Emotional night for Saudi fans as K-pop legends Super Junior perform in Kingdom for first time

1 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
2 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
3 / 14
The Super Junior Super Show at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
4 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
5 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
6 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
7 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
8 / 14
Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
9 / 14
Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
10 / 14
Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
11 / 14
Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
12 / 14
South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
13 / 14
14 / 14
Updated 14 July 2019

Emotional night for Saudi fans as K-pop legends Super Junior perform in Kingdom for first time

  • Super Junior is the first South Korean band to perform in Saudi Arabia
  • Fans raved about the show, some finding it hard to believe it had happened at all in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: To the delight of their fans in the Kingdom, K-pop superstars Super Junior finally took to the stage in Saudi Arabia on Friday evening and gave the crowd a night to remember.

In return, the audience of E.L.Fs (or Ever Lasting Friends as fans of the band are known) gave their heroes a welcome they are unlikely to forget.

The previous night, the group, which has become a musical phenomenon around the world since it debuted in 2005, was greeted upon arrival at King Abdulaziz Airport with cheers, gifts and an outpouring of love.

But that was just a taster for the main event, as the band brought their Super Show 7 world tour to King Abdullah Sports City, as part of the Jeddah Season festival.

 

Many in the audience brought Super Junior light sticks and other official merchandise to show their love for the band.

Some had made posters that included personal messages in the hope that their heroes would see them.

One of them expressed the feeling of disbelief, felt by many, that the band had finally come to Saudi Arabia, something that seemed so unlikely for such a long time: “Nine years ago I never thought I would see you.”

When the audience had filled the venue, the lights were dimmed, light sticks were raised and screams of excitement erupted as band appeared the stage, launching into performances of the songs “Black Suit” and “Mamacita.”

 

The language barrier did not matter, as fans knew the words to every song by heart. Many sang along and a few brave souls even attempted to copy some of the dance moves.

Between the songs the band members displayed the the fun personalities they are known for as they took turns to greet and thank their fans. They had written down some Arabic greetings and read them out as a gesture to help them connect even more with their Saudi fans, and also yelled phrases such as “yallah habibi” (let’s go my dear) and “assalamu alaikum.”

 

“We are the first South Korean band to perform here in Saudi Arabia and I am so proud to be performing here,” said band member Siwon.

The concert was a musical masterpiece, alternating between upbeat songs that made fans jump and scream to ballads that made some shed a tear. The stage included an extension that stretched the length of the venue, allowing members to run out into the crowd, so that as many people as possible had a chance to see them close up.

They performed many of their hits, some of which were given a fresh twist. Their biggest hit “Sorry Sorry,” for example, added a special drum solo performed by band member Kim Hee-chul. “Mamacita” included an extended vocal solo from Kim Ryeo-wook.

 

When the music stopped and the stars left the stage after saying goodbye to their fans, the audience remained in place, hoping their heroes would return for an encore — and they were not disappointed, as the band reappeared to perform fan-favorite song “Devil.”

Some members of Super Junior will perform at the same venue in the band’s spin-off subgroups D & E, and K.R.Y on Saturday night, alongside K-pop group Stray Kids, also as part of Jeddah Season. As a teaser for this, stars Eunhyuk and Donghae (D & E) performed their songs “Oppa Oppa” and “Can You Feel It?”

They whole band then performed a one final song, specially written for the fans, called “Shining Star,” before collecting gifts brought for them by the audience and leaving the stage for the last time.

“We promise to come back,” they said as they went.

 

After the gig, the fans departed, raving about the show, and some still found it hard to believe it had happened at all.

Saja Al-Wafi, 32, who has been a fan since 2009, said: “I felt like it was a dream. I kept hugging my friend and I wanted someone to pinch me so I could believe I was actually here."

Rawan, 23, said: “This is my first K-pop concert, despite being a fan for the longest time, and I am so happy I don’t even have words to describe it.”

Mohammed Al-Sulaimani, a 22-year-old fan who flew from Taif to Jeddah for the concert, said: “In middle school I wanted to be them; I would style my hair like them and act like them. I grew up with them and I have so many memories with them — when I heard they were coming I couldn’t believe it. The tickets were sold out, too, and I had to work so hard to get one.”

 

 


Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

Updated 15 September 2019

Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

  • Saudi Aramco says no staff have been injured in attacks
  • The oil giant is working on restoring the lost quantities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said drones that attacked Saudi Aramco installations had caused an interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies and threaten the world economy.

The Arab Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said in a statement that investigations are ongoing to identify the perpetrators.

And Al-Maliki said Arab coalition forces would continue to implement necessary measures to deal with the terrorist threats.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said as a result of the terrorist acts, oil production in Abqaiq and Khurais was knocked out temporarily and that estimates show that 50 percent of the company’s production had been interrupted.

Part of the decrease will be compensated to clients through reserves, Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement carried on the Saudi Press Agency.

The newly appointed minister confirmed there were no injuries to staff at the locations targeted, adding that the company is still assessing the resulting damage.

The attacks not only target the Kingdom’s vital installations, but also target the international oil supply and threaten its security, he said, and are a threat to the world economy. 

The blasts took place at 3:31am and 3:42am at the two locations, both in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, causing fires that were brought under control by emergency services.

The drone attacks, at the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq and at an oilfield in Khurais, highlight the importance of the international community to protect energy supply against “all terrorist sides that carry out, support and finance such cowardly disruptive acts,” the statement said.

He said that these blasts also knocked out the production of 2bn cubic feet of associated gas daily, used to produce 700,000 barrels of natural gas liquids, which will lead to an approximate 50 percent decrease of Ethane and natural gas liquids supply.

The statement said the company is currently working on restoring the lost quantities, and will present updated information within the next 48 hours.

World leaders condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia on Saturday and those behind the terrorist acts. 

Donald Trump called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reassert his country's “readiness to cooperate with the Kingdom, by all means conducive to maintain its security and stability.”

The Crown Prince "underscored the Kingdom’s willingness and strength to thwart such a terrorist aggression and deal with its consequences,” SPA reported on Saturday.

The UAE said it “condemns this act of terrorism and sabotage and considers it as a new evidence of the terrorist groups’ attempts to undermine the security and stability of the region as a whole.”

“The Houthis must stop undermining Saudi Arabia’s security by threatening civilian areas and commercial infrastructure,” said the British government.

“The US strongly condemns today’s drone attacks. These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost,” said the US envoy in Riyadh John Abizaid.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was emphatic about the need to condemn Iranian aggression, specifically on Saudi Arabia, and the need to ensure the security of world energy supplies.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” he tweeted, “We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression."

The Council of Ministers of Lebanon have also condemned the targeting of Saudi’s Aramco facilities.

The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, said they had carried out the attacks and that 10 drones had been used.