ThePlace: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra)

Ithra. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 22 June 2018
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ThePlace: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra)

  • The iconic building was designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Snohetta

Ithra  — The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture — was inaugurated by King Salman on Dec. 1, 2017. The arts center, developed by Saudi Aramco, is located in Dhahran. 

The iconic building was designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Snohetta, which also designed the award-winning Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Oslo Opera House. 

Ithra’s stated mission is to “make a tangible and positive impact on human development by inspiring a passion for knowledge, creativity, and cross-cultural engagement for the future of the Kingdom” —  an ambition that ties into Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which places culture and entertainment at the center of its plans for increasing quality of life. 

The center aims to stimulate knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement in its facilities, which include an idea lab, library, theater, museum, energy exhibit, art gallery, children’s museum, and a “knowledge tower,” all housed under one roof to provide visitors with an immersive and transformative experience.


Two Saudis join WWE Performance Center after successful Jeddah tryout

Updated 22 min 43 sec ago
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Two Saudis join WWE Performance Center after successful Jeddah tryout

  • Kurdi and Aldagal were selected from nearly 30 athletes who took part in the Jeddah tryout
  • Current NXT Superstar Mansoor won recent 50-Man Battle Royal at WWE Super ShowDown in Kingdom

JEDDAH: Two athletes from last year’s historic talent tryout in Jeddah have begun training at the WWE Performance Center.
New signees Faisal Kurdi and Hussain Aldagal, both of Saudi Arabia, reported to WWE’s Orlando training facility several weeks ago.
Kurdi and Aldagal were selected from nearly 30 athletes who took part in the Jeddah tryout. That was the same tryout attended by current NXT Superstar Mansoor, who won the recent 50-Man Battle Royal at WWE Super ShowDown in the Kingdom.
Kurdi boasts a background in amateur grappling, Muay Thai boxing and mixed martial arts, and has placed in championship competitions in the Middle East. He stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 182 pounds.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Aldagal has previous athletic experience in volleyball and bodybuilding. Outside of his athletic endeavors, he is also a civil engineer.
As WWE finishes onboarding athletes from the Jeddah tryout, talent scouts are preparing for the next international tryout, which takes place July 15-18 in Shanghai, China.
WWE last held a tryout in China in 2016.