BIENALSUR 2019 concluding its 2nd edition in Riyadh after traveling across 23 countries

BIENALSUR 2019 concluding its 2nd edition in Riyadh after traveling across 23 countries
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Hailing from South America, Bienalsur is the first world-traveling contemporary art biennale. It began in 2016 in Buenos Aires before finally ending in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
BIENALSUR 2019 concluding its 2nd edition in Riyadh after traveling across 23 countries
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Hailing from South America, Bienalsur is the first world-traveling contemporary art biennale. It began in 2016 in Buenos Aires before finally ending in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
BIENALSUR 2019 concluding its 2nd edition in Riyadh after traveling across 23 countries
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Hailing from South America, Bienalsur is the first world-traveling contemporary art biennale. It began in 2016 in Buenos Aires before finally ending in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 01 December 2019

BIENALSUR 2019 concluding its 2nd edition in Riyadh after traveling across 23 countries

BIENALSUR 2019 concluding its 2nd edition in Riyadh after traveling across 23 countries
  • The Riyadh show, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, is the international exhibition’s first stop in Middle East

RIYADH: The biennale event is hosted by the Ministry of Culture within the Quality of Life Program in collaboration with National University of Tres de Febrero, Argentina. The grand opening for the biennale was on Nov. 5 and it will run until Dec. 5

The second edition of the world’s first contemporary travel art biennial “BIENALSUR 2019” will be closing its 2019 edition in Riyadh after traveling across five continents and 43 cities in 23 countries. 

During its global tour, it showcased works of 400 artists in more than 100 venues worldwide.

The exhibition featured several international artists, four of whom are Saudi: Fatima Al-Banawi, Sara Abu Abdallah, Faisal Samra and Ayman Zedani, showcasing their creativity to the world with 16 masterpieces. 

Biennale is an Italian word that translates to “once every two years.” 

But what makes BIENALSUR special is that this biennale travels around the world, aiming to strengthen cultural ties through art works.

Hailing from South America, it is the first world-traveling contemporary art biennale.

The first edition started in 2016, and the second edition launched in June. 

It started in Buenos Aires before finally ending in Riyadh, the first stop in the Middle East.

Being a part of the BIENALSUR journey supports the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision reform plans and the Ministry of Culture’s ambitions by highlighting Saudi culture through contemporary art.

“Our participation in this edition of BIENALSUR is helping to build bridges of understanding between cultures. Dialogue is so important. I am delighted that our talented Saudi artists can be part of creating that dialogue,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture.

The second edition — titled “Restoring Stories, Restoring Imagination” — invites the audience to explore contemporary art and have an experience that reflects their own lives. 

The works in the biennale encourage intercultural dialogue and understanding through providing the audience an unforgettable experience.

A blink of an eye

The reason behind Fatima Al-Banawi calling her work “A blink of an eye” is because major changes happen in our lives within a blink of an eye. It is a video performance piece that shares five stories from the other story project.

It highlights many people’s stories in a way when the audience see it they think it is one person’s story, but in reality it is a collection of many.

“I want to personalize the lives of others, and that is why it is called the other story,” Al-Banawi said. “When we separated ourselves from the screen of our phones, we think that these experiences only happen to these people, but not to us, and through the installation the viewer can interact with a story in a deeper way.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• BIENALSUR 2019 will be closing its 2019 edition in Riyadh after traveling across five continents and 43 cities in 23 countries.

• Four Saudi nationals were among several international artists featured in the exhibition.

• Saudi artists Fatima Al-Banawi, Sara Abu Abdallah, Faisal Samra and Ayman Zedani, are showcasing their creativity to the world with 16 masterpieces.

• The event is hosted by the Ministry of Culture within the Quality of Life Program in collaboration with National University of Tres de Febrero, Argentina.

• The grand opening was on Nov. 5 and it will run until Dec. 5

“When I work on storytelling, I am speaking in a universal language, and through the Vision 2030 Saudi Arabia is addressing a universal language by using arts, culture, storytelling and filmmaking to speak to the local and the global society,” Al-Banawi said.

“One thing I always remind myself and my colleagues is to go ‘glocal’ — going local but also global, when you go glocal you are real, raw and original. You have pride in your heritage. You are not following any international standard. When you go local you go real, and when you go real you can go international,” she said.

