Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry

Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry
The two-day “Urdu Festival Saudi Arabia” will be led by India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 03 March 2021

Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry

Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry

A two-day “Urdu Festival Saudi Arabia,” including both a literary session and an international poetry session (mushaira), has been organized by the Embassy of India in Riyadh and will be held online via Zoom on Friday and Saturday (March 5-6).

The first day of the online literary feast will offer a prose session while the international poetry session will be held on the second day.

The two-day program will be led by India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. Prominent scholars, writers and poets from India, Saudi Arabia, and other countries will participate, according to a press release issued by Mohammed Saifuddin, a member of the organizing committee.

The two-day festival will open on Friday at 3 p.m. with a prose session. The ambassador will deliver the welcome address. The session will be chaired by Prof. Baig Ehsas, an eminent fiction writer from Hyderabad. The chief guest will be Aqeel Ahmed Sheikh, director of the New Delhi-based National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language.

Prominent writer Safdar Imam Qadri will present an essay titled “Storytelling Past and Present.” Famous storyteller Javed Danish from Canada will present his story. Riyadh-based journalist and calligrapher Ghouse Arsalan will present a paper on the art of sketch writing. Journalist and columnist K.N. Wasif will present a sketch on Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. Prominent Hyderabad-based journalist Fazil Hussain Pervez, will introduce a number of Indian writers based in Saudi Arabia. Well-known writer and prominent poet Mahtab Qadr will be the master of ceremonies. Asim Anwar, second secretary at the Embassy of India, will offer a vote of thanks.

The second session will be held on Saturday. In addition to participants from India and Saudi Arabia, prominent poets from other countries will also present their works. Well-known poet Irfan Jafari will preside over the mushaira. Aslam Afghani, president of Urdu Toastmasters Club, will conduct the proceedings. Poets participating in the session include Tariq Ghazi (Canada), Mahtab Qadr (Jeddah), Altaf Shehryar (Jeddah), Dr. Rauf Khair (Hyderabad), Qaiser Khalid (Mumbai), Shiraz Mehdi Zia (Jubail), Baqar Naqvi (Dammam), Abu Tahir Bilal (Riyadh), Nasir Burney (Yanbu), Afsar Barabankvi (Jeddah), Rafia Nausheen (Hyderabad), Sadiqa Nawab (Maharashtra), Sharafat Chandpuri (Taif), Rizwan Mahzabi (Taif), Masood Hassas (Kuwait), Khurshidul Hassan Nayyar (Riyadh), Ahmed Ashfaq (Qatar), Tasneem Johar (Hyderabad), Agha Sarosh (Hyderabad) and Munir Uzzaman Munir (Chicago).


Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV

Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV
Updated 19 April 2021

Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV

Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV

Intigral, a leading provider of digital entertainment and sports in MENA, has announced an exciting lineup of content titles to be aired on its flagship entertainment platform Jawwy TV during the holy month of Ramadan. This includes exclusive and original releases alongside a curated selection of Arabic and Khaleeji shows, all of which began airing from April 12 on the platform.

Topping the Ramadan list are two new original productions exclusive to Jawwy TV — the Bedouin drama series “Al-Kahif,” which sheds light on tribal struggles and tells the tale of twin brothers unraveling the mysteries of a curious cave, and “Al-Awael,” an inspiring Saudi docuseries that highlights stories of pioneering Saudi women across various fields and sectors. 

Jawwy TV will also air the exclusive Lebanese drama “Rahou,” and a couple of digital-exclusive Egyptian dramas — “Al-Tawoos” and “Faris bela Zawaj,” as well the Egyptian series “Thahab,” the animation series “Sohbet El-Ayat,” — and the Syrian drama “Bab Alhara 11” from StarzPlay.

Jawwy TV will bring its viewers numerous and varied Khaleeji titles to keep them entertained throughout the month, including dramas “Beit Al-Thol,” “Al-Rouh wo Al-Riah,” “Alwaseya Alghaybah,” “Hath Aljamelat,” and “Waraqah,” in addition to comedies “Yejeb Allah Matar,” “Abu Tar,” “Ghareb,” and “Kan ya Makan,” and thriller-romance “Seqar.” 

The rich content additions coincide with Jawwy TV’s recent expansion into regional markets including Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, where more people will be able to enjoy watching Jawwy TV’s growing library of content and in particular its Ramadan lineup.

Markus Golder, CEO at Intigral, extended his warmest wishes to viewers across the region on the arrival of Ramadan, and reiterated Intigral’s commitment to offering the very best in entertainment to its valued subscribers. “We strive to continually augment Jawwy TV to the highest standards by producing and curating content that delights viewers of different tastes and preferences in the region, and we are certain that our Ramadan offerings will meet the expectations of those seeking the highest quality entertainment experience.”

