France to lend Saudi Arabia its classical expertise
France to lend Saudi Arabia its classical expertise
- Paris Opera is one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses
- About 350 cinemas are expected to be in operation by 2030
“Today an agreement was signed with the Paris Opera to help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and an opera,” said French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen, during a joint press conference with Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad.
The deal will see the Paris Opera company help the Kingdom produce its own classical music and shows, AFP reported.
Founded in 1669 by the then king, Louis XIV, Paris Opera is one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.
The agreement comes during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France — the fourth leg of his foreign tour, and one focused on building relations through culture, the arts and heritage.
Nyssen said she had also discussed “the importance of translating books in both directions, from Arabic into French and French into Arabic.”
A key pillar of the visit is the collaboration with Paris to develop Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula, an area in the northwest packed with ancient archaeological sites, into a key attraction for visitors while using French expertise in its preservation.
The agreements in France highlight the importance of culture and the arts in the sweeping social and economic reform program being led by the crown prince.
Several other agreements were signed and events held related to cultural cooperation in Paris on Monday.
On Sunday, Arab News revealed that Saudi Arabia would officially participate for the first time in the Cannes Film Festival
Al-Awwad said the Kingdom would submit a selection of short films when the prestigious competition opens next month.
“With a rich tradition of storytelling, Saudi Arabia is embarking on the development of a sustainable and dynamic (film) industry,” Al-Awwad told AFP
The Kingdom is reopening cinemas on April 18 for the first time in more than 35 years. About 350 cinemas are expected to be in operation by 2030.
AMC, the largest cinema operator in the world, was awarded an operating license last week by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Last year, the heir to the throne set up the Misk Art Institute in Riyadh, aimed at the young and designed to encourage grassroots artistic productions in Saudi Arabia.
In Paris on Monday, the institute held a two-day “festival of culture” showcasing work from nine Saudi artists and featuring the VR documentary film Reframe Saudi.
MisKulturExpo, as it was named, takes place over two days at the prestigious famous Arab World Institute. Collectively, the documentary and exhibits demonstrate how art and the creative industries are an integral part of the change that is transforming Saudi Arabia,” Ahmed Mater, director of the Misk Art Institute, said.
“It is essential at this time that Saudi artists engage with audiences around the world, as they are here in Paris, to help to tell the continuing story of change in Saudi Arabia.”
Another exhibition titled the “Saudi Cultural Days” organized by the Kingdom’s General Culture Authority also got underway in the French capital on Monday.
The three-day event at the Tokyo Palace of Art will offer a variety of artistic and cultural activities, including cinematic performances and discussions held in the presence of artists and directors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
It also includes art exhibitions dealing with heritage and modern art and panel discussions with the artists.
Saudi capsule hotels and fire extinguishing balls employed for serving pilgrims during Hajj season
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Hadiyah Association has employed global experiences and modern technology to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season by introducing the “capsule hotel” and the “fire extinguishing ball.”
Made of plastic and fiberglass, each capsule hotel room is 220-cm-long, 120-cm-wide, and 120-cm-high and is supported by a metal structure. The walls are made of fireproof environment-friendly ABS, and the doors have magnetic locks that open automatically in case of power failure.
Every capsule provides good ventilation that operate at a rate of 30 cubic meters per hour and has two fans, each of which operates at three different speeds.
The capsules are also equipped with all the necessities for ending the state of Ihram, including showers, washing basins and ironing clothes, in addition to an electric control unit, safety and comfort tools, a smoke detector, a small fire extinguisher, an electronic locker for keeping personal belongings, a digital alarm clock that also shows the temperature inside the capsule, different lighting options with special lights for reading, a television, and an ionic air purifier that produces high negative ions to eliminate germs and dust.
The capsules are opened using a magnetic card programmed for each room with a pre-determined period of use.
Another invention adopted by Hadiyah Association is the fire extinguishing ball, a device that works in a matter of three-five seconds from the instant it touches flames. The ball blasts and disperses a white cloud of dried extinguishing chemicals over an area of four cubic meters to isolate the burning substance from oxygen.
The ball also releases the sound of a 138-decibel-explosion to alert nearby people and does not pose harm to humans or the environment.
It is also lightweight (1.5 kg) and convenient for women, children, and the elderly to use.