Azal

Ayman Zedani’s work explores how time is tangible. “I turn time into a physical element,” said Zedani.

Zedani has an outstanding way of turning time to a physical masterpiece, which the audience can interact with.

“Azal” is an interactive installation that records time in a physical way. It highlights how time can be tangible. The installation is made of dyed liquid poured inside pottery cups. The ink bleeds through the cup, ensuring that the process is an active part of the art. 

This process means that no two cups are identical, they are different patterns that emerged from the ink seeping into the two cups. 

The result is an object that acts as a timing piece, archiving the ink-seeping process.


Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait
Updated 10 min ago

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait

8 Saudi mosques close after 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19

8 Saudi mosques close after 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19
Updated 09 March 2021

8 Saudi mosques close after 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19

8 Saudi mosques close after 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • 236 mosques have closed temporarily in last 29 days
  • 224 of them have so far reopened after sterilization

RIYADH: Saudi authorities temporarily closed eight mosques in three regions of Saudi Arabia on Monday, after 10 worshipers tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance said that 236 mosques have been closed in the past 29 days. Of those, 224 reopened after they were sterilized and steps were taken to ensure public safety.
Six of the mosques closed on Monday are in Riyadh, one is in Madinah and one in Tabuk, the ministry said. It added that six previously closed mosques have reopened in Makkah, Qassim and the Eastern Province after precautionary sterilization and maintenance.
The ministry called on worshipers and mosque officials to abide by all precautionary measures and report any violations or problems applying health protocols.


Saudi Arabia beats Silicon Valley on women’s tech roles

Saudi Arabia beats Silicon Valley on women’s tech roles
Participants including Saudi women attend a hackathon in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 1, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 09 March 2021

Saudi Arabia beats Silicon Valley on women’s tech roles

Saudi Arabia beats Silicon Valley on women’s tech roles
  • Saudi Arabia's investment in cybersecurity has led to its recognition as a pioneer, rated number one regionally and 13 internationally by the International Telecommunication Union

JEDDAH: Saudi women’s participation rate in the communications and IT sector rose from 11 percent in 2017 to 24 percent in 2021, an official at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) said.
“Due to several initiatives, that percentage has surpassed that of Silicon Valley, which is currently at 17 percent,” Bandar Al-Duwais, MCIT’s director of future recruitments, said during the Women Enablement Summit.
After a recent surge in spending on women’s training, Saudi women currently make up 40 percent of digital entrepreneurs, he added.
Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri, head of G20 Women’s Empowerment team, said that during the Kingdom’s presidency, Saudi Arabia had three central focuses: Human empowerment, the earth’s sustainability and implementing new horizons.
“Women’s empowerment was at the core of all of them,” she said.
The Kingdom’s investment in cybersecurity has led to its recognition as a pioneer, rated number one regionally and 13 internationally by the International Telecommunication Union.

FASTFACT

• Saudi women’s participation rate in the IT sector rose from 11 percent in 2017 to 24 percent in 2021.

Basmah Al-Jedai, general manager of the Center of Strategic Studies at the National Cybersecurity Authority, said that women took greater advantage of the authority’s training programs than men did.
The National Academy for Cybersecurity’s scholarship program, which offered students scholarships to esteemed institutes globally, has attracted 67 percent of female applicants.
Another initiative, Cyber Pro, which focuses on building a cybersecurity workforce in the Kingdom, has seen 62 percent of female participants.
Based on the Kingdom’s goal of increasing women’s participation in the labor market and the ministry’s strategy, which gives priority to enhancing the role of women in the sector, MCIT developed an integrated program to empower women in the communications and information technology sector.


Saudi Arabia launches women’s accountancy program

Saudi Arabia launches women’s accountancy program
Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi. (SPA)
Updated 09 March 2021

Saudi Arabia launches women’s accountancy program

Saudi Arabia launches women’s accountancy program
  • Al-Qasabi says initiative will help achieve Vision 2030 goals

RIYADH: A program to encourage Saudi women to join the accounting profession was launched on Monday by Saudi Commerce Minister Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi.