Jawwy TV is widely regarded as a next-generation application for paid channel solutions. It focuses on providing entertainment offerings fit for the Arab family through utilizing world-class HD display technologies via smart devices, tablets, smart TVs and set-top-boxes. Jawwy TV also provides more than 25,000 shows in both Arabic and English, in addition to an array of special features, including the rewind feature, which adds value to the platform’s live channel offerings, including a full lineup of MBC channels, and enables viewers to enjoy previously-broadcast episodes at their convenience.


Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan

Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan
Updated 19 April 2021

Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan

Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan

No matter how much the world changes, timeless traditions will always be worth treasuring. Amid the rich heritage and culture of the Middle East, Rosewood Jeddah offers a magical setting for celebrating the spirit of Ramadan and coming together in a venue, where the desert meets the sea in a display of majestic splendor. 

Guests are invited to tuck into the hotel’s Arabian Nights-themed sahoor and iftar fare that serves the best of Saudi Arabian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese flavors. Surrounded by breathtaking views straight out of the beloved stories, Habsburg complements its mouthwatering cuisine with its dedication to service, ensuring memorable dining experiences at affordable prices for groups or individuals. 

For guests looking to bask in the charm of an oasis-inspired backdrop, Soleil offers a cocoon of tranquility for cozy gatherings among families and friends. Bringing scenes from the Arabian Nights to life with its distinct decor, the lounge’s warm and welcoming ambience sets the tone for evenings to remember.

 On top of special menus at both restaurants, guests will be able to savor mezzeh assortments and drinks at their table with a selection of soups, grilled classics, clay pot mains, and desserts from the iftar food carts. The hotel will also offer group booking options for business gatherings of up to 100 people at Habsburg restaurant.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosewood Jeddah is taking all the necessary precautions and protocols mandated by the government to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all its guests. The restaurants will be operating at a 50 percent capacity to allow for social distancing and greater peace of mind.

“Ramadan is all about remembering what matters and sharing moments with the people who matter,” said Mazen Allam, managing director of Rosewood Jeddah Hotel. “With our guests’ health and safety as our top priority at all times, we are looking forward to providing families and friends with the opportunity to celebrate a meaningful occasion — and life itself.”

The award-winning Rosewood Jeddah is a flawless combination of spectacular design and unprecedented sophistication. Ideal for both the business and leisure traveler, the hotel is situated on the Jeddah Corniche, one of the city’s most impressive locales, which runs parallel to the Red Sea for more than 20 miles. It is within easy reach of key business, diplomatic, government and designer shopping districts. 

The hotel features individually designed and handcrafted rooms. The 101 guest rooms and 26 suites are elegantly furnished and reflect a contemporary aesthetic. Many offer stunning views of the Red Sea and all enjoy 24-hour butler service and state-of-the-art entertainment and business solutions. 

Those interested to book iftar or sahoor can contact Rosewood Jeddah at +966 12 260 7111.


MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries

MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries
Updated 19 April 2021

MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries

MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries

Coinciding with the “100 Million Meals” campaign, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH) announced the expansion of food relief operations to 10 additional countries.

The MBRCH will finance and implement food support operations in a new list of countries including Benin and Senegal in Africa, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Nepal in Asia, Kosovo in Europe, and Brazil in South America, thus contributing to financing the “100 Million Meals” campaign efforts in 30 countries, and carrying out on-ground distribution operations in 17 of them.

The “100 Million Meals” campaign, launched on April 11, aims to provide food parcels for disadvantaged individuals and families across 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa during the holy month of Ramadan.

The MBRCH is working with the campaign’s organizer, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Program, the Food Banking Regional Network, and local humanitarian organizations to ensure swift and integrated food distribution to beneficiaries in target countries.

MBRCH also earlier announced a donation of 20 million dirhams ($5.4 million) to the campaign to provide 20 million meals for vulnerable communities.

Ibrahim Boumelha, adviser for humanitarian and cultural affairs to the ruler of Dubai, and vice chairman of the board of trustees of MBRCH, said the establishment has channeled its resources to support the objectives of the “100 Million Meals” campaign.

He added that MBRCH is working closely with all partners involved to ensure the food aid reaches their beneficiaries as quickly as possible.

Boumelha stressed that the success of the campaign is widely attributed to the close cooperation of all segments of society, with its entities, the public and logistic partners. “Partnering entities on the ground particularly bear the big responsibility of ensuring food parcels reach everyone in need, at a great time of need. The campaign reflects the UAE’s dedicated humanitarian efforts to vulnerable and low-income communities across the world, regardless of religion, race or nationality,” he added.

