A place called home: Artists reveal their favorite places at 21,39 Jeddah Arts 

A place called home: Artists reveal their favorite places at 21,39 Jeddah Arts 
21,39 Jeddah Arts features the work of 27 artists from the Kingdom and other countries. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 March 2022

A place called home: Artists reveal their favorite places at 21,39 Jeddah Arts 

A place called home: Artists reveal their favorite places at 21,39 Jeddah Arts 
  • Curated by Venetia Porter under the title ‘Amakin,’ the exhibition began with work from two pioneers of Saudi art, Safeya Binzagr and late Abdulhalim Radwi

JEDDAH: The Saudi Art Council has announced this year’s 21,39 Jeddah Arts, a program of special exhibitions, workshops, and educational forums that are being held across Jeddah through June featuring the work of 27 artists from the Kingdom and other countries.

The exhibition will then be hosted by Ithra, in Dhahran, from June 30 until the end of September.

This year’s program was curated by Venetia Porter under the title “Amakin.” 

It was inspired by a lyric from the popular Saudi singer Mohamed Abdo: “Al-amakin kullaha mushtaqah lak” or “all the places long for you.”

Porter asked contributing artists to take visitors into their “makan, a place you love … somewhere real or in your imagination.”

The art historian and curator said that “it all fell into place” the minutes she heard the song.

“Evolving during the global COVID pandemic, when home, dreams, and imagination became a lifeline out of isolation, the resulting works by 27 artists, both special commissions and loans, are especially poignant. 

“Expressed through different mediums including neon, painting, artists’ books, sculpture, photography, poetry and film, the narrative explores each artist’s relationship to their own makan.”

The exhibition began on March 3 in Jeddah with work from two pioneers of Saudi art, Safeya Binzagr and the late Abdulhalim Radwi. 

Now 82, Jeddah native Binzagr is the only artist in the country to have opened her own museum, while Radwi is well-known for his striking and memorable sculptures on the Jeddah Corniche.

In other works connected to Jeddah, there is a fantastical film set in the city by Mohammed Hammad, and photographs evoking the historic Al-Balad district by Emy Kat and Reem Al-Faisal. 

Bashaer Hawsawi highlights the heterogeneous nature of the city through many textiles from all over the world that can be found in Al-Balad.

From Jeddah, Bader Awwad AlBalawi takes us to North Khobar, documenting the changing nature of the city. Talib Almarri invites us to his makan at the dreamy lake of Al-Asfar. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This year’s theme ‘Amakin’ was inspired by a lyric from the popular Saudi singer Mohamed Abdo: ‘Al-amakin kullaha mushtaqah lak’ or ‘all the places long for you.’
  • Venetia Porter asked contributing artists to take visitors into their ‘makan, a place you love … somewhere real or in your imagination.’

Ali Cherri introduces us to Sultan Zeib Khan who guards an ancient necropolis in the Sharjah desert, and Gaza-born Taysir Batniji’s poignant photographs tell a personal story of the idea of home.

Ancient Arabia is highlighted through the Mu’allaqat — the famous poems reputed to have hung on the walls of the Kaaba at Makkah, and which were the inspiration for the first 21,39 Jeddah Arts, in a painting by Dia al-Azzawi. Catalina Swinburn has unpicked and re-woven archaeological textbooks, while Shadia Alem’s drawings of the fabled Jinniyat of Lar are inspired by a story by her sister, the writer Raja Alem.

In choosing and commissioning the works for the exhibition, Porter was strongly drawn to artists who worked with paper. 

“I am fascinated by the process of drawing and printing, the beauty of handmade paper, the phenomenon of the artist’s book and how artists work with poetry to express the idea of makan.” 




The exhibition began on March 3 in Jeddah and will continue until June. It will then be hosted by Ithra, in Dhahran, from June 30 until the end of September.

Imran Qureshi uses the traditional techniques of the Mughal painters to tell contemporary stories. Sara Abdu paints with henna and Badr Ali explores printmaking.

Obadah Aljefri is inspired by his childhood notebooks. Asma Bahmim evokes the placing of texts in her aunt’s house in Al-Balad. Manal AlDowayan turns a medieval text on healing into ceramic scrolls.

