Ali Al-Mutairi, director of the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture

Ithra Director Ali Al-Mutairi
Updated 25 October 2018
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Ali Al-Mutairi, director of the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture

  • Ithra celebrated the opening of its museum’s first exhibitions this week

Ali Al-Mutairi is the director of the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). Since Ithra was launched in 2017, Al-Mutairi’s mission has been to establish the center as the go-to venue for public education and entertainment.

This mission has been achieved through the incorporation of high-quality facilities such as museums, film screenings, auditoriums, exhibition halls and a grand library.

Ithra celebrated the opening of its museum’s first exhibitions this week. The opening was part of Tanween, Ithra’s creativity season, a 17-day event that explores creativity in art, music, film, theater, science, literature, cultural heritage and entrepreneurship. 

Al-Mutairi said the museum is an essential part of Ithra. It seeks to spread knowledge, foster cross-culture interaction and sponsor national content by attracting visitors to the exhibitions and the varied interactive performances. 

Al Mutairi earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations and image management from King Saud University in 1988. He received a postgraduate diploma in marketing from the Institute of Public Administration in 1992. 

Before becoming director of Ithra, Al-Mutairi was director of public affairs for Aramco Services Co. in Texas, manager of public relations for Saudi Aramco and manager of the corporate affairs services department for Saudi Aramco.

This week’s opening event at Ithra showcased film screenings. Visitors got a glimpse of the many galleries from contemporary Saudi and Middle Eastern art, Saudi identity and heritage, Islamic art and its impact, and concluding with the natural history of the Arabian Peninsula. 

The 6,000-square-meter museum includes four galleries that showcase the best of Islamic and Saudi history, as well as Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art.


Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

Syrian artist Osama Esid’s painting explores personal identity. (Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2019
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Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

JEDDAH: The Hafez Gallery has organized the Shara Art Fair at the Saudi Art Council’s headquarters, bringing together five galleries from around Jeddah.
“I’ve been exhibiting with the Hafez Gallery for the past four years, ever since it started,” Osama Esid, from Damascus, told Arab News.
His painting at the art fair, “Zamakan,” is “about refugees sinking as they try to cross vast stretches of water,” he said.
He created the painting “in the dark to show the final resting place of these refugees,” he added. “I’d use brushes, sticks, and sometimes even my fingers.”
Artist Bashair Hawsawi told Arab News that his piece, showing a couple of broom heads attached back to back, “reflects the experiences I went through this year, because I want to clean my thoughts and ideas from negative things.” He added: “When I was young, people would comment on my shyness and weakness, so I started to be aware of this, and that helped me work out who I really wanted to be.”

FASTFACT

• Five galleries from around Jeddah participated in the Shara Art Fair organized by Hafez Gallery.

• Artist Osama Esid, from Damascus, has been exhibiting his works at Hafez Gallery for the past four years.

• Bashair Hawsawi and Khalid Zahid were the other artists who had their works exhibited at the art fair.

Khalid Zahid, known for his Islamic-themed modern art, exhibited balloons shaped like mosques in different colors. “The concept is called ‘Joyful.’ What I wanted to show was how balloons bring joy whether you’re young or old,” he told Arab News.
“As for the shape, I wanted to show how Islam brings joy to people. That’s why they (the balloons) look like mosques.”