Private screening of ‘Born a King’ in Riyadh

Prince Turki Al-Faisal making his way to the private screening of 'Born a King.' (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
Updated 04 April 2019

Private screening of ‘Born a King’ in Riyadh

  • Film is the first to depict a Saudi head of state on the big screen

RIYADH: “Born a King,” the biopic based on the life of King Faisal Al-Saud, has had its first private screening at the Vox Cinema in Riyadh.
The event, hosted by Prince Turki Al-Faisal, was attended by members of the royal family including Prince Sultan bin Salman and Prince Bader bin Abdul Mohsin. Abdullah Khalil, the actor who played King Faisal, was also present, alongside members of the production team. 
The film opens with his 1919 visit to London when he was still a young prince, on a diplomatic mission on behalf of his father, King Abdul Aziz, to King George V of England. It goes on to depict the formative experiences and relationships in his life, including with his father and his brothers, which turned him into the king he later became.
The film’s cultural adviser and assistant art director, Princess Tarfa bint Fahad Al-Saud, told Arab News: “It was not easy to get information from that period of time, and we relied on the (royal) family for details.” She credited her grandparents and family for supplying her with stories, all of which were invaluable to the process of creating the biopic.
“It was a period of time that we haven’t ever talked about, but all these details are portrayed in the movie,” she added, calling the film’s director, Agusti Villaronga, an “amazing artist” for his dedication to the project. 
“For us as Saudis, it is super sensitive. It was a responsibility (for the production team), but they did their best. I want to credit everyone, because everyone was a part of it. It was a national mission.”
The film took three years to make, and was shot at various locations, including the UK and historical villages on the outskirts of Riyadh. Hundreds of Saudis contributed to the movie’s production, as crew, extras, or stunt men.
The official movie premiere date has yet to be announced.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.