Stars come out in Riyadh for Joy Awards 2022

The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 January 2022

Stars come out in Riyadh for Joy Awards 2022

The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
  • John Travolta received lifetime achievement award from Saudi General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh

RIYADH: The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards.

“It’s my honor to be a part of something that helps spread the ultimate feeling: The feeling of joy,” US actor John Travolta said as he picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award. “And to be here on this stage tonight in this incredible celebration of culture; to be surrounded by such immense talents who are able to bring joy to millions through their music, their art, and, above all, their passion.

“I’ve worked with thousands of talented people — people that create movies and have caused the world to laugh and to cry and to smile too, hopefully, like this evening that is filled with joy,” he continued. 

Travolta, best known for his performances in “Grease,” “Saturday Night Fever,” and “Pulp Fiction,” received his award from Saudi General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh.

“Four years ago, I visited Saudi Arabia. This is my second visit and I am truly impressed,” Travolta said. 

The star concluded his speech with an inspiring message for young Saudis. 

“All I want to say to the Saudi people, especially the younger generation, is ‘Keep dreaming and dream more and more,’ because — from what I can see — your dreams can come true,” he stated. 

The Joy Awards — part of Riyadh Season — is hosted by the GEA, in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. It is billed as the largest celebration of entertainment creators in the Arab world.

More than 200 Arab and international artists were invited to the ceremony, which honored entertainers in 13 separate award categories ranging from television and cinema to social media, sports, and music.

The show kicked off with dancers and aerial performers decked out in gold putting on an extravagant theatrical show.

The awards began by celebrating the first category of best male television actor. Saudi star Yacob Alfarhan picked up the evening’s first award — Best Male TV Actor. 

“I thank everyone who took part in making the Joy Awards happen, especially Turki Al-Sheikh,” Farhan told Arab News. “I am happy to have such an event that connects us all.” 

Saudi singer and YouTube star Zena Emad took home the coveted Favorite New Face in Music award. Her fellow Saudi nominee, Ayed Yousef, told Arab News: “Being in the Joy Awards and being a part of Riyadh Season is a huge honor for me. Tonight, I have seen all the stars of the Arab world.”

Yousef was not exaggerating. Some of the biggest names in Middle Eastern music took to the stage to perform during the ceremony, including Kadim Al-Sahir, Hany Shaker, Mohammed Abdu, Elissa, Majid Al-Mohandis, and Assala Nasri.

Among the international winners was Bollywood star Salman Khan, who won the Personality of the Year award.  

“I’m excited and I’m happy. That love that you get from the fans all over the world? I really appreciate and treasure that,” Khan said.

“It’s been a very long, but very quick, journey,” the 56-year-old actor said of his career. “I think I was only about 18 or 19 when I signed my first film.”

Following an In Memoriam section, posthumous achievement awards were given to Egyptian entertainer Samir Ghanem and his wife, the actress Dalal Abdel Aziz, who both died last year. Their daughters, who are also actresses, received the awards from Al-Sheikh.

Saudi actor and writer Khalid Abdulaziz told Arab News that he would never forget the night.

“To be a part of Riyadh Season for the first time was a huge step in my career and the things I am seeing at the Joy Awards tonight are extraordinary,” he said. 


Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’

Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’
Updated 19 May 2022

Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’

Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’
  • Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji said the KSA’s foreign policy attaches great importance to enhancing security and stability

RIYADH: A Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs official confirmed Wednesday that the Kingdom had taken crucial steps to enhance food security, put forward strategies to promote food growth and face climate change and water scarcity. 

Waleed Al-Khuraiji, Saudi deputy minister of foreign affairs, said these measures contributed to improving food security indicators in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the Global Food Security Call to Action meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday, Al-Khuraiji said that the food security challenge proves that sustainable recovery depends on international cooperation.

He said despite progress in the development process, achieving the 2030 SDG (social development goals) had become extremely difficult, as global expectations and indicators show a deviation in the path towards achieving the second goal of the program, which includes the eradication of hunger.

“Among the global health challenges are the spread of pandemics, as the spread of the COVID-19 revealed to us the fragility of the international system in combating a virus that is not visible to the naked eye, which led to severe consequences that affected societies and economies,” Al-Khuraiji said, adding  that this affected people’s lives, their livelihood and declining economic indicators.

He said Saudi Arabia led a global response to the pandemic that accompanied the Kingdom’s G20 presidency, as it supported global efforts to confront this pandemic with $500 million, in addition to providing $300 million to help countries’ efforts to address the pandemic.

“The Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 focused within sustainable development efforts on building a sustainable agricultural sector, strengthening sectors that support food systems, developing systems and improving agricultural productivity, and worked to strengthen research and innovation capabilities to ensure sustainable progress in food security,” Al-Khuraiji said.

In this regard, he said Saudi Arabia presented crucial initiatives to the region and the world, and had created a road map for facing environmental challenges. These intuitive include the Saudi Green Initiative the Middle East Green Initiative, and the circular carbon economy initiative.

Al-Khuraiji said the  Kingdom’s foreign policy attached great importance to enhancing security and stability, supporting dialogue and peaceful solutions, and providing conditions that support development and achieve people’s aspirations for a better tomorrow, weather in the Middle East or the world.

He added Saudi Arabia had always reiterated its commitment to helping the disadvantaged and countries hit by natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

“The Kingdom is the largest donor of humanitarian and development aid at the Arab and Islamic levels, and is one of the top three donors at the international level,” he said. 


Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation

Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation
Updated 19 May 2022

Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation

Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation
  • Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid says the meeting was organized upon Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives

RIYADH: Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of defense, on Wednesday met the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The pair reviewed the Saudi-US partnership, and ongoing and future strategic military and defense cooperation between the Kingdom and US.

Prince Khalid expressed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for the close cooperation between the two countries' defense bodies to achieve the two sides’ common interests and enhance security and peace regionally and internationally.

 

 

He also said that the meeting was organized based on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives.

Prince Khalid and US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, then, co-headed the Saudi-US joint strategic planning committee meeting.

The Saudi and US defense delegations join a photo session after their meeting in Washington on May 18, 2022. (SPA)

The meeting discussed regional and international developments, and a number of issues on defending common interests and global security and stability.

The meeting was attended by Gen. Fayyadh bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Saudi Chief of General Staff, and other Saudi and US senior officials.


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.