Record-breaking flower power carpets Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu festival

The festival aims to allow people to be environmentally aware of different plants and flowers and how to grow them. (AN photo)
Updated 07 March 2018

Record-breaking flower power carpets Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu festival

MADINAH: More than a million visitors are expected to attend the 24-day Yanbu Flower and Garden Festival, which opened on Thursday, and view the largest flower carpet in the world.
Already, in the first three days since opening, there have been 110,000 visitors to the largest flower festival in the Kingdom on the Red Sea coast.
Saleh Al-Zahrani, director of the Operation and Maintenance Department at the Royal Commission for Yanbu, said this year a flower tapestry using thousands of different colored blooms have been used to represent hills, which spread over 45,000 square meters.
Al-Zahrani said that Saudi Arabia regained world record for the largest carpet of flowers. “Reclaiming its title from 2014, the carpet of flowers spreads over an area of 16,300 square meters. Entering the Guinness Book of Records further motivated us to move forward so as to be recognized on the world scene of flower festivals,” he added.
In addition to providing beautiful displays, the festival, organized by the Royal Commission for Yanbu, aims to allow people to be environmentally aware of different plants and flowers and how to grow them.
Twenty-six artists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Georgia, and France will be taking part in the competition to paint a picture of the Saudi team’s participation in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
“We appreciate the authorities arranging such a wonderful show,” said visitor Nasser Al Juhani. “They have created more space so that it will not look overcrowded and delivered a unique kind of recreational activity for the residents of the region.”


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.