DHAHRAN: Three, two, one, lift-off! With the press of a button, Ithra’s distinctive, futuristic tower was illuminated on Thursday night by a rocket launch. The 3D animated spectacle signaled the start of Tanween, a 17-day creativity festival at the arts center in Dhahran that will explore creativity in art, music, film, theater, science, literature, cultural heritage and entrepreneurship.
Amin H. Nasser, the president and CEO of Aramco, pressed the button for the first public viewing of the light show, but for the next three weeks other visitors will get a chance to do the same, setting off a display projected onto the tower featuring 3D images representing the festival’s themes of fashion, science, manufacturing and art.
During the official launch, Nasser also toured a hall filled with fantastical installations, including a giant block floating in the air. He was accompanied by other VIP guests, including Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, the president of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and chair of the board of the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage. Some of the officials laughed like children as they pretended to lift the block and gazed in wonder at bubbles falling from the ceiling.
This is just the beginning of an event sure to delight the senses of all who visit. In addition to exhibits and a series of workshops, there will also be talks featuring special guests. Friday’s guests include former “Mythbusters” star and special effects whiz Adam Savage. BBC TV science presenter Greg Foot will also appear during the event.