Muslims laud successful Hajj season

Updated 04 September 2017

Muslims laud successful Hajj season

JEDDAH: As Hajj winds down, congratulations poured in hailing the peerless facilities by the government of Saudi Arabia in giving pilgrims a memorable experience of a lifetime journey.
Hajj season of this year was a huge success and an incredible way to show the world the spirit of a united religion, international media and social media played a major role in proofing that to the globe by sharing many articles, videos, and picture of this huge event.
Reaction from all over the Arab and Islamic world was overall positive complimenting the overarching organization, relentless efforts and the wide range of service provided by all agencies involved in Hajj from security personnel to Saudi Boy Scouts and female volunteers.
Anwar Gargash, UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs, took to Twitter his praise the successful Hajj season. “In a nutshell, the huge success of Saudi Arabia in the Organization of Hajj is a success for all Muslims and Arabs,” Gargash tweeted.
Hajj this year was a success according to the Adviser to King Salman Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
Prince Khaled thanked him and all Saudi officials for their efforts in organizing Hajj, saying the pilgrimage “was exceptional this year on all levels through the provision of services, execution of plans and conduct of workers.”
He expressed hope that reporters convey pilgrims’ “message of peace,” adding: “We do not tolerate any violations in Hajj... We reject the politicization of Hajj, and hope that all pilgrims come for worship, not for politics.”
The Kingdom does not interfere in the affairs of other countries, and does not allow any country to interfere in its affairs, Prince Khalid said, adding that Saudi Arabia is open to all Muslims.
“We do not claim to be perfect, but every year we will improve transport and accommodation services,” he said, confirming that this year’s Hajj saw more than 2 million pilgrims. He expressed hoped that the services provided by the Kingdom matched their expectation.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a cable of congratulations from His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, prince of Kuwait, on the occasion of the success of this year’s Hajj season.
He mentioned the great efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia’s wise government represented by all sectors and concerned authorities that have harnessed their utmost energies to serve pilgrims.
For his part, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khaled Jarrah Al-Sabah sent a cable to Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saudi congratulating him on the successful organization of Hajj season. He lauded the tremendous efforts of the Saudi Interior Ministry and all security personnel who ensured pilgrims safety and the smoothness of their movement during rituals.
A similar cable was also received by King Salman from King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha noting the great and sincere efforts of the wise government in serving and caring for the guests of God, Kuwaiti news agency (KUNA) reported.
Dr. Ahmed Atiyah, Yemeni minister of Endowments and Guidance, announced the success of the pilgrimage season for this year without recording any accidents among Yemeni pilgrims.
Atiyah said in a statement to the media that “the success of the Hajj season for this year came as a result of the efforts of specialized technical committees and ministry staff, and the accredited marketing agencies to promote the Yemeni pilgrims.”
According to Al-Tahlia News, the head of the Office of the Affairs of the pilgrims of Nigeria, Abdullah Mukhtar Mohammed, stressed that what has been provided this year can not be described, considering the success of the Hajj season this year, especially with the increase in the number of pilgrims as it is a witness to the good management and organization of the Kingdom’s Hajj system.
Meanwhile, several Hajj-related hashtags have been trending in the past 48 hours as Muslims from all over the world extensively circulated pictures and videos captured in Hajj while lauding the Saudi government’s efforts in making this year’s Hajj a success. #CustodianOfTheTwoHolyMosques hashtag was circulating with more than 23 million tweets, according to Sky News Arabia, where people recalled the word of King Salman in which he thanked God for enabling his country to serve pilgrims.
The second hashtag on the list was #SaudiArabiaWelcomesTheWorld, which was trending even before the Hajj days started, where it received 17 million interactions and tweets within just two days of its launching.
The third hashtag was #GodsGuests, which received more than 11 million tweets.


