‘The Magic Dream’ — inspiring the love of nature in the age of digital technology

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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 09 July 2019
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‘The Magic Dream’ — inspiring the love of nature in the age of digital technology

  • Yet another fantastic fun-filled event at Jeddah Season suitable for all family members
  • German Holger Ehlers from Berlin, the show’s creator, has toured Europe’s biggest arenas for over 10 years with his international extravaganzas

JEDDAH: Saudis in Jeddah had an enchanting experience at “The Magic Dream,” run by Mondwind Entertainment GMBH, on Sunday as part of the city’s Jeddah Season festival.

“The story is about traveling throughout the world, throughout different nationalities, and finding love — the eternal requirement for humans,” the show’s coordinator, Claudine Attard, told Arab News. 

“The message of the magic dream is that in a world becoming more digital and technical, humanity should not forget the beauty of nature and the love it inspires. 

IN NUMBERS

  • 40 horses
  • 17 riders
  • 8 dancers
  • 35 crew members

“‘The Magic Dream’ is geared to be a family show so anyone can come to see it, all ages are able to enjoy it. There’s so much in it for everyone. The idea of this particular story is that in today’s world, there’s so much digital technology, everybody is taken away by it, but we as humans need to still appreciate all the nature around us, so we can go back to looking out at it and maybe less into our digital world. This is something that brings us all together and also helps keep the family environment as strong as possible,” Attard said.

 

‘Wonderful experience’

The creator, Berlin’s Holger Ehlers, has been touring Europe for over 10 years with his international arena shows.

“It’s been a wonderful experience, it was incredible. We never thought that this (performing in the Kingdom) would be possible but this happened, and the hospitality that we have received, the love that has been given by all the people that helped us, the local companies that are involved, this huge fantastic season, Jeddah Season has been out of our expectations. We’re really grateful to be here and we are so happy.”

Saudi painter Rakan Kurdi attended the event and said he was impressed by the performance and the event’s special needs facilities. 

 “I was amazed by the organization of the event and delighted to see international performances such as this in Saudi Arabia. All the attendees are happy, people with special needs are happy. The story was beautiful, I was happy from the moment I arrived until the end of the show.”

 

Appreciation

Italian dancer Giuseppe Salomone shared his experience performing in the Kingdom for the first time.

“It was amazing. It is so nice to meet such friendly people. They are very nice and very warm,” he told Arab News

The ‘Magic Dream’ is a family show. The performers travel worldwide to spread happiness through their art. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)

Spanish rider Alejandro Barrionuevo said: “We’re here in Saudi Arabia for the first time, and we are happy because the atmosphere is fantastic. 

“It’s a really big pleasure to be part of this, for me and my team. We are coming here with all our hearts, to give our best, and I think we did it. We looked into the eyes of the public, and the public speak with their eyes, they were happy.” 

Austrian horse trainer Kerstin Brein said performing in the Kingdom for the first time was wonderful.

“I got goosebumps. I couldn’t imagine that I’m so far away, in this country. I never thought it would be possible that we would come here. It’s incredible,” she told Arab News.

Show announcer Leo Raddatz said preparations had been ongoing for months.

“It’s been working quite well, it’s been a good experience for everyone, there has been a lot of work and long nights, but it’s worth it. Tonight’s show was very good, very solid, and I think the audience enjoyed it. The atmosphere was amazing, we had an amazing audience in a great country, it has been a lot of fun.

“It’s amazing to be in a country like this, where this couldn’t have been imagined a couple of years ago. It’s a really cool experience and everything is very different here but also very cool to experience new things. 

“I think from all the shows that I’ve done so far this was one of the coolest because it’s such a different experience. You have to learn new things and experience everything again and I think that’s very enjoyable for the whole crew, be it backstage or onstage.”

Decoder

Horse Riding Terms

"Trick riding" refers to performing stunts while riding a horse. Liberty horse training is the interaction between horse and human, developing a connection, without saddles or reins.


Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

Updated 20 July 2019
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Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

  • The TV images beamed from 320,000km away in space left viewers astounded but happy
  • The TV coverage influenced thinking and attitudes in the Kingdom just like everywhere else

DUBAI: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before the end of the school vacation, and Saudis had their eyes glued to their TV sets as they waited for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Before July 20, 1969, the idea of a human walking on the moon was the stuff of science fiction. However, almost overnight, sci-fi had turned into reality with a live broadcast showing American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s dramatic descent onto the empty lunar landscape.

Between science fiction and science fact, the live coverage of the lunar landing amounted to an unusual fusion of news and entertainment.

Saudi TV technicians bring the first live images of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing to
viewers around the Kingdom. (Supplied photo)

The historic images — beamed back to Earth more than 320,000 km away — left Saudi viewers astounded and confused, but mostly elated to be witnessing such an epoch-making event.

The event was covered live on television and radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old.

“It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

While most people were aware that going to the moon was risky, many Saudis believed that such a journey was impossible and all but unthinkable.


EVENTS WATCH

1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission control room in Houston has been restored to its 1969 condition and regular tours
will be conducted by the Johnson Space Center.

2. NASA ‘Science Live’ will have a special edition on July 23 on board the aircraft carrier that recovered the Apollo 11 capsule.

3. A summer moon festival and family street fair will be held in Wapakoneta, Ohio, from July 17-20.

4. Downtown Houston’s Discovery green will host a free public screening of the ‘Apollo 11’ documentary, with an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.

5. Amateur radio operators will host a series of events on July 20-21.

6. The US Space and Rocket Center is staging a special ‘Rockets on Parade’ exhibition.


The Apollo 11 mission prompted discussions across the Middle East over the reality of what people saw on their TV screens. Some Saudi scholars found it hard to believe their eyes.

“I watched it, and I clearly remember each and every detail of the coverage,” Hayat Al-Bokhari, 68, a retired school principal in Jeddah, said.

“My father, Abdul, was 56 at the time. He said the landing was faked. He couldn’t believe or accept that a human could go to the moon.”

Khaled Almasud, 70, a retired university lecturer, was a student in the US state of Oregon at the time of the mission. “Americans were stunned and over the moon, happy with their national achievement. But many Saudis like me were either in denial or insisting on more proof.”

Since the beginning of the 1960s, King Faisal had been rapidly transforming Saudi Arabia, inviting foreign-trained experts to help build a modern country with world-class infrastructure.

Billie Tanner, now 90, lived in the Kingdom for many years with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Laurie and Scott, aged six and four. The family had just arrived in Saudi Arabia and headed to the Aramco compound in Ras Tanura in the Eastern Province.

A screengrab of video of the first lunar landing beamed toward Earth and shown on television worldwide. 

“We were going through a culture shock,” she told Arab News. “I wasn’t thinking of the moon landing, but we heard about it on the news from Dhahran.

“My kids tried to see the astronauts on the moon with their binoculars and said they could see them walking around.”

The Apollo 11 spaceflight has become a milestone in the annals of human history and science. Since 1969 space exploration has greatly expanded man’s knowledge of the universe, far beyond Earth’s limits.

The captivating live coverage of the moon landing inspired millions of people around the world, profoundly influencing their thinking and attitudes.

The people of Saudi Arabia were no exception.