Saudi Arabia determined to ‘combat corruption’

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 05 February 2019

Saudi Arabia determined to ‘combat corruption’

  • Law enforcement, auditing bodies should strengthen their roles to protect public funds, says King Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will continue to preserve integrity and combat corruption, King Salman said at the weekly Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Law enforcement and auditing bodies should strengthen their roles so that they can protect and preserve public funds, he added.
The king thanked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee, for his efforts and keenness.
King Salman also thanked the committee’s staff and working teams for completing the tasks assigned to them. The Cabinet vowed to continue to fight corruption and punish those responsible.
It lauded the consultative meeting of the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan.
The meeting discussed regional developments, and enhancing cooperation and coordination to serve Arab interests.
The Cabinet reviewed the latest Arab, regional and international developments. It commended the holding of the first round of Saudi-German political consultations, which reviewed bilateral relations, cooperation in combating extremism and terrorism, and regional and international issues.
Media Minister Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah said the Cabinet discussed cultural and heritage activities held during the past few days, which witnessed large turnouts and international participation.
The Cabinet authorized the interior minister or his deputy to discuss with Chinese officials a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Saudi Interior Ministry and China’s Public Security Ministry to combat electronic crime.
The Cabinet also approved an MoU for political consultations between the Saudi and Dutch foreign ministries.
Furthermore, it approved an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the UAE to avoid double taxation and tax evasion.


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 37 min 1 sec ago

Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

  • “There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” says Abdullah Al-Joghiman

DHAHRAN: Saudi portrait photographer Abdullah Al-Joghiman has a message for everybody: You are beautiful just the way you are.

If you don’t believe him, let him take your picture.

“Even if you’re not photogenic, or think you look bad in pictures, I can always turn your frown upside down,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is a full-time financial analyst for the Saudi Electricity Co., but allows plenty of time for his work as a freelance portrait and event photographer on the side.

“I started off doing landscape photography, but I love portrait photography more. Landscape photographers have to travel a lot, and I wasn’t able to commit to that lifestyle for many reasons. But since I was a child I’ve always loved taking pictures of people. There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” he told Arab News.

The 34-year-old was born in Al-Hofuf and now lives in Dammam, but his passion for photography has taken him all over the Kingdom and to other areas of the world.

Al-Joghiman at the 2018 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai. (Supplied)

Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

“It was amazing, I met people from around 20 countries who came to take part,” he said. “It was a great experience.”

Completely self-taught, Al-Joghiman caught the photography bug at college and has been training himself ever since. “I’ve been dabbling in photography since high school, but I started taking it more seriously in college. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012 or 2013,” he said.

Al-Joghiman started off humbly, with a camera-centric smartphone, but has since expanded his collection significantly, and now shoots with a variety of high-tech cameras from Sony. Now he is attracting interest from both local and international sponsors, especially in the gaming and cosplay areas.

“Cosplayers are kind of difficult to shoot because they can be perfectionists, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they see the final pictures. That makes it worthwhile,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is happy that social restrictions on photography in Saudi Arabia are easing, allowing him to find more opportunities to do the work he loves.

“It’s difficult to take pictures of people here, especially strangers, but I can’t really blame them, considering that they are not really used to that in our culture. But things are changing and it’s much easier to be a photographer in Saudi Arabia now,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Abdullah Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

He is grateful for the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to revive the Kingdom’s art scene, and has long hoped that photography will become more regulated in the country.

“The market for photography and videography really needs to be regulated. It’s hard enough putting a price on one’s work without scoping out the competition and finding that someone else is charging thousands for just a headshot when I’m doing shoots for two or three hundred,” he said.

“I love my work, and I’d love to be able to do it for free, but at the end of the day I still need to eat,” he said.

Al-Joghiman doesn’t want to limit anyone else’s opportunities but simply wants the playing field evened out a little.

“As a photographer, I just want a fair chance for everyone. More importantly, a client should know exactly what they are paying for,” he said.

His advice to young Saudis looking to become photographers is this: “If you pursue photography, don’t worry. Just do what you love, and if people tell you that they don’t look good in pictures, convince them by taking a picture of them.”

AlJoghiman’s work can be found on Instagram and Twitter (@finalecco), and on his website, https://www.eccofantasyph.com