Saudi film wins gold at Finland fest

Director Mohammed Salman
Updated 22 August 2016
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Saudi film wins gold at Finland fest

JEDDAH: Saudi director Mohammed Salman’s Arabic film “Ghari” won the Best Short Film Award at the Scandinavian Film Festival in Finland on Friday.
This is the sixth international award the movie won at international film festivals.
The premiere of the film was held at the Saudi Film Festival in 2015, after which Salman participated in several Arab and international festivals, including Palm Springs Festival in the US, where contestants compete for Oscar nominations.
The film is about the story of a family that depends on “Ghari” (a vehicle) in its daily life; each member of the family uses the vehicle according to his/her needs: to transport goods, as an ambulance or as a race car.
The non-stereotypical narrative distinguishes the film from others where the director chooses a car to be the star of the movie.
Salman said in an interview with a local publication that the real prize is to have a Saudi film reach a wider world audience.
“We highlight a human dimension which emphasizes the beauty of Saudi culture, and perhaps the most important award was obtained at the Saudi Film Festival in Dammam, where the film was shown to Saudis thirsty for a cinematic identity of Saudi Arabia,” said Salman.
The filmmaker is a graduate of art education at King Saud University. He has worked in several artistic fields since 1995, such as photography, music, theater and film.
He produced several films, including “The Bicycle,” in 2012, for scriptwriter Abbas Al-Hayek. He won the Best Director Award at the Saudi film festival “Rotana 2013.”
The documentary film “Yellow” won the Golden Palm award at the Saudi Film Festival in 2016, as well as the Silver Palm in the script category.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.