Indonesian envoy proud to be guest of honor at Janadriyah

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The annual Janadriyah festival opened on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 21 December 2018
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Indonesian envoy proud to be guest of honor at Janadriyah

  • ‘Jakarta’s taking part in the festival will further strengthen the bond between the two countries’

JEDDAH: One of Indonesia’s top diplomats has revealed his country’s pride at being guest of honor at a major Saudi heritage festival.
The annual Janadriyah festival, which opened on Thursday, will have world peace as its central theme during its three-week celebration of Saudi lifestyle and culture.
Dr. Alwi Shihab, the Indonesian president’s special envoy to the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), told Arab News that it was a “privilege” for his nation to be invited by Saudi Arabia to take part in the event, and said it would further strengthen the bond between the two countries.
Shihab said: “We are proud of this appointment, which many countries aspire to, and we are thankful to the king and to the government of Saudi Arabia.”
“Our contribution to Janadriyah will include introducing the different cultures of Indonesia, with its varied ethnic groups, languages and cuisines,” said Shihab. “It is a privilege to be involved, and we are proud of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
He expressed hope that the festival, considered to be the biggest annual arts and cultural event of its kind in the Middle East, would showcase the rich cultural diversity of the two nations and result in more tourist and educational exchanges.
“Indonesia will showcase various performances of traditional culture and Indonesian films. Also, we will introduce the significance of our historical relations with Saudi Arabia since the early days from the first Saudi monarch’s visit to the latest one,” Shihab said.
The Indonesian delegation attending this year’s festival will include the ministers for education and culture, tourism and human development, as well as Puan Maharani, granddaughter of Indonesia’s founding president.
More than 90 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million population are Muslims, and Shihab said he expects the festival to strengthen the religious and historical links between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia was among the first countries in the world to acknowledge Indonesia’s independence in 1945, and there have been regular top-level governmental visits between the two nations ever since.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Saudi Arabia in 2015. During his trip to Indonesia in 2017, King Salman pledged $1 billion for social aid there as part of a $13 billion package of funding for business, education and religion.
Shihab said: “Due to our cultural and religious relations, thousands of students study in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is funding universities and institutes in our country.”
He praised the work of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which he said had put the Kingdom at the center of the world economic stage.
“Especially with the crown prince’s Vision 2030 (reform plan), we can see huge progress in the Kingdom” and “one of the most significant transformations in Saudi Arabia,” said Shihab.
“The two largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia, Al-Muhammadiya and Nahdhat Al-Ulama, each having memberships of more than 100 million people, are headed by prominent scholars who received their education in Makkah.”
He said: “Saudi Arabia was, and will continue to be, the source of Islamic teachings.”


Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

At a five-star hotel in Davos, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming ‘The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.’ (AN photo)
Updated 37 min 47 sec ago
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Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

  • The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders

DAVOS: From the sub-zero temperatures of the icy Davos Promenade you are ushered through a glass door into the warmth of a desert majlis, with works by young Saudi artists on the walls and traditional Arabian delicacies being served. It is quite a culture shock.

The Davos majlis is the work of the Misk Global Forum (MGF), the international arm of the organization founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to promote youth empowerment. 

The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders.

“The Kingdom’s participation in WEF 2019 highlights its role in developing the regional and global economy, and reflects the nation’s continuing ambition for sustainable development,” said Bader Al-Asaker, head of the crown prince’s private office and chairman of the Misk Initiatives Center. 

The Saudi delegation’s HQ overlooks the main congress hall, inside the Davos security cordon. 

At a nearby five-star hotel, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming: “The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.” 

This is the second year Misk has been prominent at Davos. As well as the majlis, its pavilion offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in modern Saudi art via a virtual reality tour of the work of four young artists.

Misk is organizing daily events there, building up to a power breakfast with leading executives on Friday on the theme of youth empowerment.

“In an age of profound economic disruption, we regard young people as the problem-solvers, not a problem to be solved,” said MGF executive manager Shaima Hamidaddin.

“We’re holding interactive discussions on how to empower young people to be the architects of the future economy, not the tenants of it.”