Face-Of: Ammar Sabban the first professional Saudi puppeteer and puppet builder.

Ammar Sabban
Updated 10 February 2019

Face-Of: Ammar Sabban the first professional Saudi puppeteer and puppet builder.

  • He owns a company that designs and creates puppets to be used for live and video productions

JEDDAH: Ammar Sabban is the first professional Saudi puppeteer and puppet builder. He is the founder of 31 Workshop Ave. based in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. 

Established in 2013, the company designs and creates puppets to be used for live and video productions.

He has been working as the creative content manager and master puppeteer at Bidaya Media since 2016. Bidaya Media is the producer of Iftah Ya Simsim (Sesame Street) in the UAE. At Bidaya Media, Sabban is one of the leading content writers and developers of Iftah Ya Simsim TV show, and he also handles various responsibilities toward puppeteers, their availability, training, guidance, and coordination. 

Sabban is also the co-founder and chief creative officer of the MSTDFR Podcast Network. 

Before Iftah Ya Simsim, he produced two puppet shows on YouTube and created a puppet monster called “Afroott.” 

Sabban was mentored by several Muppet performers.

He began his career as an architect. Sabban holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from King Abdul Aziz University, and a master’s degree in the same field from Washington State University in the US.

Sabban served in jobs related to his field of study for 11 years including being a landscape architect at Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants, a design architect at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and the director of architecture department at Dartec Engineering Consultants. 

However, in 2013 he decided to quit his job and became a freelance creative consultant and started to work on building his dream career as a puppeteer and voice actor.

During an interview with Arab News on the  50th anniversary of “Sesame Street,” Sabban said: “I’m living out my childhood dream.”

“Being part of the team and creating it came full circle because I spent most of my time watching these cartoons,” he added.


Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”