Saudi exhibition allows Arab artists their own space

Princess Reem Al-Faisal (left) with her black and white photographic work and Fatima Al-Shebani from Qatar with her statue of women in jalabiya at the exhibition.
Updated 28 October 2016

Saudi exhibition allows Arab artists their own space

JEDDAH: “New Art in the Middle East, Chapter I,” an exhibition of 11 Arab artists from the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, was opened by Princess Reem Al-Faisal at R-Gallery on Tuesday. It will run for a whole month.
Princess Reem Al-Faisal the founder of R-Gallery with her co-partner Mona Abdullah Haraghi, set up the exhibition of Middle East artists with the aim of giving them space, so they do not have to follow the forced standard set by Western media.
Princess Reem herself is an artist and owned a gallery in the UAE, “Empty Quarter,” only for photography. This is her second initiative to give space to Arab artists to express themselves freely.
“Our project is not pretentious. We have no plans to contribute to promoting local and regional art and artists, and at the same time put on display international art in the Kingdom. Through this exhibition we want to promote and present a new face of art in the Middle East, real expressions of local and regional artists, and establish a space where artists can express themselves without surrendering to any hierarchy to any sort of uniformity,” she said.
She said the Western media always criticize Arab artists and artists are forced to create certain artwork and are given no space for natural expression. The Western media choose certain criteria and ignore the rest of the artwork, which doesn’t mean that Arab artists don’t have talent.
“Through this platform, we want to give freedom to artists from the Middle East and Saudi Arabia,” she explained.
She also said that they hope more artists will join the journey from different parts of the Middle East, as the exhibition is a changing and shifting exhibition, which is why they gave it the name— “New Art in the Middle East Chapter 1.” It will go on a world tour in the future.
Princess Reem loved to work as patron of black and white photography, and her work is also on display in the exhibition. Recently she shifted to digital and color art, and her new work will be on display very soon in a solo exhibit in Riyadh.
Artists also participating in the exhibition are Mohammed Al Shammarey (Iraq), Abdul Aziz Ashour (KSA), Fatima Al Nemer (KSA), Saad bin Mohammed (KSA), Fatima Al-Shebani (Qatar), Mattar bin Lahej (UAE), Eman Al Harbi (KSA), Zaman Jassim (KSA), Adam Abd Elghaffar (Egypt), Ansam (KSA) and Anhar (KSA).
Esaa Angawi, the famous Saudi photographer, said that the exhibition gave new artists an excellent chance to the talented to express themselves. “I appreciate the young photographers who started with high-quality work from the beginning, with good knowledge and ideas; also the painters presented good work. The exhibition is different from regular exhibitions, which is a good thing,” he said.
Basama Al-Kahrijee, a business woman in the Kingdom, expressed delight on the display of the artwork from Middle East artists. As for her, it was very inspiring to see such names of artists and their work to expose this culture to the visitors of the exhibition.


Saudi Arabia and Russia sign up to closer ties with 20 new deals

Representatives greet each other during the Saudi-Russian talks. (Reuters)
Updated 15 October 2019

Saudi Arabia and Russia sign up to closer ties with 20 new deals

  • Announcement of 20 new agreements made at Saudi-Russian Energy Partnership meeting
  • The agreements cover petroleum and various other fields ranging from energy to tourism

JEDDAH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman announced on Monday the signing of 20 agreements with Russia during the Saudi-Russian Energy Partnership meeting as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Kingdom.
During the signing ceremony of the new agreements, which took place in the presence of King Salman and Putin, the energy minister stressed that oil will remain an essential element in the development of the world economy.
The ceremony was also attended by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The 20 agreements covered the fields of petroleum and other energy industries, space and satellite navigation, justice, health services, tax administration, mineral wealth, tourism and aviation, in addition to cultural cooperation and the enhancement of trade relations.
Prince Abdul Aziz said that the two countries have started a new phase of cooperation in many areas of development.
The minister noted the important roles played by Saudi Arabia and Russia in stabilizing the global oil market and said: “The new OPEC + cooperation agreement will enhance cooperation and provide strong support for greater stability in the oil market.
“At the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee, we are working together to harmonize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans with its strategic objectives and Russia’s strategic development plans.”
The agreements were signed between relevant government agencies and sovereign wealth funds from both countries. The minister added that state-owned enterprises and the private sector in both countries will make a significant effort in achieving the goals of these agreements.
Financial expert Mohammed Al-Suwayed said that “Russia is an important strategic partner of Saudi Arabia.”
He added that joint efforts between the two countries would help to manage the oil market, “Saudi Arabia is a member of OPEC, and Russia is one of the most important non-OPEC exporters. The alliance between the Kingdom and Russia in the oil market contributes to creating harmony between the oil producers inside or outside OPEC.”
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company signed an agreement to join forces in the search of investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said on Monday.
A string of multimillion-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.
Al-Suwayed said: “The Russian National Wealth Fund is interested in investing in Saudi Arabia. It has recently opened an office in the Kingdom as its first international fund office outside Russia, demonstrating a clear plan to invest in various sectors.”
An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin on Monday. During his meeting with King Salman, the Russian president said that the meeting was an additional boost to bilateral relations.
King Salman also considered the meeting an important opportunity to reach consensus on various visions and political positions.
Putin suggested that coordination between the two countries was important for the security and stability of the Middle East.
The president’s long-awaited visit will include discussions on further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world hydrocarbon market, as well as on Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.
Other deals regarding the military sector were not discussed and the pending Saudi plans to purchase the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems have not reached a final agreement.

20 SAUDI-RUSSIA DEALS SIGNED

1 Cooperation convention between oil-producing countries.
2 Joint Statement ofIntent between the Saudi Space Authority and the Russian state space corporation in the fields of manned space flight and the Global Navigation Satellite System, GLONASS.
3 High-level Saudi-Russian strategic cooperation framework agreement.
4 Energy cooperation protocol agreement.
5 Draft MoU on cultural cooperation.
6 Draft MoU on facilitating and organizing visas for the two countries’ citizens.
7 Draft of MoU on health cooperation.
8 Agreement on commercial attache.
9 MoU on starting negotiations for promoting and protecting investments between the two countries.
10 MoU on increase in export of Russian products to Saudi Arabia.
11 Cooperation agreement between SALIC (Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund to discuss investment opportunities in the agriculture and food sectors.
12 Telecom executive program agreement.
13 Draft MoU for cooperation in the field of public media.
14 Tourism cooperation agreement.
15 MoU on joint investments in aircraft leasing to support the development of the Russian aviation industry.
16 MoU on mutual investments in NefteTransService (NTS), one of the largest railway operators in Russia.
17 A program of work between civil aviation authorities to define and adopt standards for the Russian aircraft industry in Saudi Arabia.
18 Exchanging an MoU for technical cooperation in the field of tax administration with the Russian tax authority.
19 Agreement between Saudi Aramco and the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Rusnano to buy Rusnano shares in Novomet.
20 Agreement on methanol project in Amur region.