Diplomatic delegation experience Arab heritage at Saudi Arabia’s Souq Okaz festival

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Diplomats taking a tour at the Souq Okaz festival in Taif on Friday. (SPA)
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Diplomats taking a tour at the Souq Okaz festival in Taif on Friday. (SPA)
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Diplomats taking a tour at the Souq Okaz festival in Taif on Friday. (SPA)
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Diplomats taking a tour at the Souq Okaz festival in Taif on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 01 September 2019

Diplomatic delegation experience Arab heritage at Saudi Arabia’s Souq Okaz festival

TAIF: A delegation of 60 diplomats and their families visited the 13th edition of Souq Okaz as part of the Taif Season on Friday. The delegation was accompanied by Hani bin Abdul Wahab Kashif, chief of protocol at the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

The trip is a part of a series of visits organized by the ministry to introduce diplomats to the Kingdom’s cultural heritage.




Diplomats are taken for a ride at Souq Okaz. (SPA)

The delegation visited Okaz Avenue, where they enjoyed the famous Knights of Okaz show, works by Mu’Allaqat poets and crafts from the historical markets.

They also dropped by the Arab Neighborhood, which hosts 11 Arab countries displaying their cultural heritage through live shows, museums and exhibitions. 


Anime fans enjoy music by giants

Isao Sasaki responses to his fans during the event. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 2 min 56 sec ago

Anime fans enjoy music by giants

  • Clark, dressed in a Grendizer biker jacket, was extremely touched, telling them: “The world would envy me because of you”

RIYADH: Closing the three-day Anime Expo with a bang, Arab and Japanese legends Sammy Clark, Isao Sasaki and Ichiro Mizuki serenaded anime fans with classical tracks from their favorite shows.
They were joined by Chromatic Orchestra, from Egypt, playing the tunes of nostalgia led by maestro Saif Al-Yazan.
When Ichiro Mizuki took the stage to perform his songs for anime shows Mazinger Z and Astroganger, the fans’ cheers echoed across the walls as they called him “Aniki.”
“I’ve waited for tens of years to come to Saudi Arabia,” he told them, after greeting them in Arabic.
Isao Sasaki was greeted with enthusiasm as he sang the opening tracks to Grendizer and Grendizer UFO and the crowd raised their arms high in salutation to their favorite anime series.
But when the melody to Treasure Island (Takarajima) began to play, the crowd cheered the loudest as Sammy Clark’s operatic voice carried them back to their childhood with John Silver and Jimmy.
Clark, dressed in a Grendizer biker jacket, was extremely touched, telling them: “The world would envy me because of you.”
He told the audience the “philosophy of life that Japanese people have” is good for Arabs know more about, “and it’s good for them to know us in the Arab world like this.”

FASTFACT

• When Ichiro Mizuki took the stage to perform his songs for anime shows Mazinger Z and Astroganger, the fans’ cheers echoed across the walls as they called him ‘Aniki.’

• ’I’ve waited for tens of years to come to Saudi Arabia,’ he said.

• Isao Sasaki was greeted with enthusiasm as he sang the opening tracks to Grendizer and Grendizer UFO and the crowd raised their arms high in salutation to their favorite anime series.

• When the melody to Treasure Island began to play, the crowd cheered the loudest as Sammy Clark’s operatic voice carried them back to their childhood.

After he had performed Grendizer songs and Astroganger, Mizuki and Sasaki joined Clark on the stage. The trio performed renditions of Astroganger, Mazinger Z, Grendizer and Grendizer UFO, harmonizing together in Arabic and Japanese, and singing in each other’s language as well.
Before ending the show with Treasure Island, Mizuki addressed a sweet message to Clark, saying: “If it weren’t for Sammy singing all these songs, we wouldn’t have been standing here with you.”
Sammy Clark told Arab News that this was his fifth visit to Saudi Arabia.
He said: “Saudi people are very close to my heart. The people here are genuine and honest, something that we need more of during these times.
“Here, you feel a gentleness in the reception, and hospitality and love, which is mutual on my part.”