Responsible leadership key to ‘justice, harmony’, Muslim World League chief tells conference at UN

Muslim World League Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa. (SPA)
Updated 03 May 2019
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Responsible leadership key to ‘justice, harmony’, Muslim World League chief tells conference at UN

  • Conference discusses enrichment of human life physically and spiritually

JEDDAH: Responsible leadership is the main pillar in establishing justice and harmony among all countries, said Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

Addressing religious and political dignitaries, intellectuals and human rights activists at an MWL conference on responsible leadership at the UN headquarters in New York, he said the league will donate $1 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

He also underlined the MWL’s readiness to take part in a number of UN projects designed to improve needy people’s quality of life worldwide.

The conference discussed topics related to enriching human life physically and spiritually. One such topic was “a return to civility in public discourse” amid increased divisions.

Participants also tackled the widening gap between rich and poor in developed and developing countries.

They called for policies that provide effective economic gains for the poorest and most marginalized communities.

They also called for environmental protection and sustainability worldwide so future generations are not jeopardized.

Participants emphasized the importance of faith as a factor uniting the peoples of the world instead of dividing them.

They underscored the importance of eliminating breeding grounds that produce such groups as Daesh, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazis.

The conference also discussed gender equality, and all agreed that inequality between women and men hinders countries’ advancement. Participants called for an environment that helps empower women.

Al-Issa thanked all the participants for their presence and interaction, and expressed hope that everyone will cooperate to promote peace, tolerance, justice and mercy for a better future for humanity.


First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

Updated 27 June 2019
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First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

  • The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah
  • Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetched SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction

JEDDAH: Art for Al Balad, the first charity auction of contemporary art in the Kingdom, achieved sales of SR 4.8 million ($1.3 million) on Wednesday.

The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, all of which sold, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah, on Wednesday. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with auction house Christie’s.

“It was much above our expectations; we are very happy,” said Michael Jeha, chairman of Christie's Middle East.

About 200 Saudi art collectors joined artists and other members of the Saudi and international cultural communities at the event. Bidding was highly competitive, with “Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetching SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Nassif House was built in 1872. Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, was received at this house upon his entry to the city in 1925.

• The Saudi government is keen to restore and preserve buildings with historic and cultural significance, and carries out regular renovation work.

• Al-Balad, or Jeddah historic district, is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. It contains about 600 buildings that date back to the 19th century.

 

“Where to” by Prince Badr bin Abdulmohsen was the second-most expensive work, selling for SR 500,000, while “Witness in the Desert” by Abdullah Al-Sahikh attracted a winning bid of SR 380,000.

“It was extremely pleasing, very encouraging,” said Jeha. “The energy in the room was fantastic. The enthusiasm was very strong. I think for the very first auction, we can all be extremely pleased.”

Jeha described the growth of the art scene and culture in general in Saudi Arabia as very impressive, and said that the Ministry of Culture has developed a strong platform and program for the coming years, which will help to establish art and culture in the hearts and minds of people in the Kingdom.

The profits from the auction will help to establish a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and support The Help Center, a non-profit organization that provides customized support to children in the city with special educational needs.

The auction received donations and funding from galleries, cultural foundations, private collectors, and artists across the Arab World, the assistance of which was acknowledged by the Ministry of Culture.

“This would not be possible without the generous support of both the donors and the talented artists,” said Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture, in his opening speech.

The ministry aspires to create and develop a cultural environment in which artists and other creatives can access a platform that celebrates a shared identity and builds understanding between people.

Speaking of the Ministry’s three main objectives in its cultural vision for 2019, Fayez said that it aims to support the nation’s cultural transformation by promoting culture as a way of life, enable the sector to contribute to the economy, and encourage international cultural exchanges.

Before the auction, the works on sale were on display to the public in an exhibition on June 23 and 24.