Women compete in Saudi festival’s camel beauty contest for first time

Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
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Updated 07 January 2022

Women compete in Saudi festival’s camel beauty contest for first time

Women compete with their camels in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which begins Friday, and ends Saturday in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Saad Al-Dosari)
  • The Saudi Camel Club has been keen to encourage the involvement of women in regional and international camel competitions

RIYADH: Twenty-five female camel owners have been allowed to showcase their animals for the first time in a beauty contest at a major festival taking place in Saudi Arabia.

The sixth edition of the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival has introduced an open round for women with maghatirs, an ancient and highly valued breed of camel.

A committee of judges will grade the animals in three color categories and an individual class.

The Saudi Camel Club has been keen to encourage the involvement of women in regional and international camel competitions.

Saudi camel owner, Munira Al-Mukhass, told Arab News that having the opportunity to take part in the contest with her camel, Tawq, felt in itself similar to winning a medal.

“I have met and had meetings with many camel owners over the years and it’s funny that I said to one of them, Umair Al-Qahtani, God willing, one day I will participate in the festival. Now my wish has come true,” she said.

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100k

The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, staged northeast of Riyadh, attracts more than 100,000 visitors from around the world every day.

Al-Mukhass noted that rules for entering the competition had been simple to follow. “The registration and medical examination procedures for young camels took me only one day. They explained to us how to participate, register, and the time of attendance.”

And she hoped that after competing in the festival, her camel may be worth around SR1 million ($266,000), and that next year’s event could see equal numbers of male and female camel owners taking part.

A consultant and member of the Saudi Society for the Study of Camels, Fahad Al-Bogami, said the animals came in many shades with each color having its own beauty specifications and distinguishing features.

He pointed out that the beauty of a camel was judged on parts of its body such as the head, neck, and hump, and generally took into consideration size, length, and height.

Bedouin tribes divide maghatir camels into colors that range from white shades, to yellow and red, and each color has a name.

The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, staged northeast of Riyadh, attracts more than 100,000 visitors from around the world every day.


Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 May 2022

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia
  • The event will highlight the significance of the ancient sport and the Kingdom’s efforts to advance it through local and international forums

RIYADH: An international event to celebrate the history of purebred Arabian horses is set to get underway in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Equestrian Authority and the Horse Racing Club, will on May 25 patronize the launch of the second edition of the five day Kahila championship meeting.

Organized by the King Abdulaziz center for purebred Arabian horses, the event will be staged at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Convention Center and will highlight the significance of the ancient sport and the Kingdom’s efforts to advance it through local and international forums.


73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls
Updated 18 May 2022

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls
  • The authorities thwarted attempts to smuggle 682 kilograms of hashish, 62.3 tons of khat and 194,300 amphetamine tablets

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 73 people after border patrols foiled massive drug smuggling attempts in several regions of the Kingdom.

Col. Misfir Al-Qarini, spokesman for the General Directorate of Border Guard, said that land patrols in the Jazan, Najran, Asir and Tabuk regions thwarted attempts to smuggle 682 kilograms of hashish, 62.3 tons of khat and 194,300 amphetamine tablets.

The seized drugs were handed over to authorities and legal steps taken against those detained, he added.

Among the alleged violators were 20 Saudi citizens, 26 Ethiopians, 23 Yemenis, two Pakistanis, one Sudanese and one Eritrean. 


Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight
Updated 18 May 2022

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight
  • The festival has 13 sections featuring 50 live performances and folkloric dances from across the Kingdom

 

JEDDAH: At this time every year the mountainous city of Taif is adorned with the hues of bright pink roses that produce some of the world’s most alluring perfumes and oils.

The Taif Rose Festival is the modern iteration of a tradition of cultivation and harvesting that has taken place in this region over the past nine centuries.

It was launched on May 6 at Al-Rudaf Park in the southern part of the city, and is open from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight.

The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with Taif Municipality and under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, have organized the festival for two years in a row.

However, it has been running for the past 17 years, Arab News was told by Ahmad Al-Joaid, a tour guide from Taif who has been operating for 15 years in the field.

Al-Joaid said: “A number of new activities are added to the festival every year. Al-Rudaf Park is an area of over half-a-million square meters … a theater has also been created for the festival … Concerts (are) also a new addition.”

The ministry tweeted on its account @MoC_Engage: “Between the beauty of roses and the creativity of art, we welcome you to Taif roses festival.”

The festival has 13 sections featuring 50 live performances and folkloric dances from across the Kingdom in the park, and music shows by male and female artists.

The organizers have set up a workshop aimed at young people that provides information on how to become involved in the perfume-making industry.

There is also an exhibition titled “Claude Monet,” named after the French painter and founder of impressionism, who portrayed nature with such startling creativity. Several of Monet’s renditions are on display.

The festival also provides an opportunity for aspiring Saudi artists to display their paintings at “Cultural Street,” and drawings and other artwork at “Drawing Exhibit.” 

Many families have set up booths to sell byproducts of Taif’s produce such as rose water, perfumes, deodorants, soaps, body and skincare products, food and sweets.

The festival is also a great place for social media enthusiasts because it has several picturesque backdrops for photographs such as the Rose Dome, which contains a giant painting made of natural roses, the largest basket of the flowers in the city, and models and gates decorated with the produce.

Visitors can also view and listen to various rare birds.

Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms producing over 200 million roses every season.

Residents of Makkah and Jeddah visit Taif regularly in summer. “People can do plenty of things in Taif in addition to visiting the festival during their one-day visit …  (including) museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, strawberry farm, zoo, and historical castles,” the tour guide said.


Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva

Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva
Updated 56 min 31 sec ago

Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva

Who’s Who: Majed Al-Sulami, humanitarian and development affairs chief at KSA’s UN mission in Geneva

Majed Al-Sulami is a diplomat at the permanent mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN, where he is head of the humanitarian and development affairs department in Geneva.

His responsibilities are in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, International Organization for Migration, International Committee of the Red Cross, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and humanitarian assistance in areas affected by conflicts, armed disputes and natural disasters.

Al-Sulami attained his bachelor’s degree in English literature from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. He also received a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy affairs from the University of Ghana, and another master’s degree in business administration for executives from Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK.

Al-Sulami also served as the chargé d’affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Ghana, and the deputy head and head of the consular section between September 2011 and 2013.

He was also the deputy head of the media section at the Saudi Embassy in London between September 2013 and 2017.

Al-Sulami also served as director of the specialized meetings at the permanent mission of Saudi Arabia to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation between September 2017 and 2020.

His participation included the 47th and 48th sessions of the OIC’s permanent finance committee, the 13th and 14th sessions of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission and the workshop held by the OIC’s commission with the UN.

Al-Sulami was a political committee member for preparatory meetings and foreign ministers’ meetings and the OIC conference held in Makkah in 2019.


Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes

Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes
Updated 18 May 2022

Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes

Visitors to Kaaba Kiswa complex, Grand Mosque library can rate satisfaction using QR codes
  • Visitors can rate their experiences in six languages
  • The satisfaction ratings will help improve visitors’ experiences

RIYADH: Visitors to institutions affiliated with the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques can now rate their satisfaction using QR code panels.

People visiting the King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa and the Grand Mosque’s library can simply scan the QR codes displayed to rate their visitor experience.

Panels with QR codes on them will enable visitors to rate their experiences. (@ReasahAlharmain)

The QR code panels at the complex and library will help rate visitor experiences in six languages through a special website supervised by an agency at the presidency measuring performance, quality, and institutional excellence.

The satisfaction ratings will help improve visitors’ experiences.