Mr. Bean lookalike is a big draw

Updated 18 October 2014
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Mr. Bean lookalike is a big draw

With almost the same features as that of the well-known British comedian Mr. Bean, Ibrahim Sulaiman Suwailem from Turkey receives his customers with a welcoming smile at a Lebanese restaurant in Jeddah.
Suwailem, who has been working at the restaurant for the last 22 years, is known to the restaurant customers as Mr. Bean. He is a Turkish delight with a difference.
“Everybody wants to take a photo with me, whether they are children or adults,” said Ibrahim. “My photo is now on various social networks,” he added.
Besides being Mr. Bean’s look-alike, another point of interest for Saudis is his middle name, Suwailem.
“I am very happy with my work here bringing smiles on faces,” he told Arab News.
He has no plans of returning to Turkey. “My life is too attached to Saudi Arabia,” he said.
He said during Eid, lots of customers are drawn to the restaurant to have a photo taken with him. “I really look forward to meeting them and feel happy to see their happiness,” he said.


Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Updated 18 November 2018
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Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attending the annual event.
The delegation was headed by Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who posted a selfie with Putin on his Twitter account.
“We responded to the invitation from our friends in Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg cultural forum, and it was an opportunity to meet with officials to promote cultural cooperation,” the post said.


The forum, which ran from Nov. 15-17, was held under the theme “Culture as a Strategic Potential of the Country,” was attended by visitors from 101 countries.
Opening the forum, the Russian president expressed hope that the event would develop fruitful dialogue between society and the state.
Putin said the forum gives others a chance to get to know Russia more closely, stressed that “what distinguishes his country is the diversity of languages and traditions.”
During the visit the Saudi minister held talks with the Russian president on the sidelines of the event.
He also met his Italian counterpart, Alberto Bonisoli, on the sidelines of the forum to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the two countries and means of enhancing Saudi-Italian cultural relations.
“I was delighted to meet with the Italian Minister of Culture and we have many opportunities for a future of strong cooperation between the two countries,” Prince Badr tweeted.

Bonisoli said that culture is “a means of communication” for politics, even when serious international crises occur.
“If there are problems between two or more countries, according to their positions, culture is still a way to convey the messages of partnerships, communities, politicians, and sometimes to promote fundamental values,” he added.
The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum annually attracts thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world.
Stars of theater, opera and ballet, renowned directors and musicians, public figures, representatives of and academic communities, all attend the event.
The year’s program includes 14 pavilions, including museums, circuses, theaters, cinema, literature, tourism, folklore and popular culture.