Princess Sora: Each child deserves a chance to be successful

Princess Sora bint Saud Al-Saud receives an honorary shield for her work for Mentor International from Karin Olofsdotter and LaMont Wells, in the presence of her husband Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 17 November 2019

Princess Sora: Each child deserves a chance to be successful

  • Mentor International celebrates 25th anniversary in Washington

WASHINGTON: The foundation Mentor International celebrated its 25th anniversary in a ceremony sponsored by its honorary ambassador Princess Sora bint Saud Al-Saud at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC. The ceremony was attended by Karin Olofsdotter, the Swedish ambassador, LaMont Wells, chairman at Mentor Foundation USA and her husband Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz. The event also honored Princess Sora for her work in the past four years.
Princess Sora sponsored the ceremony on behalf of Queen Silvia of Sweden, founder and president of Mentor International, who organizes the event yearly to raise awareness and funds for the foundation.
The ceremony was marked by a charity auction and a presentation of experiences by celebrities and young men and women who were guided by the foundation to quit drugs and improper conduct — the mission that has been carried out by the foundation for 25 years.
In her speech Princess Sora praised Queen Silvia’s vision and efforts, as the impact of Mentor International has reached more than 80 countries and helped more than 6 million children and teenagers with programs that contributed to empowering them, developing their talents and getting them off risky behaviors and drugs.

FASTFACT

The impact of Mentor International has reached more than 80 countries and helped more than 6 million children and teenagers with programs that contributed to empowering them, developing their talents and getting them off risky behaviors and drugs.

She called for the audience to inspire humanitarian responsibility and to contribute as much as they can to achieving “the important goal of reaching needy children for support and guidance.” She stressed that “each child and teenager deserves a chance to be successful.”
The ceremony was attended by ambassadors, consuls, US government officials, activists in charity work, businesswomen and celebrities from Washington, DC.


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

Updated 29 min 12 sec ago

LA Italian eatery Madeo 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 Madeo 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 Madeo

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.

Madeo 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 Madeo 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.