Okaz Avenue draws Taif Season’s visitors with legacy of the past

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Taif Season consists of more than 70 events in areas including Souq Okaz, Sadat Al-Beed and Ward Village. (SPA)
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Taif Season consists of more than 70 events in areas including Souq Okaz, Sadat Al-Beed and Ward Village. (SPA)
Updated 04 August 2019

Okaz Avenue draws Taif Season’s visitors with legacy of the past

  • Taif Season consists of more than 70 events in areas including Souq Okaz, near the camel festival, Sadat Al-Beed, and Ward Village

TAIF: Okaz Avenue attracted visitors at Souq Okaz, which was launched last Thursday as part of Taif Season’s “Masyaf Al-Arab.”
It represents an aspect of daily life for ancient Arabs through creative live shows including more than 2,000 actors and professionals who receive guests in modern Arabic and traditional clothes, and perform stories and improvizations based on a dialogue between actors and visitors.
Okaz Avenue showcases the historic status of Taif by bringing back the past and representing it in a cultural and recreational way using artistic creativity and ingenuity. Time travelers watch the most famous Arab poets, such as Nabigha Dhubyani, Imru’ Al-Qais, Amr Ibn Kulthum, Tarafa ibn Al-’Abd and Antara Ibn Shaddad, as well as duels with swords and spears and the departure of horse and camel convoys, reception of delegations and showcasing of ancient auctions and business deals.  
Souq Okaz was famous for hundreds of years — predating Islam — it may go back more than 1,500 years. Arabs used to flock to it annually; tribes and poets gathered, deals were done, war reconciliation sessions and truces were declared, and the most important items from abroad exhibited, transported by convoys from Damascus and Yemen. That scene vanished over the years but was revitalized 13 years ago in Souq Okaz and is presented in a new form this year with the launch of its first edition during Taif Season.
Taif Season consists of more than 70 events in areas including Souq Okaz, near the camel festival, Sadat Al-Beed, and Ward Village. Events throughout August cover trade markets and tourist and historical monuments to enhance Taif’s historic and tourist status as a summer destination for Arabs and to promote the Kingdom as an international destination.


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.