Literature and art attract thousands to Jeddah Book Fair

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There were 2,000 exhibitors and book signings for over 200 authors. (SPA)
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Updated 07 January 2019
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Literature and art attract thousands to Jeddah Book Fair

  • This year’s book fair theme was “Tolerance and Peace” and drew to a close Sunday with Saudi Arabia’s “Ardeh” dance and other folkloric activities
  • The fair drew more than 50,000 visitors a day and publishers from 40 countries

JEDDAH: Of the tens of thousands of people who flocked to the Jeddah International Book Fair, one stood out more than most.
Author Hala Tala Al-Tamimi is 11 years old and was at the fair, signing her debut work “Sweet Imaginations” for fans like a seasoned pro.
“I was inspired to write this book because I wanted to share my writing talent with everyone,” she told Arab News.
Her mother supported her endeavors and was determined to help in whatever way possible, letting Hala focus on writing and busied herself with the publishing process.
“Hala always had a creative side and expressed and interest in creative things in school activities, and she was a good student academically,” the mother told Arab News. “She always had a sense of confidence, so I was excited to hear that she was writing poetry. When she showed me the first drafts, I was impressed by the depth expressed in them.”
The young writer, beaming with pride, said: “All the good comments or advice make me better and more confident and I’m especially happy that there are people that like what I do. Bad comments or advice hurt my feelings, but does nothing to my confidence.”
She added that readers should get ready for a sequel, “Sweet Imaginations Part Two,” as the concept was already in the pipeline.
The fair drew more than 50,000 visitors a day and publishers from 40 countries.
There were more than 60 workshops in fine arts, photography and calligraphy, as well as seminars, lectures, and plays focusing on social and cultural topics.
An accompanying art fair pulled large crowds, even though it was not the main attraction.
Sculptures and paintings from different artists were on display and, among the exhibits, was a man painting a gigantic canvas of the sunken ships of Jeddah.
Hisham Binjabi, 65, said he was the president of an association of fine arts in the Kingdom’s second city and a youth welfare consultant. He also teaches art and oversees two galleries.
“I have always been painting. I was four years old when everybody would stop me from painting because I would paint all the walls black,” he told Arab News. “I just love to see people appreciate art. I never asked anyone to be a painter, it was something that ran in my veins and I just portrayed it through my art.
“Prince Mishaal bin Majed, the governor of Jeddah, asked me to take care of this place and I am actually the one who collected everything in the first place.”
The fair, which ended Sunday, was held under the direct supervision of the Jeddah governor and under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
There were 2,000 exhibitors and book signings for more than 200 authors. A number of participating countries presented their heritage, folklore and theatrical performances including Jordan, Sudan, Finland, the US and Mexico.
This year’s book fair theme was “Tolerance and Peace” and drew to a close Sunday with Saudi Arabia’s “Ardeh” dance and other folkloric activities.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.