Climate change inspires prestigious Saudi art exhibition

We hope visitors would be inspired by the works they see, says Hamza Serafi, head of the curatorial committee at the Saudi Art Council. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 29 January 2020

Climate change inspires prestigious Saudi art exhibition

  • The seventh ‘21,39 Jeddah Arts’ event addresses the global environmental crisis under the title ‘I Love You, Urgently’

JEDDAH: The seventh 21,39 Jeddah Arts is back in town, addressing the global environmental crisis under the title “I Love You, Urgently.” Based at the Saudi Art Council’s hub in Jeddah, it parades the work of local artists.

Muhammad Hafiz, vice-chairman of Saudi Art Council, emphasized the importance of art in complementing societies, and how it is now being carried out by the state. He said: “This year we’re supported by the Ministry of Culture, who have kindly reached out to support us.”
Maya El Khalil, the curator of “I Love You, Urgently” paid tribute to Frei Otto, the masterful architect who has painstakingly contributed to memorable sights in the Kingdom and has been the inspiration for this year’s concept.
“In our part of the world, for the time being, these concerns (sustainability of the environment) aren’t a priority,” she said during the press conference to launch the exhibition.
 “It was interesting to see the artists go through a long process of research and study, building their awareness of their surroundings,” she said.
Hamza Serafi, head of the curatorial committee at the Saudi Art Council, said that they hoped visitors would be inspired by the works they see.
He thanked the curator for choosing Frei Otto, one of the pioneers of biomimicry — the imitation of nature.
“With that humane concept, the artists started expressing their feelings about how they see nature; some went into architectural forms, filming, music; it’s really diverse,” he said.
Visual artist Marwah Al-Mugait is one of 21 artists who have participated in the main exhibition this year, making her third appearance thanks to the Saudi Art Council.
Al-Mugait’s creation can be sensed upon entry to the cavernous venue, where women’s chants can be heard. Upon inspection, behind a lavish white curtain, a video filmed in Riyadh is playing across a curved wall where a group of women come together in self-expression and self-preservation, before they huddle against an ancient tree and embrace it.
“This year is exceptional because of the theme; I’m so happy and honored to work with Maya El Khalil, who presented the concept of biomimicry,” Al-Mugait told Arab News.

FASTFACT

The exhibition hosts visits from schools organized by the Ministry of Education.

Al-Mugait began to work toward unseen elements to display “multi-layered emotional details” in her work in order to depict the senses rather than what meets the eye. Initially, the Riyadh-based artist felt anxious about applying this new concept to her background in film and performance.
 “Throughout my research, I was driven towards the topic of the defense mechanisms of species, plantations and human beings, specifically Mimosa pudica, which closes in on itself whenever a predator is trying to touch it,” she explained.
Al-Mugait also drew inspiration from the way bees deal with predators who attack their hive, during which they perform a shimmering wave collectively.
As she struggled to translate these mechanical moves into a body language that conveys how humans can defend themselves from inner and outer harm, psychological harm and abuse, she came across Movers in Riyadh, and two of their choreographers helped her shape her performance.
Al-Mugait chose 14 female dancers to depict empowered women, two Jamaican-British and 12 Saudis. “I wanted to trace that power which you cannot see with my camera, along with their interaction with nature. That moment when they hug the tree at the end is similar to the one you would get from a mother.”
During the first week of 21,39 Jeddah Arts, a forum will be held with talks and panel discussions by the curator El Khalil and the artists of “I Love You, Urgently.”
The exhibition is open to the public, and also hosts visits from schools as part of educational trips orchestrated by the Ministry of Education, said Hafiz.
The event will run from January 28 to April 18, with further exhibitions taking place besides “I Love You, Urgently,” including “Architecture of Tomorrow: Frei Otto’s Legacy in Saudi Arabia,” which pays tribute to the inspiration behind this year’s theme, and “Sculpting Spaces — Architectural Desert Dwellings for AlUla”.
The Saudi Art Council is a non-profit initiative founded in 2014 by a number of art enthusiasts, and has been supportive of local artists and art movements in the Kingdom.