Sweet dreams are made of this: Chris Gardner speaks at Riyadh book fair

Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
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Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
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Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
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Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
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Updated 10 October 2021

Sweet dreams are made of this: Chris Gardner speaks at Riyadh book fair

Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
  • Life story of Chris Gardner, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” has been published in more than 40 languages and it was translated into Arabic last year.

RIYADH: Businessman and author Chris Gardner gave a touching account of his life at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Saturday.

Saying that he was honored to be invited to the fair, Gardner discussed the many obstacles he has faced in his 67 years.

He talked about his newest book, “Permission to Dream,” and spoke inspiringly about his childhood, his struggles and the foundations his mother laid that motivated him to achieve anything he can dream of.

“If you want something, go get it, period, don’t ever let somebody else tell you what you can’t do. Mama said I can be anybody I want,” Gardner explained.

Known as the brave father who overcame continuous obstacles to give his child the life he deserved, confronting multiple challenges along the way to become a successful stockbroker on Wall Street.

His life story, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” has been published in more than 40 languages and it was translated into Arabic last year.

It was made into the 2006 $300 million box office hit of the same name, starring Will Smith.

“For me it was never about money, for me it was a love story, about a man who was committed to giving his child something that he never had, which was a father,” the author said.

“What was so nice about this experience is that my son never knew we were homeless, he didn’t need to know.”

The epitome of the American dream, Gardner’s life story tells a tale of breaking barriers and overcoming tribulations to support his son and eventually become one of the best known stockbrokers and founder of Gardner Rich, a multimillion-dollar brokerage firm.

Gardner explained the story behind his newest book.

Gardner discussed the motivation and support he received from his loving and hardworking mother, Betty Jean Triplett, who gave him the permission to dream of a better life.

“In light of the changes here in Saudi Arabia with Vision 2030 a lot of you have been given the permission to dream,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the most exciting places on the planet because of the many changes initiated in the Kingdom by the Crown Prince that have opened so many opportunities in the world, especially for women.”

Gardner told the audience about the three most important decisions he made in his life.

He talked about the threats he faced from his stepfather, who once held a shotgun to his chest and said, “I am not your daddy.”

“The single most important decision in my life, I made as a five-year-old boy. When I become a father my children will know who their father is,” Gardner said.

His second best decision was deciding to become “world-class” at something. “Meaning I am going to become the best at whatever it is I decide to do,” the author said.

The third one was one he made at the young age of 18 in joining the Navy and committing to plan A, not plan B.

“Time is the most valuable asset. You can make money, you can lose money, but you can’t make time. If you have a dream you need to start taking big steps forward now,” he said.

He said his next and most important objective in the world is to spend as much time as he can with youth and create the next generation of Chris Gardners.

Gardner left the audience with a question at the end of his motivational talk.

“The world is coming to Saudi Arabia, let me ask you something, what are you doing to be great? Some of the best and greatest from the planet are going to be coming to your country. What are you doing to make sure you are ready to complete, to be the employer, not the employee?”


Saudi foreign minister, US envoy discuss Iran nuclear deal

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with US envoy to Iran Robert Malley in Riyadh on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with US envoy to Iran Robert Malley in Riyadh on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (SPA)
Updated 20 sec ago

Saudi foreign minister, US envoy discuss Iran nuclear deal

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with US envoy to Iran Robert Malley in Riyadh on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (SPA)
  • They also spoke about intensifying joint efforts to address Iranian violations of international agreements and treaties

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday held talks with US envoy to Iran Robert Malley in the capital, Riyadh, on ways to curb Iran’s violations and destabilizing regional activity.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral cooperation between the Kingdom and the US on the Iranian nuclear deal and ongoing international negotiations to revive the agreement.
Tehran has stopped honoring some of its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal and has been holding up negotiations aimed at reviving the landmark accord that scales back its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, sparking concern from the UN nuclear watchdog agency.
Prince Faisal and Malley also spoke about intensifying joint efforts to address Iranian violations of international agreements and treaties.
The two sides also discussed the importance of strengthening joint action to stop Iranian support for terrorist militias that threaten security and stability in the Middle East and the world.


All eyes on Riyadh as Imagine More season kicks off with night of music

Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment. (Supplied)
Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment. (Supplied)
Updated 6 min 33 sec ago

All eyes on Riyadh as Imagine More season kicks off with night of music

Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment. (Supplied)
  • An estimated 7 million people visited the first Riyadh Season in 2019

RIYADH: The Saudi capital was on Wednesday gearing up for an extraordinary evening of musical entertainment at the opening ceremony of this year’s Riyadh Season.

Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment.

Tickets for the ceremony, starting at 7 p.m., were sold out within one hour of going on sale and the lucky holders will be treated to a global parade including more than 1,500 costumed participants performing the traditional folkloric Samri dance.

Shows will include a Harley-Davidson custom bike display, fireworks, and a concert performed by the Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

An estimated 7 million people visited the first Riyadh Season in 2019 and this year’s festival of activities will offer more than 7,500 events held on an area covering 5.4 million square meters.

Viewers in New York, London, Newcastle, Dubai, Kuwait, and Doha are expected to be among those watching the opening ceremony.


Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border

Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border

Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border

JEDDAH: Saudi border patrols in Jazan, Najran, and Asir on Tuesday thwarted attempts to smuggle more than one ton of cannabis and 66 tons of qat into the Kingdom.

Border Guard spokesman, Col. Misfir Al-Qarni, said 150 people were arrested in connection with the smuggling bid, 47 of them Saudis, and 103 illegal immigrants of which 89 were Ethiopian, 10 Yemenis, three Somalis, and one Eritrean.

Al-Qarni said that the border guards will be not lax in carrying out their duties to confront anyone who tries to endanger the security of the Kingdom or transfer such substances through its borders illegally.

Saudi authorities, in cooperation with their UAE counterparts, recently prevented an attempt to sneak 1.5 million amphetamine pills into the Kingdom through Batha port hidden in a truck carrying grain.

A Saudi citizen, and a resident of Syria were arrested in Riyadh.

In May, Saudi authorities foiled a plot to smuggle almost 1,000 kg of hashish into the Kingdom through its southern borders. Twenty-four people — 18 Ethiopians, four Yemenis and two Saudis. were arrested. AN Jeddah


Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert
Updated 20 October 2021

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert
  • Grand parade and fireworks display in opening ceremony of the Middle East’s largest entertainment festival

RIYADH: The Cuban-American rap star Pitbull will launch this year’s Riyadh Season festival with a sold-out concert on Wednesday that will be broadcast live.
The opening ceremony of the Middle East’s largest celebration of music, dining, and entertainment will also feature a parade and fireworks show.
The festival site covers 5.4 million square meters, divided into 14 zones — Boulevard Riyadh City, Al’Athriyah, Oasis, Combat Field, Riyadh Front, Qariat Zaman, Winter Wonderland, the Groves, VIA Riyadh, Riyadh Safari, Nabd Al Riyadh, Alsalam Tree, Almurabaa, and Khaloha.
There will be 16 events this month alone — WWE Crown Jewel on Oct. 21, Rush Gaming Festival from Oct. 22 to 26, the Crystal Maze live experience on Oct. 22, the Global Town Festival on Oct. 27, the Champions of Magic show on Oct. 27, and the Messi 10 Cirque Du Soleil show on Oct. 29.
And that’s just the start, with a total of 7,500 events, programs and activities for all age groups and interests. This year, children and fans of the nursery rhymes show CoComelon will be able to meet the characters while visiting their home, school, and farm in the Winter Wonderland zone.
Most events are free, and those that require tickets will be listed on the Riyadh Season 2021 website. Visitors must link their tickets to the Tawakkalna app, which has a new security feature to prevent tickets being misused or resold.
The entertainment sector will be a key contributor to the growth of the economy as part of Vision 2030. Riyadh Season will support the tourism and leisure sector and provide a unique experience for visitors. It continues until March 2022.


KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation

KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation
Updated 20 October 2021

KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation

KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation

JEDDAH: The 3rd annual Red Sea Film Festival has opened its doors to cinema world enthusiasts to register and receive accreditation for the inaugural in-person edition of the most anticipated cinematic event of the year.

From red carpet premieres  and concerts, an industry program, workshops, interactive community events to acclaimed festival gems and beautifully restored treasures, the festival will be held in Saudi Arabia’s most evocative historical quarter — Jeddah Old Town — from Dec. 6-15.  It is an annual festival, launched in 2019, but the past two editions were held virtually due to the pandemic.

With more than 100 films from around the world to be showcased, including the best cinematic works from the region, the festival will provide industry professionals with an exclusive opportunity to be part of a unique experience.

The festival provide a platform for Arab filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world to connect, host feature and short film competitions, and present a series of events, master classes, and workshops to support emerging talent.