FaceOf: Abdullah Abu Thunain, vice minister at the Saudi labor ministry

Abdullah Abu Thunain
Updated 04 March 2019
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FaceOf: Abdullah Abu Thunain, vice minister at the Saudi labor ministry

  • He worked at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh for 15 years, holding several positions
  • He holds a master’s in economics and a doctorate in finance from the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia

Abdullah Abu Thunain has been vice minister of labor and social development since last February. He was previously deputy minister for inspection and development of work environments for around a year.

He also served as deputy minister for planning, development and information between Feb. 2016 and June 2017.

He was acting governor of the Job Creation Commission, which is a government body founded in 2015, and is a current board member of Takamol Holding and Colleges of Excellence in Riyadh.

He has also been a board member of several government institutions including the Education Evaluation Commission, Tamkin Technologies, the General Authority for Statistics, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, and the Public Transport Authority.

He worked at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh for 15 years, holding several positions.

He has a bachelor’s in finance from King Saud University in Riyadh. He has a master’s in information systems management and an MBA in finance from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He holds a master’s in economics and a doctorate in finance from the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

He was an adjunct faculty instructor at the Old Dominion University for more than two years.

At a recent employment and labor market forum he said that recruiting young Saudi men and women was among the ministry’s main targets in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan, in partnership with the private sector.

He stressed the importance of raising the attractiveness of the work environment in the private sector, and providing occupational health and safety requirements for attracting outstanding individuals to work in private enterprises.


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

Updated 26 June 2019
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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.