Berlin-based Tunisian artist wins Saudi Arabia’s 4th Ithra Art Prize

 Nadia Kaabi-Linke
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Nadia Kaabi-Linke
Theater in King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) City, Dammam. (shutterstock)
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Theater in King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) City, Dammam. (shutterstock)
A view of the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran. (Shutterstock)
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A view of the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 30 August 2021

Berlin-based Tunisian artist wins Saudi Arabia’s 4th Ithra Art Prize

 Nadia Kaabi-Linke
  • The Ithra Art Prize was established to create a platform for artists to exhibit their works beside other distinguished artists within the region and internationally

JEDDAH: A Berlin-based Tunisian artist has won the fourth Ithra Art Prize in one of recent history’s most difficult years.

Capturing a moment created by the pandemic, which shut down the global economy, Nadia Kaabi-Linke employed the iconic symbol for economic growth — a rising arrow — for what she describes as directing humanity to a safer exit from the crisis.

Chosen from 1,500 submissions, evaluated and reviewed by a jury of local and international leaders in the global art scene, Berlin-based artists Nadia Kaabi-Linke won the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) fourth Ithra Art Prize. The prize money is worth $100,000, and her artwork proposal will make its debut this coming December.

“I chose to work with the symbol of the arrow as a symbol for economic growth, but at the same time I am using it to represent an exit sign, an exit from what we know, our comfort zones which is the world that is leading us to our extinction,” Nadia Kaabi-Linke told Arab News.

Kaabi-Linke is inviting humanity to view the pandemic as an opportunity to create an alternative world and think of a new economy that does not focus on growth anymore. “It is more about hope, being together, and exiting the old world to a new one and to have all the courage to go in a new direction that we do not know,” she said.

After its presentation at Ad-Diriyah Biennale in December, Kaabi-Linke’s work will join Ithra’s prestigious permanent art collection.

I am extremely optimistic for the regional art scene and particularly for Saudi Arabia, I am so happy from the bottom of my heart that it is opening and that people can come and discover the treasures.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Launched in 2017, Ithra Art Prize was held abroad for three years, supporting Saudi and Saudi-based contemporary artists.

“This time we decided to reach out to 22 Arab countries for contemporary artists who currently live in the Arab region or have been for more than 10 years, we are very proud of the shortlisted artists for the prize, we got great names of very well established in the scene, and the awarded winner will not disappoint the public, I assure,” Farah Abushullaih, head of the museum of Ithra told Arab News.

Born in Tunis in 1978, Kaabi-Linke has lived between Paris, Dubai and Tunis. After graduating from the University of Fine Arts in Tunis in 1999, she went on to earn a Ph.D. at Université Paris-Sorbonne, in 2008.  

The artist’s multinational background and history of migration have influenced her works.

The Ithra Art Prize was established to create a platform for artists to exhibit their works beside other distinguished artists within the region and internationally. It focuses on local artists’ enablement and knowledge transfer enhancement between artists, Abushullaih said.

Ithra’s partnership with Ad-Diriyah Biennale Foundation is biannual; the next competition will take place in 2023 and will also target Arab artists.

“I am extremely optimistic for the regional art scene and particularly for Saudi Arabia, I am so happy from the bottom of my heart that it is opening and that people can come and discover the treasures,” Kaabi-Linke said.

“Through the economic crises, the western world no longer invests in culture as it used to, but the opposite is happening in the Gulf region,” she said. “I am happy for the region for the upcoming period of culture and extremely honored to be part of it.”

The Ithra Art Prize is presented in partnership with the Ad-Diriyah Biennale Foundation. The winning submission will be unveiled at the inaugural Ad-Diriyah Biennale this December, the Kingdom’s first biennale.


