FaceOf: Dr. Osama Sayyid Al-Azhari, Egyptian president’s adviser on religious affairs

Dr. Osama Sayyid Al-Azhari
Updated 04 February 2019

FaceOf: Dr. Osama Sayyid Al-Azhari, Egyptian president’s adviser on religious affairs

Dr. Osama Sayyid Al-Azhari has been the Egyptian president’s adviser on religious affairs since October 2014. 

Al-Azhari is a scholar, preacher, academic, and a senior fellow at the Kalam Research and Media think tank.

He is also a lecturer at the Faculty of the Fundamentals of Religion at Al-Azhar University, Cairo. 

He has been a lecturer at several universities in Egypt, including Zagazig University.

He was assigned by Egypt’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Ali Juma to deliver the Friday sermon at Sultan Hassan Mosque, one of the largest historical mosques in the world. 

Al-Azhari served in that position between 2005 and 2009. He also gave a weekly lecture at the mosque on public topics related to Islamic sciences. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s and a Ph.D., all from Al-Azhar University. He is considered one of the most influential voices in Egypt and in the field of Islamic studies. 

He has participated in numerous conferences and forums, co-authored articles and other publications, and given religious talks and lectures on TV and radio.

Al-Azhari on Saturday visited the Saudi pavilion at the Cairo International Book Fair, accompanied by Saudi Cultural Attache Dr. Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Nami.

Al-Azhari said: “Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the safety valve of the Arab and Islamic nation. Egypt is the country of Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Kingdom is the land of the Two Holy Mosques. The combined efforts of the two countries are a pillar of safety for the entire nation.”


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”