OIC channel to confront Islamophobia, boost unity

Updated 20 February 2013
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OIC channel to confront Islamophobia, boost unity

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation yesterday emphasized its plan to establish an effective satellite television channel to confront Islamophobia and strengthen economic ties between member countries.
“We’ll hold a four-day meeting of experts at OIC headquarters here from Saturday to discuss various aspects of the project in order to present it at the next meeting of OIC information ministers,” said Essam Salim Al-Shanti, director of the media department.
“Our objective is to have a strong and effective media that can address the needs of the Muslim world having different languages with various cultural backgrounds,” he said.
The new channel will present its programs in English, Arabic French. “Its main objective is to project the true picture of Islam and confront the challenge posed by Islamophobia, especially in the West,” Al-Shanti said.
He said the channel would also work for promoting intercultural dialogue in order to bring the Eastern and Western cultures and the North and South closer.
“It will help exchange of knowledge between OIC countries, highlight the issues of Muslim minorities and promote joint Islamic action,” the OIC official said.
Expanding trade and economic cooperation among the 57-member group is another major objective of the proposed channel, which will telecast scientific, technological, health and educational programs.
“The OIC channel will work for realizing the 10-point objectives set by the third emergency Islamic summit held in Makkah in 2005,” Al-Shanti said, adding that it would also cover all OIC events and programs.
The channel project was first proposed by a meeting of OIC information ministers in Gabon last year.
Later, a foreign ministers’ meeting in Djibouti endorsed the project.
The fourth emergency Islamic summit in Makkah and the recent OIC summit in Cairo also wanted to make the channel a reality.


Tanween festival: Seeking the unusual? You’ll find it at Ithra

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), which organized the Tanween festival, is a creative feat in itself. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Tanween festival: Seeking the unusual? You’ll find it at Ithra

  • Tanween encourages people to see something in a new way, try something they had not done before and explore their relationship to disruption

DHAHRAN: “Beyond Unconventional” is the subtitle of Ithra’s first Tanween creativity festival, and it is true to its word from what the Arab News team witnessed on its opening weekend at Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, aka Ithra, in Dhahran.

Running from Oct. 11 to 27 with talks, workshops, performances and installations, the three weeks are divided into themes: this week is “Humanities’ Response to Disruption,” in art, science and technology; the second week is “Manufacturing and Communication,” including disruptive technologies such as AI and big data; the third and final week is “Fashion Technology/Adventures in Disruption.” Curating this year’s festival is Robert Frith, the creative director of Ithra’s Idea Lab, who has worked as head of exhibitions at Christie’s and as a senior exhibition designer at the British Museum.

As it says in the program: “Tanween encourages people to see something in a new way, try something they had not done before and explore their relationship to disruption.” Many of the installations and speakers addressed the theme of disruption, including Adam Savage, who visited Saudi Arabia for the first time.

INSTALLATIONS

Heart Catherization

Abdullah Al-Othman

One doesn’t need to visit Ithra to experience Tanween. Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Othman wrapped a building in Al-Khobar entirely in tinfoil “in a symbolic gesture to its frozen state, making a statement about the absurdity of thinking that the cycle of change could ever be stopped.” We found it driving through the narrow streets near the Corniche, glinting in the sunlight, mosque-goers passing it by with barely a raised eyebrow.

Silent Fall

Studio Swine 

Founded by Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves, it presents an “interactive intallation and multi sensory experience” consisting of “delicate mist-filled blossoms that disappear on contact with skin and surfaces.” It’s like a waterfall of durable white bubbles continuously falling from above making random patterns as they slowly drift down. Likely to be one of the festival’s Instagram hits.

The Drifter

Dutch Studio Drift

A block of what looks like concrete floats slowly along “a controlled 3D path.” “The Drifter creates a performance in its space, calling on the viewer to reconsider the relationship with our living environment, which is often accepted as static and lifeless,” the creators Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta said. There was nothing static or lifeless as visitors here laughed in delight as they pretended to lift it.

 

• AN photos by Ziyad Alarfaj