First women’s martial arts tournament concludes in Jeddah

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu championship is a form of wrestling consisting of one round that lasts for five minutes, whereas the amateur kickboxing championship consists of two rounds of light contact, each lasting for two minutes. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 November 2018

First women’s martial arts tournament concludes in Jeddah

  • In the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi was the winner, Ma’wiya Zahed was second and Hanan Saber third

JEDDAH: The Legendary Heroes gym club in Jeddah organized the first women’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing tournament, with the participation of around 40 contestants.
This tournament is considered the first-of-its-kind women’s sports event in the Kingdom. It was held under the auspices of the General Sports Authority. The tournament aimed to stress the importance of women’s power in society and further promote martial arts values.
The tournament was characterized by the contestants’ enthusiasm and fierce competition. In the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi was the winner, Ma’wiya Zahed was second and Hanan Saber third. In the kickboxing lightweight division, Alzhra’ Al-Qorshi was first and Mourouj Al-Amoudi second. In the jiu-jitsu middleweight division, Hounouf Sanari was the winner and Lyann Hadrami runner-up, and in the kickboxing middleweight division, Hadeel Ashour won and Maha Halwani was second. Mourouj Al-Amoudi won the jiu-jitsu heavyweight division, with Lynn Fira second, Arwi Tambousi third and Shahd Al-Shareef fourth. Sarah Nas won the kickboxing heavyweight division and Rana Hakim was runner-up. In the jiu-jitsu open weight division, Shahd Al-Shareef was first and Hanan Saber second.
Captain Mohammed Abbas, the founder of Legendary Heroes, said the championship competitions had a large audience and a broad attendance of women of various age groups. It also witnessed various sports such as audience arm-wrestling and martial arts shows such as karate, Taekwondo and Tai Chi.
Jumana Yusuf, executive director of the tournament’s organizing committee, said she was happy with the success of the tournament, which aims to spread martial arts culture and discipline, reflecting positively on promoting the country to be in the ranks of developed countries.
She added that throughout history, this culture has been a key factor in the revival and advancement of people and the defense of their homelands.
“The second goal is to lead by example in organizing and managing women’s martial arts tournaments so that all women’s clubs can organize such activities professionally and smoothly.
“The Legendary Heroes gym club’s management in Jeddah organized training and refereeing sessions for its working group and contestants in these two sports. The management also gave away a free booklet that includes the translated two sports’ arbitration laws. Captain Marouj Al-Ghamdi, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu trainer, was a fundamental factor in spreading these sports and organizing this tournament as one of the judges and as a contestant,” she added.
The tournament’s judges were international Saudi contestant Captain Farah Al-Zahrani, the holder of a blue belt practicing in Jordan, and international judges Amina Hatem and Rou’a Zareh.

Meet Saudi Arabia’s artist to the kings

Saudi painter Hisham Binjabi’s stunning creations have become the choice of kings. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 34 min 10 sec ago

Meet Saudi Arabia’s artist to the kings

  • From the age of three, Hisham Binjabi has never lost his appetite for art

JEDDAH: When it comes to royal connections, Saudi painter Hisham Binjabi can truly claim to have made it an art form.

During a lifetime at the easel, the unassuming Jeddah-based artist’s stunning creations have become the choice of kings.

And it all began at the age of just 14, when Binjabi painted a portrait of King Faisal and ended up presenting it in person to the late king of Saudi Arabia.

Further commissions were to follow, which resulted in Binjabi producing works of art not only for the Saudi royal family, but royalty in other countries too.

Today he owns two galleries in Jeddah from where he exhibits artwork and sculptures from around the world. 

Binjabi revealed his incredible story to Arab News while at work painting on canvas at a recent Jeddah book fair.

Hisham Binjabi made works of art not only for the Saudi royal family, but royalty in other countries too. (Photos/Supplied)

From the age of three, when he painted the walls of his family home in black, Binjabi has never lost his appetite for art. His talent was recognized at school where he was known as the “boy who paints,” and although he chose to major in science, a teacher spotted his artistic skills and taught him the basics of mixing colors.

Binjabi said: “After that I started to practice, and whenever I didn’t need to attend a class, I would escape to the painting room. As I became stronger with the use of colors, my teacher suggested I pick a subject to paint and I chose to do a portrait of King Faisal.”

After framing his picture, Binjabi was spotted carrying his creation down the street by the then-minister of education, who was so taken by it that he invited the teenager to present it to King Faisal himself. 

On the right track

The young artist continued to paint in his home and later studied English literature at King Abdul Aziz University, where again his talents were spotted. 

The dean of the university asked him to produce a painting to display in a tent, and this time the subject was to be camels.

During a visit to the campus, the then-King Khaled saw the painting and asked to meet the artist. “Before I knew it, I was standing in front of King Khaled,” said Binjabi. 

“The king asked me why I had painted camels, and I told him that camels were the friends of Bedouin people.”

The king invited Binjabi to go to Riyadh and attend the first ever Janadriyah Festival, and from then on his works became highly prized by royalty. The then-Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz asked him to produce a painting of his guests, a French prince and Sheikh Zayed of the UAE, watching camels through binoculars. 

As a result, Binjabi was invited to stay at Sheikh Zayed’s palace in Abu Dhabi, where he spent four months painting a family portrait for the leader.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was to be another of Binjabi’s distinguished clients, and even while studying for a Master’s degree in Lebanon, he painted for the king of Lebanon.

He said: “It did get overwhelming. I never asked to be associated with royalty, it just happened. Something in my heart kept pushing me along and telling me I was on the right track.”

Today he still represents the Kingdom in many different countries. 

“My life is full of stories about art which I find inspirational,” Binjabi added.