Arts and culture jobs in Saudi Arabia get official status in national first

More than 80 cultural occupations were approved for inclusion. (SPA)
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Updated 18 June 2020

Arts and culture jobs in Saudi Arabia get official status in national first

  • It is the first time in the Kingdom’s history that such jobs have been included in the Unified Saudi Occupational Classification

RABAT: More than 80 jobs in the arts and culture sector are to be given official occupational status in the Kingdom for the first time, a government minister has said.

The announcement from Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan coincided with a virtual conference held on Wednesday by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It is the first time in the Kingdom’s history that such jobs have been included in the Unified Saudi Occupational Classification.

The inclusion came at the request of the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Human Resources, based on efforts and cooperation between government agencies. The occupations were added after studying the reality of Saudi Arabia’s culture industry, and based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations.

More than 80 cultural occupations were approved for inclusion in the first stage such as theater producer, film director, lighting designer, documents and manuscripts restoration specialist, exhibitions designer, textile designer, curator and other basic cultural occupations in which Saudi creatives are active.

The occupations include all cultural sectors: Heritage, language, books and publications, libraries, fashion, theater and performing arts, culinary arts, movies, museums, visual arts, festivals and cultural events, and architecture and design arts, as well as occupations in the educational development of the cultural sector and multimedia design.

Listing the cultural occupations under the Unified Saudi Occupational Classification will help give Saudis official recognition at state agencies and private sector institutions. It will also be a first step toward professional licensing, as well as enhancing artists’ significance and value in society under a clear and recognized professional title.

The Ministry of Culture’s keenness and endeavors to include cultural occupations comes from its belief in the value of Saudi creatives and the need to obtain the value that they deserve professionally and socially.

The ministerial move is also considered to be an essential step to elevate Saudi creatives from ‘hobby level’ to a professional one, which is seen as a major requirement to advance the Kingdom’s culture sector and make it an influential, productive and effective industry socially, economically, and culturally, and at a level that meets the goals of the country’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

Prince Badr used his conference speech to highlight the impact of culture, awareness and solidarity in mitigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and shed light on the proactive preventive measures taken by the Kingdom that he said reflected the true meaning of “humans first” and the principles of Islam.

He said all sectors had been affected by this pandemic, including the cultural sector but that “thanks to the decisions of the Saudi leadership, we were able to promote the cultural presence in the society through an innovative flair, as we are aware and certain that the culture is renewable and able to adapt to the changing reality.” 

Prince Badr hoped that the conference would be an opportunity for participation and cooperation to overcome challenges and take culture to a safe harbor where it could achieve the desired development goals.

The event was held under the theme of “the sustainability of cultural work in addressing crises (COVID-19)”  to discuss the current challenges. Other ministers of culture and heritage from Muslim countries were also in attendance.
 


Third Saudi aid plane arrives in Beirut

KSRelief aircraft contains medical supplies, ventilators and other relief goods for blast victims. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 09 August 2020

Third Saudi aid plane arrives in Beirut

  • KSRelief teams are also active in treating blast victims

RIYADH: A third King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) plane loaded with aid arrived in Beirut on Saturday as part of a relief air bridge that was set up to help the people in wake of the Beirut blasts.

The air bridge was established on the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Lebanon.
KSRelief Adviser Dr. Ali bin Hamed Al-Ghamdi said the third plane is loaded with ventilators, hospital and medical equipment, as well as various medicines and disinfectants. It also contains food, tents, mattresses, blankets and cooking supplies.
So far, 200 tons of aid from the Kingdom have been flown to Lebanon with specialized teams to follow up and supervise the distribution operations.
KSRelief teams are also active in Lebanon in treating victims of the blast.
Earlier, two Saudi aircraft carrying more than 120 tons of medicines, equipment, and emergency supplies were dispatched to Beirut.
KSRelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said in a statement that the assistance highlights the pivotal role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.

The Saudi aid will help alleviate the sufferings of Lebanese people.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair, Chief of the High Relief, Commission in Lebanon

The twin blasts devastated large areas of the Lebanese capital and destroyed vital infrastructure, including grain storage silos and port facilities.
Lebanon, already reeling from an economic and currency collapse, now faces the threat of food shortages and a major hit to exports and imports.
Countries around the world have rushed to help Lebanon in the wake of the port explosion on Aug. 4.
The secretary-general of the High Relief Commission in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair, thanked the Kingdom for the urgent humanitarian aid provided through KSRelief.
In a press statement, he praised the historical relations between the two countries, noting the Saudi aid will help alleviate the suffering of Lebanese people.
Residents in the Kingdom can also help Lebanon by making donations through KSRelief’s website.