Saudi Arabia’s Ithra launches international COVID-19 Exhibit open for submissions

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra launches international COVID-19 Exhibit open for submissions
1 / 2
Ithra started accepting visitors again since the end of the nationwide lockdown. (Shutterstock)
Saudi Arabia’s Ithra launches international COVID-19 Exhibit open for submissions
2 / 2
Photo/Shutterstock
Short Url
Updated 30 June 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra launches international COVID-19 Exhibit open for submissions

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra launches international COVID-19 Exhibit open for submissions
  • The event will offer a collection of memories and reflections on people’s experience of pandemic through art

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has launched its international COVID-19 Exhibit, a collection of thoughts, memories and reflections on people’s pandemic experience that can be expressed through art.

Ithra started accepting visitors again since the end of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, but the effects of the pandemic remain on people’s minds and in their everyday lives.
Launched on June 28, the exhibit’s first phase consists of a virtual show highlighting objects that were particularly significant to members of the public during the pandemic.
Ithra is currently inviting submissions at https://www.ithra.com/en/covid-19-exhibit, and the gallery will go live to the public in July.
Examples of objects being sought by Ithra include newly made works of art or images of objects of particular importance: A pen, a photo of loved ones or relatives, a diary, a musical instrument, a book or a note from a family member.
In 2021, the second phase of the project will include objects selected by the curators from the online submissions, which will be on display at the Ithra building in Dhahran.
Ithra’s head of museums, Laila Faddagh, said that the exhibit was the perfect opportunity for the global community to tell their stories during a difficult and complicated time.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Launched on June 28, the exhibit’s first phase consists of a virtual show highlighting objects that were particularly significant to members of the public during the pandemic.

• Ithra is currently inviting submissions, and the gallery will go live to the public in July.

• Examples of objects being sought by Ithra include newly made works of art or images of objects of particular importance.

• In 2021, the second phase of the project will include objects selected by the curators from the online submissions, which will be on display at the Ithra building in Dhahran.

“While this is an unprecedented time, it is also an unprecedented moment of global solidarity,” she said. “Art is about connecting people through culture — and culture is based on the exchange of ideas and identities — but we connect maybe even more easily through common objects.”
She added that the exhibit was intended to be a forum for creativity and self-expression for everyone. “Ithra is in Saudi Arabia, but, as a leading center for global culture, we want to include people from around the world. In the spirit of welcome, warmth and empathy — especially now during the pandemic — it is an opportunity to connect with everyone, from anywhere.”
The exhibit aims to offer a platform to share objects that are meaningful to people and their stories, provide perspective on the effects of COVID-19 on people and their relationships with objects, connect cultures and create dialogue through international participation, encourage self-expression and creativity, and foster empathy and unity among people around the world.
Ithra, Saudi Aramco’s flagship initiative and the first institute of its kind in the Kingdom, is considered one of the country’s most culturally significant establishments.
During the pandemic, the center’s Ithra Connect initiative produced more than 50 ongoing programs for people nationwide to benefit from during lockdown.
Ithra Connect featured talks by prominent speakers such as British actor Idris Elba and US astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, full online access to Ithra’s library, and the “COVID-19 Journal,” an online collective diary where people from around the world shared their thoughts about the pandemic in Arabic and English.


Dr. Ola Abusukkar, executive director of King Salman Center for Disability Research

Dr. Ola Abusukkar, executive director of King Salman Center for Disability Research
Updated 23 January 2021

Dr. Ola Abusukkar, executive director of King Salman Center for Disability Research

Dr. Ola Abusukkar, executive director of King Salman Center for Disability Research

Dr. Ola Abusukkar has been executive director of the King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR) since 2019.

Abusukkar is also the training and programs director of KSCDR. The center works to implement, fund and conduct field research in all areas of disability science and disseminate knowledge through training and publications.

Abusukkar is the founder of new direction programs for youth and adults with autism in Riyadh and the founder of the youth and adults with autism summer camp.

She became chairman of the scientific committee of the developmental and behavioral disorder program at the Ministry of Health in 2017. She was the educational diploma program project coordinator at the Saudi Health Council during the same year.

In 2020, Abusukkar was awarded the 21st Middle East Leadership Excellence Award for community service sectors, held in the UAE.

She was also honored with the Harry Watkins Outstanding Achievement Award for striving for excellence in higher academic achievement at Ball State University in the US in 2013.

Before her work for KSCDR, she was a consultant at the Saudi Health Council from 2017 to 2018.

In 2015, she became the special education department chairman at the College of Education at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University until 2017.

Abusukkar holds a doctoral degree in special education for autism spectrum disorder, a partial doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis and a minor in early intervention gained from Ball State University in 2014.

In 2013, Abusukkar completed a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis on autism from the same university.

She also gained a master’s degree in behavioral disorder, special education, from the University of Akron in the US in 2010, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from King Abdul Aziz University in 2005.