900,000 fireworks, 300 drones: Record-breaking celebration in Saudi Arabia

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National day celebrations showcased the public with its international multimedia show and state-of-the-art fireworks technology. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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National day celebrations showcased the public with its international multimedia show and state-of-the-art fireworks technology. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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National day celebrations showcased the public with its international multimedia show and state-of-the-art fireworks technology. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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National day celebrations showcased the public with its international multimedia show and state-of-the-art fireworks technology. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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National day celebrations showcased the public with its international multimedia show and state-of-the-art fireworks technology. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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National day celebrations showcased the public with its international multimedia show and state-of-the-art fireworks technology. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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An enchanting view of fireworks display in Riyadh. (SPA)
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An enchanting view of fireworks display in Riyadh. (SPA)
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An enchanting view of fireworks display in Riyadh. (SPA)
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An enchanting view of fireworks display in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 24 September 2018
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900,000 fireworks, 300 drones: Record-breaking celebration in Saudi Arabia

  • One of the most breathtaking events of the day was the Saudi Royal Force show presented by the Saudi team Saqoor Al-Saudia and the UAE team Al-Fursan

JEDDAH: Saudis came together on Sunday for the grandest national celebration yet.
With 900,000 fireworks set off simultaneously from 58 platforms across 20 cities in the Kingdom, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is aiming to make the Guinness World Records for the largest fireworks display.
According to Guinness, the record to beat is the Philippines New Year celebrations in 2016, with 810,904 fireworks, which lasted just over an hour in the pouring rain. That beat previous records set by Dubai in 2014 and Kuwait the year before.
But if that’s not enough, the GEA has its bases covered. Nothing says patriotism like the flag, and so it is also planning to set another record by creating the largest national flag, measuring 400 meters by 350 meters, in the air by using lasers on 300 drones to trace the sword and the Shahada on the green backdrop of the fireworks.
The fireworks display was accompanied by national music for this occasion, which was supervised by Prince Badr bin Abdul Mohsin, the country’s first Minister of Culture, for more than 20 cities in the Kingdom. The main fireworks show lasted for 15 minutes, with 10 performances in some small- and medium-sized cities and 45 secondary performances.
The weekend was painted in all shades of green, as celebrations across the Kingdom started on Friday, and the flag was seen in all shapes and sizes. Men, women and children wore green as they set out to enjoy the many events arranged for the people to have the best National Day.

At the new waterfront in Jeddah, the festival that took place on National Day featured latest light technology on water screens, showcasing the Kingdom’s images from the time of the founder until the present.
3D lights also illuminated the surrounding buildings and waterfront. Using Virtual World technology, visitors interacted with it using their phones to see how the surroundings will look like in the future.
In Riyadh, the world-famous Cirque du Soleil brought its internationally acclaimed stage show to the Kingdom for the first time. The special performance, at King Fahd International Stadium on Sunday, was tailored to reflect the theme of Saudi National Day. It featured the troupe’s trademark gravity-defying stunts, performed by acrobats from 26 countries, wearing 245 costumes.
Electronic-music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre also performed “The Green Concert” at King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh on the same day. The live show brought the Frenchman’s music to life through the use of visuals, lights, lasers and other incredible effects.
One of the most breathtaking events of the day was the Saudi Royal Force show presented by the Saudi team Saqoor Al-Saudia and the UAE team Al-Fursan. Twelve aircraft participated in a dazzling show that involved freefall movements and scattering the bright colors in the sky of Jeddah.
The teams embodied the spirit of love and brotherhood between the two countries in the sky of Jeddah.
The fighter jets will be flying over Riyadh on Monday at 4:45 p.m. at Masmak and Al Faisaliah Tower and other areas. The show will end in the Eastern Region (Dammam) on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. at Alkhobar Corniche and Ethraa center as well as other areas.
It is worth mentioning that the traffic department created a plan for dealing with any closed roads because of the crowds and created detours so people did not get stuck in the traffic caused by the celebrations.


