Sri Lankan mission sets out 2020 goals for expats’ welfare

Ambassador Azmi Thassim
Updated 01 June 2016
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Sri Lankan mission sets out 2020 goals for expats’ welfare

RIYADH: Shifting the Sri Lankan Embassy to the Diplomatic Quarter is one of the goals of the 2020 Vision set out by the mission, said the country’s Ambassador Azmi Thassim here on Saturday.
The envoy was speaking at the launch of the mission’s 2020 Vision chalked out by more than 100 Sri Lankan expatriates in the capital. He explained that a group of professionals was formed into several groups and framed a set of common goals to be undertaken by the mission for the welfare of their countrymen here, as well as to strengthen bilateral relations with the host country.
Shifting to a spacious headquarters in the Diplomatic Quarter will be an added advantage for the mission to expand its services, he added.
Sri Lankan professionals from various walks of life, who contributed to the framing of the 2020 Vision of the mission, were present at a meeting on Saturday hosted by the ambassador at a city hotel here.
Other priorities of the proposed vision are to strengthen bilateral relations with the host government and to promote the exchange of high-level visits between the two countries. He said arrangements will be made for the island’s external affairs minister, Mangala Samaraweera, to visit the Kingdom in the near future, depending on the convenience of his Saudi counterpart.
He pointed out that promoting trade and investment between the two countries will be one of the priorities of the mission. “Sri Lanka has a lot of things to offer the Saudi market and the Kingdom also has plenty of opportunities for investment in various development works in the country,” he said, stressing that this sector has to be harnessed for mutual benefits.
“We will also try to send more skilled workers and professionals to the Kingdom,” he said, pointing out that the existing workforce in the Kingdom has earned a good reputation through their hard work, honesty and loyalty.


Saudi Movie ‘Joud’ to screen at Ithra during National Day celebrations

The film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom. (Social media)
Updated 20 September 2018
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Saudi Movie ‘Joud’ to screen at Ithra during National Day celebrations

  • Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the Saudi lifestyle.

JEDDAH: The Saudi film “Joud,” produced by the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), which is now screening in local and international cinemas in the Kingdom, will also be shown at Ithra’s own cinema from September 20 to 23, 2018, as part of the center’s National Day events.

The film, which dispenses with dialogue to make it more accessible to a global audience, features visuals inspired by classical Arabic poems that reflect the natural heritage and diversity of Saudi Arabia, the discovery of oil and the resultant social change. Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the Saudi lifestyle.

The film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom, “and we believe that its uniqueness opens the door to discovering more stories preserved in the hearts of our people and our land.”

He added that Ithra was keen for Saudi filmmakers to work alongside an international crew during production of the film. For example, assistant director Osama Al-Kharji directed scenes set in Makkah, with director of photography Abdullah Al-Shuraidah and cameraman Fahad al-Dajani, while Hussam Al-Hilweh helped to write the script. Composer Diaa Azouni contributed to the soundtrack, and co-director Osamah Saleh was responsible for behind-the-scenes photography for almost a year.

Andrew Lancaster, the film’s director, said that “Joud” “shows how music and natural landscape play a big role in communicating the soul of the movie.” He added that it "talks about a deep experience through culture, music and natural landscape. It was a great adventure for me to transfer this to the screen.”

Ithra, in Dhahran, aims to set new standards for excellence in the Saudi film industry, and create innovative projects through its relationships with partners and visitors by stimulating the sustainability of creative and cultural communities. Through its diverse programs, the center helps to develop new ways to foster creativity, supporting and promoting national talent by providing an environment for the production and exchange of knowledge, in a manner that respects diversity and promotes different concepts in science and the arts.