Religious, social figures urge unity, rejection of fake news in Awamiyah

Members of Saudi forces stand guard in the town of Awamiya in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, in this August 9, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 August 2017

Religious, social figures urge unity, rejection of fake news in Awamiyah

AWAMIYAH: Forty-six religious and social figures in the town of Awamiyah have issued a statement calling for unity and rejection of fake news.
“It is essential that we prepare and work hard to make life better, and stand side by side to push our common boat again to glory and dignity, and surpass obstacles as fast as possible,” the statement read, stressing the importance of social unity in solving and avoiding problems.
The religious and social figures also emphasized the need for wisdom, saying members of society should listen to reason and serve their country.
People should dismiss divisive calls that are usually disseminated via social media, they said, stressing the importance of a culture of “substantiation.”
God said in the Holy Qur’an: “If a wicked person comes to you with news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly.”
The statement highlighted the importance of prudence in deciding priorities. Official announcements about the security situation and demolition progress in Al-Musawarah neighborhood, as well as media access to the area, indicate that residents will soon return to their homes.
But what is more important, the statement said, is that their return should be prearranged with security forces to save lives and minimize losses. The statement called for reconstruction, which requires societal cooperation.
Signatories include well-known figures such as Ibrahim M. Al-Ibrahim, Ahmed S. Al-Laith and Taher Al-Shamimi.
Al-Musawarah on Saturday witnessed repair work and replacement of power stations damaged by terrorist activity. Maintenance teams continued to fix water and sewage pipes.

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

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

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.”