KSRelief signs agreements for relief to Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians

Updated 25 April 2019
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KSRelief signs agreements for relief to Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians

  • Al-Rabeeah: We have no hidden agenda in Syria and we work through international organizations

BEIRUT: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, signed on Wednesday seven agreements with Beirut and international and civil organizations operating in Lebanon to implement relief projects targeting Syrian and Palestinian refugees as well as the most affected host communities in Lebanon.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who participated in the symposium at the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut to sign the agreements, praised the strong Saudi-Lebanese relations, which have existed for decades, and stressed Lebanon’s keenness to ensure their permanence and development.

He said: “The meetings Al-Rabeeah has held with different Lebanese political and religious authorities over the past two days during his visit to Lebanon, under the guidance of King Salman, indicate the Saudi leadership’s true desire to deepen the fraternal ties with the Lebanese, support Lebanon’s unity, independence, sovereignty and coexistence formula, and protect its existence from the repercussions of all the fires, crises and interventions that plague many countries.”

During the symposium, which was attended by a large group of political, religious and social figures, Al-Rabeeah called on the international donor community to shoulder more responsibility.

Addressing the implementing bodies, he said: “It is time to reconsider your working mechanisms in order to develop them and improve procedures to avoid negative impacts.”

“What I mean by reconsidering working processes is that there is a need to work professionally and skillfully because there are not many resources, and we must eliminate bureaucracy and speedily make the most of resources,” Al-Rabeeah told Arab News.

He stressed the importance of developing a close partnership between the donor and the implementer of projects, highlighting that KSRelief’s work is subject to international and regional oversight mechanisms as well as its own internal control mechanisms.

“We have two strategic partners, and when agreements are signed with the recipients of assistance, this means accepting oversight terms,” he said.

Al-Rabeeah said: “Saudi Arabia supports the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, and so is the case for Yemen.”

“Saudi Arabia has supported peaceful dialogues, which restore security and stability,” he said. “In order for this to happen in Syria, we support the efforts of the United Nations and implement (as KSRelief) relief programs inside Syria. We also have major programs and we count on the UN to ensure a safe return for Syrian refugees.”

On the Syrian regions in which KSRelief is implementing its programs and the difficulties faced, Al-Rabeeah told Arab News: “We have nothing to do with military or religious matters, and wherever there is security, we work. We also work through the UN and the international organizations inside Syria, and we do not have any hidden agenda in this field.”

He stressed that “participating in rebuilding Syria requires security and stability, and the Saudi leadership hopes for a peaceful solution as soon as possible. Until this is achieved, the relief work will continue and won’t cease.”

Al-Rabeeah announced that KSRelief is implementing a quality program to rehabilitate recruited children in Yemen alongside its education, protection, health and environment projects.

“There are those who recruit children to fight in Yemen, violating all humanitarian laws. Our center rehabilitates them so that they are not used as terrorist tools in the future,” he said.

Al-Rabeeah emphasized that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 has given relief work its share, especially in terms of volunteering programs. “We have great examples involved in the field,” he said.

Among the signed agreements was one with the Lebanese High Relief Commission (HRC) to carry out a project to cover the food needs of Lebanese families.

Chairman of Lebanon’s High Relief Commission Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khair told Arab News that the agreement targets distributing 10,000 food rations to orphans, widows and destitute families in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas in Lebanon. “This project is encouraging and gives hope to people,” he said.

Khair said that there are 100,000 people in need in Bab Al-Tabbaneh district alone, pledging to commit to transparency during the implementation of the project. “It is not a question of sectarian balance; we are focused on those who are most in need,” he said.

The signed agreements include one for repairing, equipping, and operating the Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Center for Dialysis at the Makassed General Hospital, an agreement with the UNHCR worth $5 million to implement a project for assisting the most affected Syrian families for six months, an agreement to support Souboul Assalam Association in Akkar (northern Lebanon), an agreement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to implement a project worth $3.8 million to cover the needs of Syrian families that are below the poverty line for a year, and an agreement with UNRWA to cover the medical needs and treatment of cancer and multiple sclerosis in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said: “The challenge facing UNRWA after the reduction of its budget is maintaining the operation of its 715 schools in the Middle East.”

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner for us, and owing to its help, we will be able to help cancer and multiple sclerosis patients,” he said.