German Embassy hosts contemporary Saudi art exhibition in Riyadh

German Ambassador Jorg Ranau with Saudi artist Talal Al-Zeid. (Photo supplied)
Updated 28 February 2019

German Embassy hosts contemporary Saudi art exhibition in Riyadh

  • Showcased in the exhibition were the works of seven Saudi artists

RIYADH: German Ambassador in Riyadh Jorg Ranau and his wife Heike Ranau hosted the opening reception of a contemporary Saudi art exhibition at their residence in the Diplomatic Quarter on Monday.

The exhibition showcased the works of seven Saudi artists — sculptors Talal Al-Tokhais, Mohammed Al-Thaqafi and Ali Al-Tokhais, as well as painters Najla Al-Saleem, Fahad Al-Naima, Shuruq Al-Safran and Talal Al-Zeid.

The German Embassy said that the event brought together 80 dignitaries, business people, academics and artists as well as members of the German community and Saudi civil society to celebrate the rich artistic scene in the Kingdom.

The three-day event previewed on Monday. Opportunities for the public to see the artworks were provided by two visitor’s days on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

In his opening remarks, Ranau referred to the rich cultural traditions of Saudi Arabia, which have influenced the contemporary art works displayed at the exhibition.

He also commended the artists for their success in reaching out to international audiences as many of them have already exhibited their works in the US, Europe and the Gulf region.

The ambassador unveiled, together with the artist Talal Al-Zeid, a work called Buddy Bear.

The bear, which is a symbol of Berlin, can be found in many places in the city and abroad. While the shape of the bears is identical, their design is usually made by a local artist, showing the connections between the two countries.

Over the past weeks, Talal Al-Zeid worked on the bear, which now features a street-art-design inspired by Saudi motifs. It is the first Buddy Bear in Saudi Arabia.

The German Embassy is aiming to display the bear at a location accessible to the public.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Updated 28 February 2020

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

  • OIC secretary-general notes that the organization continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen announced on Wednesday that the OIC will adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) after it is revised in accordance with international human-rights standards. The foreign ministers of the OIC member states are expected to approve the CDHRI at their meeting in Niamey, Niger in April.

 Al-Othaimeen was speaking at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), held in Geneva on Wednesday, where he highlighted some of the efforts the OIC has made to fight racism and xenophobia — including Islamophobia — claiming that they are the result of “intellectual and political resistance to cultural pluralism.”

He said the OIC, in cooperation with its partners, has prepared “a comprehensive and consensual approach to address incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion.”

Al-Othaimeen’s speech, which was delivered on his behalf by OIC Geneva Permanent Representative Nassima Baghli, stressed that terrorism, including religious extremism, is a major source of concern for the international community. He pointed out that the OIC continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups and has established the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center, which focuses on addressing the ideological rhetoric of extremists.

His speech also reviewed the most common human-rights violations suffered by Muslims, referring to the detailed documentation from the UN’s own human rights bodies and the OIC of discrimination and violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Al-Othaimeen explained that America’s actions in Palestine in recent months required the OIC to stress that any peace initiative between Israel and Palestine must be consistent with legitimate rights, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

He also stressed the OIC’s support for Kashmiris in their pursuit of their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with international resolutions and highlighted the OIC’s condemnation of Armenia’s continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven regions bordering Azerbaijan.