Anime competition sees artists imagine NEOM lifestyle in 2050

Anime competition sees artists imagine NEOM lifestyle in 2050
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The competition comes as part of efforts to export Saudi culture around the world through the ‘Future’s Folktales’ anime series. (Photo/Social media)
Anime competition sees artists imagine NEOM lifestyle in 2050
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The competition comes as part of efforts to export Saudi culture around the world through the ‘Future’s Folktales’ anime series. (Photo/Social media)
Anime competition sees artists imagine NEOM lifestyle in 2050
3 / 3
The competition comes as part of efforts to export Saudi culture around the world through the ‘Future’s Folktales’ anime series. (Photo/Social media)
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Updated 22 March 2021

Anime competition sees artists imagine NEOM lifestyle in 2050

Anime competition sees artists imagine NEOM lifestyle in 2050
  • Manga Productions, a subsidiary company of the Misk Foundation, focuses on producing animations, manga comics and video games with creative and positive content

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Manga Productions has announced a special design competition for artists to design future products for the emerging city of NEOM.
In collaboration with NEOM, the competition, announced last Wednesday, will give artists the chance to design innovative solutions for the future residents of NEOM, a Saudi $500 billion megacity development project on the Kingdom’s northwest coast.
The competition is open to all drawing enthusiasts in Saudi Arabia and Japan aged between 13 and 35.
The three winning designs, to be announced on April 18, will be featured in season two of the “Future’s Folktales” series in 2022. Winners will also gain access to a six-week intensive course in character design delivered by international experts.
“At Manga Productions, we believe in the importance of empowering talents and creating opportunities for them to develop their creativity,” Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, said on Twitter.
He added that the competition comes as part of efforts to export Saudi culture and creativity around the world through the “Future’s Folktales” anime series.
The series is the first Saudi animated show that links the past with the future. It is a joint production between Saudi Arabia’s Manga Productions and Japan’s TOEI Animation.
The first season was released in 2020 in 13 episodes that celebrated the richness of Arabic and Saudi culture, language, heritage and values.
It gained 100 million views worldwide across 32 platforms and channels in Japan, China, Taiwan, Ireland, the UK and US.
However, the second season of the series will use NEOM as a central location. Artists are invited to imagine the life of citizens in the futuristic city in 2050 and design unique props, including phones, micro-drones and gym equipment. Those taking part in the competition must explain the innovation behind their devices and why they are useful.
According to Bukhary, the partnership with NEOM supports the goal of Manga Productions to inspire future generations to be part of the development of the megacity and build a brighter future.




The competition comes as part of efforts to export Saudi culture around the world through the ‘Future’s Folktales’ anime series. (Photo/Social media)

Aisha Al-Maghlouth, a young Saudi artist from the Eastern Province, said that the challenge of the competition stimulates creativity. “The idea behind the competition is very smart. It supports more than one creative category at the same time,” she told Arab News.
“I am excited to see the creative designs, which I am sure will be impressive,” Al-Maghlouth said, adding: “And I am willing to be one of them.”
The 24-year-old artist said that many hidden local talents have yet to be discovered by the public, and that competitions are one way of supporting and sponsoring future Saudi creatives.
Mohammed Al-Zabeedi, a Saudi private sector worker, said: “With NEOM being one of the most important projects in the Kingdom, it’s no surprise that it will be reaching out to local talents to help develop their products.
“Such competitions can have different objectives, but the strongest reason is to help the local talent contribute to a project made mainly for Saudis, as per the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the fruits of which our children will enjoy, and it’s this generation that will be developing it.”
Al-Zabeedi’s brother, Khalid, 37, said: “Though it might just be a competition to some, Saudi Arabia is moving at a fast pace, the likes of which I’ve never seen before, and we’re a part of that positive transformation.”
The level of transparency and outreach is “unlike anything before,” he added, describing the competition as something that “allows Saudis to build their own future.”
He said: “Who knows what things will look like in 2050? But one thing is for sure — whether it is a Saudi product or a Japanese one, this is for the greater good for everyone who is looking forward to seeing what NEOM is all about.”
Judges will evaluate each submission based on the artists’ ability to communicate their design concepts, innovation and creativity, as well as overall aesthetic details and product safety.
Manga Productions, a subsidiary company of the Misk Foundation, focuses on producing animations, manga comics and video games with creative and positive content.
The company works as a pioneer in creative content development, offering innovative products to build and enable the ambitions of young creatives.
More information about the competition is available at neomxmanga.com


