Marathon of Color keeps Saudi Arabia’s Taif Season on its feet

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Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)
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The Arab Neighborhood, which contains pavilions for 11 Arab countries, is the latest addition to Souk Okaz, helping to confirm Taif’s status as one of the most important Arab tourism destinations. (SPA)
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Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)
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Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)
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Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)
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Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)
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Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)
Updated 16 August 2019

Marathon of Color keeps Saudi Arabia’s Taif Season on its feet

  • Event also hosts exciting activities, including live performances and dazzling fireworks

JEDDAH: The General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) is presenting the Marathon of Color event at the Taif Season. The event, held between Aug. 15 and 17 on Al-Hada-Taif Road, is a sporting and artistic celebration full of diversity, competitive running races and color.

The marathon starts at 4 p.m. each day with several tracks. The first day starts with the family path, which extends for 4 km for 4 hours; the second day hosts the amateur path, which goes for 8 km for 2 hours, and the third and final day witnesses the path of professionals, which runs for 21 km for 6 hours.

Participants on the tracks are divided according to different age groups. Racers in the professional category must be at least 17, in the amateur category they need to be 15 and above, while the children must be accompanied by their parents to participate in the family race. People with special needs can participate in wheelchairs on the 4-km path.

The events will be accompanied by drumming and musical performances. Winners will be honored during the marathon with medals, marathon participation certificates and valuable prizes.

The marathon also hosts exciting activities for individuals and families including food carts, live performances and dazzling fireworks.

The Marathon of Color is part of the GEA’s plan to organize competitions that integrate sport into daily life and improve a sense of community.

Participants can register in the Marathon of Color through the following link: www.taifmarathon.com

 

Arab and foreign films

Taif Season is enjoying the return of cinema in more than 70 events, where the latest and most famous Arab and foreign films will be shown. The screenings are part of an open-air show, perfect for the wonderful atmosphere and moderate weather at the resort.

The cinema was launched in Taif with four daily shows, each hosting up to 150 people, to accommodate the growing demand. A range of distinctive and modern movies, suitable for the whole family, will be shown. Screenings will be updated every 6 days.

The first week features the Egyptian film “Saba Al Baramba,” starring Ramez Galal, Gamila Awad, Maha Abu Ouf, Bayoumi Fouad and a number of Egyptian stars. It will also show the American film “Men In Black:  International,” starring Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and other famous Hollywood actors.

At the beginning of the second week, the cartoon film “Toy Story 4,” which attracted critical acclaim around the world, will be shown. The famous Disney film “Aladdin” will also be screened.

 

Egyptian pavilion

The Egyptian pavilion, which is currently held in the 13th edition of Souk Okaz in the Taif Season, has attracted a large number of visitors. The pavilion is found in the Arab neighborhood, which includes eleven Arab countries. Visitors have enjoyed the unique atmosphere with popular folklore, art, delicious dishes and famous products.

They are transported directly to the pulse of Egyptian life. Guests can discover the famous Egyptian markets, with their special products specially brought from Cairo, Alexandria and Nubia.

The pavilion is also characterized by authentic art with folklore bands from all over Egypt, monologue performances, as well as concerts on the weekend.

Egyptian cafes and shops have witnessed a huge turnout after emulating the atmosphere of their homeland, especially those who opened their doors with the launch of Souk Okaz. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The marathon starts at 4 p.m. each day with several tracks.
  • The first day starts with the family path, which extends for 4 km for 4 hours.
  • The second day hosts the amateur path, which goes for 8 km for 2 hours.
  • The third and final day witnesses the path of professionals, which runs for 21 km for 6 hours.
  • The latest and most famous Arab and foreign films to be screened. The UAE and Egyptian pavilions at Souk Okaz give visitors a warm welcome.

 

Emirati pavilion 

The UAE pavilion in the Arab Neighborhood in Souk Okaz gives visitors a warm welcome, greeting them with a spectacle that embodies the country’s honorable history and bright present. The pavilion represents an Emirati old quarter, with markets, products and distinctive folklore.

Guests can see Emirati folk art in the spacious arena, with original Arab music and dancing, including the traditional yola dance, war dances and popular games for children. 

The Arab Neighborhood, which contains pavilions for 11 Arab countries, is the latest addition to Souk Okaz, helping to confirm Taif’s status as one of the most important Arab tourism destinations. The neighborhood is hosting families from all Arab countries throughout August. 




Actors depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era. (SPA)

Fursan Al-Watan Club 

Okaz Avenue is depicting Arab life in different eras, portrayed by the theatrical performances of the Fursan Al-Watan Club (knights of the homeland) and a camel convoy.

Club supervisor Daifallah Al-Jaeed said that the scenes depict 50 knights and 100 camel riders who transport visitors back to the pre-1500 era.

Al-Jaeed added that the historical atmosphere was enhanced by the pristine display of Okaz Avenue, the historical markets and the work of the performers. He said that horsemen roam around the market wearing knights’ costumes, and the camel convoys tour the market all day telling stories about commerce.

International expertise and designers from Arab countries were employed to enhance the costumes for Fursan Al-Watan. Shields, swords, spears and arrows were all made from material authentic to the pre-1500 era.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”