Echoes of the past as Saudi fashion looks to the future

Several of Saudi fashion designer Mohammed Khoja’s statement pieces are currently exhibited in two world-renowned museums. (Supplied)
Several of Saudi fashion designer Mohammed Khoja’s statement pieces are currently exhibited in two world-renowned museums. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 June 2021

Echoes of the past as Saudi fashion looks to the future

Several of Saudi fashion designer Mohammed Khoja’s statement pieces are currently exhibited in two world-renowned museums. (Supplied)
  • In the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, pieces from his latest season, inspired by the Nabataean civilization in AlUla, are being showcased as part of the “Calligraphy and Scripts” exhibition

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s fashion scene has gone through a major turnaround in recent years as many of its talented designers have found innovative ways to blend their art and culture.
Saudi fashion designer Mohammed Khoja, founder of the contemporary luxury label Hindamme, told Arab News recently that “being in Saudi Arabia now truly feels like living in a cultural renaissance.”
He added: “We are very much tied to our rich past and traditions, and I value those very dearly as is reflected in most of my designs.
“There is so much potential and room for growth within the Saudi fashion industry and I have absolute confidence that it will become one of the main industries in the Kingdom’s future, especially considering the establishment of the Ministry of Culture and the fashion commission, and the enormous and valuable role they have played.”
Several of Khoja’s statement pieces are currently exhibited in two world-renowned museums.
In the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, pieces from his latest season, inspired by the Nabataean civilization in AlUla, are being showcased as part of the “Calligraphy and Scripts” exhibition.
In the past week, his “driving jacket,” designed in 2018 to commemorate women being allowed to drive in the Kingdom, went on permanent display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, becoming the first contemporary piece from a Saudi “creative” to feature in the museum’s collection.

HIGHLIGHT

Saudi fashion designer Mohammed Khoja, founder of the contemporary luxury label Hindamme, told Arab News recently that ‘being in Saudi Arabia now truly feels like living in a cultural renaissance.’

“The exhibition is generally a reflection or a tool in storytelling and portrays important designs from our current generation. I am honored that my ready-to-wear collections have had the sort of impact and been selected by the curators of these two prestigious museums,” Khoja said.
“It’s always been my intention to reflect new aesthetics within my designs but to also go further and potentially convey a storyline or a positive message.”
The provided support means many share the same sentiment that “it’s the right time to build the Kingdom’s fashion industry,” with incubators, mentors, centers and initiatives launched to promote talent and bring international experience to the Kingdom in order to strengthen proficiency and capability.
With that support, Khoja is moving on to his next project with his new season coming out in August.
“It will present a positive outlook, especially in our post-pandemic world, which also very much feels like the equivalent of the 1960s ‘youthquake’ in the US from an aesthetic point of view,” he said. “But we have also learned many important lessons to take care of our planet, which is all that I’m able to share for now.”


Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test

Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test
Updated 9 sec ago

Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test

Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test
  • The OECD administers the PISA exam every three years

RIYADH: Saudi students are preparing to take the PISA test, an international performance metric conducted by the OECD to measure educational levels in 15-year-olds around the world.

The test will be completed virtually by 600,000 students from 80 countries.

It is the second time that the test will be conducted in the Kingdom after the initial launch in 2018.

From May 29 to 30, the PISA will be offered electronically in general education classrooms, focusing on computing and linguistic abilities.

The PISA is a set of studies administered every three years to a random sample of students at the target age to assess their abilities in reading, science and mathematics.

The application of the PISA in the Kingdom falls within the framework of the efforts of the Ministry of Education to improve graduates in the educational process. The results of the test will provide useful indicators to improve the Kingdom’s education system.

Prof. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Juhaimi, president of the National Institute for Educational Professional Development, said that the electronic professional development program for mathematics, science and reading for teachers will improve the skills of PISA students. The program allows educators to transfer their experience to students using more influential methods.

Al-Juhaimi told Arab News that one of the program’s most important features is its “great flexibility,” since teachers can attend the program at any time and from any location.

