Effat University students awarded at Saudi Film Festival

1 / 2
Students of Effat University, Norah Al-Amir, second left, and Noor Al-Mowald, second right, won an award in the student competition category for “Bus.”
2 / 2
Director Fehmi Farhat, left, and script-writer Ali Rabie of “Salem Al-Abd.”
Updated 03 April 2017

Effat University students awarded at Saudi Film Festival

DHAHRAN: Effat University students received an award for their film “Bus” in the student film category at the fourth edition of the Saudi Film Festival last week in Dhahran.
The film is about four girls from conservative families, and their daily interaction with the school bus driver.
The girls behind the project, Noor Al-Mowald and Norah Al-Amir, were ecstatic to have received the prize. “This is a dream come true,” said Al-Amir. “And the hard work doesn’t stop here.”
When they enrolled in the filmmaking program at the university, their parents voiced concerns that there may be no future for women in this field in the Kingdom.
So the girls decided they needed to work hard and prove to everyone that “we have a place in the industry.”
Mohamed Ghazala, chair of the visual and digital production department at the university, said: “These young women are fighting to prove themselves, telling their stories to everyone.”
This achievement celebrates a new generation of storytellers with a rich culture, heritage and art, he added.
“They’re the best storytellers, telling everyone their stories by themselves, with no stereotypes to hinder them.”
This is the third time students from Effat University have participated in the Saudi Film Festival, and the second time they took home an award.
Other accolades
The best of the 59 Saudi films screened at the six-day festival were recognized and celebrated at an award ceremony following the festival, in the narrative, student, documentary and script (non-produced) categories
“Departures” by Abdulaziz Al-Shlahei won first place in the narrative category. Mohammed Al-Holayil’s “300 kilometers” received a prize in the student category.
For best documentary it was “Jaleed” by Abdulrahman Sandokji, and “Building 20” by Abdulaziz Al-Furaih.
Best screenplay film went to “Adam’s Tongue” by Hasan Al-Hajili, and “Color of the Soul” by Fahd Al-Esta’a and “Salem Al-Abd” by Ali Rabie. A special jury prize was awarded to “Tongue,” by Mohamed Al-Salman.
Al-Holayil, who is studying law at King Faisal University, said he hopes to make more movies while practicing a fulltime career in law.
On winning an award, he said he was thankful to his family, crew and festival-goers for making his dream come true.
Upon winning an award on his first-time entry, Rabie said: “Finally, people who write are being recognized for their efforts.”
With this accreditation to their name, Rabie and his director, Fehmi Farhat, will start sourcing funds for their script and are optimistic about the venture.
Best cinematographer was awarded to Al-Furaih for “Building 20,” and best director to Sandokji for “Jaleed.”
Best movie poster title was awarded to Al-Shlahei for “Departures,” and “Humanization of Cities” by Faisal Al-Otaibi was recognized for being a film about a Saudi city.

Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

Updated 22 November 2019

Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

  • Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world

DIRIYAH: With the establishment of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the historical site of Diriyah will become one of the largest and most important international destinations.

The DGDA seeks to transform the site into a location to host activities and events aimed at exchanging historical and cultural knowledge through museums and venues spread throughout
Al-Turaif District.

 The DGDA aims to celebrate the people of Diriyah by telling their stories and demonstrating their social, cultural and historical the roots, as the cradle of the first Saudi state and a symbol of the beauty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and
its people.

 Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world. It was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2010 — one of five Saudi sites listed.

Not far from Al-Turaif District is the historic Al-Bujairi District, which was a center for spreading science and knowledge during the prosperity of Diriyah, as the capital of the first Saudi state. 

Today it houses many commercial centers and cafes and is the perfect destination to experience Saudi cuisine.

One of the historical landmarks in Al-Turaif District is Salwa Palace, which is located in the northeastern part. It is the largest of its landmarks and spans over 10,000 square meters. It was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud in 1765, and is historically known as the home of the first royal family. 

The palace houses the Diriyah Museum, which presents the history and development of the first Saudi state through works of art, drawings, models and documentaries.


At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides.

Salwa Palace forms an integrated architectural system with its residential, administrative, cultural and religious units.

 Al-Turaif District also includes the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Mosque, known as the Great Mosque or Al-Turaif Mosque. It is adjacent to Salwa Palace on the north side, and Imams used to lead Friday prayers there.

 To make movement between the mosque and the palace easier, Imam Saud bin Abdul Aziz built a bridge to connect them on the upper floor. The mosque houses a religious school to teach religious sciences. It was formerly the largest mosque in the Arabian Peninsula and was built to symbolize the strength and unity of the Saudi state.

 At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides. It was settled by Mani’ Al-Muraydi, the oldest ancestor of the House of Saud, in the 15th century. 

Ghusaybah is a well-established location, carefully chosen for the establishment of the new governorate, and its location played a major role in the protection of Hajj convoys and trade passing through its areas of influence in Al-Arid region.

 Ghusaybah was the seat of an independent governorate before the founding of the first Saudi state. It provided protection for the northern gate of Diriyah during the campaign of Ibrahim Pasha in 1818.

 Samhan is one of the historical areas south of Ghusaybeh on a triangle overlooking the valley when it meets another tributary, the villages of Omran. It directly overlooks the districts of Qusayrin, Mrayih, and Al-Turaif. This location was important during the reign of Imam Mohammed bin Saud and his son Samhan, being a well-fortified site during the siege of Diriyah. It was selected by Imam Abdullah to be his defense headquarters.

 In the field of philanthropy, one may mention “Sabala Moudhi” which was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud, who made it a charitable endowment in the name of his mother, Moudhi bint Sultan bin Abi Wahtan, wife of Imam Mohammed bin Saud. 

It is located east of the Salwa Palace on the southeast of Al-Turaif District. It is a two-story building and was established to provide free accommodation for visitors coming to the city of Diriyah.