Eid event in Al-Jouf links young Saudis to ‘beautiful and glorious past’

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Updated 05 June 2019
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Eid event in Al-Jouf links young Saudis to ‘beautiful and glorious past’

  • Eid Al-Fitr has a distinct flavor in Al-Jouf, which has traditions that set it apart from other parts of the Kingdom

SAKAKA: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in Al-Jouf organized special events for the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The festivities are being held on Sakaka city’s Al-Dhale’ heritage street.
“Sakaka Awal” will bring together different generations, an SCTH official was quoted as saying.
“The objective of the event is to link young generations to their beautiful and glorious past, and to preserve the popular heritage of the region, including food, traditional clothes, and songs that are usually performed on these occasions,” Yasser bin Ibrahim Al-Ali, SCTH director-general in Al-Jouf, said.
Eid Al-Fitr has a distinct flavor in Al-Jouf, which has traditions that set it apart from other parts of the Kingdom.
There is a custom called Al-Ada. Young people gather palm fronds one or two days before the festival. They assemble these into a pyramid-like form and set the structure alight in preparation for their evening games, which last until the second day of Eid.
There is also the tradition of Al-Khadhab night, when women and young girls wear traditional dresses and adorn their hands and faces with henna.
Another local custom is when neighbors gather for Eid prayers. They salute and kiss each other and share their food. Men and young boys gather for the traditional Saudi Al-Ardheh sword dance and play games. 

 


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.