JEDDAH: Pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan this year will not have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
While answering a query about vaccinations on Twitter, the ministry’s customer service center account said that inoculations are not a requirement yet to get permission for Umrah during Ramadan.
However, the ministry earlier this week issued a circular that requires sectors operating in Hajj and Umrah-related services to vaccinate their entire staff before Ramadan starts on April 12. Workers not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test result, renewed every seven days at the facility’s expense.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing said that it will intensify inspection tours during Ramadan at gathering places to ensure social distancing.
Authorities have shut down 11 mosques in six regions around the Kingdom after 11 cases of COVID-19 were reported among worshippers.
390,007 - total number of COVID-19 cases
378,083 - total number of recoveries
6,669 - total number of deaths
The Saudi Ministry of Health announced there are 5,255 active COVID-19 cases as 585 had been reported in the past 24 hours. Of the active cases, 693 are in critical condition.
The total number of infections in the Kingdom to date is 390,007.
Of the newly reported cases, 234 were recorded in Riyadh, followed by Makkah (103) and the Eastern Province (110). The regions with the lowest recorded numbers were Najran and Baha with five cases each.
The MoH reported 369 new recoveries, raising the total number to 378,083. The Kingdom’s recovery rate has decreased to 96.9 percent.
Six people died due to complications from COVID-19, which raised the national death toll to 6,669.
Since the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign in the Kingdom last December, the ministry has administered 4.4 million inoculations.
More than 60,000 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of PCR tests administered in the Kingdom to more than 15 million.
The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
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The exhibition will be divided into five sections: Origins of the Arabic script, development of calligraphy, master calligraphers, calligraphy and contemporary art, and calligraphy, artificial intelligence. (Photos/Supplied)
Expo shines light on Arabic script, calligraphy in Riyadh
Event devoted to the art form opens on Wednesday at the National Museum of Riyadh
Updated 4 min 5 sec ago
RIYADH: Artists have been sharing their thoughts about the “mesmerizing and elegant” beauty and spirituality of Arabic calligraphy, and the importance of the art form, ahead of the opening on Wednesday of an exhibition in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi conceptual artist Othman Al-Khuzaim believes that global interest in the art of Arabic calligraphy has grown in recent years, and this can be attributed to increased awareness of its beauty.
“The general interest of people in calligraphy has led them to show appreciation for Arabic calligraphy, with all its mesmerizing and elegant shapes and forms,” he said.
“Arabic calligraphy stands witness to beauty, which is depicted by Arabic calligraphists on walls inside the Two Holy Mosques to add more spirituality to the holy places.”
Describing Arabic calligraphy as one of the most prominent forms of visual art, Al-Khuzaim said he often recommends it to people and encourages them to enjoy and appreciate it even if they cannot read the language or understand the meaning of the words.
Script and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey, which opens on Wednesday at the National Museum of Riyadh and runs until Aug. 21, is a good place for newcomers to the art form to start, or for those who are already familiar with it to learn more about its history, from its origins right up the present day.
• Organized by the Culture Ministry, the exhibition runs until Aug. 21.
• The 1,500-square-meter exhibition highlights the development of the Arabic script from its very beginnings.
• It includes one of the oldest surviving pages of the Holy Qur’an, dating back to the second century AH/8th century AD.
Organized by the Ministry of Culture to showcase the history of Arabic calligraphy, the 1,500-square-meter exhibition highlights the development of the Arabic script from its very beginnings, along with the relationship between calligraphy, contemporary art and artificial intelligence (AI).
This exceptional journey through history features input from Saudi and international master calligraphers, contemporary artists and designers. It begins with the advent of written communication on the Arabian Peninsula nearly 1,700 years ago and traces the development of scripts engraved on stone and included in linear paintings, manuscripts and other objects across the Islamic world.
The exhibition brings the story right up to date by considering the most modern applications of Arabic calligraphy, for example in fashion, design and even AI. Alongside the classic artworks on display, visitors will find an AI machine, developed by Egyptian artist and designer Haytham Nawar, that allows them to produce a new pictographic language on a video screen.
At the other end of the timeline of Arabic calligraphy, the exhibition includes one of the oldest surviving pages of the Holy Qur’an, dating back to the second century AH/8th century AD. There is also a selection of Qur’an manuscripts, including the renowned Blue Qur’an and Mushaf Al-Madinah, and a specially designed manuscript presented by Obvious, a collective of French AI researchers and artists.
Abdelrahman El-Shahed, a calligrapher and contemporary artist involved in the exhibition, said such events are important because they enhance the communication between professional Arab calligraphists and enthusiasts, who view the preservation of the art form as an important way to show pride in their religion and nations. They also help bring calligraphists together to continue to develop an ancient art, he added.
“We are glad that the Mohammed bin Salman Global Center for Arabic Calligraphy has been launched,” said El-Shahed. “It will definitely help in promoting and preserving Arabic calligraphy around the world, and giving it the appreciation it deserves.”
Saudi authorities announced in April last year that the Dar Al-Qalam Center in Madinah would be developed to become a global platform for calligraphers from all over the world and was renamed in honor of the crown prince. Arabic calligraphy in the region also receives great support from the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who last year launched the Year of Arabic Calligraphy initiative to raise awareness and interest in the art form.
