Nomad Games debut in Saudi Arabia with spectacular opening ceremony

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An exhibition of the Nomad Games debuted as part of the Ar Rumahiyah King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Friday night, with a spectacular opening ceremony. (AN photos by Iqbal Hossain)
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An exhibition of the Nomad Games debuted as part of the Ar Rumahiyah King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Friday night, with a spectacular opening ceremony. (AN photos by Iqbal Hossain)
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An exhibition of the Nomad Games debuted as part of the Ar Rumahiyah King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Friday night, with a spectacular opening ceremony. (AN photos by Iqbal Hossain)
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An exhibition of the Nomad Games debuted as part of the Ar Rumahiyah King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Friday night, with a spectacular opening ceremony. (AN photos by Iqbal Hossain)
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An exhibition of the Nomad Games debuted as part of the Ar Rumahiyah King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Friday night, with a spectacular opening ceremony. (AN photos by Iqbal Hossain)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Nomad Games debut in Saudi Arabia with spectacular opening ceremony

  • Nomad Village will host a movie venue, “Cinemastan,” showing 90 short films shortlisted from 79 countries
  • The event is dedicated to preserving traditional nomadic culture

RIYADH: The Olympic Games may celebrate the world’s oldest sporting tradition, but a relative newcomer, the Nomad Games, offers a fascinating alternative to sports fans.
An exhibition of the games debuted as part of the Ar Rumahiyah King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Friday night, with a spectacular opening ceremony.
Teams from over 85 countries will compete in a wide range of events, including horse riding, hunting, archery, wrestling and traditional dance.
The games will take place over a 10-day-period at the Nomad Village, a heritage site built especially for the event. There will also be a marketplace offering traditional products from the competing nations, from food and textiles to artworks and handicrafts from 90 countries, as well as many other family-based activities.
The festival site is divided into sections, including a commercial area, a desert park, and a village center where all fun-filled activities will take place.
Astor Echevoaria, a member of the Argentine delegation, said: “We are glad to be the part of the maiden Nomad Games in Saudi Arabia, and look forward to them flourishing in this part of the world. It’s basically a platform to come together from different parts of the globe, with a message of peace.”
Nomad Village will also host a movie venue, “Cinemastan,” showing 90 short films shortlisted from 79 countries. The movies will depict cultural legends and the stories of significant historical figures, and run every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The first Nomad Games were held in 2014 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, with 580 athletes from 19 countries competing in different sports, and 1,200 people taking part in a cultural program, “Nomad Universe.”
The games are dedicated to preserving traditional nomadic culture, and have become Central Asia’s biggest sporting event. The competition takes place biennially, with the next event to be held in Turkey in 2020.
The village welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the festival, and entry is free.


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

Updated 13 min 40 sec ago
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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 Dhahran museum.

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.