Saudi Arabia pledges $50m to UN Palestinian refugee agency

Palestinian pupils protest in front of a school administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)and financed by US aid, in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the occupied West Bank on September 25, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia pledges $50m to UN Palestinian refugee agency

  • Saudi Arabia has pledged $50 million to UNRWA which has been hit by the withdrawal of all US funding
  • The announcement was made at a press conference in the Saudi capital

Saudi Arabia has pledged on Wednesday $50 million to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which has been hit by the withdrawal of all US funding, an official said.
The announcement was made at a press conference in the Saudi capital by the director of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, Abdullah al-Rabeea.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump cut aid for Palestinians and announced it would no longer provide any funding to UNRWA, a week after cutting over $200 million in separate aid to Palestinians.
They were the latest in a series of controversial moves by the Trump administration that have thrilled Israel’s government but caused shock and dismay among international powers and Palestinians, making their dream of an independent state more distant than ever.


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.”