on information systems and her MBA in general management at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, where she now works. She hopes to eventually make a living through publishing.
As a child, Shabat enjoyed reading plays. She wrote her first play in high school, but then turned to prose, poems and short stories.
“I believe that stories lead us where they wish to take us,” she said when asked why she began writing plays.
Shabat, 33, predicted that “theater will make a strong comeback in the Kingdom with the advances the country is making in building up the entertainment sector.”
She said “A Face with Two Shadows” explored its protagonist Khalid’s struggle with intrusive thoughts that threatened to ruin his life. “It’s something we all experience daily. He represents our uncertainties, and our desire for happiness, to find peace and clarity and truth.”
In late 2016, Shabat took part in a Jeddah Literary Cultural Club theater course. “During one of the sessions, Fahad Al-Harthi, the professor, asked the class to write a scene to show what we had learnt since we started. I wrote one of the scenes between Khalid and the mysterious voice in my play. Al-Harthi praised my work and encouraged me to try out for the First Edition competition, which I did.”
Readers were introduced to Shabat’s play during the International Book Fair in Jeddah. “People wanted to discover this theatrical work and what differentiates it from other literary works,” she said.
The designer Amani Al-Ghoraibi worked with Shabat on the book cover and illustrations for the five acts in the play.
“Zoha was understanding and patient,” she said. “I loved working with her. We were in touch throughout, and I relentlessly asked for her opinion. She decided to put her trust in me and gave me free rein over it.
“As for the cover, Zoha requested that I sketch it. She saw a similar sketch I did of it and she loved it so much that she wanted me to sketch the same one with a few modifications. It gave a haunting quality that she believed suitable to the story.”
Shabat is planning her next literary work while considering two translation proposals for “A Face with Two Shadows,” including an English version of the play.


Albania’s president congratulates Saudi Arabia on National Day

Albanian President Ilir Meta meets Saudi Ambassador Abdul Momin bin Mohammed Sharaf in Tirana on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Albania’s president congratulates Saudi Arabia on National Day

  • Meta expressed heartfelt congratulations to the Kingdom’s leadership, government and people, praising its pioneering role in the service of Islamic and international causes
  • He said the National Day is a glorious and epic memory marking the struggle King Abdul Aziz

JEDDAH: The President of Albania Ilir Meta congratulated King Salman on the occasion of the 88th Saudi National Day. This came during the ceremony held by the Saudi Embassy in the Albanian capital of Tirana, in the presence of senior officials, heads of diplomatic missions and regional and international organizations in Albania.

Meta expressed heartfelt congratulations to the Kingdom’s leadership, government and people, praising its pioneering role in the service of Islamic and international causes.

Saudi Ambassador to Albania Abdul Momin bin Mohammed Sharaf also congratulated King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on this day. 

He said the National Day is a glorious and epic memory marking the struggle King Abdul Aziz and his men went through to build a modern state racing against time to present the best achievements and accomplishments. The accomplishments continued during the reign of his sons right up to the present day with the development and prosperity the Kingdom is witnessing under King Salman’s reign.

The ceremony featured documentaries about the unification of  the Kingdom and the construction phases, and there were publications about the history of the Kingdom and its efforts in serving the Two Holy Mosques and pilgrims.