Disabled Saudi’s food truck ready to roll at Riyadh Season

Updated 10 October 2019

Disabled Saudi’s food truck ready to roll at Riyadh Season

RIYADH: This year’s Riyadh Season program has excited the nation — and one young Saudi in particular.

Salah Al-Awaji, a disabled student who uses a wheelchair, owns a food truck that is the sole source of income for his family, his mother and his brother.

His ambition was to open for business at the Riyadh Season from Oct. 11 until Dec. 15, but he found himself thwarted at every turn. In despair, Salah recorded a video appeal and posted it online.

“I have experienced difficulties in trying to participate in Riyadh Season. I have tried contacting them and persuading them but perhaps because I’m handicapped, they believe I won’t be able to work, which is not true,” he said.

The response was swift. Turki Al-Sheikh, head of the General Entertainment Authority, posted Salah’s video on Twitter and tagged Riyadh Season organizers. “Immediately finish up his papers and take into account his ease of movement,” Al-Sheikh told them. 

“No fees will be taken from him and if he needs support, we will give it. Have I made myself clear?”

Riyadh Season quickly replied: “Consider it done.” A delighted Salah told Al-Sheikh: “Thank you for your quick interaction and support. I will make you proud in Riyadh Season. I will give a half-price discount to people with special needs.”

One of the key aims of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan is to empower people with special needs.


Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

The group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 5 min 7 sec ago

Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

  • Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25
  • The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together

RIYADH: The music scene in the Kingdom is exploding, with young, talented Saudis taking full advantage of the developments in the country by showcasing their talent.
 In a limited time, young Saudi musicians have proven that they are equal to any other young cohort of musicians anywhere in the world.
 One of those talents is a young band from Dhahran, Jwa. Currently performing locally in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities in the Eastern Province, the group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons.
 The band, formed in 2018, is composed of Methgal Al-Shammari on drums, Mohammad Al-Nahas (bass and vocals), Arkan Al-Zahrani (guitar), Mansour Al-Gallaf (guitar) and Fawaz Baasem (keyboard).
They have had two local hit singles, “Ya Safina” and “Min Jadeed.” Methgal and Mohammad, the founders of Jwa, say that at first they “performed at numerous local events and parties” across the Kingdom. It did not take them long to become popular among Saudis.

FASTFACTS

• Jwa was formed in 2018.

• Since its launch it has two local hit singles.

• The band’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.

The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together.
However, they have faced many challenges in the last two years. Methgal and Mohammad said initially a “lack of support for independent bands” and “weakness of the nurturing music environment” within the country halted their progress.
However, due to the steps taken by the General Entertainment Authority, bands like Jwa have become able to make their voices and music heard. In the future, they are looking to go international, to “make their band known not only to different regions of Saudi Arabia but also abroad to gain more momentum and attraction.”
Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.