Ithra and Saudia launch art design competition

Ithra and Saudia launch art design competition
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The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and national carrier Saudia have launched an art design competition, with the winning entry to adorn one of Saudia’s aircraft. (Supplied)
Ithra and Saudia launch art design competition
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The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and national carrier Saudia have launched an art design competition, with the winning entry to adorn one of Saudia’s aircraft. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 June 2022

Ithra and Saudia launch art design competition

Ithra and Saudia launch art design competition
  • The competition is part of Ithra and Saudia's efforts to support local art talent and provide global platforms for people to show off their creativity and skill

JEDDAH: The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and national carrier Saudia have launched an art design competition, with the winning entry to adorn one of Saudia’s aircraft.

The competition is part of Ithra and Saudia's efforts to support local art talent and provide global platforms for people to show off their creativity and skill. The competition runs from June 6 until July 23.

Ithra said the winner would be announced in August.

Entrants are encouraged to draw inspiration from the center’s slogan “Inspire Your World” when creating their designs.

A jury panel of Saudi experts and creatives will assess all the submitted works. 

The competition judging committee comprises Ammar Alabdali, the general manager of the airline’s branding department, renowned Saudi artist Luluwah Al-Homoud, whose works have been included in international exhibitions, Haya Saad Al-Yahya, a graphic design and multimedia lecturer at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, Suliman Al-Fulaij, partner and CEO of Shift marketing agency, and Meaad Al-Khathlan, a representative from the branding division at Ithra.

Yousef Al-Mutairi, head of Ithra’s communication and partnerships division, said the center was excited to team up with Saudia as part of the two sides’ long-term cooperation to provide dynamic collaboration initiatives in the Kingdom.

“This exciting competition presents the abundant talent pool we have here in the Kingdom, with a creative opportunity to make their mark. Ithra is committed to advancing the Kingdom’s creative sector and nurturing its talent by providing impact-driven opportunities showcasing the imagination, innovation, and creativity of these talented individuals across global platforms,” Al-Mutairi said.

Every year, Ithra launches open calls for submissions by Saudi and Saudi-based artists as well as by artists from the Arab world. 

It is the driving force behind several key programs supporting the country’s creative community, while Saudia also participates in national and cultural events. 

During key moments, including Saudi National Day and the G20 Summit, it proudly displayed relevant artwork across its fleet.

Saudia’s group chief marketing officer Khaled bin Abdulgader Tash said the airline was thrilled to be part of the competition.

“We always support such events and occasions all over the Kingdom, and we are often the first to provide support for creative events such as this one. Our aircraft are the ideal billboards for displaying Saudi creativity to the world,” Tash said.

Ithra and Saudia signed a memorandum of understanding last September at the Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah.

It included cooperation and strategic agreements, such as displaying Ithra’s logo on a Saudia plane.


Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark
Updated 29 January 2023

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Saturday strongly condemned the burning of copies of the Qur’an by extremists in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, “in a new provocative step to the sentiment of millions of Muslims around the world.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the Kingdom’s position, which “strongly rejects all these blatant acts that have unfortunately been repeated in several European capitals recently, under the pretext of freedom of expression, without a clear reaction toward stopping these practices.”

The Kingdom called on all European governments in which these extremist violations occurred, to urgently address all these practices that contribute to fueling hatred and conflict between followers of religions, the ministry said in a statement.

Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist who holds both Danish and Swedish citizenship, already infuriated the Muslim world by staging a Qur’an-burning protest in Sweden on January 21. On Friday, Paludan replicated the stunt in front of a mosque as well as the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen and vowed to continue every Friday until Sweden is admitted into NATO.

Several regional and international organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Muslim World League, Arab Parliament and Gulf Cooperation Council, also issued statements strongly denouncing the incident, along with Pakistan, Jordan, Turkiye and Oman.


Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation

Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation
Updated 29 January 2023

Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation

Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation
  • They also discussed opportunities in renewable energy, clean hydrogen, and electrical interconnection

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman held a meeting on Saturday with French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire in the capital, Riyadh, the state-run SPA news agency reported.

The two ministers praised the relations between their two countries and discussed prospects for cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

They also discussed future opportunities in various energy fields, including areas of cooperation in renewable energy, clean hydrogen, and electrical interconnection.