Red Sea Film Festival announces $10 million fund to support Arab, African cinema
The Red Sea Souk project market will take place from Nov. 12-15 at the RSFF as projects will compete for the Red Sea Development and Production Awards in the amount of $25,000 and $100,000
Updated 15 min 32 sec ago
JEDDAH: The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation has announced its SR37.5 million ($10 million) fund, which will support projects with directors from the Arab World and Africa, launching a new generation of filmmakers and supporting established auteurs as they bring their work from script to screen.
The Red Sea Fund will back more than 100 projects in its first year, creating a game-changing boost for filmmakers by supporting fiction, documentary, and animation feature films, as well as episodic content.
Additionally, Saudi nationals will be able to apply to the Red Sea Fund to support short films in development and production.
“Helping African and Arab cinema grow — that is a very exciting responsibility,” said Edouard Waintrop, the artistic director of the Red Sea International Film Festival (RSFF).
“That is what the Red Sea Fund will do at every stage of the making of the chosen movies and episodic content. In providing more than 100 grants of up to $10 million to help the development, production, and post-production of movies across the Arab World and Africa, the Red Sea Fund will help cinema that is in full metamorphosis.”
The Red Sea Fund is part of the foundation’s commitment to the regional screen sector, which also includes launching the inaugural RSFF from Nov. 11-20 in Al-Balad, Jeddah’s historic downtown.
The festival will see the launch of the Red Sea Souk, its marketplace and industry hub for the region. Red Sea Souk will include a project market, with pitching sessions of more than 20 projects from the Arab World and Africa, as well as a films-in-progress workshop.
All projects that apply to the Red Sea Fund will automatically be eligible for the Red Sea Souk.
The Red Sea Souk project market will take place from Nov. 12-15 at the RSFF as projects will compete for the Red Sea Development and Production Awards in the amount of $25,000 and $100,000.
• Fund will back more than 100 projects in its first year as grants will be awarded for development, production, and post-production.
• Inaugural Red Sea Film Festival will be held Nov. 11-20 in Al-Balad, Jeddah’s historic downtown.
The Red Sea Souk films-in-progress workshop will be held Nov. 12-15 at the RSFF as each selected project will compete for the Red Sea Post-Production Awards worth $30,000.
“Over the past two decades, we have seen the Arab and African film industry grow and flourish,” RSFF Managing Director Shivani Pandya said.
“The fund and the Red Sea Souk will provide more tools to support the Arab and African film business to make even more of an impact on the international marketplace with the launch of its project market and films in-progress workshop this November.”
The Red Sea Souk will also include panels, networking events, workshops, and booths connecting the international film community to the exciting new Saudi market.
Applications are welcome from around the world to support projects by African or Arab directors, as the Red Sea Fund is open through July 21.
The Red Sea Fund will be split across three main categories. The first is development, which aims to support bold and creative directors in developing live-action, emerging media, and animation projects from treatments to production-ready screenplays and concepts. The Fund will develop projects from Arab, African and Saudi directors that have a director and producer attached.
The second category is production, which targets projects going into production and is aimed at supporting any aspect of the shoot. The last category is post-production.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 450,255
A total of 7,606 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far
Updated 15 June 2021
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 16 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,269 new infections on Tuesday.
Of the new cases, 402 were recorded in Makkah, 262 in Riyadh, 186 in the Eastern Province, 105 in Asir, 79 in Madinah, 77 in Jazan, 31 in Najran, 27 in Al-Baha, 25 in Tabuk, 19 in Hail, 14 in the Northern Borders region and two in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 450,255 after 1,014 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,606 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 16 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.
More than 450,000 people apply to perform Hajj during first 24 hours of registration
Of those registering, 60 percent were men and 40 percent were women
No priority will be given to those who apply early and registration will be open till June 23
Updated 15 June 2021
RIYADH: More than 450,000 people in Saudi Arabia applied to perform Hajj this year during the 24 hours since registration opened, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Tuesday.
Of those registering, 60 percent were men and 40 percent were women.
No priority will be given to those who apply early and registration will be open till June 23, the ministry added.
Vaccinated citizens and residents in the Kingdom between the ages of 18 and 65 who do not have chronic diseases and have not performed Hajj in the last five years are able to apply.
Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday that this year’s Hajj will be limited to 60,000 pilgrims from within the Kingdom due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi minister Jubeir meets US climate envoy John Kerry
Updated 15 June 2021
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir met on Tuesday US Climate Secretary John Kerry.
Kerry was on his first visit to the Kingdom after assuming the position of US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
It was a pleasure to have met with Secretary John Kerry @ClimateEnvoy, on his first visit to the Kingdom after assuming the position of U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. pic.twitter.com/8HGmQmWpcq
Since President Joe Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20, he has made several moves to emphasize the importance of mitigating global warming and reinstating America's role as a leader in that battle. This included appointing former Secretary of State Kerry to be the country's first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, making him the administration's global face on the issue.
Biden also recommitted the US to the 2015 Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change through which 196 countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.