Spark offers bright online window for artists’ Saudi cultural creations

Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists' creative expressions into custom-made products. (Supplied)
Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists' creative expressions into custom-made products. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 19 June 2022

Spark offers bright online window for artists’ Saudi cultural creations

Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists' creative expressions into custom-made products. (Supplied)
  • Bahaa Gazzaz is leveraging the social buzz around popular art adorning clothing, bags, cellphone covers
  • ‘Let’s just say, I got sparked and after many trials and errors, the business debuted in 2016’

RIYADH: A local entrepreneur has come up with the bright idea of providing an online store for the increasingly popular work of artists showcasing Saudi culture.

With many Saudis proudly wearing or displaying culturally embedded prints and logos on clothing, cellphone covers, bags and wall art, Bahaa Gazzaz, the owner of the website Spark, saw an opportunity to market and sell these artistic creations.




Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists' creative expressions into custom-made products. It's a marketplace for trailblazers as well as a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives. (Supplied)

Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. It’s a marketplace for trailblazers and a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives, he said.

“It came about in 2013 during a business trip I took to China. Let’s just say, I got sparked. Three years down the line, with many trials and errors, Spark made its debut in 2016,” Gazzaz told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHTS

• With many Saudis proudly wearing or displaying culturally embedded prints and logos on clothing, cellphone covers, bags and wall art, Bahaa Gazzaz, the owner of the website Spark, saw an opportunity to market and sell these artistic creations.

• Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. It’s a marketplace for trailblazers and a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives.

Many talented designers are benefiting financially from their designs without the worry of printing, shipping and other logistics because Spark does the job for them.




All of Spark’s products are custom-made and printed on demand in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)

“Local designers are benefiting financially from Spark by enabling them to monetize their skills as … artist(s). Understanding how their creative expressions can relate to customers, thus makes a sale.” The site has over 50,000 registered users including artists from Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world, Gazzaz said.

He said the launch of Spark was the hardest part of getting the business off the ground.

 “As a business owner, you have to understand that your brand is up for a ride of constant change cultivated by your customers and fueled by your passion. And it starts when you hit the launch button. It will always linger in your head if your product/brand can be better? The answer is always going to be ‘yes.’ Don’t let that stop you, and just roll the ball.”




Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists' creative expressions into custom-made products. It's a marketplace for trailblazers as well as a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives. (Supplied)

All of Spark’s products are custom-made and printed on demand in the Kingdom. Customers buy products they can relate to, and they often return to make more purchases, he said.

He said an entrepreneur has to encounter and overcome setbacks; and encouraged artists to use his business to showcase their work. “Let the customers decide.”

For more information, visit his website at https://sparknow.com/


Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
  • Lama Al-Ahdal scooped medals in Physics Olympiads and made her country proud

JEDDAH: Prizewinning Saudi student Lama Al-Ahdal, who has been scooping medals at Physics Olympiads, says her competition success motivates her to continue with her passion and achieve great things for the Kingdom.

She won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad, a bronze at the International Physics Olympiad, and a bronze at the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad.

Al-Ahdal spoke to the Saudi Press Agency about the beginning of her journey in the Physics Olympiad through the Mawhoob Competition, which she took part in several times.

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“I started attending basic courses in Jeddah, through which I qualified and passed the required tests. I was nominated for the Winter Forum at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, then trained with the physics team, from which a number of students in the Kingdom would qualify to form the Saudi team for the Physics Olympiad.

HIGHLIGHT

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“At the beginning of 2019, we underwent intense eight-hour training, both remotely and at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, to prepare for international competitions. I learned how to calculate the strength of the Earth's magnetic field using a string and two pieces of magnets, how electricity can be generated by heating two pieces of metal, how to measure the thickness of a candy wrapper using a laser, and other scientific experiments.

“The top five students were then nominated to represent the Kingdom, and thankfully I made it and snatched the gold medal in the Gulf Physics Olympiad, the bronze medal in the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad, and the bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad.”

Joining the Saudi physics team and undergoing training helped her to discover that physics was a beautiful subject. “I learned a lot from it and the Olympiad experience.”

Her participation increased her skills and developed her thinking by getting to know competitors from different countries.