Riyadh Season 2021 coming to a desert near you

Riyadh Season 2021 coming to a desert near you
Updated 27 September 2021

Riyadh Season 2021 coming to a desert near you

Riyadh Season 2021 coming to a desert near you
  • The Riyadh Season is expected to provide a mixture of exclusivity and modernity, turning the Saudi capital into a preferred destination for visitors

JEDDAH: Under the slogan #Imagine_more, Riyadh Season 2021 begins in less than a month and offers events and activities for all.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority, on Saturday announced the launch of the 2021 Riyadh Season on Oct. 20. It will cover an area of 5.4 million square meters across 14 districts in the capital city.

Al-Sheikh said that after the success of Riyadh Season 2019, this year’s events would be organized by Saudi teams.

The season will host 7,500 events, including 70 Arab concerts, six international concerts, 10 international exhibitions, 350 theater performances, 18 Arab plays and six international plays, in addition to one free-wrestling championship, two international matches, 100 interactive experiences, 200 restaurants and 70 cafes, all catering to a range of tastes and age groups.

Nour Fahed, who visited Riyadh’s last season in 2019, told Arab News how excited she was to be attending this year’s events. “I went to the Riyadh Season twice and I was overwhelmed with the things that I saw,” she said. “I could not believe my eyes and I was proud that my country is making international events like this.” 

Hams Nabeel, who went to Riyadh for a business trip during the season, said: “I tried some of the exotic pop-up restaurants in the season, but my favorite activity was going to the Winter Wonderland theme park. I liked how I saw and met so many foreigners and I am aiming for another adventure this year.”

Another guest, Majid Al Assiri, said that he made the most of the activities on offer during the last Riyadh Season, visiting Winter Wonderland, the boulevard, Diriyah festivals, MDLBEAST. “It will be a fantastic season, especially now that people already have an idea of what to expect from last season,” he said.

“Not to mention the second season of MDLBEAST: 2019 was a blast, it was cold because but the experience itself is unique and the first of its kind,” Assiri said. 

The Riyadh Season is expected to provide a mixture of exclusivity and modernity, turning the Saudi capital into a preferred destination for visitors. It will also contribute to achieving national goals such as raising the level of the entertainment-sector industry, creating job opportunities, growing economic returns and attracting foreign investment.

More details will be announced at a press conference on Oct. 4.

Decoder

RIYADH SEASON

Riyadh Season is the biggest part of Saudi Seasons, a series of themed entertainment, artistic, sporting and cultural events held throughout the Kingdom to boost tourism and business opportunities, and providing jobs for Saudi nationals. Riyadh Season 2021 alone will host 7,500 events, according to the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA).


Who’s Who: Loay Mashabi, deputy minister at Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services

Who’s Who: Loay Mashabi, deputy minister at Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services
Updated 27 September 2021

Who’s Who: Loay Mashabi, deputy minister at Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services

Who’s Who: Loay Mashabi, deputy minister at Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services

Loay Mashabi has been the deputy minister for logistic services at the Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services since April 2021.

He has also been a board member of Saudia Cargo from August 2021 and a board member of Saudi Exports from June 2021.

Prior to his current position, Mashabi was the deputy governor for planning and development at Saudi Customs from September 2019 to March 2021.

He served as the chief operating officer of the Al-Soudah Development project, later known as Al-Soudah Development Co., at the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, from February 2019 to August 2019.

From January 2017 to December 2018 Mashabi was general manager at LogiPoint Services, previously known as Isnad, the operator of the largest bonded and re-export zone in Saudi Arabia located at Jeddah Islamic Port.

From September of 2013 to December 2016, he worked as general manager at Petroleum and Energy Logistics and Services Co.

His professional career began in September 2006 at Saudi Aramco as a petroleum production engineer, and he continued to work as a senior production engineer at the oil giant until April 2013. This strong foundation in a well-governed giga-company helped to shape his career and he later moved to PETROGISTIX.

Mashabi received his master’s degree in business administration from the London Business School, a constituent college of the University of London, UK (2016-17).

He has a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia (2002-2006).

Mashabi was issued a petroleum engineering certification from the Society of Petroleum Engineers in December 2012.


