Pro-Houthi protesters attack Saudi military spokesman in London

Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri
Updated 31 March 2017

Pro-Houthi protesters attack Saudi military spokesman in London

LONDON: Pro-Houthi protesters ambushed Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, the military spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition to restore the legitimate UN-backed government in Yemen, as he attempted to speak at an event organized by the European Council on Foreign Relations in London on Thursday.
Al-Assiri was attacked by eggs and then physically challenged by a protester who claimed he is placing him under “citizen’s arrest” for what he described as “war crimes” in Yemen.
Videos that emerged on social media show Al-Assiri being confronted by activists who were shouting and seemed adamant to harass him.
Senior sources in Riyadh have confirmed that Al-Assiri suffered no injuries and that he went on to deliver his talk as planned, despite the minor delay caused by the interruption.
A soundbite that surfaced on social media of Al-Assiri at the talk suggests that he remained calm and began his speech by apologizing for the delay caused by what he described as people “who don’t know the difference between protesting and attacking.”
The war in Yemen has been now going on for two years; Saudi Arabia’s involvement came after President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made a call of appeal pleading help in facing an illegitimate coup orchestrated by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
Since overthrowing the government, the Houthis, a militant group with an official slogan of “death to America,” have caused much turmoil and suffering in Yemen and have constantly failed to reach a peace agreement with the Hadi government, despite regional and international support and pressure.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”