Responsible leadership key to ‘justice, harmony’, Muslim World League chief tells conference at UN

Muslim World League Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa. (SPA)
Updated 03 May 2019

Responsible leadership key to ‘justice, harmony’, Muslim World League chief tells conference at UN

  • Conference discusses enrichment of human life physically and spiritually

JEDDAH: Responsible leadership is the main pillar in establishing justice and harmony among all countries, said Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

Addressing religious and political dignitaries, intellectuals and human rights activists at an MWL conference on responsible leadership at the UN headquarters in New York, he said the league will donate $1 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

He also underlined the MWL’s readiness to take part in a number of UN projects designed to improve needy people’s quality of life worldwide.

The conference discussed topics related to enriching human life physically and spiritually. One such topic was “a return to civility in public discourse” amid increased divisions.

Participants also tackled the widening gap between rich and poor in developed and developing countries.

They called for policies that provide effective economic gains for the poorest and most marginalized communities.

They also called for environmental protection and sustainability worldwide so future generations are not jeopardized.

Participants emphasized the importance of faith as a factor uniting the peoples of the world instead of dividing them.

They underscored the importance of eliminating breeding grounds that produce such groups as Daesh, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazis.

The conference also discussed gender equality, and all agreed that inequality between women and men hinders countries’ advancement. Participants called for an environment that helps empower women.

Al-Issa thanked all the participants for their presence and interaction, and expressed hope that everyone will cooperate to promote peace, tolerance, justice and mercy for a better future for humanity.

Culture documentation by Saudi ministry to help dispel misconceptions

Updated 22 October 2020

Culture documentation by Saudi ministry to help dispel misconceptions

  • Dia hopes the documenting process will be done professionally and without bias

JEDDAH: Saudi artists welcomed the Ministry of Culture’s first-of-its-kind 16/13 initiative, documenting the diversity of Saudi culture and art through a visual library.
The library will display 16 aspects of culture and heritage through photography and videography that represent the 13 regions of the Kingdom.
Researchers will go around Saudi Arabia to meet creatives, and study their work, for inclusion in the initiative.
“This is an important step for the Kingdom, and it’s a global one to document visual art, whether works of art or cinema,” Dia Aziz Dia, Saudi artist and sculptor, told Arab News.
He added: “It’s important because this creates a database and can be used as a reference to study and compare paintings, photography, sculpting and various types of art, how they differ from one region to the next.”
It could also let government bodies discover art worthy of being put into museums for display, said Dia.
“It’s a good way to document history as well, and to study works of art and the standards of art here,” he said. “It’s on a global level and it’s done everywhere in the world, from England to the US.”
Dia hopes the documenting process will be done professionally and without bias.
He also said it was not easy to compile these works. “It’s an elaborate process to be able to get hold of all the works across the Kingdom. It’s an operation that requires organization, extensive studying and the cooperation of the Society of Culture and Arts and artists as well.”
Saad Tahaitah, documentary filmmaker and photographer, told Arab News that the initiative was promising. He was exposed to it through Saudi photographer Nawaf Al-Shehri, who has been traveling to help with the documentation process.
“The ministry’s been doing an incredible job; they’re (Nawaf and his team) going around the Kingdom and filming content for an actual library,” he said.
Tahaitah has worked on numerous short films on his own to depict the culture and heritage of Asir region, in the southwest of the country. He said he would not trade it for any other place and wished only to film in his hometown.
“I got into documentaries because I wanted honest storytelling. I didn’t want to write a script and hire actors, although that works for some,” he said. “The way I’ve been doing film is to let the person I’m filming go about their day and I let my camera roll.”
Tahaitah started documenting Asir because he wanted to dispel the misconceptions about it, and the stereotypes created through media like “Tash Ma Tash,” the famous Saudi comedy show.
“Asir is full of natural beauty and scenery to capture. It’s diverse in its sights and the people who live in it. Every once in a while, I realize there’s a thing I never noticed before and I film it, and I’ve lived here all my life. The way of life here, simply, can inspire you,” he said.
He added: “We don’t have one particular dance or only sit and dine in a huddle. In a way, I just wanted to showcase the reality of Asir because I love it.”
He said that this initiative could correct inaccuracies shared about certain areas in the Kingdom.