British Middle East minister meets Saudi FM, visits KSRelief offices

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British Minister of State for International Development and Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt visited the offices King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief). (SPA)
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British Minister of State for International Development and Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt visited the offices King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief). (SPA)
Updated 15 July 2018
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British Middle East minister meets Saudi FM, visits KSRelief offices

JEDDAH: Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir received at his office on Sunday the British Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, regional and international developments and issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, Burt visited the offices of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief). The British minister was accompanied by the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, and other officials.
Burt met Ahmed bin Ali Al-Bayez, assistant general supervisor of operations and programs at KSRelief. Al-Bayez briefed the British minister on the activities and achievements of the center and the various humanitarian projects initiated around the world. Since its inception three years ago, the center has started 439 projects in 41 countries around the world.
The center allocated 269 projects to Yemen, covering several humanitarian areas, including food security, health, environmental sanitation, and other projects for women and children. It also initiated a rehabilitation program for child soldiers in Yemen.
The British delegation and the KSRelief officials discussed ways to boost cooperation to expand relief and humanitarian operations across the world.


Tanween festival: Seeking the unusual? You’ll find it at Ithra

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), which organized the Tanween festival, is a creative feat in itself. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Tanween festival: Seeking the unusual? You’ll find it at Ithra

  • Tanween encourages people to see something in a new way, try something they had not done before and explore their relationship to disruption

DHAHRAN: “Beyond Unconventional” is the subtitle of Ithra’s first Tanween creativity festival, and it is true to its word from what the Arab News team witnessed on its opening weekend at Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, aka Ithra, in Dhahran.

Running from Oct. 11 to 27 with talks, workshops, performances and installations, the three weeks are divided into themes: this week is “Humanities’ Response to Disruption,” in art, science and technology; the second week is “Manufacturing and Communication,” including disruptive technologies such as AI and big data; the third and final week is “Fashion Technology/Adventures in Disruption.” Curating this year’s festival is Robert Frith, the creative director of Ithra’s Idea Lab, who has worked as head of exhibitions at Christie’s and as a senior exhibition designer at the British Museum.

As it says in the program: “Tanween encourages people to see something in a new way, try something they had not done before and explore their relationship to disruption.” Many of the installations and speakers addressed the theme of disruption, including Adam Savage, who visited Saudi Arabia for the first time.

INSTALLATIONS

Heart Catherization

Abdullah Al-Othman

One doesn’t need to visit Ithra to experience Tanween. Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Othman wrapped a building in Al-Khobar entirely in tinfoil “in a symbolic gesture to its frozen state, making a statement about the absurdity of thinking that the cycle of change could ever be stopped.” We found it driving through the narrow streets near the Corniche, glinting in the sunlight, mosque-goers passing it by with barely a raised eyebrow.

Silent Fall

Studio Swine 

Founded by Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves, it presents an “interactive intallation and multi sensory experience” consisting of “delicate mist-filled blossoms that disappear on contact with skin and surfaces.” It’s like a waterfall of durable white bubbles continuously falling from above making random patterns as they slowly drift down. Likely to be one of the festival’s Instagram hits.

The Drifter

Dutch Studio Drift

A block of what looks like concrete floats slowly along “a controlled 3D path.” “The Drifter creates a performance in its space, calling on the viewer to reconsider the relationship with our living environment, which is often accepted as static and lifeless,” the creators Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta said. There was nothing static or lifeless as visitors here laughed in delight as they pretended to lift it.

 

• AN photos by Ziyad Alarfaj