Saudi ‘care’ for Thai Muslims wins praise

Japakiya hailed the efforts of the charge d’affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok, Abdul Ilah Al-Shuaibi, and the programs offered by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs. (SPA)
Updated 26 May 2019
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Saudi ‘care’ for Thai Muslims wins praise

  • Japakiya condemned the repeated attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, and called for a firm stand on Iran’s intervention in the region and its attempts to incite sectarian strife

BANGKOK: Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “serve the Muslims of Thailand and the world” have been praised by Ismail Lutfi Japakiya, rector of Fatoni University and a member of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League.
The Kingdom is “at the forefront of all that matters to Muslims and defending their causes,” Japakiya said.
He was speaking following a meeting with Youssef bin Abdullah Al-Hamoudi, the Islamic adviser at the Saudi Embassy in Thailand.
“The Thai people have been indebted to the Kingdom throughout history for the care it gives them, facilitating Hajj and Umrah, building mosques and Islamic centers, providing books, Qur’an copies and books of interpretation, organizing iftar projects, distributing dates, and sending students and scholars who promote moderate Islam,” Japakiya said.
“King Salman is an experienced leader who loves all Muslims around the world. He has devoted his time and effort to unite Muslims, defend their causes, contribute to protecting them from harm, promote moderate Islam, and fight extremism and terrorism.”
Japakiya condemned the repeated attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, and called for a firm stand on Iran’s intervention in the region and its attempts to incite sectarian strife. He confirmed his support for moves by Saudi Arabia to protect the two Holy Mosques and defend its territory.
Japakiya hailed the efforts of the charge d’affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok, Abdul Ilah Al-Shuaibi, and the programs offered by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.
Al-Hamoudi said that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs seeks to achieve the aspirations of the Saudi leadership, which has made its top priority caring for the Muslims of the world.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Samat Maaloulim, director-general of the Islamic Center in Bangkok; Khalid Al-Najmi, the delegate of the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance for the Ramadan Imamah program; and a media delegation covering the ministry’s programs and events.


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.