Prof. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Juhaimi, president of the National Institute for Educational Professional Development. (Supplied)

He added that the program’s training modules are designed to help teachers acquire targeted skills in mathematics, reading, and natural sciences to improve their performance, which reflects on the level of students and contributes to supporting student learning outcomes.

The OECD administers the PISA exam every three years. The Saudi Ministry of Education will oversee the test.

Al-Juhaimi said that e-training is an opportunity for teachers in the targeted disciplines because it is self-motivated, not limited by place or time, and is available to any teacher of the three subjects.

Furthermore, teachers are provided three chances to do unit-related assessments and an overall review of the program based on their specialist sector to assist self-learning.

Al-Juhaimi said that the regulations of NIEPD, issued in November 2019, support the professionalization of public education and raise the level of educational practices in the Kingdom.

However, he said that there are numerous challenges confronting mathematics and science education. These include the need to modernize standards and identify the training needs of each specialty.

Al-Juhaimi added that one of the most important enablers for teacher development is the integration of training into the school curricula. Another enabler is linking the school curricula with teacher training programs within the school, and linking professional development with performance evaluation as well as promotions to ensure demand. Supporting electronic training, encouraging self-evaluation and strengthening professional learning communities for teachers is also important, he said.

He said that the institute’s projects for teacher development include establishing scientific forums, developing the workforce, training school leaders and launching programs for educational professional development practitioners.


Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum

Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum
Updated 7 min 31 sec ago

Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum

Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan met his Ukranian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of his participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday.   

During the meeting, the ministers discussed the latest developments of the crisis in Ukraine. 

Prince Faisal emphasized Saudi Arabia's support for everything that contributes to de-escalating the conflict, protecting civilians, in addition to negotiations that would reach a political solution, as well as all international efforts to resolve the crisis politically.

On Tuesday, Prince Faisal called for global dialogue and cooperation during a panel at the World Economic Forum, which tackled the global geopolitical outlook in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“If we learned anything on COVID-19, it is that we need to focus on cooperation, we need to continue to look toward avenues to foster cooperation,” the top Saudi diplomat said. 


Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again

Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again
Updated 25 May 2022

Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again

Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again
  • Back-to-back sandstorms blanket region, sending thousands to hospitals with breathing issues

RIYADH: Weather forecasters warned on Tuesday that more sandstorms were on the way after Riyadh was again shrouded in choking dust.

The National Center for Meteorology issued weather alerts for the Saudi capital, extending to the Madinah region and the governorates of Yanbu, Al-Rais and Yanbu Al-Nakhl. There will also be dust storms in AlUla and Khaybar.

“Dust particles in the north, center, and southern and interior regions will persist,” center spokesman Hussain Al-Qahtani told Arab News.

More than 1,200 people this month have gone to hospitals in the Kingdom suffering from breathing difficulties, but the phenomenon is region wide. Severe sandstorms have blanketed parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Kuwait for the past month. The storms have sent thousands to hospitals and resulted in at least one death in Iraq and three in eastern Syria.

Sandstorms are typical in late spring and summer, spurred by seasonal winds, but this year in Iraq they have occurred nearly every week.

The Iraqi Health Ministry stockpiled canisters of oxygen at facilities in hard-hit areas.

In Syria, medical departments were put on alert as the sandstorm hit the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Iran shut down schools and government offices in Tehran last week as a sandstorm swept the country.

It hit hardest in the southwest desert region of Khuzestan, where over 800 people sought treatment for breathing difficulties. Dozens of flights out of western Iran were canceled or delayed.

For the second time this month, Kuwait International Airport suspended all flights because of the dust. Video showed largely empty streets with poor visibility.

“It’s a region-wide issue but each country has a different degree of vulnerability and weakness,” said Jaafar Jotheri, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Al-Qadisiyah in Baghdad.


Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards

Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards
Updated 25 May 2022

Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards

Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards
  • Over 35 Saudi students won 22 awards at ISEF, which was held from May 7-13 in the US

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday received Saudi students who won Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2022 awards.

The crown prince expressed happiness and pride in what the talented students have achieved in the international competition, adding that this achievement is considered a motivation for other Saudis, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He also said that this achievement is a first step for a prosperous future, wishing the winners success.

