Startup of the Week: Promoting creativity in a fun way

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Noura Al-Yahya
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Updated 28 July 2020

Startup of the Week: Promoting creativity in a fun way

  • The studio offers special fashion design boxes containing different items with instructions

People are blessed with different talents and skills. It is important to identify and hone them from an early age.
The old education system, unfortunately, was not designed to identify individual talent. In fact, it was meant to produce people with a certain skill set, and believed in the one-size-fits-all approach, which is very detrimental to individual growth.
However, things around the world are changing. Different systems and programs are being introduced to do away with the old. Schools are introducing different ways to encourage children to express themselves and showcase their talents. In addition to schools, individuals and organizations are also taking initiatives to help identify and promote talent using new methods.
 NY Art Studio is one of those places, where young girls enjoy their time while learning art through workshops conducted by Noura Al-Yahya, the studio’s owner.
Al-Yahya told Arab News that the workshops were multi-thematic, but all related to painting.
“I felt that drawing fashion sketches had the biggest turnout. Therefore, I decided to make all the workshops related to fashion,” she said.
Al-Yahya opened the studio in March 2019. “When I opened, I started training kids and adults — the response was great.”
She grew up in an environment that encouraged children to try out new things and to freely express their creativity.
“My parents discovered my hobby when I was 5 years old (I used to paint on house floors) and they were not bothered about it at all. They started supporting my hobby by providing me the tools required for painting,” Al-Yahya said.
“At the age of 16, my mother encouraged me to launch a small project to present my paintings and my artwork. At that young age, I started participating in exhibitions,” she said.
Her education in law did not prevent Al-Yahya from following her passion. “In college, I did not give up, I went to drawing workshops and developed my skills by watching YouTube videos and reading books. While at the university, I decided to attend ‘Training of Trainers’ courses. I worked on training kids in painting and took advantage of my free time in college.
“I started conducting small workshops for young girls at rented spaces. The drawing training was very interesting for me, so I continued to train young girls more often (because my workshops became well-known) and I specialized more in drawing fashion sketches,” she said.
“I got tired of renting halls and transferring materials, so my father suggested that I open my own studio,” she added.
Al-Yahya said her mother supported her financially and morally, and became her partner in the studio, and that she started to help her with administrative matters.
The studio offers special fashion design boxes containing different items with instructions. Al-Yahya said the boxes were an instant hit, and that she sold some 300 in just 5 days.
“Most of the feedback I got from mothers was that their girls really enjoyed their time, it kept them away from their electronic devices and they wanted to order more boxes,” she said.
 Talking about the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on her activities, Al-Yahya said she sent simple images for girls to continue practicing at homes.
A year after Al-Yahya opened her studio, she decided to launch a fashion line for dresses and jellabiyas.
“The line was launched a few days before the pandemic broke out, but it proved to be very successful. I named it Rue by NY,” she added.
The studio is now open for workshops. To register, follow the studio’s account on Instagram @nyartstudio1.

 


Guinness World Records has great expectations for Saudi titles milestone

Updated 25 September 2020

Guinness World Records has great expectations for Saudi titles milestone

  • In MENA region, KSA is second behind UAE for its record-breaking prowess, with 93 GWR titles

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s penchant for breaking world records looks set to see the Kingdom smash through the 100 titles mark in the not-too-distant future, officials have predicted.
Guinness World Records (GWR), which lists incredible human achievements and extremes of nature, has great expectations for the country over the coming months.
The Kingdom has been placed second behind the UAE in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for its record-breaking prowess, with 93 GWR titles under its belt.
GWR’s senior marketing manager in the MENA region, Shaddy Gaad, told Arab News: “We’re very impressed with Saudi record-breaking and we’re really excited — a lot of record-breaking happens on the National Day.
“Over the last few years and with the Saudi Seasons (activity festivals) we’ve seen a big rise in record-breaking in Saudi Arabia and we’re looking forward to seeing this continue.
“Saudi Arabia is on the up and it’s rising very quickly. There were a lot of records broken near the end of last year. We had Riyadh Season and we had AlUla. I think that number’s going to rise up very quickly,” he said.

Largest hot air balloon glow show: The largest hot air balloon glow show consisted of 100 hot air balloons and was achieved by the Royal Commission for AlUla on Jan. 6, 2019.

