Diplomats praise Noor Riyadh light festival

Diplomats praise Noor Riyadh light festival
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Noor Riyadh is expected to be an annual celebration, attracting international and local artists to display their creativity across the city. The festival will run until April 3. (SPA)
Diplomats praise Noor Riyadh light festival
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Noor Riyadh is expected to be an annual celebration, attracting international and local artists to display their creativity across the city. The festival will run until April 3. (SPA)
Diplomats praise Noor Riyadh light festival
3 / 3
Noor Riyadh is expected to be an annual celebration, attracting international and local artists to display their creativity across the city. The festival will run until April 3. (SPA)
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Updated 25 March 2021

Diplomats praise Noor Riyadh light festival

Diplomats praise Noor Riyadh light festival
  • We all need cultural inspiration from new sources, especially during this time, says Danish envoy

RIYADH: Noor Riyadh, the Saudi capital’s citywide festival of light and art, has left a lasting impression on Saudi-based diplomats.

French Ambassador to the Kingdom Ludovic Pouille posted a photo with Saudi artist Marwah Al-Mugait and tweeted: “Glad to have participated in the official inauguration of the light installations of Noor Riyadh Festival in the Historic District of King Abdul Aziz around the National Museum of Riyadh, with the participation of world-renowned artists.”

In an earlier tweet, Pouille said that he was “delighted to attend the opening of ‘Light Upon Light’ at King Abdullah Financial District’s iconic conference center, entirely transformed by famous French artist Daniel Buren, as part of Noor Riyadh Festival. It is a seminal exhibition featuring light art through the ages, and from across the world.”

Danish envoy Ole E. Moesby told Arab News that he applauded the festival for a “beautiful and successful” kickoff.

“We all need cultural inspiration from new sources, especially during this time in which restrictions have limited our usual interactions.”

Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz told Arab News that the festival embodied the spirit of Riyadh.

“I congratulate the governor of Riyadh on the successful festival and wish the best to all the artists participating in it. Going by its mood and exuberance, I am confident that the festival is here to stay and is set to become a highly anticipated event every year,” he said.

The festival, which kicked off for the first time on March 18, illuminated the Saudi capital with dazzling interactive light shows.

Noor Riyadh is expected to be an annual celebration, attracting international and local artists to display their creativity across the city.

HIGHLIGHTS

• More than 30 light installations will showcase this weekend, with over 60 international and Saudi artists exhibiting their work for the 17-day event, which brings together contemporary and modern art.

• Running until April 3, the festival features an interactive show with outdoor sculptures, workshops, volunteering opportunities, cinematic shows and educational talks.

More than 30 light installations will showcase this weekend, with over 60 international and Saudi artists exhibiting their work for the 17-day event, which brings together contemporary and modern art.

Running until April 3, the festival features an interactive show with outdoor sculptures, workshops, volunteering opportunities, cinematic shows and educational talks.

It is the first program to be launched by Riyadh Art, which is one of four megaprojects inaugurated by King Salman in 2019 as an initiative to promote culture and art.

Riyadh Art aims to turn the city into an open-air gallery by infusing art with the social fabric of the capital.

The festival’s theme, “Under the Sky,” expresses hope for a brighter future as the world recovers from the pandemic.

Celebrated Belgian artist couple Tom and Lien Dekyvere are among the roster of artists selected to display works at the citywide festival.

Since 2012, the two artists have traveled the world designing and installing light art installations in public spaces during events and exhibitions, visualizing today’s world through light, sound and materials.

Their site-specific “Rhizome” at the Palm Oasis features a web made of hundreds of meters of illuminated rope to symbolize a house, “a cocoon from which to meditate on contemporary society’s (dis)connectedness.”

Tom Dekyvere said that “Rhizome” is conceived around the “idea of connectivity and disconnectivity.”

He said: “Just like the roots of a tree, connected underground, we humans are connected to each other. Sound and light, incorporated into the natural environment, provide an opportunity to play with the artistic ingredients of the work.”

Dekyvere said that both Riyadh and his Belgian hometown of Bruges “are cities with a  fantastic cultural heritage which makes me feel at home.”

He said: “For Noor Riyadh we took the concept of ‘Rhizome’ and made it specific to the sights, sounds and environment of Riyadh; we built it into the palm trees. I hope that visitors enjoy contemplating the work’s geometric patterns, and reflect on the connectivity of the artwork and the wider world. We are all connected and, ideally, this work gets people outside, enjoying life.”

Tom Dekyvere will also work on Light is Connection, a workshop as part of Noor Riyadh’s Kids Art Lab events.


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
Updated 7 min 45 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
  • The letter dealt with relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday received a written message from the Chairman of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, regarding relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields.
The message was received on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, by Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Kattan during a meeting with his Chadian counterpart Mahamat Zene Cherif in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Kattan welcomed the Chadian foreign minister and his accompanying delegation, and they discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.


Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly

Saudi Arabia reports high rates of coronavirus immunization among elderly
  • The Kingdom recorded 14 COVID-19 deaths and 1,309 new cases in past 24 hours
  • 8 mosques reopened in 4 regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after 8 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that a high COVID immunization rate had been achieved among the elderly Saudi population (60 years and above).
Immunization rates reached 98 percent in Hafr Al-Batin, 93 percent in Al-Ahsa, 93 percent in Qurayyat, 86 percent in Bisha, 83 percent in Riyadh, 80 percent in the Eastern Province, and 80 percent in Taif.
The ministry said that these percentages were achieved after vaccinating this group with at least one dose.
Since Saudi Arabia began its nationwide vaccination campaign on Dec. 17, the Ministry of Health has targeted the elderly as one of its priority groups, launching a Priority service for Saudis and expats over the age of 75 without registration, appointment or waiting.
This has been available at vaccination centers in all regions of the Kingdom.
The ministry called on everyone to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine by registering on the “Sehhaty” application, stressing that the approved vaccines in the Kingdom are effective and safe.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can be conducted per month, according to the new protocol for COVID-19 tests in the Kingdom.
“If you have a respiratory disease, go to Tetamman clinics without booking an appointment and the doctor will assess your condition and conduct an examination for you,” the Ministry explained. “If you have recovered from the virus, you do not need an examination to prove your recovery. If you come in direct contact with a confirmed case after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, you don’t need a test.”
The Kingdom recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,635.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,309 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 470,723 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,879 remain active and 1,533 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Makkah with 388, followed by the capital Riyadh with 265, the Eastern Province with 235, Asir recorded 115, and Jazan confirmed 95 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,022 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 452,209.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Saudi Arabia had so far conducted 20,712,598 PCR tests, with 94,921 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Among them, Taakad (make sure) centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual. Tetamman (rest assured) clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Meanwhile, 16,275,155 people in the country have received a jab against COVID-19.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened eight mosques in four regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after eight people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,596 within 131 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 177 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.85 million.


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 June 2021

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone launched toward southern Saudi Arabia
  • The coalition said it destroyed a drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthis against civilians and civilian objects in Khamis Mushait

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said on Thursday it thwarted an attack launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen toward southern Saudi Arabia.
The coalition said it destroyed a “booby-trapped” drone launched by the Iran-backed group against civilians and civilian objects in Khamis Mushait, state TV reported.
“We are taking operational measures to protect civilians and from hostile attacks,” the coalition said, adding that it would continue to thwart “all hostile attempts of the Houthi militia against civilians and civilian objects.”


Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks

Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks

Saudi Arabia highlights desertification risks
  • As part of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Saudi authorities reveal work they are doing in this field

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is participating in World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which is celebrated on June 17 each year to raise awareness of the growing threats posed by desertification and the importance of preserving biodiversity.

Authorities said the Kingdom, which is committed to promoting sustainable development as part of its Saudi Vision 2030 strategy, is making significant efforts to tackle desertification and drought and preserve resources such as forests, pastures and agricultural land.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said it is working to prevent the misuse and degradation of land, including major efforts in scientific research. It has also established specialized projects in fields related to sustainable development, and to help combat the degradation of natural resources and the loss of biodiversity. The aim is to ensure a healthy and proper environment for current and future generations.

The ministry stressed the importance of cooperation in addressing the causes of environmental degradation such as the rearing of livestock, logging, unsuitable agricultural methods, misuse of water resources, and bad practices while hiking.

The Kingdom has also established the National Center for the Development of Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, and in 2019 issued a national strategy for natural pastures to improve the management of pasture lands, forests and national parks, preserve plant genetic resources and vegetation cover outside of protected areas, and combat desertification.

The Saudi Geological Survey monitors the degradation of land and the sand drift on main roads, residential areas and other sites, and develops scientific solutions and recommendations to mitigate geohazards and preserve regions at risk of degradation.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit
Updated 17 June 2021

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief urges focus on education, food security at summit

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday oversaw the second Islamic Summit on Science and Technology virtually hosted by the UAE under the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: Opening New Horizons.”

During a speech at the summit, OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen said: “The OIC member states have made positive progress in the recent period, as the number of scientific publications increased by 34 percent, and the value of technology exports from OIC countries increased by 32 percent.”

He added that major funds have invested in the field of higher education in all OIC countries, and many member states have initiated large scientific projects, which involve artificial intelligence, green cities in Saudi Arabia, renewable energy and the digital economy.

Al-Othaimeen also drew attention to a space probe that the UAE developed which is successfully orbiting Mars, in addition to other pioneering technological projects across OIC member states.

He called for practical steps to confront challenges that hinder scientific development, and to make full use of all available capabilities to achieve technological development, and bring about social and economic progress in member states.

The secretary-general highlighted the need for inter-Islamic cooperation and partnerships in education by increasing academic interaction and exchanging knowledge through scholarships and research visits.

Speaking on sustainable food security, Al-Othaimeen said that OIC member states are facing challenges in the form of competing demands for resources, climate change and low productivity due to lack of mechanization.

As a result, there is an urgent need to enhance investment in agricultural science and research, as well as seek innovation in developing new types of crops, he added.