Arab coalition’s peace efforts in Yemen appreciated

Fighters from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, perform maneuvers during a graduation ceremony in the southern city of Taiz on August 17, 2018. (AFP / AHMAD AL-BASHA)
Updated 27 August 2018

Arab coalition’s peace efforts in Yemen appreciated

RIYADH: Al-Bayda Gov. Maj. Gen. Nasser Al-Khader Al-Sawadi praised the role of the Arab Alliance in supporting the Yemeni National Army on various fronts.

He made the remarks during a visit to the province’s Al-Malajim frontier, according to sources.

Separately, a senior Al-Qaeda leader was killed in Yemen’s central province of Marib while fighting alongside the government forces battling the Houthi militia, officials and tribal leaders said Saturday.

Ghalib Al-Zaidi’s death came a week ago in an exchange of fire during clashes in the Sirwah district of Marib, they said. 

The officials and elders told said Al-Zaidi had dozens of Al-Qaeda operatives under his command and had taken part in several battles against the Houthis in the province. 

In 2017, Al-Zaidi was placed on the UN Security Council’s sanctions list as a Yemen-based individual “who acts for or on behalf of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” 

The UN found him to be providing the Yemeni affiliate of the global terror network with weapons, funding, and recruits. 

Al-Zaidi was also found to have helped Al-Qaeda to expand its control in parts of Marib.  

 


Saudi Arabia's Princess Nourah University opens admissions for animation, photography degrees

Updated 12 August 2020

Saudi Arabia's Princess Nourah University opens admissions for animation, photography degrees

RIYADH: The College of Arts and Design at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) announced the introduction of two new programs in animation and photography in the new academic year on Sunday.

The decision was made in response to the needs of the Saudi labor market and falls in line with the goals of the Vision 2030 initiative. Animation and photography join fashion and textile design, sculpture, printmaking, and graphic design and digital media as arts degrees offered by PNU.

Dr. Maha Khayyat, dean of the College of Design and Art, spoke about the programs and said that they were curated with the graduates’ working futures in mind.

“The College of Designs and Arts is keen to integrate its various specializations and the participation of the students enrolled in them in joint projects to work together, and training them to join the labor market,” said Khayyat.

The animation program will include courses on designing cartoon characters and the basics of writing films and sound. It will give graduates the skills to create animated films and to integrate into the industry on a local, regional, or even global scale. Khayyat said that the students’ work could help to highlight Saudi culture and enhance national identity.

The photography program provided students with skills in both still and moving photography. Graduates will be well-equipped to handle any type of professional photography, from product shoots and fashion shows to photojournalism.

The news was welcomed by professionals in both fields. The animation industry in Saudi Arabia has been enjoying unprecedented success this year. The hugely popular YouTube animated series Masameer, from the Saudi Myrkott studio, was adapted into a full-length feature film and played in cinemas across the Kingdom in January. Saudi animation studio Manga Productions debuted the country’s first anime series in the same month entitled “Future’s Folktales”, in collaboration with Japan’s legendary TOEI Animation studios.

Farah Arif, a senior animator at Manga Productions who studied computer science, told Arab News that it was about time studying animation became a viable option for Saudi creatives.

“I wish the opportunity had been made available to me. There’s a huge market for animators in Saudi Arabia, especially with the film industry gaining popularity. Saudi creatives finally have a chance to make a living off their art, and to pursue the study of it in their home countries. It’s a huge step forward,” she said.

She also recommends that anyone thinking of pursuing a career in the arts to do so, given the current environment and level of support from the government.

“Most of us in the industry have been successful without the relevant degrees. Imagine what you could do if you actually had one. The opportunity is there, so you can’t use the lack of a degree course as an excuse anymore. If you have the passion and the drive, go for it.”