Daniah Alsaleh wins Ithra Art Prize 2019

Daniah Alsaleh
Updated 01 February 2019
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Daniah Alsaleh wins Ithra Art Prize 2019

  • Alsaleh will receive $100,000 to help realize her proposed artwork
  • The prize is a joint initiative between the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and Art Dubai

DHAHRAN: London-based Saudi Arabian artist Daniah Alsaleh was announced on Thursday as the winner of the second edition of the Ithra Art Prize. The prize is a joint initiative between the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and Art Dubai, launched in 2017 with the aim of supporting and promoting emerging Saudi contemporary artists on a global platform. 

Ithra is a cultural and creative hub based in Dhahran, dedicated to showcasing local and global talent. It made TIME Magazine’s 2018 list of the world’s 100 best places to visit. 

Alsaleh will receive $100,000 to help realize her proposed artwork, which will be exhibited at Art Dubai before moving to Ithra as part of the center’s permanent collection. The inaugural winner, Sharjah-based conceptual artist Ayman Zedani’s commission, “Meem,” was exhibited at Art Dubai last year.

In a press release, Ithra and Art Dubai said the second edition had received twice as many applications from Saudi artists and collectives as the debut edition. 

Alsaleh’s winning proposal was selected by a committee consisting of Ithra’s curatorial team, along with international art experts Mona Khazindar and Anna Seaman.

Alsaleh was born in Riyadh in 1970. She is currently completing a Master’s in Fine Art in Computational Art at Goldsmiths University of London. 

Through her work, the release said, she “addresses notions of the unobtrusive, the ordinary and the common, using geometry and pattern as a form of expression, and crossing disciplines from painting to developing generative art processes with code.”

Alsaleh’s proposal, which was described by the selection committee as “powerful and thoroughly captivating,” focuses on the structure of language. It is called “Sawtam,” which translates as “phoneme,” a unit of sound. 

Ali Al-Mutairi, Ithra’s director, said: “After the successful opening of the center last year, we are thrilled to see the Ithra Art Prize proceed in its second edition. Our key commitment remains to support and promote Saudi and Saudi-based artistic talent, and we are delighted to partner with Art Dubai once more on this prize. 

“The committee’s response to Daniah’s work was unanimous and we are looking forward to supporting her closely as she works on the commission, and look forward to its reveal in March.”

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as the winner for the second edition of the Ithra Art Prize and look forward to showcasing my work at Art Dubai,” Alsaleh said in a statement. “With its many initiatives to support Saudi artists like myself, Ithra has made a tangible difference in the development of Saudi Arabia’s art scene and I’m honored and humbled to be associated with such a prestigious project and organization.” 


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.