Saudia airline getting ready to operate on May 17

Saudia airline getting ready to operate on May 17
Saudi Arabia’s flagship carrier is getting ready to fly on May 17. (SPA)
Updated 12 April 2021

Saudia airline getting ready to operate on May 17

Saudia airline getting ready to operate on May 17
  • Saudia was ranked among the top 10 airlines worldwide for its health and safety measures and received the highest certification by APEX Health Safety in January

JEDDAH: The Kingdom’s flagship carrier is preparing for full-capacity operations ahead of the lift of the travel ban next month, with Saudis eager to safely return to traveling during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser chaired a meeting with the Saudia airline board of directors to discuss preparations for the return of international flights on May 17.
The date will mark the end of the suspension of international travel for Saudi citizens by land, air, and sea.
The minister expressed his thanks for the efforts made to safely continue domestic flights by limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Saudia was ranked among the top 10 airlines worldwide for its health and safety measures and received the highest certification by APEX Health Safety in January.
Saudis are feeling more comfortable with the idea of traveling abroad again.
Ismail Ayoub, 30, said he will travel as soon as the opportunity strikes, with Dubai being his first choice due to their high safety standards. “Safety is one factor, another reason is I have good contacts in Dubai and in the region, so this is an opportunity to reconnect with them,” Ayoub told Arab News.
“The closeness of Dubai to the Kingdom makes it very convenient as well,” he added.
Ayoub said he will travel to countries where tourism offerings follow the strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. “I would avoid countries with unmanaged crowds. I want to enjoy my trip while staying safe.”

Saudis are feeling more comfortable with the idea of traveling abroad again. (SPA)

Software engineer Alia Al-Sadat, 27, said she is glad to have the option to travel but would rather postpone her international flight plans until the global cases drop.
“I feel very safe in the Kingdom. I’m happy to simply travel between Jeddah and Riyadh, or even go and explore AlUla,” Al-Sadat told Arab News.
She highlighted that the travel restrictions were a good opportunity to explore the Kingdom.
“Many people do not know it, but Saudi Arabia has some spectacular destinations. This year made me want to explore places like Abha, Taif and of course Umluj,” she added.


Saudi authorities urge public to follow precautions to ensure safe Ramadan

Saudi authorities urge public to follow precautions to ensure safe Ramadan
Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. (SPA)
Updated 12 April 2021

Saudi authorities urge public to follow precautions to ensure safe Ramadan

Saudi authorities urge public to follow precautions to ensure safe Ramadan
  • There are 8,360 active cases, 915 of them are critical

JEDDAH: With a few days to go before the start of Ramadan, Saudi health authorities are warning the Kingdom’s residents to remain vigilant and stick to safety precautions put in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
During a press conference on Sunday, Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly reminded residents of the importance of following the precautions.
“Last year’s Ramadan was unlike any other Ramadan that we have experienced,” he said, adding that visitors to mosques would need to follow set guidelines, such as bringing their own prayer mats, attending prayer on time, socially distancing and staying clear of overcrowding.
He also highlighted the importance of following precautions during family gatherings. “We are used to family gatherings during Ramadan — they are special and bring the family together — but we must limit the number of visitors in gatherings.”
On Saturday, the MoH announced it would be postponing second doses of COVID-19 vaccines in order to ensure more people receive their first dose.
“The challenges are a race against time. We want to ensure that the most vulnerable are prioritized and receive their first vaccine to gain immunity,” Al-Abd Al-Aly said, adding that cancelled slots would be rearranged automatically.
“The second dose acts as a booster to the immunity one develops after the first dose,” he said.

INNUMBERS

398,435 Total cases

383,321 Recoveries

6,754 Deaths

8,360 Active cases

A total of 799 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Kingdom on Sunday, meaning 398,435 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease.
There are 8,360 active cases, 915 of them are critical.
In addition, 548 new recovered cases were announced, taking the total number of recoveries to 383,321. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is holding steady at 96.2 percent.
Seven new COVID-19 related deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 6,754.
Saudi Arabia has administered more than 6.25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far. A total of 58,897 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of tests conducted in the Kingdom to 15,797,442.
Elsewhere, 30,054 violations of precautionary and preventive measures were reported over the past week. The highest numbers of violations were in Riyadh (11,162), Makkah (5,883), and the Eastern Province (4,183). Jazan (155) and Najran (132) had the lowest number of reported violations.
The Ministry of Interior stressed that citizens and residents must continue to adhere to the preventive measures and instructions issued by the authorities for their own safety and the safety of fellow citizens and residents.


