Makkah beauty pageant thwarted

Updated 15 November 2014
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Makkah beauty pageant thwarted

Authorities in Makkah have thwarted plans for a beauty pageant in the holy city, citing the Shariah law that prohibits such a show as reason for the decision.
The pageant, which was planned to take place in one of Makkah’s banquet hall palaces over a period of four consecutive days, starting next Sunday was canceled in response to several appeals by citizens who heard of the upcoming event on social media websites.
A number of local dailies confirmed news of the pageant while the promotional advertisement for the contestants through social media said that the pageant would be titled “Miss Makkah.” A local Arabic newspaper said that the advertisement clearly stated that “a beauty pageant is being held in Makkah for women of any color aged between 17 and 27 years.”
The advertisement called on potential participants to register and take part in the contest free of charge. It also said that the winner would receive a gold ring as the take away prize while runners up could expect valuable gifts.
The Makkah governorate received a report from the Commission for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue (Haia), which cited complaints of citizens and invitations sent out to guests and participants as evidence.
The commission’s report indicated that the event was being planned at the initiative of an individual with no involvement of public or private sectors.
The citizens called for an investigation into the matter and authorities have confirmed that the woman who had planned the event had been questioned.
Sources said a Haia team had questioned a banquet hall official and confirmed that the hall had been booked for the pageant. The official said that some businesswomen had reserved the hall and paid for the event.
He added that the commission had instructed them to cancel the event.
Meanwhile, the authorities said that all individuals involved with the event are being investigated.


Writing’s on the wall for unsightly graffiti in 36 Saudi cities

Updated 13 min 3 sec ago
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Writing’s on the wall for unsightly graffiti in 36 Saudi cities

  • 5,700 students tapped to replace graffiti with traditional art
  • The massive spruce-up operation will take place in southwest region of Asir

RIYADH: An initiative to clear unsightly graffiti from the walls of 36 Saudi cities and replace it with traditional art has been officially launched.

A 5,700-strong army of students will be drafted for the massive spruce-up operation to take place over a period of 36 hours across the Kingdom’s southwest region of Asir.

Once the walls have been cleaned, the second phase of the project will involve raising awareness about the importance of maintaining public spaces, with the city of Abha the first to benefit. There, a length of wall covering more than 2,000 square meters, will be decorated.

The scheme is partly aimed at encouraging Asir youth to become proactive citizens in their own cities, and role models for other provinces.

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The scheme aims to encourage Asir youth to become proactive citizens in their own cities, and role models for other provinces.

Students from seven education administrations in the region will clean walls on main and side roads, and also suburbs, in 36 cities.

An official statement issued by Asir regional authorities, said the objectives behind the Asir campaign were “to encourage social responsibility among its citizens, empower youth to participate in activities that bring out their potential, and to increase awareness of responsibility toward public ownership.”

Students from seven education administrations in the region will clean walls on main and side roads, and also suburbs, in 36 cities.

Many of the walls will then be decked out with art works including Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, a traditionally female interior wall decoration. In 2017, the ancient art form was added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The statement added that Asir had been embracing cultural art for decades, and Al-Qatt Al-Asiri was now identified with the Asir region around the world. The British Museum and other major international exhibition centers have been acquiring the work of Asir artists in recent years.

Attending the launch of the initiative in Abha, Dr. Walid Al-Humaidi, the secretary of Asir region, said: “This initiative is part of objectives to improve the urban landscape, which is one of the most important programs of national transformation in the municipal sector in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

He added that the second part of the project aimed to increase awareness about the value of artwork and its role in developing a sense of human belonging.