Malaysian troops join Arab coalition

Updated 11 May 2015
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Malaysian troops join Arab coalition

Malaysian troops on Sunday arrived at Saudi Royal Air Force base to participate in the Saudi-led coalition to support the legitimacy in Yemen under Operation Restoring Hope. Malaysia has become the 12th country to join the coalition after Senegal which is sending 2,100 troops to fight the Houthis and the forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Ministry of Defense explained that the coalition’s operations center is preparing for incorporating the Malaysian and Senegalese forces into the ranks and determining the nature of tasks assigned to them. Houthi militias in Yemen, meanwhile, accepted a five-day humanitarian cease-fire proposed by Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters. In another significant development, Saudi artillery pounded positions inside Yemen after renewed rocket fire wounded four women in Najran on Sunday, the coalition said. In an interview with AFP, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri said Saudi-led forces would continue retaliating against targets over the border until the 11 p.m. Tuesday cease-fire deadline, “if they continue to fire their rockets toward our cities, our population.” He also defended the coalition against suggestions by aid groups that its aerial bombing has been “indiscriminate.” He pointed out: “Such militia should be judged by their acts, not by what they tell the media. Let’s wait (until) Tuesday 11 p.m.” Al-Assiri emphasized: “We do not conduct any operation in cities,” even though Houthis hide with their weapons among the population. We had from Day One the restriction from our leaders.” Asked how the rebels were able to strike the Kingdom if the threat had been removed, Al-Assiri said: “Imagine if they fired Scuds instead of Katyusha, what would be the result? They were controlling the Scuds.” He said: “From Day One, when we talked about the air campaign one of the most important targets was to find those Scuds and to destroy them. This is what we did.” The coalition conducted new airstrikes on the residence of Saleh in Sanaa. Saleh, later, appeared in a video in front of his destroyed house officially confirming his alliance with the Houthis.


Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

Syrian artist Osama Esid’s painting explores personal identity. (Supplied)
Updated 1 min 5 sec ago
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Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

JEDDAH: The Hafez Gallery has organized the Shara Art Fair at the Saudi Art Council’s headquarters, bringing together five galleries from around Jeddah.
“I’ve been exhibiting with the Hafez Gallery for the past four years, ever since it started,” Osama Esid, from Damascus, told Arab News.
His painting at the art fair, “Zamakan,” is “about refugees sinking as they try to cross vast stretches of water,” he said.
He created the painting “in the dark to show the final resting place of these refugees,” he added. “I’d use brushes, sticks, and sometimes even my fingers.”
Artist Bashair Hawsawi told Arab News that his piece, showing a couple of broom heads attached back to back, “reflects the experiences I went through this year, because I want to clean my thoughts and ideas from negative things.” He added: “When I was young, people would comment on my shyness and weakness, so I started to be aware of this, and that helped me work out who I really wanted to be.”

FASTFACT

 

• Five galleries from around Jeddah participated in the Shara Art Fair organized by Hafez Gallery. • Artist Osama Esid, from Damascus, has been exhibiting his works at Hafez Gallery for the past four years. • Bashair Hawsawi and Khalid Zahid were the other artists who had their works exhibited at the art fair.

Khalid Zahid, known for his Islamic-themed modern art, exhibited balloons shaped like mosques in different colors. “The concept is called ‘Joyful.’ What I wanted to show was how balloons bring joy whether you’re young or old,” he told Arab News.
“As for the shape, I wanted to show how Islam brings joy to people. That’s why they (the balloons) look like mosques.”