The new Saudi DJs breaking it down out of lockdown

The new Saudi DJs breaking it down out of lockdown
1 / 2
Music superstar Enrique Iglesias performs at a 2018 concert held in Riyadh. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may have hit the music industry but it has failed to dampen the spirits of music lovers in the Kingdom. (Social media)
The new Saudi DJs breaking it down out of lockdown
2 / 2
Abdulrahman Hakem. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 12 January 2021

The new Saudi DJs breaking it down out of lockdown

The new Saudi DJs breaking it down out of lockdown
  • Youth praise the local authorities for helping them explore and express their talents

JEDDAH: The lockdown period of 2020 gave many an opportunity to explore new things, and inspired many Saudis to become DJs. Arab News spoke to newcomers in the field and experts with years of experience.

Saudi industrial engineer Abdulrahman Hakem, 30, has been a DJ for almost a year. “I was always interested in music, and I’ve always had a unique taste in music which made me want to explore being a DJ,” he told Arab News
He purchased a small DJ set and started to learn the craft.
“The lockdown period was a golden opportunity for me, to be free for a few months. I learned so much in my free time, from tutorial videos to programs, and I expanded my playlist,” he added.
Pointing to the social reforms and support from the Saudi General Entertainment Authority and Ministry of Tourism, Hakem said they provided local talents with many opportunities to enter the profession.


“Before the social reforms, we never heard of Saudi DJs or Saudis interested in the field of music, they were only a minority. Now we have many events and a DJ’s presence is required at any event,” he said.
He predicted that many Saudi DJs with great potential will emerge.

I think whenever we are given the time or opportunity, we are able to explore our creative side.

Viva

“The Kingdom is promoting tourism. We are still in the first step in tourism, a country such as Saudi Arabia is big and will have so many events in different areas,” he said, adding: “I see this as a golden opportunity for us Saudis to prove ourselves in this field.”
He added that tourism “will boost the economy in the coming years and we will constantly enhance the industry.”
Hakem said many Saudis are hesitant about becoming DJs, fearing a negative reaction in society, but he found that everyone he encountered respected him and his efforts. “No one tried to bring me down, I’ve only received love, encouragement and joy.”

No one tried to bring me down. I’ve only received love, encouragement and joy.

Abdulrahman Hakem

Hakem’s first supporters were his friends and family, who encouraged him to be enthusiastic about the field and learn more. He said that does not consider himself as someone who has reached the peak yet as he is still learning and improving himself.
The positive feedback he receives on social media brings him joy and encourages him to strive further. “Anyone who thinks about entering this field has my full encouragement and support.”
Egyptian-Saudi student and social media influencer Farouq Al-Adawi, 20, has been a DJ for seven months.
“In 2020, everyone was looking for new hobbies and activities. I loved music all my life and when it came to quarantine, lockdown introduced me to this new hobby,” Al-Adawi told Arab News.
Latin-Canadian and Saudi DJ Viva has been in the industry for just over two years. She is married to DJ Zerone, one of the first Saudi DJs who began in 1999.
“Quite a few ‘COVID-19 DJs’ were born in 2020,” she told Arab News. “I think whenever we are given the time or opportunity, we are able to explore our creative side and see what talents lie beneath the surface of our everyday lives, and the lockdown period provided that opportunity to many.”
She added: “People began reaching out for lessons in DJing and music production, and simply to inquire about a career.”
The artist highlighted the positive outcomes for music producers in 2020, with many finding it therapeutic. “The lockdown also provided many people who were just starting out with the time to practice and hone their skills, and now it’s great watching those individuals playing live and performing, and that’s an entirely positive outcome of the pandemic.”
DJ Viva recently did a remix collaboration with an artist called Nktorious from Riyadh, who said that she finds exploring the effects on a DJ mixer as “therapeutic in such chaotic times.”
She said she saw a rise in the number of women interested in trying DJing. “I believe it’s their time to shine. The Saudi music and entertainment industry has made leaps and bounds with the country’s new Vision 2030, all in a very short time frame. It’s great to see Saudi talent rising and being more respected.”

 


Ancient Madinah artifacts exhibit to shed new light on Saudi history

Ancient Madinah artifacts exhibit to shed new light on Saudi history
Funded by Alinma bank and supervised by Darah and the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, the exhibit will be open to visitors permanently. (Supplied)
Updated 25 January 2021

Ancient Madinah artifacts exhibit to shed new light on Saudi history

Ancient Madinah artifacts exhibit to shed new light on Saudi history
  • King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives revealed a large number of rare artifacts, some dating back 800 years

MAKKAH: An exhibit showcasing rare manuscripts of the Prophet’s Mosque has revealed the rich history of the city and the work of scholars that once called the holy city their home.

The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) has revealed a large number of rare artifacts, some dating back 800 years.
Stone inscriptions in “Madani” script found in valleys and mountains near the city are among some of the pieces to be showcased on the sidelines of the permanent exhibition of rare manuscripts in the Prophet’s Mosque.
Darah’s official spokesman, Sultan bin Hamad Alawairdhi, told Arab News that “this is a new step in the path of serving the treasures preserved by different generations of scholars.
“This is considered one of the most important aspects of cultural heritage, which we bear the responsibility of preserving, especially since we possess more capabilities and expertise than our predecessors.”

HIGHLIGHT

The oldest manuscripts in the exhibition are ‘Ikmal Almuelim Bifawayid Sahih Muslim,’ a scholarly book which explains the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings which dates back to 578 AH (1182 AD), and the ‘Mughni ala Mukhtasar Al-Kharqi’ manuscript, a repository of one of the traditional Sunni schools of thought on jurisprudence.

Alawairdhi added that the exhibition will highlight the history of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah’s codification in Madinah to underline the importance of the scientific endowment to the Prophet’s Mosque and its library.
It will also show the origins of the library, while shedding light on the Kingdom’s historical efforts to enhance it.


Funded by Alinma bank and supervised by Darah and the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, the exhibit will be open to visitors permanently.
Visitors will discover special and original copies of the Holy Qur’an, an exhibition on the Madani font, original manuscripts from the books of Sunnah, the prophetic biography, and the history of Madinah.
The exhibit is also expected to be available online in several languages.

This is considered one of the most important aspects of cultural heritage, which we bear the responsibility of preserving, especially since we possess more capabilities and expertise than our predecessors.

Sultan bin Hamad Alawairdhi, Darah’s official spokesman

Alawairdhi said that the oldest manuscripts in the exhibition are “Ikmal Almuelim Bifawayid Sahih Muslim,” a scholarly book which explains the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings which dates back to 578 AH (1182 AD), and the “Mughni ala Mukhtasar Al-Kharqi” manuscript, a repository of one of the traditional Sunni schools of thought on jurisprudence.
The exhibition’s organizers want “to bring back into focus the Islamic cognitive gains as well as the Arab and Islamic intellectual production to be envisioned by different generations, especially the younger generations, in addition to documenting this ancient heritage.”
Darah and the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque are joining forces to establish a permanent research space for Saudi
and foreign visitors to Madinah, and to highlight the role of manuscripts throughout Arab history in storing, preserving and providing information to researchers.
The exhibition also adds to Darah’s efforts in the field of codifying the history of the Two Holy Mosques. It also underlines the foundation’s most important scientific projects in the city, such as reviving the Madani font and promoting the history of Madinah and Islam through its written works.