Poetry also plays a central role in this year’s work. Hussein AlMohsen is inspired by the poems of Ghassan Alkhunaizi, while the sculptural forms of the books of Al-Azzawi, Ghassan Ghaib and Nazar Yahya filled with poetry are a reminder of the destruction heaped upon Baghdad, the city which also haunts Sadik Alfraji which he brings to mind in the story of a single tree on a Baghdad street or in his animated film “Ali’s Boat.”

Lujain Faqerah makes books that represent “places of stillness, somewhere quiet,” and Muhannad Shono makes his book out of sand because “sand chooses which stories to tell and which secrets to hide.”

In the final work in the exhibition Aisha Khalid takes us to her makan, Makkah, the richly embroidered textiles recalling the Kiswa, the fabric that clothes the Kaaba.


Saudi Cabinet calls on international community to confront Iranian violations

Saudi Cabinet calls on international community to confront Iranian violations
Updated 49 min 20 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet calls on international community to confront Iranian violations

Saudi Cabinet calls on international community to confront Iranian violations

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday renewed calls on the international community to stand up against all Iranian violations. 

The Cabinet also reiterated the kingdom’s full rejection to all attacks that threaten the security and stability of Iraq. 

The session was chaired by King Salman at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

During the meeting the Cabinet also approved a Memorandum of Cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the British government and Northern Ireland in the energy sector. 


KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh

KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh
Updated 04 October 2022

KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh

KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh

RIYADH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) concluded on Saturday the voluntary medical program to combat blindness and its diseases in Nawabganj Town, Bangladesh. 
The project came within ‘Noor Saudi Arabia’ voluntary program.
Since its beginning, the KSRelief’s voluntary medical team has medically examined 4,610 cases, distributed 1,616 glasses, and performed 519 successful cataract surgeries.
This campaign is part of the voluntary projects, implemented by the KSRelief in several countries, with the aim of providing treatment to people with limited income.


KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon

KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon
Updated 04 October 2022

KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon

KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) continued to provide assistance to people in disaster-hit areas and refugee camps.
Various relief aid was distributed to those affected by the floods in Pakistan with as many as 1,360 food baskets distributed, which benefited 9,520 people.
These efforts come within the Saudi relief airlift operations that have been dispatched, under the directives of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
Similarly, KSRelief distributed 455 food baskets in Khartoum, Sudan – or translated to 2,503 individual recipients – as part of programmed efforts to help needy families in the country this year.
KSRelief also distributed on Saturday 675 food baskets in the Arsal region of Lebanon, which benefited 3,375 people under the food security effort for Palestinian and Syrian refugees as well the host community there.


SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen

SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen
Updated 04 October 2022

SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen

SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen
  • The purpose of the forum is to contribute to raising and developing awareness toward cultural heritage, as well as to protect it from extinction

Al-MAHRA, Yemen: On Mahri Language Day, the Mahri Forum was held at Qishn School, Al-Mahra governorate, with the participation of the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen.

The purpose of the forum is to contribute to raising and developing awareness toward cultural heritage, as well as to protect it from extinction.

The SDRPY participation comes with reference to strengthening ties between both countries, as well as supporting culture in Yemen.

“We wish Yemen all the best, and may it recover within a secure, prosperous, and stable environment. May Yemen be able to contribute to the projects and initiatives hosted by the SDRPY, which amounted to 224 programs and initiatives in total, including more than 50 projects in Al-Mahra, with the purpose of improving its daily life and raising the efficiency of infrastructure in various sectors,” said Abdullah Basilman, director of the SDRPY’s program office in Al-Mahra.

Mahri is a Semitic language like Soqotri and Shehri, among others. SDRPY aims to contribute to the revival of the Mahri language and avoid its extinction through its participation in the forum.


Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims

Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims
Updated 03 October 2022

Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims

Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, represented by the social, voluntary and humanitarian services, has launched the “Tawqeer” (elderly care) initiative, through which several programs and services are provided for elderly people to enable them to perform rituals in ease and comfort, enriching their experience.

Two Holy Mosques chief Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais affirmed the presidency’s keenness to provide the best social, voluntary and humanitarian services to pilgrims while applying preventive measures, following health instructions and providing visitors with a safe and healthy environment in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.