Saudi Arabia decked out in khayamiya designs for Ramadan

Saudi Arabia decked out in khayamiya designs for Ramadan
Ramadan decorations made of Khayamiya which originated in Cairo.
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Updated 08 April 2021

Saudi Arabia decked out in khayamiya designs for Ramadan

Saudi Arabia decked out in khayamiya designs for Ramadan
  • The most popular khayamiya design is the ‘street panel,’ which originated no more than 50 yeas ago in the heart of downtown Cairo

JEDDAH: With less than a week to go before the holy month of Ramadan begins, families across Saudi Arabia are decorating their homes.

Ramadan is not simply about fasting, communal sahoor meals and night prayers, it is a month in which families and friends celebrate the unity and bonds that are strengthened and promoted during the holy month. Many like to deck their homes out with lanterns, crescent moons, twinkling lights and a plethora of different colorful red, white and blue fabric items.

Derived from the word khayma (tent in English), khayamiya — decorative appliqué textile bearing distinct geometric and curvilinear arabesque patterns — has historically been used to decorate tents across the Middle East. It is believed to have originated in Egypt and has since made its way across the region. It has become widely popular in recent years, taking the Saudi market by storm, and is now used for tablecloths, cushions, accessories, dresses, prints and more.

The most popular khayamiya design is the “street panel,” which originated no more than 50 yeas ago in the heart of downtown Cairo near Bab Zuwayla, one of the city’s oldest gates — built by the Fatimids in 1092. Numerous shops in nearby Khayamiya Street (Street of the Tentmakers) are adorned with highly artistic khayamiya of all shapes and sizes. According to Jeddah resident Um Al-Saad Mohammed, khayamiya has become popular in Saudi Arabia thanks to Saudi women who have a strong affiliation with Egypt.

“As a child, I would often visit Cairo with my parents and my father always took us to Al-Azhar Mosque area, (which had so many) different shops nestled in its market alleyways. Khayamiya Street wasn’t as popular as it is today but I remember that we used to see these large red, white and blue textiles wrapped around large poles waiting to be sold to event planners and such,” she told Arab News.

The large fabric was used for partitions at weddings or other social gatherings — even funerals sometimes — and their attractive design prompted Um Al-Saad and many others to bring them back to the Kingdom to hand out as gifts for family and friends, or even to sell on.

Nowadays, shops and stores across Saudi Arabia sell everything from plastic cups, cutlery, tablecloths and teapot covers to triangular streamers decorated with the distinctive red, white and blue designs that will flood the market in the month ahead. For many Saudis, it’s a flourish of vibrant color that brings an added sense of joy to a month of celebration with their loved ones.


Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season gets more than 4.5 million visits

Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season gets more than 4.5 million visits
Updated 02 December 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season gets more than 4.5 million visits

Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season gets more than 4.5 million visits
  • More than 122,000 jobs were offered by the season
  • The Groves, one of the season’s 14 zones, opened its doors on Monday for visitors

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season has recorded over 4.5 million visits in a month, state news agency SPA reported.
More than 122,000 jobs were also offered by the season, SPA added.
The Groves, one of the season’s 14 zones, opened its doors on Monday for visitors to experience the site’s spa, restaurants, shops and shows.
The Groves has combined work and relaxation through an area called The House, which offers business meeting rooms in a luxurious environment.
The Riyadh Season 2021 was launched on Oct. 20 and includes 14 areas: Boulevard Riyadh City, Via Riyadh, Combat Field, Al-Athriyah, Riyadh Oasis, The Groves, Riyadh Winter Wonderland, Riyadh Front, Al-Murabba, Riyadh Pulse, Riyadh Safari, Al-Salam Tree, Khalouha and Zaman Village.


Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past

Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past
Updated 02 December 2021

Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past

Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past
  • Nabd Al-Riyadh, which means the pulse of the capital, presents the rich past of the Kingdom since its foundation through more than 400 storytelling visual presentations

RIYADH: Nabd Al-Riyadh, one of Riyadh Season’s 14 zones, opened its doors for visitors this week to take them on a visually enhanced journey to explore the history, heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia.

The zone, which is free, was a popular feature of Riyadh Season when it first appeared in 2019. This year it has been given an extra touch of music and shows from all around the world to accompany the Saudi folklore and keep the visitors entertained.

Nabd Al-Riyadh, which means the pulse of the capital, presents the rich past of the Kingdom since its foundation through more than 400 storytelling visual presentations. The zone perfectly embodies Saudi cultural traditions and heritage with an artistic simulation of its history projected on the walls of Masmak Palace.

Abdulhameed Fouzi, a visitor from Tabuk, said that Masmak Palace “is one of the places I really wanted to visit and see in person.”

“Masmak Palace is often where the people pledged allegiance to their kings. This is where everything used to happen in the past,” said Rana Al-Wakeel, another visitor.

The zone offers entertainment for individuals, families, and children with musical performances and art shows that will continue until mid-January 2022.

The events at Nabd Al-Riyadh include the Safat Square, which has sand painting, Rubik’s square painting, “3D” street art, glitter art and theatrical and musical performances, as well as the Safat Caffe, which serves traditional drinks and sweets.

The Al-Masmak Square area includes artistic, theatrical, and interactive performances, while the Nabd Al-Riyadh theatre features more than 30 Saudi and international bands, orchestras and singers.


Probe launched after Saudi Arabia records first omicron variant case

Probe launched after Saudi Arabia records first omicron variant case
Updated 02 December 2021

Probe launched after Saudi Arabia records first omicron variant case

Probe launched after Saudi Arabia records first omicron variant case
  • At this stage, prevention is better than cure and standard precautions must continue to be practiced, says Health Ministry spokesman

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has launched a health probe after reporting the country’s first positive case of the omicron COVID-19 variant.

