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.


Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

Updated 18 min 7 sec ago

Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

  • US official says all options, including a military response, are on the table
  • Washington blames Iran for the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field

RIYADH: Iran provided the weapons used to strike two Saudi Aramco facilities in the Kingdom, the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen said Tuesday.

“The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran,” coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh, adding they were now probing “from where they were fired.”

The coalition supports the Yemen government in the war against the Iran-backed Houthi militants, which claimed they had carried out the attack on Saturday.

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US officials have said Iran was behind the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field, and that the raid did not come from Yemen, but from the other direction.

“This strike didn't come from Yemen territory as the Houthi militia are pretending,” Maliki said, adding that an investigation was ongoing into the attacks and their origins.

The Houthis have carried out scores of attacks against Saudi Arabia using drones and ballistic missiles.

Al-Maliki labelled the Houthis “a tool in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the terrorist regime of Iran.”

The attacks against Abqaiq, the world's largest oil processing facility, and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia knocked out nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

Crude prices rocketed on Monday by more than 10 percent.

Iran has denied involvement, something Trump questioned Sunday in a tweet saying “we'll see?”

A satellite image of Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais. (US Government/DigitalGlobe/ via Reuters)

On Sunday, the US president raised the possibility of military retaliation after the strikes, saying Washington was “locked and loaded” to respond.

The US has offered a firm response in support of its ally, and is considering increasing its intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia as a result of the attack, Reuters reported.

A US official told AP that all options, including a military response, were on the table, but added that no decisions had been made.

The US government late Monday produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at the oil processing plant at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field. Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Iraq said the attacks were not launched from its territory and on Sunday Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told him that Washington possesses information that backs up the Iraqi government’s denial.

Condemnation of the attacks continued from both within Saudi Arabia and from around the world.

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council called Tuesday for concerted efforts to hold those behind the attacks accountable.

Meanwhile, the UN’s special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais had consequences well beyond the region and risked dragging Yemen into a “regional conflagration.”