100 participants enter Taif Season’s hiking event

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Participants board a free bus to Al-Shafa, where they are assigned a team leader and assistants. (SPA)
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Participants board a free bus to Al-Shafa, where they are assigned a team leader and assistants. (SPA)
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Participants board a free bus to Al-Shafa, where they are assigned a team leader and assistants. (SPA)
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Participants board a free bus to Al-Shafa, where they are assigned a team leader and assistants. (SPA)
Updated 14 August 2019

100 participants enter Taif Season’s hiking event

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

RIYADH: Around 100 participants have participated in the Sadet El-Beid hiking competition at Taif Season this year, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
“The event is designed to encourage mountain hiking, while ensuring participants follow the necessary safety measures, and use the appropriate tools,” the SCTH revealed.
Around 100 people have taken part in the event so far, Najla Al-Khalifa, an SCTH spokesperson, told Arab News on Monday.
Participants board a free bus to Al-Shifa, where they are assigned a team leader and assistants. They follow a path through the rocks up to the mountain, which overlooks Taif and from which they can enjoy views of the rose fields near the mountain.
Part of Taif Season’s remit —  apart from promoting Taif’s status as an attractive place to visit thanks to its historical status, its cultural and artistic diversity, and its moderate climate — is to contribute to the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to improve quality of life and create career and investment opportunities in the Kingdom, promoting Saudi Arabia as an international tourist destination.
Taif Season consists of more than 70 events in areas including Souq Okaz, near the camel festival, Sadet Al-Beid, and Ward Village.
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.


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 31 min 38 sec ago

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.