The Kingdom joined more than 21 other nations in recording an omicron infection after a Saudi national who flew in on a passenger plane from a north African country tested positive.

The individual was placed in isolation, along with a number of other people they had been in contact with, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

“An epidemiological investigation has started, and the case was sent to quarantine, where accredited health procedures were followed,” the SPA report said.

During a specially convened Saudi Ministry of Health press conference, ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said there was still much to learn about the new variant and warned against spreading false information about it.

“Health experts across the world and the Kingdom are closely monitoring the situation and more research needs to be done to determine its lethality. At this stage, prevention is better than the cure and standard precautions must continue to be practiced,” he added.

Dr. Abdullah Algaissi, a virologist and assistant professor at Jazan University’s college of medical sciences, recently told Arab News: “Based on what we know from the genetic sequencing, we don’t have information that could tell us if these mutations will make the virus more lethal, more transmissible, if it will impact the immune response either after infection or vaccination. As of now, we don’t know.”

Al-Aly pointed out the importance of people completing vaccination programs and recommended that anyone who had gone six months since having their second jab should receive a booster, especially those aged over 65.

HIGHLIGHT

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly urged people to keep a check on their health status via the ministry approved Tawakkalna app, to self-isolate where necessary, and continue to follow precautionary measures brought in at the start of the pandemic.

Health officials have said that third doses offer increased protection against COVID-19 and can prevent infection or milder illness with symptoms.

According to the US CDC, data from clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series six months earlier or who received a Johnson and Johnson/Janssen single-dose vaccine two months earlier.

With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the delta variant. For Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson and Johnson/Janssen, clinical trials also revealed that a booster jab helped prevent COVID-19 with symptoms.

To date, more than 47.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Aly urged people to keep a check on their health status via the ministry-approved Tawakkalna app, to self-isolate where necessary, and continue to follow precautionary measures brought in at the start of the pandemic.

“Masks continue to be a very important protective measure against any infection,” he added.

Health officials are stationed at the Kingdom’s ports to check the temperatures of arriving passengers.

News of the omicron case came as Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on direct travel from India, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia although arrivals would need to enter institutional quarantine for five days.

On Wednesday, the Kingdom reported 34 new COVID-19 cases and 26 recoveries. One death was recorded, and 39 patients remained in critical condition.


Who’s Who: Turki Abdulaziz Al-Turki, assistant deputy for technical affairs at Riyadh municipality

Who’s Who: Turki Abdulaziz Al-Turki, assistant deputy for technical affairs at Riyadh municipality
Updated 02 December 2021

Who’s Who: Turki Abdulaziz Al-Turki, assistant deputy for technical affairs at Riyadh municipality

Who’s Who: Turki Abdulaziz Al-Turki, assistant deputy for technical affairs at Riyadh municipality

Turki Abdulaziz Al-Turki has been assistant deputy for technical affairs at Riyadh municipality since November.

Al-Turki, who has also been a consultant to Riyadh’s mayor since February last year, served as a lecturer at King Saud University from 2012 to 2020.

He assisted in the preoperatory year at the university’s architecture and building science department and helped in evaluating and grading the work of students, including in design studios. He also integrated student design with regulations, policy, sustainability, renewable energy, and ecosystems.

In addition, he prepared and delivered lectures to undergraduate students on topics such as architectural design methods, aesthetics and design, and structure and materials.

For 22 months, starting from March 2017, Al-Turki worked as an architect in Al-Rajhi Holding Co.’s development and construction department, assisting on renovation projects for historical buildings using mud, wood, and sustainable materials.

Between June 2011 and May 2012, he acted as an architect engineer at Goot Resorts, helping in the project management office on the building of new chalets, production of schematic design, design development and construction documents, and valuating contractors, suppliers, and vendors.

From June 2011 to January 2014, he served as a part-time design manager with Zaahib estates development where he designed the company’s projects and organized real estate offers.

Al-Turki gained a bachelor’s degree in architecture and building science from King Saud University in 2011 and four years later attended a master’s preparation and ESL program at the University of Southern California, in the US.

In 2017, he obtained a master’s degree in design research and urban design from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and this year took part in an executive leadership program at Harvard Business School.


OIC chief holds talks in Jeddah with envoys to Saudi Arabia

OIC chief holds talks in Jeddah with envoys to Saudi Arabia
Updated 02 December 2021

OIC chief holds talks in Jeddah with envoys to Saudi Arabia

OIC chief holds talks in Jeddah with envoys to Saudi Arabia
  • Hissein Brahim Taha, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s new secretary-general, met ambassadors from Norway, Chad, Sudan and Nigeria

JEDDAH: Hissein Brahim Taha, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, met a number of foreign ambassadors to Saudi Arabia at the organization's General Secretariat in Jeddah this week.

On Wednesday, Norwegian Ambassador Thomas Lid Ball discussed with the OIC chief ways in which cooperation between his country and the organization can be enhanced, and they reviewed international issues of common interest.

Taha expressed his appreciation for Norway’s role in promoting international peace and security and its support for development efforts in OIC member states. Lid Ball praised the OIC for its stature and positive role in the international arena.

Also on Wednesday, Taha welcomed Ambassador Zakaria Fadoul Kitir of Chad. They discussed bilateral relations how they might be developed, in addition to ways of strengthening Islamic solidarity and joint Islamic action.

On Tuesday, Taha held talks with Sudanese Ambassador Adel Bashir and Nigerian Ambassador Yahaya Lawal. They congratulated the new OIC chief on taking office last month and discussed their countries’ relations with the OIC.