Auction of contemporary Middle Eastern art to benefit Jeddah’s Al-Balad historic district

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The Nassif House in Al-Balad served as the royal residence of Saudi Arabia’s founder Abdulaziz Ibn Saud upon his entry to the city in 1925. (Courtesy Saudi Ministry of Culture)
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The Nassif House in Al-Balad served as the royal residence of Saudi Arabia’s founder Abdulaziz Ibn Saud upon his entry to the city in 1925. (Courtesy Saudi Ministry of Culture)
Updated 31 May 2019
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Auction of contemporary Middle Eastern art to benefit Jeddah’s Al-Balad historic district

DUBAI: The Saudi Ministry of Culture and auction house Christie’s on June 26 will hold a special charity auction of contemporary Middle Eastern art to benefit a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and a children’s non-profit organization also in the city.

The event, Art for Al-Balad, is the first of its kind in the Kingdom with over 40 works donated for sale by collectors, artists and gallerists in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Among those who contributed artworks include the Mansouriah Foundation for Culture and Creativity, Ayyam Gallery, Agial Gallery, Al-Marsa Gallery, Elmarsa Gallery, Hafez Gallery as well as Rochan Galler, Mazen Soueid, George Alama, Hamza Bounoua, Abdullah K. Al-Turki and Qaswra Hafez.

Proceeds from the sales will support the creation of a dedicated heritage museum that will tell the story of the Al-Balad’s unique history and the Help Center, a Jeddah-based children’s non-profit organization which provides tailored support to children with special educational needs, a statement from the organizers said.

Al-Balad, situated on Saudi Arabia’s western Red Sea coast, boasts of 600 buildings dating back to the 19th century – including traditional tower houses with distinctive wooden tops or ‘roshan’ – and is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom.

“A dedicated Al-Balad Museum is an important cause that will play a crucial role in historic Jeddah’s preservation and regeneration. It will showcase a part of Saudi Arabia’s heritage to a wide audience and ensure that culture is embedded into Saudi citizens’ everyday lives for generations to come,” said Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah.

Arts and culture have the power to transform lives, and this is clearly demonstrated by this group of talented artists donating their work to support the Al-Balad Museum and the Help Center.”


Saudi Arabia offers one million sim cards and internet access to Hajj pilgrims

Updated 43 min 36 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia offers one million sim cards and internet access to Hajj pilgrims

  • The move aims to serve pilgrims who are keen to communicate with their dearest ones back home

MAKKAH: One million sim cards and free internet will be offered as gifts to pilgrims performing Hajj this year upon arriving at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

The initiative is part of a program aimed at serving pilgrims who are keen to communicate with their nearest and dearest back home.

A field team will be working 24 hours during the Hajj season to offer this service to the arriving pilgrims so that they can share their experience with their families.

The project comes as part of  efforts by the Kingdom to serve pilgrims under directions by King Salman and the Crown Prince to allow pilgrims to perform their rituals with ease.