Saudis enjoy home decorating for Ramadan

Many Saudis and expats flocked to exhibitions and local markets selling Ramadan decorations to buy their favorite items to decorate their homes, while others availed great Ramadan deals online. (Supplied)
Many Saudis and expats flocked to exhibitions and local markets selling Ramadan decorations to buy their favorite items to decorate their homes, while others availed great Ramadan deals online. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 April 2022

Saudis enjoy home decorating for Ramadan

Many Saudis and expats flocked to exhibitions and local markets selling Ramadan decorations to buy their favorite items to decorate their homes, while others availed great Ramadan deals online. (Supplied)
  • Demand for Ramadan-themed decorations, fabrics have skyrocketed this year following the pandemic

JEDDAH: Each year before the holy month begins, women in Saudi Arabia dress up their homes with the trendiest Ramadan-themed decorations.

Samer Musa, a Ramadan decoration shop owner in Al-Balad, told Arab News that demand has skyrocketed this year, following the pandemic.

“Usually, demand begins to reach its peak two weeks prior to Ramadan, but since there are fewer social distancing restrictions this year, sales started to increase significantly a month ago,” he said.

Popular decoration items include lanterns of varying sizes and colors, twinkle lights, crescent moons, textile products like the “shkaly,” a vintage printed fabric with a distinctive bright pink rose, and “khayamiya,” a fabric bearing geometric and curvilinear arabesque patterns.

Musa said that the trendiest items this year are “golden metal lanterns, printed cushions and retro Egyptian cartoon figures such as Bakkar, Buji, Tamtam, and others.”

Trendiest items this year are golden metal lanterns, printed cushions and retro Egyptian cartoon figures such as Bakkar, Buji, Tamtam, and others.

Samer Musa, Shop owner in Al-Balad

Decorations can be bought online or from stores such as CenterPoint, IKEA, SACO, and Al Hadaya Center, which have separate sections for Ramadan-themed party items and decorations.

Nema Fadhel, a mother of five and a collector of Ramadan lanterns, said that she prepares her Ramadan decorations two months in advance.

“I have a collection of 15 lanterns, and the collection is still growing. Usually, I bring them from Egypt and Jordan and stores like Al Hadaya Center as well as Al-Balad as they offer the best trending collections of lanterns, twinkle lights, straw baskets and candles. To guarantee getting a unique lantern, I order from Instagram shops,” she said.

In addition to bringing a cheerful atmosphere to the home, Ramadan decorations motivate kids to stick to their fasting, Fadhel said.

“I make sure to make some decorations from scratch with my kids. It is a way to instill the love of this month within them, and it helps us as parents to familiarize them with the concept of fasting,” Fadhel said.

“Gargee’an” is another common Ramadan celebration in some Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia. The festive event, which takes place on the 15th night of the Islamic month of Sha’ban and on the 15th night of Ramadan, requires much in the way of decorating and preparations.

Usually, ladies and kids dress up in Ramadan jalabiyas and distribute Ramadan-themed giveaways and sweets to each other.

With Ramadan just a few days away, Al-Harthi Exhibition Center in Jeddah, which was turned into a COVID-19 vaccination center, opened its doors for the first time since the start of the pandemic two years ago.

Manal Mubarak, one of the visitors, told Arab News: “I like to come here every year, and I am so glad that we can enjoy Ramadan decoration shopping again after two years of pandemic.”

Mubarak has a corner in her living room dedicated to Ramadan decorations.

“I like to renew my Ramadan decoration every year, and this year I am mesmerized by the lanterns, tables and trays at the exhibition center. The cushions also are so beautiful,” she said.

Families can shop the exhibition, open until April 2, for the best Ramadan decorations, clothes and food items, including many Egyptian and local products.


People with disabilities take the stage at Gulf Theatre Festival

People with disabilities take the stage at Gulf Theatre Festival
Updated 04 December 2022

People with disabilities take the stage at Gulf Theatre Festival

People with disabilities take the stage at Gulf Theatre Festival
  • Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi said: “The initiatives, programs and projects offered to people with disabilities in the Kingdom reflect our wise leadership’s interest in this group … and the achievement of equal opportunities for them”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is currently hosting the sixth Gulf Theater Festival for People with Disabilities at the Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University Conference Center in Riyadh.

The nine-day festival, organized by the Authority for Persons with Disabilities, began on Friday, Dec. 2 and will feature six theatrical performances from the GCC alongside interactive events and theater workshops.