Diriyah Gate signs deal with Saudi Human Resources Development Fund to train cadres

Diriyah Gate signs deal with Saudi Human Resources Development Fund to train cadres
Updated 27 September 2021

Diriyah Gate signs deal with Saudi Human Resources Development Fund to train cadres

Diriyah Gate signs deal with Saudi Human Resources Development Fund to train cadres

RIYADH: The Diriyah Gate Development Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund within the framework of enhancing cooperation in the area of human resource development, supporting, training and recruiting Saudi women and men.

It aims to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the demands of the job market – as part of DGDA’s plans to nationalize jobs and develop national cadres and competencies.

The MoU includes raising the awareness of Diriyah’s community of skills required for jobs, through organizing workshops and training programs, as well as honing skills and readiness for the job market.

It also includes exchanging data, statistics and studies between both parties and working on enhancing on-the-job training through the Tamheer program.

Hadaf commended DGDA’s plans and strategy in training and developing the national cadres and nationalizing jobs. It noted that one of its main goals is the increasing the roles of Saudis in economic growth, preparing young people to participate in the Kingdom’s development, and promoting and assisting all sectors to implement the ambitious nationalization programs.


Saudi Arabia to give COVID-19 booster shots to people aged 60 and over

Saudi Arabia to give COVID-19 booster shots to people aged 60 and over
Updated 26 September 2021

Saudi Arabia to give COVID-19 booster shots to people aged 60 and over

Saudi Arabia to give COVID-19 booster shots to people aged 60 and over
  • The Kingdom registers 5 COVID-19 deaths, 44 new cases and 58 recoveries in past 24 hours
  • Ministry of Interior records 19,870 violations against precautionary measures in past week

JEDDAH: People aged 60 and over will get a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to boost their immunity against the virus, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry announced Sunday.
“We are currently preparing to include older adults in the booster dose plan, which will be provided after they complete eight months since they received their second dose of the vaccine,” ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told a press briefing.
The ministry previously said it had started giving booster shots to high-risk individuals, including those with chronic kidney failure and people with organ transplants.
Over 41 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. Nearly 18.3 million people have been fully vaccinated.
People aged 60 and over will get a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to boost their immunity against the virus, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry announced Sunday.
“We are currently preparing to include older adults in the booster dose plan, which will be provided after they complete eight months since they received their second dose of the vaccine,” ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told a press briefing.
The ministry previously said it had started giving booster shots to high-risk individuals, including those with chronic kidney failure and people with organ transplants.
Over 41 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. Nearly 18.3 million people have been fully vaccinated.
“We urge everyone to complete both doses at the earliest,” said the spokesman. “Vaccination is the most important factor that will help us through the coming phase in confronting the pandemic which is, hopefully, the final stage with the virus.”
Saudi Arabia confirmed five new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,699.


The Ministry of Health confirmed 44 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 546,926 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 244 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 11, followed by Jeddah with seven, Madinah recorded three, and Makkah and Najran confirmed two cases each.
The health ministry also announced that 58 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 535,950.
Saudi authorities continued their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to stem the spread of the disease.
They recorded 19,870 violations of the regulations in one week, according to recent statistics from the Ministry of Interior.
The statistics indicated that the region of Riyadh recorded the highest number with 8,682 violations, followed by the Eastern Province (2,007), Makkah (1,931), Madinah (1,852), Qassim (1,540), Jouf (1,130), Hail (1,021), Jazan (391), the Northern Borders (361), Baha (355), Tabuk (292), Asir (224), and Najran (84).
The ministry called on citizens and residents to abide by the preventive protocols and the instructions issued by authorities in this regard.
Saudi municipalities have also ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures.
The municipality of the Eastern Province carried out 9,253 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities in one week, identifying 493 violations. 
Field teams closed 14 commercial outlets for breaching protocols.
The municipality of Hail also carried out 1,191 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities in one day. The authorities closed 56 commercial outlets for breaching protocols.
Municipalities urged all commercial facilities to abide by regulations to ensure public safety and prevent the spread of the disease.
Officials have also called on the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or contacting authorities through the Balady app.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Human Resources and Social Development Ministry said that 87,500 monitoring tours had been carried out across the public and private sectors during the past month to ensure compliance with COVID-19 measures.
There were 3,509 violations recorded, 1,948 against private sector institutions and 1,561 against people working in the private sector.
Ministry spokesperson Saad Al-Hammad said 3,784 reports of potential violations were received during the past month, adding that the ministry accepted reports through its app, hotline number 19911, and social media accounts.
Currently, 88 percent of public sector and 85 percent of private sector employees have received both vaccine doses.
“These numbers indicate an increased awareness among the public of the need for health safety in the community to confront the pandemic,” Al-Hammad said.


