Makkah governor opens 11th Souk Okaz

The 11th year of Souq Okaz gets under way. (AN photo)
Updated 13 July 2017

Makkah governor opens 11th Souk Okaz

TAIF: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurated the 11th Souq Okaz in Taif under the theme “Renewable Creativity” with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) supervising the event.
The governor, received by SCTH head Prince Sultan bin Salman at the event in Al-Arfa area, watched a documentary relating the story of the revival of the ancient Okaz market over the last 10 years.
Held under the patronage of King Salman, the opening ceremony was attended by a number of statesmen, intellectuals, poets, academics and artists from the Kingdom and the Arab world.
Prince Khaled, who honored the winners of the Souk Okaz contests, said that the festival has reached the level of excellence and creativity in every aspect. He also praised the efforts of Prince Sultan for its continuous development.
“What I saw was creativity, excellence and a fruitful effort that reached the level of excellence in everything; what we saw was a qualitative leap in the development process of Souq Okaz. I hope you will continue this trend and direction, because our country and our people deserve this from us,” he said in a statement after the opening ceremony.
Prince Sultan said: “The souk, this night, launches with the start of Souk Okaz City, which will host many cultural and economic activities. We move forward in accordance with a vision set by King Salman and the late King Abdullah, who saw Souq Okaz as an international occasion in light of Kingdom’s international importance.”
This year’s edition will witness more than 100 functions including contests and tourist journeys that will provide a unique experience to visitors. The cultural programs and their events will be held in different locations in Souq Okaz and Taif city.
The winners of this year’s contests received their awards from the governor. The classical Arabic poetry prize of SR300,000 ($79,994) was awarded to Mohammad Abdullah Al-Turki from Saudi Arabia, and the Arabic narration prize of SR100,000 went to Mohammad Saeed Al-Rashdi from Saudi Arabia. The SR100,000 prize for Arabic calligraphy was distributed to three winners: Masoud Hafiz Mohammad from Bangladesh received SR50,000; Ahmad Rafat Ahmad from Egypt received SR30,000; and third-place winner Yaser Mahmoud Ibrahim received SR20,000.
The Okaz innovation award went to Iman Saad Al-Zahrani of Saudi Arabia who received SR100,000.

Saudi Arabia tells UN: We are promoting sustainable methods in housing

Updated 22 min ago

Saudi Arabia tells UN: We are promoting sustainable methods in housing

  • Saudi Green Building Forum attended conference at UN headquarters
  • SGBF demonstrated its commitment to affordable housing through environmentally sustainable practices

JEDDAH: The Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF) has shown that its mission aligns with the UN Commission for Social Development. 

A SGBF delegation attended the 58th session of the commission at UN headquarters in New York City on Wednesday.

The SGBF demonstrated its commitment to affordable housing through environmentally sustainable practices.

“The SGBF supports the integration of affordable housing within urban developments, architectural design and use of materials that support occupants’ wellbeing, and minimizing construction waste through efficient methods,” said Faisal Al-Fadl, SGBF chair representative to the UN.

Al-Fadl told Arab News: “Saudi Arabia is addressing key messages on clean energy and is focusing on a low-carbon, resource-efficient, inclusive circular economy and building systems addressing these core issues.

“The Kingdom is complying with the principle of sustainability and is helping to advance the resilience of our cities.”

The UN Commission for Social Development’s role is to monitor national and global socioeconomic trends, identify emerging issues and assess their implications for social policy at the national and international levels.

The session reviewed some of the social challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on issues relevant to the three core social development goals identified at the World Summit for Social Development. 

The goals are eradicating poverty, promoting productive employment and decent work and promoting social inclusion.

The SGBF’s mission focuses on the resilience of city development practices within affordable housing developments to minimize negative impacts on the planet and citizens.

The forum addressed the practices of green systems and sustainable development in the Arab world. It said it will continue to work with the commission to support new resolutions on social and development issues, including the first-ever text on homelessness to be approved by a UN intergovernmental body.