(SPA)

Over 35 Saudi students won 22 awards at ISEF, which was held from May 7-13 in the US.

The ISEF 2022 saw the participation of pre-college students from over 80 countries in the biggest competition showcasing innovation in scientific research and advancement.

Student Abdullah Al-Ghamdi won two prizes in energy for his project on the production and storage of hydrogen, earning him the award for “Best Research Scientist,” in which he competed against over 1,700 submissions from students across 65 countries.

Five other first-place prizes were awarded to Dana Al-Eithan and Maria Al-Ghamdi, who won in chemistry; Tahani Adel, who won in material sciences; and Yousef Khoja, who won in embedded systems.


Saudis take a trip back to their childhood days at Jeddah Season’s Rasha Rizk concert

Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudis take a trip back to their childhood days at Jeddah Season’s Rasha Rizk concert

Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
  • Rasha Rizk is voice of childhood dreams that lives in memories of three generations

JEDDAH: Rasha Rizk, the voice of childhood innocence, hopes, and dreams that lives in the memories of three generations, performed in Jeddah to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season.

Syrian chanteuse Rizk is best known for performing Arabic versions of anime and cartoon theme songs and is credited with over 100 tracks, including “Doraemon,” “Gundam,” “Detective Conan,” “Captain Tsubasa,” “One Piece,” “Offside,” and “D.I.C.E.”

After three nights of filling the air of Anime Village at City Walk, Rizk held a meet-and-greet event at the SuperDome area on Sunday.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Rasha Rizk started the event with the Arabic version of the ‘Hunter X Hunter’ theme song.

• The singer ended the hour-long session with snippets from two of her widely loved songs: ‘Remi’s Anti Al-Aman’ and ‘Anastasia’s Ah lo fo Alahlam.’

• Most of those attending grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and noughties. Now adults, they brought their children along to meet their anime-singing idol.

Before coming on stage, a variety of anime theme songs performed by her rang through the venue, awakening the inner child in every adult and re-igniting the flame of happy and innocent days from times past.

“Rasha is (one of) my unforgettable childhood memories. She taught me all about hope, strength, and happiness,” said 23-year-old Asma Alsaggaf. “I will introduce her to the coming generations, including my children, their children, and their children.”

“She (Rizk) is my entire childhood as all the childhood songs that I grew up listening to are mostly sung by her,” said 29-year-old Fatma Abdurahman. “I feel like I’m above the clouds after meeting her because I’ve been dreaming about this moment forever.”

Rizk started the event with the Arabic version of the “Hunter X Hunter” theme song. She then began welcoming and talking to fans of all ages.

“Honestly, I first listened to Rasha during my teenage years and immediately fell in love with her voice,” said 22-year-old Read Sindhi. “I’m thrilled with the fact that I met her.”

The singer ended the hour-long session with snippets from two of her widely loved songs: “Remi’s Anti Al-Aman” and “Anastasia’s Ah lo fo Alahlam.”

Most of those attending grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and noughties. Now adults, they brought their children along to meet their anime-singing idol.

“I will allow the new generations to get to know Rasha to know how kind she is and listen to her songs because every track has a moral lesson,” said 24-year-old Raigah Zain.

Rizk told Arab News that she was thrilled and delighted to meet the people who had grown up listening to her and giving back the love she had received through the years.

“Meeting people and receiving this much love,” was what Rizk said she would remember most about the Jeddah events. “Seeing the audience singing every word and letter along with me is the best thing I could ask for. It feels like seeing my own children growing before my eyes.”

Rizk said she hoped to see more local anime works representing different Arab cultures and traditions go global. “I support every cultural project that sends a beautiful image to the world about Arabs.”

Besides singing anime and cartoon theme tracks, Rizk has released three albums, performed at opera houses and concerts around the world, played roles in musicals and movies, and was the voice of Anastasia in the animation movie.

She works with the cartoon channel “Spacetoon,” which shows dubbed animation and cartoons. She lent her voice to the Saudi animated movie “The Journey,” which was released in theaters last year.