Shutdown notice shocks tenants of Rehab market

Updated 15 December 2012

Shutdown notice shocks tenants of Rehab market

Tenants of the Rehab market are shocked and worried after receiving a shutdown notice from the owner to vacate the premises in a month’s time. Rehab market on Amir Miteb Street is being shut down after 20 years of serving residents of the Azizia and Rehab district and surroundings, leaving customers surprised and worried.
Sami Ansari, owner of a toy shop, told Arab News that the owner of the market closed down the market, cut off electricity and gave them notice to vacate the premises.
“The market is closed down so the owner can renovate it or demolish it. It will be very difficult for us to find another suitable place for the shop in one month and to move our goods, which have been sold from here for the past 15 years. This location is frequented by many people from around the surrounding areas as it is accessible to them and especially convenient for women,” said Ansari. “We do not know where we will open our shop and how we will let our customers know where we are. Moreover that location may no longer be easy for our regular customers to visit,” added Ansari .
He further added that the owner voiced his desire to close down the market two years ago but that he continually renewed contracts after that.
“We thought maybe the owner changed his mind, but two weeks ago he came and shut down the market and gave us notice. One month is not enough for us or anyone to find another suitable site. They should give us at least three months to shift,” he said.
He also said that because of this unexpected situation, they put all their things on sale, down to the shelves.
Another shopkeeper, Mohammed Ali, said all the shops suffered because of this decision. There are shops for every type of product in this market, from grocery, stitching, toys and stationery to shoes, clothes, carpenters and all other household items.
“We have now been scattered as everyone searches for another place to rent individually,” said Ali.
Tanveer Ahmed, a resident near Rehab market who came for shopping, said it is bad news for the residents who have grown accustomed to finding all their needs in one location to no longer have such a facility.
“We always shop here as the market lies in close proximity to our home and had everything we needed. We have lost an important aspect of our life,” he added.

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

Updated 19 April 2018

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

  • Winners of first Golden Falcon award will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques
  • Film screenings have been revived in KSA as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 

RIYADH: Saudi films have won awards at an international film festival organized by the Netherlands to coincide with the return of cinema to the Kingdom.

The first Golden Falcon Film Festival awards drew Saudi actors, filmmakers and cinema-lovers to the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.

More than 30 shortlisted Saudi films were shown at the maiden festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nine films were nominated, with three each in the best film, best script and best director categories. Overall winners were chosen by an international jury headed by Dutch filmmaker Hans Treffers.

Best movie award went to “Mazban.” The other two films nominated in the category were “Tongue” and “Building 20.”

“The Poetess,” “Matour” and “Atoor” were nominated in the best director category with “Atoor” bagging the award.

“Departures,” “Atoor” and “The Remaining” were nominated in the best script category with “Departures” winning the award.

Besides the Golden Falcon trophy, the winners will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques.

Joost Reintjes, the Netherlands ambassador in Riyadh, told Arab News: “We are proud to organize the first Golden Falcon Film Festival here to promote filmmaking in the Kingdom and provide a platform for young Saudi filmmakers to show what they have to offer.”

Film screenings — banned in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s following religious changes in the Kingdom — have been revived as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

The return of cinema was heralded with a film screening on Wednesday at a newly built theater at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. 

Commenting on the lifting of the 35-year ban, Reintjes told Arab News: “That’s Vision 2030 — it is good sign to diversify and develop.

“Although the cinemas in the Kingdom have only been restarted now, Saudi filmmaking has already made a name for itself on the world stage.

“The Saudi film industry will grow very fast. The level of talent is high,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Qass, lead actor from “Departure,” said: “We have been working for this day for years. 

“Saudis with a thirst for cinema were traveling outside the country — now they can enjoy and share the experience in their homeland.” 

Mohammed Khawajah, a Saudi filmmaker and adviser for the film festival, told Arab News: “The idea for this festival came last year when the lifting of the cinema ban was being discussed.

“The Netherlands embassy had this idea about nine months ago; we sat together and planned the whole festival, which was carried out successfully, with hundreds of people enjoying Saudi films.

“We will improve with our next festival, which will have more fun and entertainment,” he said.