Gaad added that so far this year there had been a 15 percent increase in the number of new records set by MENA nations.
“This year we received 750 applications from the MENA region, compared to 649 in the first eight months of 2019. From Saudi Arabia, we received 79 applications and we expect it to go up to 100 by the end of the year,” he said.
One of the most notable titles achieved by Saudi Arabia was for the largest mirror building, the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla. “If you see that building itself, it’s absolutely beautiful. It looks like something out of a movie,” added Gaad.
Jeddah can boast the world’s largest burger restaurant, with I’m Hungry covering 2,860 square meters, the equivalent of 11 tennis courts according to its marketing team.
The Red Sea port city also has the world’s tallest unsupported flagpole, while AlUla plays host to the largest hot air balloon glow show, and Saudi influencer Hussain Sallam (known as S7S) holds the record for the largest serving of sayadieh (1,334 kilograms of the seasoned fish and rice dish).

Largest human awareness ribbon: The largest human awareness ribbon consisted of 8,264 participants and was achieved by Saudi women at an event organized by 10KSA in Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015.

Stunt driver Terry Grant completed the largest loop-the-loop in a car during Riyadh Season on Nov. 25, and the MDL Beast Festival in the Saudi capital on Dec. 21 won the tallest stage title.
However, similar to most organizations, WGR has had to adapt to working around safety restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We moved a lot of things online. To view the growth in the number of applications, we launched this online record-breaking; what happened is it’s a dedicated brand and content division, focused on helping brands and businesses break records as part of their marketing campaign, and all of it is done over the internet.
“It wasn’t difficult; record-breaking and evidence provision is generally done online. It wasn’t difficult for us; the only thing was that people just had to get used to it, but it was a seamless process,” said Gaad.

Largest burger restaurant: The largest burger restaurant covers an area of 2,860 square meters and the title was achieved by I’m Hungry in Jeddah on Dec. 12, 2019.

The new division runs over content such as live-streaming, online pledges, online albums, video relays, and video chains.
One of them happened in Saudi Arabia, with the most viewers for an Iftar YouTube live stream, when 183,544 people tuned in to enjoy popular YouTubers such as “The Saudi Reporters” and comedian Omar Hussein.
“These influencers got together on YouTube, live, and for an hour they were sharing their stories about Ramadan traditions and Saudi traditions. They broke their fast and shared this moment with their fans. That video ended up trending as No. 1 in Saudi and the region.
“If anything, this pandemic has taught us to adapt to situations. I think people are now more flexible with the idea of doing online records as much as they’re doing offline records,” Gaad added.
He pointed out that the online application process for the GWR was simple and that titles were granted based on whether the record was measurable (longest, largest, heaviest, etc.), breakable, standardizable, or verifiable, and if it was made up of one variable.

SOME OF THE RECORDS BROKEN IN SAUDI ARABIA

• Tallest flagpole: The tallest unsupported flagpole measures 171 meters (561 feet) and was erected by Jeddah Municipality and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) in Jeddah on Sept. 23, 2014.

• Largest drinking water storage facility: The largest drinking water storage facility is the Briman Strategic Water Reservoir, in Jeddah, with a total capacity of 2,062,500 cubic meters, verified on Nov. 17, 2014. Fun fact: The volume of this facility could fill up six skyscrapers the size of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

• Largest burger restaurant: The largest burger restaurant covers an area of 2,860 square meters and the title was achieved by I’m Hungry in Jeddah on Dec. 12, 2019.

• Largest hot air balloon glow show: The largest hot air balloon glow show consisted of 100 hot air balloons and was achieved by the Royal Commission for AlUla on Jan. 6, 2019.

• The Largest Serving of sayadieh: The largest serving of sayadieh was 1,334 kg achieved by Hussain Sallam in Jeddah on Sept. 14, 2019.

• Darkest man-made substance: The darkest man-made substance is a black material made of gold nanoparticles and called dark chameleon dimers, which absorbs more than 99 percent of visible light over the whole visible range. The material was made by scientists from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in a joint collaboration between Prof. Yu Han and Prof. Andrea Fratalocchi.

• Largest water desalination company: The largest water desalination company is Saline Water Conversion Corp. (Saudi Arabia) which produces 4,600,000 cubic meters a day as verified on June 4, 2016. •Largest Tele-ICU command center: The largest Tele-ICU command center consisted of 796 beds and was achieved by Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group in Riyadh and verified on July 31, 2019.

• Tallest stage (temporary): The tallest stage (temporary) measured 38 meters in height and was achieved by MDL Beast Fest in Riyadh on Dec. 21, 2019.

• Most consecutive wins in AFC champions league: The most consecutive wins of the AFC champions league are two achieved by Al Ittihad FC (Saudi Arabia) in 2004-2005.

• Largest human awareness ribbon: The largest human awareness ribbon consisted of 8,264 participants and was achieved by Saudi women at an event organized by 10KSA in Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015.