Body of Saudi student killed in US to be flown home

Al-Waleed Abdullah Al-Gheraibi
Al-Waleed Abdullah Al-Gheraibi
Updated 29 January 2023

Body of Saudi student killed in US to be flown home

Al-Waleed Abdullah Al-Gheraibi
  • The victim’s uncle, Mohammed Al-Gheraibi, told Saudi media outlet Sabq that the accused lived in the same building as his nephew and fled the scene after the attack

RIYADH: The body of a 25-year-old Saudi student stabbed to death in Philadelphia in the US will be returned home to his family, the Saudi Embassy in Washington has said.

Al-Waleed Al-Gheraibi died after an attack alleged carried out by 19-year-old US citizen Nicole Marie Rodgers on Jan. 23 in a shared property in Germantown, Philadelphia.

Police said that the student’s valuables were stolen along with his mobile phone.

Rodgers faces charges of theft, murder and possession of a weapon, police said.

HIGHLIGHT

Al-Waleed Abdullah Al-Gheraibi died after an attack allegedly carried out by 19-year-old US citizen Nicole Marie Rodgers on Jan. 23 in a shared property in Germantown, Philadelphia.

The victim’s uncle, Mohammed Al-Gheraibi, told Saudi media outlet Sabq that the accused lived in the same building as his nephew and fled the scene after the attack.

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the US, extended her condolences to Al-Gheraibi’s family and offered “full assistance to them during this painful time.”

In a statement on Friday, the Washington embassy said that it “has followed with great sadness and sorrow, from the first day, in coordination with the Kingdom’s Consulate General in New York, the circumstances of the killing of citizen Al-Waleed Abdullah Al-Gheraibi.”

The embassy said that the accused is under investigation, and expressed its appreciation for US security authorities’ help since the incident.

 

 


Sri Lankan foreign minister’s trip to Saudi Arabia yields ‘positive vibes’

Sri Lankan Minister Ali Sabry met with several Saudi officials and ministers during his recent visit to the Kingdom. (AN photo b
Updated 28 January 2023

Sri Lankan foreign minister’s trip to Saudi Arabia yields ‘positive vibes’

Sri Lankan Minister Ali Sabry met with several Saudi officials and ministers during his recent visit to the Kingdom. (AN photo b
  • Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia sign double tax avoidance deal to boost trade, investment
  • Framework agreement with GCC in the works

RIYADH: Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry has held talks with ministers and senior officials in Saudi Arabia, as the crisis-hit island nation seeks to boost cooperation with the Kingdom and other Gulf countries.

Sabry met with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, and CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development Sultan Al-Marshad, as well as officials from the Islamic Development Bank.

Sabry said that his visit to the Kingdom was “successful and that it will further cement and strengthen the bilateral relationship between our two countries as we see a lot of positive vibes that have been infused into our relations.”

Talks between the two foreign ministers covered enhancement of bilateral relations, increased investment with Sri Lanka as a gateway to South Asia, and employment for Sri Lankans in the Kingdom.

HIGHLIGHT

Ali Sabry, the Sri Lankan minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the double tax avoidance deal with the Kingdom’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority to boost trade and investment. Sri Lanka is said to be facing the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948.

“Saudis have identified Sri Lanka as a very important geographical location, so (there are) investment opportunities in renewable energy, petroleum and hospitality industries,” Sabry said.

“We are interested in getting Saudi investment into the renewable energy sector for development, energy security and making Sri Lanka a regional energy hub.”

Discussions also took place around resuming airline services between Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka following their suspension during the global pandemic.

In a bid to enhance trade and investment relations between both countries, the visiting minister “signed a double tax avoidance agreement with the Zakat and Income Tax Authority here” to prevent fiscal evasion on income.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with the government battling a shortage of foreign earnings, runaway inflation and recession.

The Sri Lankan minister thanked the Kingdom for its help with debt restructuring at the International Monetary Fund and Paris Club.

The Paris Club of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s currency crisis.

Sri Lanka is also in discussions with the IMF to secure a $2.9 billion bailout seen as vital to getting its economy back on track.

Sabry highlighted Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka’s long-standing relations and the former’s support in international forums.

“Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia have been traditional friends for a long period of time. To strengthen bilateral relationship, particularly in the multilateral fora — the UN and other agencies — we have to support each other,” he said.  

“They (Saudis) have been supporting us when we have been cornered unfairly by some powers for no reason. They have stood by us time and again. So we need to strengthen that relationship.”

Sabry and Al-Marshad discussed development issues of common interest, and the Sri Lankan minister praised the Kingdom’s efforts in developing infrastructure in Sri Lanka through SFD projects.

The minister’s meeting with Al-Hajraf focused on ties between Sri Lanka and the GCC.

“GCC is very important. We are looking at signing a framework agreement with the GCC, we want to expedite it as soon as possible,” Sabry said.

On his discussions with Taha and OIC observer status, Sabry said: “They are exploring the possibility of observer status, but we haven’t made the decision yet. Traditionally, we have had good relationships.”

Sabry also reassured Taha about the conditions of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

 


Sensational Pakistani singer delights Jeddah audience with hit songs

Pakistani music star Kaifi Khalil performed at a concert held on Jan. 26 at the WA Hotel in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Pakistani music star Kaifi Khalil performed at a concert held on Jan. 26 at the WA Hotel in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Updated 29 January 2023

Sensational Pakistani singer delights Jeddah audience with hit songs

Pakistani music star Kaifi Khalil performed at a concert held on Jan. 26 at the WA Hotel in Jeddah. (Supplied)
  • Speaking to Arab News, Khalil said: “My excitement hit the roof when I first learned that I will be performing in Saudi Arabia. I cannot describe this moment and the love I have received from the time I stepped into the country”

JEDDAH: Rising Pakistani music star Kaifi Khalil captivated audience members at a concert held on Jan. 26 at the WA Hotel in Jeddah.

The singer enjoyed a rapid rise to fame thanks to his mesmerizing vocals and soulful music. During the concert, he performed recent release “Kahani Suno 2.0” — which hit global world charts last year — along with other desi, folk and Sufi songs.

Speaking to Arab News, Khalil said the amount of love and warmth shown from the audience in Jeddah at his first international concert was “spectacular,” adding: “I had promised myself to fill the evening with a rendition of all my songs and tried my best to make sure every single person had a good time.”

Pakistani music star Kaifi Khalil performed at a concert held on Jan. 26 at the WA Hotel in Jeddah. (Supplied)

He said: “My excitement hit the roof when I first learned that I will be performing in Saudi Arabia. I cannot describe this moment and the love I have received from the time I stepped into the country.”

Although he has performed many times back in Pakistan, Khalil was overwhelmed to see the response from an international audience, which has inspired him to return to the Kingdom.

The constant cheering from the crowd was pure magic. When the performance was coming to an end, it dawned on me that everything that I felt was so precious that I will cherish it forever.

Kaifi Khalil

“The constant cheering from the crowd was pure magic. When the performance was coming to an end, it dawned on me that everything that I felt was so precious that I will cherish it forever,” he said.

After Khalil’s music went viral last year, the singer became an inspiration to many, with children, teenagers and adults attending in the Jeddah concert.

One concertgoer described the event as a “magical night,” adding: “I don’t know how many times I have listened to Kaifi Khalil’s songs. To watch him perform live was a dream come true moment. He has such a soulful voice that made the entire hall sing along with him.”

Mohammed Abdullah, another fan, said: “I was so excited to experience the vibe and music of Kaifi Khalil. He is totally a gem in the music industry. Besides, I would like to extend gratitude to the organizers for the very well executed event as we could watch him clearly from our seats.”

Alongside Khalil, the event also included versatile singers Abida Hussain and Saleem Rifiq.

Nosheen Waseem, founder of Nosheen Arts Culture Center, which oversaw the concert, said that the center aim to take the entertainment industry in the Kingdom to the “next level.” The event was organized to mark the successful completion of the first year of NACC, which involved organizing a range of nonprofit events.

Salman Lodhi and Talha Abdul Ghafoor, who organized the event, said: “The turnout was incredible — around 300 people attended the musical night. The atmosphere was electric. Everyone had a great time and the audience was on their feet for the entire performance.”