AlUla events promise months-long feast of arts, culture music and wellness

Organizers have revealed that the highly anticipated Winter at Tantora event is set to return. (SPA)
Organizers have revealed that the highly anticipated Winter at Tantora event is set to return. (SPA)
Updated 27 September 2021

AlUla events promise months-long feast of arts, culture music and wellness

Organizers have revealed that the highly anticipated Winter at Tantora event is set to return. (SPA)
  • The mane event: Equine fashion show at AlUla
  • AlUla Skies will give tourists the chance to float over the Hegra in a hot air balloon

JEDDAH: The winter season of events at AlUla prides itself on having everything from astronomy to gastronomy, but this year it will excel itself.

Among the events planned for the jewel in Saudi Arabia’s heritage crown is an haute couture fashion show — for horses.

Other equestrian highlights this year will be the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Race and AlUla Desert Polo.

Events will begin on Dec. 21 this year and run until March 30, 2022, and fall into four categories — Winter at Tantora, AlUla Arts, AlUla Skies, and the AlUla Wellness Festival, all providing a feast of arts, culture, music, and wellness.

Most musical performances will take place in the beautiful Maraya Center, and a candlelit symphonic concert at the UNESCO world heritage site of Hegra will begin proceedings.

 

Amira Abbas, who visited the festival in 2020, was thrilled to hear the announcement: “When I first went to AlUla it was magical, truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I am already excited to get back to the calm and quiet of the place. I will take at least a week off my schedule and plan a trip.”

The visitors will add to their knowledge of the site and the Kingdom through archaeology and cultural workshops taking place at the heritage sites.

AlUla Arts festival will commence February 2021, bringing together events centered around artistic talents. The “art of our time”  exhibition will boast cutting-edge contemporary art created by Saudi artists. Alongside the exhibition is the Cinema El Housh, an outdoor cinema that will be showing the beauties of the oasis and other landscapes within AlUla. Saudi filmmakers will also contribute to these projects.

FASTFACTS

• The Winter at Tantora Festival will run from Dec. 21 to Feb. 12. Musical performances will be taking place in the beautiful Maraya Center, with a Candlelit Symphonic Concert at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra kicking off proceedings.

• AlUla Arts festival will commence February 2021, bringing together events.

Another festival that will take flight is AlUla Skies, which will give tourists the chance to float over the Hegra in a hot air balloon, glide in a vintage plane over the oasis, and take a helicopter above the Madakheel. Back on land, adventurers can take the star-gazing tour titled “Constellations.”

Ohoud Abdallah, 27, spent three days touring the heritage sites of AlUla last year and told Arab News that she was not able to enjoy the skies on her visit: “It is a childhood fantasy of mine to go ride in a hot air balloon; last time I couldn’t because my timing was off. I am absolutely thrilled to see that it is coming back and there is nothing more I want to do than to float off in a balloon or just sit under the stars after being cooped up in my house for so long.”

Alula Wellness Festival, running from March 17 to 27, will focus on the well-being of the mind and body, including yoga, meditation, mindful practices, and an exhibition that will use space, light, and sound to provoke the senses.