Two-night event to bring legendary Persian musicians to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

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Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians — including Shahram Shabpareh, Leila Forouhar, Shadmehr Aghili and Andy pictured — will entertain the crowds at AlUla. (Supplied)
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Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians — including Ebi, Sasy and Arash Labaf pictured — will entertain the crowds at AlUla. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Two-night event to bring legendary Persian musicians to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians will perform at the event
  • Winter at Tantora Festival has presented variety of cultural, entertainment and artistic activities

ALULA: A two-night event celebrating Persian music is coming to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla as part of the ongoing Winter at Tantora Festival.

Seven influential and renowned Persian musicians — legendary Iranian pop-singer Shahram Shabpareh, classic songstress Leila Forouhar, Ebrahim Hamedi (better known by his stage name Ebi), Sasy, Shadmehr Aghili, Andy and platinum-selling singer and producer Arash Labaf — will entertain the crowds at the historical and cultural site’s Maraya Concert Hall on March 5 and 6.

The event, “Persian Night - Music Without Borders” forms part of Saudi Arabia’s focus on establishing the Winter at Tantora Festival as a hub for cultural exchange and dialogue as well as the sharing of diverse artistic traditions.




Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians — including Ebi, Sasy and Arash Labaf pictured — will entertain the crowds at AlUla. (Supplied)

Over the past 12 weeks, the festival has presented a variety of cultural, entertainment and artistic activities that bring together eastern and western culture.

Greek musician Yanni, Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli (who both played at last year’s festival) and Moroccan singer Aziza Jalal have all appeared at this year’s edition.

In addition to concerts, several other events have been taking place, including cooking under the stars with chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants, the Fursan horse race and the AlUla balloon festival.

There have been tours on offer of Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, and landmarks such as AlUla’s famous Elephant Rock.

Described as the Kingdom’s archaeological jewel, AlUla has been a meeting point of many civilizations throughout history.

This year’s program was extended for an additional two weeks in January, and is expected to attract more than 40,000 visitors throughout its run.

The Winter at Tantora Festival started on December 19, 2019 and will run to March 7. Tickets can be booked here.

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world

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Over 100 COVID-19 patients treated with blood plasma in Saudi Arabia

A lab technician freeze packs donated convalescent plasma donated by recovered COVID-19 patients. (AFP)
Updated 04 July 2020

Over 100 COVID-19 patients treated with blood plasma in Saudi Arabia

  • Health Ministry records 2,291 critical COVID-19 cases, deaths toll reaches 1,802

JEDDAH: More than 100 people infected with the coronavirus have been treated through blood plasma samples from patients who have recovered from the virus, the Saudi Ministry of Health said on Friday.

The initiative is part of a study involving several research centers in the Kingdom, with 512 donors from Riyadh, Eastern Province, Jeddah and Madinah. This indicates the Saudi community is highly invested in supporting the treatment.
The ministry said that blood plasma contains antibodies that help the body to heal. When a patient recovers, his plasma is used on an infected person, which can form a defense against the virus, especially as a cure is yet to be discovered.
The blood plasma treatment has been used before in China and other countries, but its efficacy levels have not been tested through documented clinical studies.
Saudi Arabia approved the initiative early in April and a team was assembled from the ministry, National Guard Hospitals, King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Armed Forces Hospital, university hospitals, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, as well as from the private sector.
The ministry confirmed that the research team was working around the clock to expand the initiative’s scope and launch it across the Kingdom by acquiring donors, which is done through Twitter and via email or phone.
To date the official website has had 14,000 visitors, inside and outside the Kingdom, who have showed interest in the study.
Initial tests of the plasma’s antibodies, health history, vital signs and diagnosis are taken before treatment begins.

FASTFACTS

• The total number of coronavirus cases in KSA reached 201,801.

• The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom reached 140,614.

Donors need to pass these tests for their plasma sample to be used on a COVID-19 patient safely. After that the recovering patient’s progress is monitored to further the research and determine its potency.
The donated plasma sample, usually amounting to 400ml to 700ml, is reliant on the donor’s weight and health. The sample is treated in blood banks to reduce microbes and put into two bags, each working as a single treatment dose. Patients are then treated with a single bag each day, and treatment is usually over a maximum of five days.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom recorded 50 new COVID-19-related deaths on Friday, raising the total number to 1,802.
There were 4,193 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning 201,801 people have now contracted the disease. There are 59,385 active cases; 2,291 of them are in critical condition.
According to the Health Ministry, 431 of the newly recorded cases were in Dammam, while Al-Hofuf recorded 399 and Riyadh recorded 383.
The ministry also announced that 2,945 more patients had recovered from the coronavirus, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 140,614.
The ministry urges those who have come into contact with an infected person to immediately isolate themselves and call 937.