Yanni wows Al-Ula, ‘the place where dreams begin’

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Yanni said it was a great honor to perform at Tantora, Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 February 2019
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Yanni wows Al-Ula, ‘the place where dreams begin’

  • Yanni gave the first complete live performance of “When Dreams Come True,” a piece composed in parts over 60 shows in 60 cities

AL-ULA: The Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Giza, the Amman Citadel … and now Al-Ula.

The Greek composer and instrumentalist Yanni capped his list of historic worldwide concert venues with a performance on Friday night against the stunning backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s heritage jewel.

“It’s a great honor to be here,” he told the sold-out crowd enjoying the latest show at the Winter at Tantora festival. “I’ve been here for a few days and I’m so touched by what I’ve seen. This is the place where dreams begin, and I find it quite inspiring.”

Yanni gave the first complete live performance of “When Dreams Come True,” a piece composed in parts over 60 shows in 60 cities, and which he dedicated to the people of Saudi Arabia. He also performed some of his most popular pieces, including “The Rain Must Fall” and “Reflections of Passion.”

On Twitter, Yanni expressed his delight and astonishment at the beauty of Al-Ula, responding to local fans and telling them how delighted he was to be visiting the site.

Hundreds of tweets from fans poured in as the concert went on, with people delighting at his praise and urging him to return.

In the past, the musician has been vocal about his support for the Saudi people and the changes taking place in the Kingdom. 

“You have to come to Saudi to feel this and to witness the changes ... I’m really amazed by the speed of how things have changed,” he said.


King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

Updated 50 min 34 sec ago
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King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

  • The man said he and his family can’t financially afford to perform Hajj
  • He was welcomed by the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia

DUBAI: King Salman has invited an Indonesian man, who is reportedly 140 years old, and his family to perform Hajj, the Saudi embassy in Jakarta said on Wednesday.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy mosques invites elderly Indonesian man and his family to perform Hajj,” the embassy tweeted.

The centenarian sent his appeal to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a video, asking the Saudi rulers to invite him and his daughters to perform Hajj for the first time, as they were unable to afford it on their own.
Social media users shared his video, in which he and two of his daughters explained their situation in Arabic

The man was hosted by Saudi ambassador to Indonesia Esam Al-Thagafi in Jakarta, who broke the good news to him.
The Saudi rulers saw the video and Hajj authorities will take care of their travels and necessities, Al-Thagafi told the man and his family.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims should aim to perform the ritual at least once in their lifetime.