Abdullah Al-Ansari, Saudi Ministry of Interior adviser

Abdullah Al-Ansari
Updated 24 May 2019
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Abdullah Al-Ansari, Saudi Ministry of Interior adviser

  • Al-Ansari has also served as the director-general of legal affairs and international cooperation at the ministry
  • Al-Ansari got his bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 1990

Abdullah Al-Ansari has been an adviser at the Ministry of Interior since December 2018.

He has also served as the director-general of legal affairs and international cooperation at the ministry, and was a board member of the Human Rights Commission from 2009 to 2015.

Al-Ansari got his bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 1990, his master’s in Islamic jurisprudence from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah in 1997, and a second master’s, in comparative law, from Harvard in 2000. He has a doctorate specializing in national security laws, international law, comparative law, and human rights from the University of Virginia.

He served as an assistant professor in the Department of Islamic Studies at King Abdul Aziz University from 2009 to 2010, and was a senior fellow specializing in legal affairs and the affairs of Arab countries and the Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula & Gulf Studies Program at the University of Virginia from 2007 to 2010.

Al-Ansari has been a Shoura Council member since December 2016. He has written publications and published research covering law, human rights and combating extremism and terrorism.

He recently led the Saudi delegation at the 28th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Geneva. He presented a review of the Kingdom’s efforts in crime prevention and criminal justice.

The commission heard that the Kingdom’s security services had uncovered and disrupted active terrorist cells across the country. The delegation said the Kingdom continued to lay the foundations for a long-term strategy to defeat extremism.


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.