Eng. Ahmad bin Sulaiman AlRajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, caressing a child with disability during the opening ceremony of the Sixth Gulf Theater Festival for People with Disabilities organized by the Authority of People with Disabilities in Riyadh. (SPA)

The festival aims to promote inclusivity, and boost awareness, of people with disabilities.

Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, minister of human resources and social development, said: “The initiatives, programs and projects offered to people with disabilities in the Kingdom reflect our wise leadership’s interest in this group … and the achievement of equal opportunities for them.”  

The Kingdom is hosting this session for the first time, with the aim of discovering and developing the talents of our sons and daughters with disabilities in the GCC in the fields of arts and increasing their participation in cultural events.

Ahmad Al-Rajhi, Saudi minister of human resources and social development

He added: “The Kingdom is hosting this session for the first time, with the aim of discovering and developing the talents of our sons and daughters with disabilities in the GCC in the fields of arts and increasing their participation in cultural events.”

Alanoud Alfaqeer, the supervisor of the sixth Gulf Theatre Festival for People with Disabilities, General Manager of Partnerships and Cooperations at APD. (Supplied)

Alanoud Al-Faqeer, the supervisor of the festival, said: “Theater is one of the mechanisms through which the awareness of the public can be raised. Theater helps showcase talents and motivate people with disabilities to integrate into society.”

“Saudi Arabia welcomes all people with disabilities … all arrangements have been made to contribute to the festival’s success and provide support to all participants to showcase their performances in an amazing manner,” she added.

The director of the executive office of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Amer Al-Hajri, called for greater efforts to empower people with disabilities by providing them with appropriate opportunities of all kinds to show their talents.

 


Riyadh Season to launch ‘Ana Arabia’ on Saturday

Photo (@RiyadhSeason)
Photo (@RiyadhSeason)
Updated 04 December 2022

Riyadh Season to launch ‘Ana Arabia’ on Saturday

Photo (@RiyadhSeason)
  • The exhibition will feature exclusive and innovative products in fashion, jewelry, perfumes, leather and home accessories in an interactive environment

RIYADH: The exhibition “Ana Arabia” (Arabic for “I am an Arab Woman”), which highlights Arab women in design and fashion, will be launched on Saturday at Riyadh Front, one of the entertainment zones of Riyadh Season.

The exhibition will bring together Arab creators in what will be the largest gathering of its kind in the Middle East.

“Ana Arabia” will display the works of more than 200 designers from across the Arab world, allowing female designers and businesswomen to market their products and exchange experiences in the design sector.

The exhibition will feature exclusive and innovative products in fashion, jewelry, perfumes, leather and home accessories in an interactive environment.

It will also see exclusive meetings with top fashion and beauty experts to present their experiences.

The exhibition will open from 4 p.m. until midnight and will continue until Dec. 16. Tickets can be booked via the link: https://riyadhseason.sa/event-details-en.html?id=598/en_Ana_Arabiya

 

 


Saudi Heritage Commission registers 67 new historical sites

Visitors tour at majestic rock-hewn tombs of Madain Saleh near the city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Visitors tour at majestic rock-hewn tombs of Madain Saleh near the city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Updated 04 December 2022

Saudi Heritage Commission registers 67 new historical sites

Visitors tour at majestic rock-hewn tombs of Madain Saleh near the city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
  • The commission commended the efforts of citizens, whom it considers key partners in preserving the Kingdom’s heritage, and called on the public to report any discovered archeological sites through the Balagh platform

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s Heritage Commission has registered 67 new archaeological and historical sites in the National Antiquities Register, bringing the total number of registered archeological sites across the Kingdom to 8,531.

The new sites included 15 in the Northern Borders, 13 in Tabuk, 10 in Hail, nine in Jouf, five in Qasim, four sites each in Riyadh and Asir, three sites each in Madinah and Baha, and one site in Makkah.

The commission seeks to discover and officially register the Kingdom’s archeological and historical sites in the National Antiquities Register and put them on digital maps that facilitate their administration, protection and preservation.

It also aims to build a special database for registered archaeological sites and save and document works that are implemented therein, as well as archive documents and photos of the heritage sites in Saudi Arabia.

The commission commended the efforts of citizens, whom it considers key partners in preserving the Kingdom’s heritage, and called on the public to report any discovered archeological sites through the Balagh platform.

The commission is tasked with this responsibility under the second paragraph of Article 8 of the Law of Antiquities, Museums and Urban Heritage.