Since its inception in 1997, the MBRCH has been implementing local and international projects in the fields of relief, healthcare, social support, education and orphan care.

MBRCH’s local projects include health programs, financial aid, educational programs, zakat, food vouchers and the Mir Ramadan program, construction and housing maintenance, seasonal projects, and community partnership.


LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities

LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities
Updated 17 April 2021

LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities

LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities

LuLu is highlighting a host of retail promotions and charity activities in its Ramadan campaign this year.

In an effort to improve customer experience and make shopping easy and affordable during Ramadan, LuLu has introduced its pre-packed Ramadan kit for SR99 ($26), which has been especially created for essential shopping and donation.

In partnership with Saudi Food Bank, these kits along with the iftar boxes (priced at SR15 each) will be distributed to the needy and charity groups. An agreement was signed between Abdul Rahman Al-Huzaimi, regional manager of Saudi Food Bank in Riyadh, and Bashar Al-Besher, administration director of LuLu Hypermarkets, Saudi Arabia, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets, Saudi Arabia, LuLu officials, and other guests.

These kits are priced lower than the regular market price and have grocery products, such as rice, milk powder, sugar, oil, and others. LuLu’s Ramadan kits are available across all its stores and online via www.luluhypermarket.com.

Mohammed said: “As the current pandemic situation continues to restrict the majority with smaller gatherings and with more people staying at home, we launched products offers and Ramadan kits to make grocery shopping easier and more convenient. Our promotion sections in stores are fuller and wider with lots of product essentials offered with great discounts. The same offers are also boosted in our online shopping with deals and promotions to ensure safe shopping for those who do not want to buy from stores.”

LuLu will also launch traditional food stations at its stores celebrating essential delicacies savored in the holy month. 

The food stations will host themed events such as the Meat Fest, Dates and Nuts, Iftar Delights and Dessert Festival. Moreover, LuLu has introduced “Souk Al-Fawakeh” to provide customers with fresh fruits and vegetables at competitive prices in bulk packages. It features 30 exotic fruits for the entire month.

In keeping with the spirit of giving in the holy month, LuLu has launched Ramadan-themed cards, which are available at SR15 and SR150.

Abdulla Hamdan, marketing manager of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, said: “We’re glad to launch these Ramadan-themed cards for our customers, in line with our goal to make their shopping experience unique, especially during important occasions like Ramadan. Since gathering in large groups for iftar is restricted to prioritize the health and safety of everyone, this card is a perfect choice for gifting. 

“It is a convenient way to show your loved ones that you remember them and care for them in the midst of these challenging times.”

In collaboration with Saudi Food Bank, LuLu has launched iftar boxes featuring convenient packs of after-fasting essential meals that customers can buy for SR15 each. There is also an option to donate SR15 through the cash counters.

In collaboration with the Kayl Association for Combating Obesity, LuLu launched the “Health is Wealth” campaign to raise awareness on obesity and its risks to health along with the importance of limiting its spread among the community. For every purchase of a healthy iftar or sahoor meal, 5 percent will be donated to the charitable organization.


Uber offers discounted rides to people getting the jab

Uber offers discounted rides to people getting the jab
Updated 17 April 2021

Uber offers discounted rides to people getting the jab

Uber offers discounted rides to people getting the jab

This Ramadan, Uber has announced it will offer discounted rides to people looking to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination dose in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia. The initiative is part of Uber’s global campaign to help communities “move what matters,” supporting public authorities in the Kingdom as they work to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Riders will be able to avail 25 percent off two Uber rides, up to SR20 ($5.3) each to and from public vaccination centers across the Kingdom. The applicable centers are listed in the Sehhaty app, developed by the Ministry of Health to advance healthcare in the Kingdom. The offer came into effect from April 12 and will run until May.

Mohammad Gazzaz, general manager, Saudi Arabia at Uber, said: “We want to support the government’s efforts to vaccinate more of the population and ultimately contain the spread of the virus. Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve worked to enhance health and safety for both riders and drivers, and the vaccination drive is another step in the process to help people prioritize their health and safety and facilitate mobility around the city.”

How to claim your ride:

• Tap on the top left of the Uber app and select “Wallet.”

• Select “Add Voucher Code” at the bottom.

• Click on the voucher link KSAVACCINE and get 25 percent off two Uber rides to/from vaccination centers up to SR20 each, valid until May 11.

• Navigate to the rides home screen and enter the pickup/drop-off location for yourself or the person you are booking for. The trip must start or end at the vaccination centers listed on the Sehhaty app.