“I also developed my time management skills since the training continued even during school days. My father and mother had a major role in helping me achieve my goals and encouraging me to try new things to gain more skills and learn more,” she said.

Setting a specific goal and working to achieve it was the most important thing that motivated her to take up the challenge and try new things.

Her father, Abdul Rahman Al-Ahdal, said his daughter’s journey was full of scientific challenges.

“She has always been a talented child and a bright student, with a  promising future ahead of her. God blessed her with a group of highly experienced trainers and supervisors. It is important to focus and draw a plan and work to achieve it.

“I thank King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, and everyone responsible for helping the sons and daughters of the Kingdom partake in forums of creativity, innovation and scientific Olympiad, and other scientific activities.”


Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
  • The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season

TAIF: Visitors from all over the Kingdom and the Gulf are flocking to Taif this summer to get respite from the heat and rejuvenate in the region’s mountains.

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape, several of which are also working farms or have beautiful gardens planted with the famous Taif roses and wild plants including basil, al-baitran, and marjoram.

Tourists and visitors can also stay in cozy, rural hostels made of old stone ornamented with carvings and sculptures of animals, where they can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys of Taif, which are home to a variety of rare birds.

The city and other nearby areas such as Al-Hada and Al-Shifa are also famous for their fruits.

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

Besides basking in nature, visitors to Taif can also visit museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, a strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles.

 


 


Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
  • The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Armed Forces and US Marine Corps on Saturday launched a joint training exercise along the Red Sea coast in the western city of Yanbu, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said.

The “Outrageous Anger 22” exercise was inaugurated in the presence of Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Dibais, commander of the western sector, and Maj. Gen. Paul Rock, commander of the Marine Corps at the US Central Command, as well as senior officers from the Saudi armed forces and US Army.

An inspection tour included sites where the two forces will conduct the joint operations.

Col. Saud Al-Aqili, commander of the exercise, said that it aims to rehearse implementation of bilateral operational and logistical plans, exchange expertise between the two sides, and develop complementary work with civil authorities.

Col. Matthew Hakula, commander of the US forces, said that the joint maneuvers will raise combat readiness, as well as strengthen compatibility between Saudi and US troops.

The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition.


Saudi Arabia’s Ihsan revises donation charge for services

Ehsan.sa/Supplied
Ehsan.sa/Supplied
Updated 13 August 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Ihsan revises donation charge for services

Ehsan.sa/Supplied
  • The Ihsan platform is continuing efforts to develop quality services and programs to facilitate donations to beneficiaries with complete transparency

RIYADH: The National Platform for Charitable Work, Ihsan, has revised its minimum donation for Tyassarat and Forijat services to SR1 ($0.27) on its website and application.

The move aims to encourage members of society to support charitable cases as per their financial capacity.

The Tyassarat service allows donations toward citizens’ judicial bills, while the Forijat service allows contributions for those convicted in non-criminal financial cases, in order to help convicts return to their families after clearing their dues.

Previously, the minimum donation for the Tyassarat service was SR50, with the Forijat service requiring SR10.

The Ihsan platform is continuing efforts to develop quality services and programs to facilitate donations to beneficiaries with complete transparency.

Total donations received since Ihsan’s launch in March 2021 have exceeded SR2.534 billion, benefiting more than 4.8 million men and women.

 


Saudi Arabia reports 106 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

68 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
68 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 106 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

68 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
  • 3,886 COVID-19 cases were still active, adding that 6,376 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to almost 44 million

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia reported 106 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the total number of cases in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic grew to 811,853.

The authorities also confirmed three new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 9,269.

Of the new infections, 28 were recorded in Riyadh, 19 in Jeddah, 14 in Dammam, 5 in Makkah and 4 in Madinah. Several other cities recorded fewer than 20 new cases each.

The ministry also announced that 134 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic to 798,698.

It said that 3,886 COVID-19 cases were still active, adding that 6,376 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to almost 44 million.

The ministry said that of the current cases, 2 were in critical condition.

Nearly 68 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign began, with more than 25 million people fully vaccinated.

The ministry, which has 587 vaccine centers across the country, urged people who had not yet received a jab to register for a series of injections through the Sehhaty app.