Under the Ministry of Culture, the commission has established a nationwide conservation strategy covering four categories: antiquities, urban heritage, handicrafts and intangible cultural heritage.

Under the patronage of UNESCO and the World Heritage Center, the International Council on Monuments and Sites has marked April 18 each year as Heritage Day, which is celebrated globally, including in Saudi Arabia.

 

 


HRDF redesigns support programs to keep pace with labor-market changes

HRDF redesigns support programs to keep pace with labor-market changes
Updated 04 December 2022

HRDF redesigns support programs to keep pace with labor-market changes

HRDF redesigns support programs to keep pace with labor-market changes

RIYADH: The Human Resources Development Fund announced on Sunday that it has redesigned its support programs under its three main pillars of guidance, training and empowerment.

The HRDF’s eight programs are now training support, work-based training, e-training, vocational guidance, functional alignment, income support, empowerment, and jobseekers assistance. 

The revamp is part of the HRDF’s new strategy, which is based on three key objectives: supporting the development of human resources in line with the needs of the labor market, increasing the efficiency of matching supply and demand for jobs, and enabling groups facing challenges to enter, or remain in, the labor market.

In an earlier statement, the HRDF explained that the new strategy will strengthen and develop its relationship with the private sector as a “key pillar to promoting development and achieving sustainability through cooperation in various areas that serve the labor market and contribute to its growth and prosperity.”

The statement continued: “We have been eager to develop our strategy, programs, and services to maintain continuous communication with business sector members.” 

According to data from the National Labor Observatory, the HRDF supported the employment of 277,000 Saudis in private sector facilities during the first nine months of 2022 at a cost of SR3.75 billion ($997.4 million).

Oqab Al-Thaqafi, an HR expert, noted that localization is one of the primary goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

“We have a large number of young Saudis who want to be a part of the transformation led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Al-Thaqafi noted. “Human resources are both a critical asset and a critical challenge in Saudi Arabia. The market (for Saudi talent) is quite competitive, which has resulted in an increased turnover in several areas in which Saudis have already reached the required level.

“Many jobs demand competitive talents rather than a specialized degree. These skills can be discovered after we have adequate programs in place,” he said.

Fuad Fallatah, a former recruiting adviser at “national labor gateway” TAQAT, said, “Human resources officers and executive directors must sustain staff” to avoid job burnout.

“It is critical for businesses to organize workshops for their employees and provide incentives to measure the impact of workshops on the quality of staff performance,” he said, noting that one option for developing staff performance was to rotate them carefully so that each employee had appropriate knowledge and skills in more than one section.

Fallatah believes that current employees should not rely on specific skills but should “constantly develop skills and take advantage of colleagues’ experiences, in addition to developing skills of their own and this should be reflected in the enterprise’s growth.”

Fallatah encouraged job seekers to research the requirements of the labor market and consider how they can increase their professional value through learning and personal development.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation calls for appropriate services for disabled persons

Hissein Brahim Taha. (Twitter @OIC_OCI)
Hissein Brahim Taha. (Twitter @OIC_OCI)
Updated 04 December 2022

Organization of Islamic Cooperation calls for appropriate services for disabled persons

Hissein Brahim Taha. (Twitter @OIC_OCI)
  • Taha called on member states to establish effective systems to collect data on disabilities and people with disabilities, to help deliver appropriate services, policies and programs

RIYADH: The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha, has called on OIC member states, relevant OIC institutions, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to intensify their efforts to provide appropriate services to people with disabilities, and to raise awareness to boost social acceptance and integration of those people.

Taha’s statement came on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which takes place every year on Dec. 3. The day aims to “promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development,” according to the United Nations website. The site goes on to say: “In line with the central premise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ‘leave no one behind,’ it is crucial for governments, public and private sectors to collaboratively find innovative solutions for and with persons with disabilities to make the world a more accessible and equitable place.”

Taha also called on member states to establish effective systems to collect data on disabilities and people with disabilities, to help deliver appropriate services, policies and programs.

The 42nd session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in Kuwait in 2015 called for the development of OIC policies on persons with special needs and persons with disabilities. The Statistical, Economic, Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries, in collaboration with the OIC, prepared a draft plan of action on the integration of persons with disabilities in the member states.

The 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Islamabad in March called for an open-ended intergovernmental group of experts meeting to review that plan of action and conclude it ahead of submission to the ministerial conference on social development.