Makkah Governor to announce moderation award on Wednesday

Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal will announce the winners at King Abdul Aziz University. (SPA)
Updated 18 September 2019

Makkah Governor to announce moderation award on Wednesday

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal will announce the winners of the 2019 moderation award at a press conference at King Abdul Aziz University on Wednesday.

The award, in its third year, is considered one of the most important in promoting the values of moderation and combating extremism, both internally and externally.  

It is the first award in the field of moderation. It is a confirmation of the approach adopted by Saudi Arabia of moderate thought and shows the efforts of the Kingdom to fight extremist ideas and promote the values and applications of moderation.

The 2018 moderation award was presented to the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, for his efforts in promoting moderation and highlighting the Saudi moderation approach in international forums.

The award aims to promote five key concepts in society: To highlight the true image of the Kingdom in the field of moderation, support efforts in the field of moderation, encourage initiatives promoting a culture of moderation, in addition to raising awareness about the importance of moderation in all areas of life and supporting and highlighting efforts of individuals, groups or bodies and institutions that aim to promote the concept of moderation.

The moderation award stems from the vision of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, who has said: “No to extremism, no to takfir (pronouncement that someone is an unbeliever), no to Westernization, yes to moderation in thought, politics, economy and culture. It is Islam and civilization; it is the course of Saudi moderation.” SPA Jeddah


LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Amadeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Amadeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Amadeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Amadeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.