Madinah governor cites need for region’s economy to diversify

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman chairs the meeting in Madinah on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 03 February 2019

Madinah governor cites need for region’s economy to diversify

JEDDAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman presided over a working group meeting on Saturday, in preparation for the “Biban Madinah” forum set to launch on Feb. 7.

The forum, which will discuss the viability of future economic and infrastructural projects, and support for medium and small businesses in and around Madinah, will run for three days. 

Prince Faisal highlighted the need for the region’s economy to diversify in order to secure its prosperity in the future, and the importance of projects, such as those to be discussed at the forum, in that process.

“Forums that discuss economic projects are successful only when they become reality. This forum’s success depends on the quality of investment opportunities it will bring to the region by helping small and medium businesses,” he said.

Prince Faisal also commended the efforts of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises to support local businesses and entrepreneurs through similar forums, reserving special praise for its governor, Saleh Al-Rasheed.

Al-Rasheed said: “The forum will contribute to a competitive environment to encourage more small and medium enterprises to grow. 

“It is a platform for enrichment, empowerment, education and development, all while presenting numerous investment opportunities that suit the market’s needs.”




Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019

Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.