Sharqiah Season kicks off in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province

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Sharqiah Season officially begins on Thursday 14 March, 2019. (AN photo)
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Sharqiah Season officially begins on Thursday 14 March, 2019. (AN photo)
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Visitors arrive as Sharqiah Season officially begins on Thursday 14 March, 2019. (Sharqiah Season)
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Sharqiah Season officially begins on Thursday 14 March, 2019. (AN photo)
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Sharqiah Season officially begins on Thursday 14 March, 2019. (AN photo)
Updated 18 March 2019

Sharqiah Season kicks off in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province

  • Sharqiah Season is the first of 11 scheduled festivals planned for Saudi Arabia in 2019
  • The festival features more than 80 events in Eastern Province cities, including Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa and Jubail

ALKHOBAR: The opening night of Sharqiah Season on Thursday drew crowds of Saudis to the Alkhobar Corniche, despite strong winds and sprinklings of rain earlier in the day. Groups of friends stopping to take selfies and families with young children in tow wandered through the Entertainment Boulevard, lined with food stalls selling karak and koshari.

“What’s happening in Sharqiah is humongous, to tell you the truth, and it’s only the first day,” said Labeed Assidmi, who was selling nostalgic Saudi pins under his label Pinnizer at a booth in the Crystal Market near the front gate.

“Everyone is so excited to see what’s going to happen next. People are almost overwhelmed, hardly sure of where to go first with all the choices that they have. They don’t want to miss anything. It’s a great vibe.”

Farther along the Corniche, another gate led into the Cultural Village, which featured booths representing the different provinces of Saudi Arabia, with craftsmen weaving baskets and making clay zamzam jars. 

Families enjoyed picnics on the grass, waiting for the light show to be projected onto the Khobar Water Tower.

See more photos from Sharqiah Season’s opening weekend here

Hind Mubarak, who visited the corniche with her Bahrain-based sister, said: “We came at 7 p.m. with the children to see the Sharqiyah Season. We all wanted to see the fireworks, but they were canceled because of high winds, which we found out on Twitter.”

Mubarak added: “It is a little disappointing, especially for the children. But the light show was fun to watch. We will check when the next firework display will be held and we will come out for that. Now the kids want to go home because they’re afraid of the lightning.”

Earlier in the day, the Sharqiah Season began with the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of Leonardo da Vinci at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). 

The exhibit showcased some of Leonardo’s original sketches, with several screens showing videos detailing how his designs have continued to inspire scientists and inventors in the modern era.

While many of the events during the 17-day festival take place in the evening, Ithra is hosting a few daytime exhibits, including an interactive show featuring another great master, Vincent van Gogh, the opening of which was delayed.

Sharqiah Season is the first of 11 scheduled festivals planned for Saudi Arabia in 2019. In a collaborative effort by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Culture Authority and the General Sports Authority, the project aims to deliver an extensive entertainment experience for both Saudis and visitors to the kingdom.

The festival features more than 80 events in Eastern Province cities, including Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa and Jubail. Future seasons will focus on different areas of Saudi Arabia, with different entertainment options for each city. Upcoming seasons will focus on different areas, and also different parts of the year, such as Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said in a statement that  the organization’s participation in the festival aligns with its goal of improving the quality of life in the Kingdom, and discovering local talent in various entertainment industries. 

He also highlighted the importance of the entertainment sector and its contribution to the economy and the creation of jobs for locals, all important aspects of Vision 2030.


Saudi Cabinet condemns Turkey’s actions in Syria

The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of talks with Russian President Putin, who visited Saudi Arabia on Monday. (SPA via Reuters)
Updated 15 min 12 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet condemns Turkey’s actions in Syria

  • Use of political means stressed to resolve crisis

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reiterated its call to adopt political means to resolve the Syrian crisis. Condemning Turkey’s actions in northeastern Syria, the Saudi Cabinet called for measures that would not only uphold international laws but also ensure the security of Syria and other countries in the region.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman in Riyadh, referred to the demands made by an emergency meeting of the Arab League Council, which called on the UN Security Council to take steps to curb Turkish aggression.
The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited the Kingdom on Monday.
The Cabinet commended the Saudi-Russian energy partnership and signing of cooperation agreements between the two oil-producing countries.
It also commended the alignment between the ambitions and strategic objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and Russia’s strategic development plans.
The Cabinet also reviewed the talks between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Russian president.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Cabinet commended the Saudi-Russian energy partnership.

• The Cabinet congratulated Kais Saied on winning the presidential elections in Tunisia.

Media Minister Turki Al-Shabanah, in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency following the session, said that the Cabinet reviewed the Saudi-Russian CEO Forum, citing the future of energy, solutions for its sustainability, existing and future investments between the two countries, opportunities for joint cooperation, agricultural sustainability and global food security through the Saudi-Russian Committee and within the framework of the Kingdom’s keenness for a sustainable national economy and as one of the growing economies of the G20.
The Cabinet congratulated Kais Saied on winning the presidential elections in Tunisia and wished the country steady progress and prosperity.
The minister said that the Cabinet reviewed several reports on the latest regional and global developments.
The Cabinet also renewed the Kingdom’s condemnation of the bombings that targeted a bus carrying security forces in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and the terrorist attack on a mosque in the Salmousi area north of Burkina Faso, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries.
The Kingdom stressed its solidarity with Afghanistan and the government of Burkina Faso against terrorism and extremism, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
The Cabinet also authorized different ministries to sign memorandums of understanding with their counterparts in different countries to increase cooperation in various sectors.