Saudi Railways Organization urged to modernize outdated rail system linking Riyadh to Eastern Province

Shoura Council holds its 44th ordinary session in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Railways Organization urged to modernize outdated rail system linking Riyadh to Eastern Province

RIYADH: The Shoura Council held its 44th regular session in Riyadh on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Dr. Yahya bin Abdullah Al-Samaan, assistant speaker of the council.

During the session, the council called on the Saudi Railways Organization to develop the infrastructure of the existing rail system to enable it to use advanced and fast trains to reduce the time of journeys on Riyadh, Al-Ahsa and Dammam lines.

The council asked the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) to identify the regions’ competitive advantages, urge investors to benefit from them and create agriculture-based, livestock-based and fisheries-based industries.

It also called on MODON to boost cooperation with government bodies and benefit from meetings, conferences and exhibitions to showcase the strength and resilience of the Kingdom’s economy in accordance with its 2030 Vision.

The session approved a project that aims to broaden the private sector’s role in heritage and cultural festivities throughout the year.

It enables the private sector to play an important role in the promotion of heritage and cultural festivals in improving internal tourism and national unity.

The system seeks to support local productive families and popular professions, in addition to creating job opportunities for Saudis across the Kingdom.

The council also approved a convention between the Saudi government and the Republic of Benin in the field of air transport services, signed in Riyadh on Oct. 2, 2018.


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

Updated 56 min 53 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.