The program is organized by the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA).
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi was also present at the launch event.
Describing the accounting profession as the “backbone of any company,” Al-Qasabi said the industry is “instrumental” in the national economy.
The program includes training, qualification, entrepreneurship and employment streams. It is part of Saudi government efforts to empower women and increase their participation in the national economy.
“Women today have strong will, determination and ambition to succeed in all fields, especially accounting, which requires precision, analysis and vitality. Saudi women possess all these qualities,” Al-Qasabi said.
“The program will enhance women’s role in improving the profession and help achieve the goals of Vision 2030.”
The minister said that there are 140 SOCPA-certified female accountants in the Kingdom. He added that SOCPA has cooperated with Saudi universities to help more than 10,000 accounting students benefit from programs and initiatives.
SOCPA Secretary-General Dr. Ahmed Al-Maghamis told Arab News that the organization will sign multiple agreements with the private sector to help promote accounting as a profession for Saudis.
He said that SOCPA aims to fill 20,000 auditing and accounting jobs by 2022.
The new women’s accounting program also doubles up as an initiative to increase the number of Saudi accountants and enable economic sectors to receive better access accounting and auditing services, he added.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The program includes training, qualification, entrepreneurship and employment streams.

• It is organized by the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants.

“The program aims to develop the skills of Saudi women and allow them to participate in SOCPA council and committees,” Al-Maghamis said.
SOCPA is also working to establish a center to support small and medium enterprises. The women’s program includes several initiatives, such as a volunteer club and accounting leaderships, the empowerment platform and the women’s council, he said.
Dr. Ghuraibah Al-Twaiher, chairperson of the Future Women Society, said that promoting women and helping them achieve professional success is necessary for future economic growth.
“Vision 2030 recognizes the key role of women in the development process and calls for greater participation of women to build a vital society,” she said.
In line with the Future Women Society’s mission to enhance women’s integrated economic value locally and internationally, the society recently signed an agreement with the Saudi Financials Association (SFA), Al-Twaiher said.
“The society aims to enable, develop and empower women’s career and professional skills. The SFA increases public awareness of the financial and accounting industries and also contributes to the development of a national cadre that is specialized in finance and accounting,” she added.
Al-Twaiher said the memorandum of understanding with the SFA includes joint cooperation in organizing and implementing awareness campaigns..
As part of this, the two organizations will design training programs for women interested in the fields of accounting and finance.
Razan Al-Sehaibani, a certified accountant, said that women are naturally suited to accounting. She added that she chose the profession because she had the capabilities to be an active member in society and contribute to building the national economy.
She praised the future of the accounting industry as “promising,” adding that the addition of more women accountants will benefit the field.


Saudi Arabia approves incentives for Hajj and Umrah businesses

Saudi Arabia approves incentives for Hajj and Umrah businesses
Updated 09 March 2021

Saudi Arabia approves incentives for Hajj and Umrah businesses

Saudi Arabia approves incentives for Hajj and Umrah businesses
  • Incentives intended to mitigate the financial and economic repercussions of COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman approved a number of incentive initiatives for establishments operating in the Hajj and Umrah sectors, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Monday.
The move comes as part of the king’s keenness to mitigate the financial and economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on individuals, private sector businesses and investors.
“These initiatives come as an extension of the Kingdom’s efforts to confront the financial and economic impacts on the sectors operating in the Hajj and Umrah field and the economic activities most affected by the repercussions of the pandemic,” a statement on SPA said.
The initiatives include:
1. Accommodation facilities would be exempt of annual fees for licenses for municipal commercial activities for one year in Makkah and Madinah.
2. Hajj and Umrah sector establishments will be exempt from paying the fee for employed expats for six months.
3. Licenses for accommodation facilities from the Ministry of Tourism may be renewed free of charge for one year in Makkah and Madinah, which can be extended.
4. Collection of residency renewal fees for expatriates working in activities related to the Hajj and Umrah sector will be postponed for six months, and the amounts are to be paid in installments over a period of one year.
5. The validity of licenses (application forms) for buses operating in facilities that transport pilgrims would be extended without charge for one year.
6. Collection of customs duties for new buses for this year’s Hajj season will be postponed for three months, and to be paid in installments over a period of four months starting from the due date.
The Saudi government has launched more than 150 initiatives, the allocations of which exceeded SR180 billion ($47.9 billion), with the aim of confronting the repercussions of pandemic and mitigating its effects on individuals, the private sector and investors.