Leading contemporary thinkers to explore philosophy at Riyadh conference

King Fahd National Library. (Twitter: @KFNLGOV)
King Fahd National Library. (Twitter: @KFNLGOV)
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Updated 05 December 2021

Leading contemporary thinkers to explore philosophy at Riyadh conference

King Fahd National Library. (Twitter: @KFNLGOV)
  • The Riyadh Philosophy Conference program will cover an array of interactive plenary sessions and workshops, tackling contemporary issues that highlight how philosophy can help us understand the world we live in

RIYADH: Leading contemporary philosophers will gather in Riyadh for a first-of-its-kind conference at King Fahd National Library.

The three-day event between Dec. 8 to 10 will gather the renowned international and regional thinkers and institutions in Saudi Arabia for the first time to discuss the most pressing contemporary philosophical debates under the theme “unpredictability.”

The Ministry of Culture and its Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission is organizing the conference to establish the Kingdom as a center for philosophical dialogue in the region, encouraging the advancement of scientific and academic research around philosophy, as well as encouraging interest in philosophy and its relevance to all our lives.

On the announcement of the conference, Mohamed Hassan Alwan, CEO of the commission said: “Our mission is to promote philosophy across a wide range of thinkers and bring critical philosophical debates to Saudi Arabia for the first time, promoting intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogues. We also want to introduce philosophy to members of the public who might not have had exposure to it before and promote philosophical thinking, its methods and tools, and how it can be used to empower the youth.”

The Riyadh Philosophy Conference program will cover an array of interactive plenary sessions and workshops, tackling contemporary issues that highlight how philosophy can help us understand the world we live in.

Sessions will cover “The Human Condition: Unpredictable Encounters,” and several discussions are focussed on the impact of COVID-19, including “Beyond the Global Pandemic: Responding Ethically to the Unprecedented.”

Leading philosophical thinkers from universities across the globe will be participating, including the University of Pretoria, Harvard University, The University of Turin, SOAS, Cairo University, King Saud University and many more.

The Riyadh Philosophy Conference will see over 1,500 guests per day, ranging from academics and students to cultural leaders and publishers. In addition to the curated plenary sessions, the event will also feature exhibitor stands hosted by local and international partners, and a number of experiential activations including a reading village, and children’s zone designed to instil the value of philosophical thought amongst the next generation.  

The event will be open to the public and will feature a variety of accessible lectures exploring relevant topics that will demonstrate the significance of philosophy in today’s world and show its ability to help answer key contemporary questions facing humanity.


Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi

Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 12 min 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi

Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia affirmed its full support for the UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability
  • Other Gulf countries also condemned the Houthi attack

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned in “the strongest terms” a “cowardly terrorist attack” that targeted Abu Dhabi International Airport on Monday.

The Kingdom affirmed its full support for the UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability.

A suspected drone attack by the Houthis targeting a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi killed three people and sparked a separate fire at Abu Dhabi's international airport on Monday, police said.

A Saudi foreign ministry statement said that this terrorist act, which the Houthis are responsible for, “reaffirms the danger of this terrorist group and its threat to security, peace, and stability in the region and the world.” 

The Kingdom stressed that it continues to confront all Houthi terrorist attempts and practices through its leadership of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

The Kingdom offered its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and to the government and people of the UAE, wishing a speedy recovery to all those injured in the attack.

Gulf condemnation

Bahrain’s foreign ministry also condemned the attack and said that the “cowardly terrorist attack, which resulted in the death of three civilians and the injury of others, violates international humanitarian law and all other international laws.”

The attack “constitutes a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the UAE, reflecting the insistence of the terrorist Houthi militia to continue their cowardly criminal attacks,” the ministry said.

The ministry called upon the international community to take “necessary steps against the militia, whose hostile acts confirm that they are a terrorist organisation that poses a serious threat to the stability and security of the region.”

Kuwait also condemned the attack and the targeting of civilian areas in the UAE by the Houthi militia.

The country’s foreign ministry said the militia’s continued targeting of civilians and civilian areas and their insistence on violating international law confirms the danger of their behavior and the need for the international community to put an end to it.

The ministry said it supports any steps taken by the UAE to protect its security and stability.

Global condemnation 

Yemen’s foreign ministry said the attack shows the frustration felt by the militia after their recent losses in Shabwa, which was completely reclaimed from them last week, and the oil-rich province of Marib.

The ministry renewed its support for the Kingdom and the UAE and any measures taken by the countries to “confront these despicable terrorist acts, preserve the safety of their citizens and residents on their lands, and protect vital facilities.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly condemned the terrorist attack and said it stands in solidarity with the UAE and supports any steps that the country takes to protect its safety.

Jordan’s foreign ministry said the country condemned “this cowardly terrorist attack” and stressed its absolute solidarity with the UAE.

“The security of the UAE is an integral part of Jordan’s security,” the ministry said.

It extended condolences to the families of the victims, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.


Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
Updated 17 January 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 569,296
  • A total of 8,908 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced two deaths from COVID-19 and 5,505 new infections on Monday.

Of the new cases, 1,546 were recorded in Riyadh, 835 in Jeddah, 440 in Makkah, 326 in Madinah, 149 in Dammam, 117 in Al-Khobar, 115 in Taif, 102 in Hofuf, and 100 in Al-Lith. Several other cities recorded less than one hundred new cases each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 569,296 after 4,349 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,908 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 54 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV

Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV
Updated 17 January 2022

Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV

Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV

DUBAI: The Coalition fighting to restore legitimacy in Yemen said Monday that it destroyed three drones launched in the direction of southern Saudi Arabia, according to Al-Ekhbariya TV.

“We have observed and are following a hostile escalation by the Houthis using drones,” the coalition said. 

The bloc said some of the bomb-laden drones were launched from Sanaa International Airport.

The US embassy in Yemen denounced the Houthi militia’s military escalation, labeling it as a destabilizing act.  
In an earlier incident claimed by the Houthis, three people were killed in an explosion and subsequent fire involving three petroleum tankers at an ADNOC storage plant in Abu Dhabi.


International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close

International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close
Updated 17 January 2022

International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close

International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close

RIYADH: One of Riyadh Season’s newest shows, Cirque de Glace, has proved a hit with audiences at the International Arena in Boulevard Riyadh City, one of the festival’s 14 zones.

Extravagant costumes, choreographed numbers, and special effects all tie together the show’s theme of the journey of human development.

Cirque de Glace performer, Alfonso Campa, told Arab News: “Cirque de Glace is an astonishing show with an amazing cast. All of the skaters are international and are all professionals performing an amazing show now in the Riyadh Season here in Saudi Arabia.”

The show’s organizers noted that Cirque de Glace was a separate French entity inspired by the Canadian circus, Cirque de Soleil. The ice show has been touring for more than 12 years around the world in 14 different countries including Saudi Arabia, India, the UK, Argentina, America, and Australia, and takes visitors on a journey through time of the planet’s evolution.

Campa from Mexico and Mery Acevedo from Argentina are two of the performers behind Flying on Ice, a figure skating duo who are the aerial performers in Cirque de Glass. The two have been performing together for more than 10 years and have brought their expertise to the ice in Riyadh.

Acevedo said: “I am a figure skater, but my main role is the aerial act with my partner, it’s a very tricky number, and people love to see skaters flying through the air.

“The audience is great, it seems like they’re really enjoying it, and just the smiles on their faces is what makes us happier and all of the work that goes into it is worth it,” she added.

The cast of 29 skaters that make up the show have been traveling around the world performing and made their debut in Riyadh Season on Dec. 27.

Campa is a fourth-generation circus performer and has been skating, juggling, and performing circus skills such as trampoline and acrobatics globally since the age of three.

On the Riyadh crowds, he said: “They get so excited when they see us flying and skating at the same time. We think the audience here is just amazing.”

Tour manager, Rob McClelland, said the show had been staged for years but due to the coronavirus pandemic many of the original cast had changed.

“We’ve been developing Cirque de Glace shows for about 12 years now, and we’ve traveled the world with our international team,” he added.

McClelland said: “Communication and equipment are the most challenging, whether that be the ice or lighting, but this has been a really good show for us here, and it’s been really easy to get on with it.

“We have taken the show to more than 14 countries, and it’s been a real pleasure to come to Saudi Arabia and Riyadh Season with the General Entertainment Authority.”

The show is in its final week as a part of Riyadh Season and Campa thanked festival organizers for their support and hospitality.

“We just want to say thank you to Riyadh Season for bringing this amazing show to audiences in Saudi Arabia, and we hope to come back soon,” he added.


King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies

King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies
Updated 17 January 2022

King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies

King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies
  • The project aims to train more than 1,000 employees in 20 ministries and government agencies, through 40 training courses

RIYADH: The King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language has implemented a draft language policy guide for Saudi government institutions.
The move aims to activate decisions related to the language within government bodies, and to develop awareness among workers of the importance of linguistics and its connection to decisions and regulations at various levels.
It also aims to provide procedural steps and an executive working guide that preserves the Arabic language’s position in government institutions, the academy said in a statement.
The project aligns with the academy’s strategic goals, preserving the integrity of Arabic and supporting it verbally and in writing, and developing policies, strategies, plans and programs.
It includes a review of the Saudi language policy, based on various regulations and legislation, and also includes an executive guide for language editing in government institutions.
The project is one of the initiatives of the Human Capacity Development Program, one of the programs of Vision 2030, and aims to train more than a thousand employees in 20 ministries and government agencies, through 40 training courses, focused on two main topics: Writing skills for administrators and the basic rules of Arabic writing.
The two topics were chosen based on a study of specific needs in functional language situations.
The first training courses for the project have already begun, and several were held in coordination with the ministries of culture, education, and Islamic affairs. Courses last for two days, with an average of eight training hours.