Unpaid for 7 months, workers hold protest

LIVID: Agitated Saudi Oger employees try to disrupt traffic at a Jeddah intersection.
Updated 30 July 2016

Unpaid for 7 months, workers hold protest

JEDDAH: Hundreds of protesting Saudi Oger employees, demanding unpaid wages from the company for over seven months, were dispersed by police.
The employees caused traffic disruptions in northern Jeddah and shut down a gas station.
Col. Atti Al-Qurashi, Makkah region police spokesman, said the issue of unpaid wages concerns the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, whereas the duty of the police is to maintain public security and break up such large gatherings and demonstrations.
Khaled Aba Al-Khail, ministry’s spokesman, said the problem is related to delayed salaries and a clarification will be given at a later date; however attempts to obtain a statement from the ministry’s branch in the region were unsuccessful, said a report.
Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, media director at the ministry’s branch in the Makkah region, said in a previous statement that the services of the company were suspended for violating the Wage Protection Law and that several visits were made to the company to finalize procedures related to payment of all employees and to end travel procedures for those with terminated contracts.
He confirmed standard fines and penalties were slapped on the company for such violations.

Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019

Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.