Saudi Cabinet stresses commitment to Hajj services

Saudi King Salman chairs the council of ministers meeting for first time in Neom. (SPA)
Updated 24 July 2019

Saudi Cabinet stresses commitment to Hajj services

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah has benefited over 52,000 pilgrims

NEOM: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed topics related to the services provided to Hajj pilgrims, and to the service of the Two Holy Mosques.

Chaired by King Salman, the Cabinet discussed his directive to host thousands of pilgrims from all over the world each year as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah. The program has benefited more than 52,000 pilgrims since its inception in 1996. 

Media Minister Turki Al-Shabanah said the opening of water projects in Makkah and the holy sites reflects the Saudi leadership’s care and attention, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The opening of the water projects, which cost a total of more than SR1.3 billion ($346.6 million), coincides with this year’s pilgrimage season.

The Cabinet condemned the Israeli demolition of dozens of houses in East Jerusalem, making hundreds of Palestinians homeless.

It urged the international community to intervene to stop this aggression and Israel’s attempts to change the legal and demographic character of the city.

The Cabinet was briefed on regional and international developments, including Iran’s violations of international law, such as the interception of civilian ships in the Arabian Gulf.

The Cabinet praised the results of the 50th ordinary session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers chaired by Saudi Arabia.

Participants stressed the role of Arab media in consolidating citizenship, strengthening national identity, and combating terrorism and extremist thought.

The Cabinet expressed its condolences to Japan’s government and people on the deadly fire in the city of Kyoto, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Al-Shabanah said local affairs discussed by the Cabinet included the King Abdullah International Parks project in Riyadh.

The Cabinet praised the crown prince’s support for sports, and the distribution of SR2.5 billion to sports clubs.


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.