RIYADH: Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan appointed Saudi musician Jihad Al-Khalidi as CEO of the Music Commission to launch its work developing the Saudi music sector.
Al-Khalidi has more than 33 years’ experience in the field of music and was a violinist for the Egyptian Orchestra for eight years. She has a bachelor’s degree in violin playing and music theory from the Higher Institute of Music in Cairo, along with her experience and administrative knowledge.
She said that it was hard to describe her feelings, but that she was really grateful for the confidence of the Saudi minister.
She said it was a dream come true, taking on the challenge to build a new era for music in Saudi Arabia.
She told Arab News that the position is considered a fundamental cornerstone for music teaching in the country, noting that everyone agrees on the importance of the education in the first years of schooling, side by side with musical performance.
Al-Khalidi said the current musical vision is oriented toward building a musical basis for all segments of society.
“We have established music programs for children from birth to 6 years of age, children between 6 and 17 years of age, university students, music lovers and people with special needs,” said Al-Khalidi.
“What is gone is gone. We will not waste time living in the past. We are building the future of music in Saudi Arabia and developing its infrastructure, which will require combining and intensifying efforts.”
Al-Khalidi said Saudis are lucky to live in this era of support, development and advancement on all levels. “We will pick up where others left off and learn more about the means advanced countries use to overcome obstacles,” she added.
She said that the aim is to develop a different pattern, in conformity with Saudi and Arab customs, traditions and heritage, and in line with the visions, capacities and ambitions of Saudi society to build a musical culture in the country.
Regarding musical schools in Saudi Arabia, Al-Khalidi said one of the key steps in the next phase is to restore traditional folk music in all Saudi regions and revive the musical heritage with a touch of modernity.
“Learning music is not an easy thing. Music in Saudi Arabia will be available to everyone despite the obstacles that we will overcome with time and with the help of the media, musicians and intellectuals,” she said.
The Ministry of Culture is seeking to develop the music sector in the Kingdom and to support and encourage practitioners through the Music Commission.
It will also work with the relevant authorities to support the protection of intellectual property rights in areas related to music, in addition to holding training courses, adopting relevant professional programs and encouraging practitioners to produce and develop musical content.
The Music Commission is one of 11 new bodies launched by the Ministry of Culture to oversee cultural sectors such as films, music, fashion, heritage and arts.