Hajj Ministry announce Ramadan guidelines for Umrah and prayers

Hajj Ministry announce Ramadan guidelines for Umrah and prayers
The ministry reminded people for the need to follow the preventive measures to ensure the safety, health and security of those visiting the two holy mosques. (SPA)
Updated 12 April 2021

Hajj Ministry announce Ramadan guidelines for Umrah and prayers

Hajj Ministry announce Ramadan guidelines for Umrah and prayers
  • Taraweeh, Qiyam prayers should not exceed 30 minutes in all mosques

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has set guidelines and protocols for issuing Umrah and prayer permits for the month of Ramadan. 
Vaccinations are at the top of the priority list as no worshippers are allowed into either Makkah’s Grand Mosque or Madinah’s Prophet’s Mosque without having received at least one dose of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.
Permits will only be allowed through the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna apps, and will not be provided for unvaccinated individuals, as the latest Tawkkalna update has designated each category with a color code and barcode specific to their health status.
Unauthorized vehicles will not be allowed in the central region around Makkah, and visitors must arrive on time or risk losing their time slot.
Children will not be allowed to enter either mosques, nor the courtyards around the mosques.

HIGHLIGHT

Permits will only be allowed through the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna apps, and will not be provided for unvaccinated individuals, as the latest Tawkkalna update has designated each category with a color code and barcode specific to their health status.

The Ministry of Interior issued a warning that a SR10,000 ($26,671) fine will be issued to pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah without permits, and a SR1,000 fine for worshippers trying to enter the mosques without one.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance issued a statement saying that Taraweeh and Qiyam prayers should not exceed 30 minutes in all mosques in the Kingdom. This comes after King Salman issued a decision to permit Taraweeh prayers in the two holy mosques and reduce them to five tasleemat.
The ministry reminded people for the need to follow the preventive measures to ensure the safety, health and security of those visiting the two holy mosques.


Saudi rights body to support sexual harassment victims

Saudi rights body to support sexual harassment victims
Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad. (SPA)
Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi rights body to support sexual harassment victims

Saudi rights body to support sexual harassment victims
  • Psychological, educational, and legal consultations are provided to the beneficiaries in cooperation with a number of specialists at the HRC

JEDDAH: Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC), has launched a specialized group to support victims of sexual harassment and their families with psychological counseling and educational, social, and legal guidance with strict confidentiality.
The group will enhance protection for victims of harassment and raise awareness about its impact on individuals and society.
Al-Awwad said the launch is part of the measures and regulations that the Kingdom has adopted to protect and support victims of harassment, including the anti-harassment law, child protection system, and law on protection from abuse.
The group will address these effects to help victims overcome trauma, to ensure it does not occur again, and to inform families and the relevant authorities in the event of a new exposure to harassment.
The group is supervised by HRC board member Dr. Sarah bint Omar Al-Abdulkarim, in cooperation with consultant psychiatrist Dr. Meshal Al-Aqeel and Dr. Amal Bannunah, a professional adviser in protection and sex education expert. Psychological, educational, and legal consultations are provided to the beneficiaries in cooperation with a number of specialists at the HRC. 


Saudi Supreme Court: No evidence of Ramadan moon sighting

Saudi Supreme Court: No evidence of Ramadan moon sighting
Updated 12 April 2021

Saudi Supreme Court: No evidence of Ramadan moon sighting

Saudi Supreme Court: No evidence of Ramadan moon sighting
  • Supreme Court says it will hold another session on Monday evening

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s moon sighting committee said on Sunday that the crescent for the month of Ramadan could not be seen from the Tamir and Hawtat observatories in Sudair, due to the weather conditions. 
Following a meeting on Sunday, corresponding to Shaban 29, according to the Umm Al-Qura lunar calendar, the Supreme Court said that it had not received any evidence of the crescent sighting in the evening.
The Supreme Court said it would hold another session on Monday evening, and issue a decision on the start of Muslim fasting month.