Prestigious Saudi camel festival gets underway

The festival will run until March 20 in the southern Sayahdah district. (SPA)
Updated 07 February 2019

Prestigious Saudi camel festival gets underway

  • King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival will run until March 20

JEDDAH: Thousands of visitors from throughout the world are expected to attend a prestigious Saudi camel festival which on Wednesday got underway near the capital Riyadh.

Under the patronage of King Salman, the third King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival organized by the country’s Camel Club, will run until March 20 in the southern Sayahdah district of Al-Dahnaa.

Camel Club Chairman Fahd bin Falah bin Hithlin thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for supporting the annual celebration of Saudi culture and heritage.

The festival, being staged on the road between Al-Rumahiyah and Al-Hafna, has revitalized tourism in the desert area which formed part of traditional trade routes across the Arabian Peninsula. 

The southern Sayahdah district is also of national historical significance, having been the gathering point for the armies of the Kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz, as well as an important resting point for Hajj and trade caravans.

Camel owners and visitors from Arabian Gulf countries and around the globe, will flock to the sprawling festival site over the coming weeks for what has already become a highly popular fixture on the Kingdom’s events calendar. 

The festival will put the spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage, with camels having played an important part in Arab life down the ages.

Businesses involved in the manufacture and supply of camel-related products will also be in attendance, and auctions will take place throughout the gathering. Six categories of camels, Majahim, Wadh, Shaal, Sifr, Shaqah and Homr, will participate in the Mazayen beauty contest.

The giant festival site is split into various sections including a commercial area, desert park, and village center where activities, entertainment, cultural events, traditional foods and handicrafts will be available.

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 52 min 28 sec ago

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.