MAKKAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal received US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah on Sunday.
They discussed topics of common interest. Asad also concurrently serves as the US representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, headquartered in Jeddah. He joined the US Department of State in 2004 as a foreign service officer.
Most recently, Faris served as political chief at the US Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from 2018-2020.
Faris’ other past assignments include assistant information officer in Amman, Jordan, and public diplomacy officer with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq.
Saudi foreign minister meets with Serbian counterpart
FM praised the 88% increase in trade between the Kingdom and Serbia in 2021 over 2020
Updated 05 October 2022
RIYADH: Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud and his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selaković held a press conference at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
During an official visit to Serbia, Prince Faisal expressed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for Serbia supporting the Kingdom’s bid to host Expo 2030,
Prince Faisal said his meeting with Selaković demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s keenness to deepen relations with Serbia.
He also emphasized the Kingdom’s support for all efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in a way that promotes international peace and security while mitigating its economic consequences.
The Saudi foreign minister praised the 88 percent increase in trade between the Kingdom and Serbia in 2021.
Selaković praised the historic visit, the first official visit by a Saudi minister of foreign affairs since the two countries’ relations began about 10 years ago.
He stated that Serbia hopes to strengthen its relationship with Saudi Arabia, especially given the remarkable progress the Kingdom has made as a result of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s development plans.
Germans celebrate Unity Day, praise Kingdom’s world peace efforts
Officials seek closer economic ties with ‘transforming’ Saudi Arabia
Oct. 3, 1990, was ‘one of the happiest days in nation’s history’
Updated 59 min 53 sec ago
RIYADH: The German Embassy in Riyadh celebrated the country’s Unity Day on Wednesday with much fanfare, with officials praising Saudi Arabia for its worldwide peace and reconciliation efforts.
Among those present were German Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dieter Lamlé and German Ambassador to Yemen Hubert Josef Jäger.
Lamlé said Oct. 3, 1990, was one of the happiest days in the nation’s history.
“I believe that there are two lessons that can be learned from the German unification for the future. First, never stop believing in the impossible in these times of global turmoil, and economic and personal hardship; the optimistic outlook is important, more than ever.”
He said Germany had the support of its allies during its unification. “Let me mention in particular President George Bush, and Mikhail Gorbachev, who died a few weeks ago. Their efforts and support to overcome the division of Germany stand as a testimony to what diplomacy, mutual trust, and international collaboration can achieve.”
“I seize this opportunity to thank the UN special envoy for Yemen and the government of Saudi Arabia for their tireless and serious effort to find a solution to the Yemen conflict,” he added.
Among those who attended was Quentin Dominique Blommaert, head of the Hydrogen Diplomacy Office in Riyadh. “His office only started at the beginning of this year, and through his office, we connect German and Saudi professionals to enhance bilateral dialogue on geopolitical aspects,” said the Lamlé.
Germany’s government is seeking to collaborate with Saudi Arabia to produce hydrogen, and has chosen Riyadh, among five cities in the world, to establish its hydrogen diplomacy offices.
On behalf of Prince Faisal bin Bandar, governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf, mayor of the region, attended the ceremony.
Lamlé lauded Saudi Arabia for the economic transformation taking place in the country.
“I am not (the) only … witness of the tremendous and very fast changes that Saudi Arabia is experiencing but my wife (too). And we were so lucky to receive your overwhelming hospitality in the last 14 months, that we hardly find anywhere (else) in the world. Thank you for your support, your trust, your experience, and your amicability, your support makes us feel at home in Saudi Arabia,” said the envoy.
Lamlé said he was looking forward to improving relations between the two countries. He said the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sept. 24, opened a new chapter in German-Saudi relations.
KSRelief provides food baskets, educational courses in 5 different countries
More than 20,537 people benefited from the 2,939 food baskets and 216 tents distributed by KSRelief in Pakistan
Updated 05 October 2022
DUBAI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has continued its humanitarian efforts in Pakistan by providing aid to people affected by the recent floods that hit the country.
More than 20,537 people benefited from the 2,939 food baskets and 216 tents distributed by KSRelief in the country on Tuesday, reported Saudi Arabia’s state agency SPA.
Similarly, 3,000 food baskets were handed out to Rohingya refugees in Balukhali camp in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar, benefiting 15,000 people in total.
In Lebanon, KSRelief also distributed 500 food baskets which benefited 2,500 Syrian refugees.
The efforts came as the relief center also signed a joint agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) to meet the nutritional needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
By completing the second phase of the initiative, KSRelief’s program managed to benefit 53,110 refugees in Jordan at a cost of $6 million.
The agreement was co-signed by Ahmed bin Ali Al-Baiz, Assistant General Supervisor of the KSRelief for Operations and Programs, and Karin Manente, the Director of Public Partnerships and Resourcing at the WFP.
Meanwhile, KSRelief delivered 10 training courses to teachers in literacy centers in Yemen’s Aden, Abyan and Hadhramaut.
These courses come as part of the International Literacy Day celebrated within KSRelief’s project, which also trains teachers on how to educate students and people with disabilities.
The humanitarian and relief center also concluded an entrepreneurship course in Yemen’s Al-Mahra Governorate, to support and empower youth in the area.
All initiatives carried out in various countries around the world fall within Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian and relief projects, implemented by KSRelief, to enhance the economic situation and improve the income of people in-need.
Saudis amplify bustling music scene with Jeddah’s Makan Music Center
Jeddah will be ‘one of the biggest cities for music,’ says DJ
Updated 05 October 2022
JEDDAH: With a vibrant arts and culture scene, music has been an essential element in the social renaissance of the Kingdom. Following social reforms, many musicians surfaced to showcase their talent in the music industry.
Taking the opportunity, Makan Music Center in Jeddah opened its doors in 2018 as a small music center to teach aspiring musicians.
Abdulaziz Obaid, the CEO’s assistant, told Arab News that 2018 was “a powerful beginning for music learners and hobbyists.”
“In the beginning, we only had one room with all the instruments from deejaying to electric guitars and drums. Once we saw that there is a huge demand for music education in Jeddah, we moved to a bigger place to have separate rooms for each instrument class,” he said.
He added: “We can find musicians everywhere now from restaurants to shopping malls. There is also huge competition in this field,” he said.
Obaid said Jeddawis have a thirst for music events and appreciate everything from Asian to Western content.
“Jeddawis are the ‘people of music’ and are very active in the music scene,” he said. “We also have a large number of musicians visiting from Riyadh and they ask about Makan and want us to open a branch there,” he added.
Hasnain Sheikh, a drumming instructor at the center, grew up in a family of musicians that inspired him to go in to the music field.
“Growing up, my father was a musician. He played the piano and he was also into production. We had room in our home … like wherever we moved from apartment to apartment, we (always) had a studio room, and his friends used to come over to jam and play music. I grew up looking at that and wanting to also take part in the art,” Sheikh told Arab News.
“Music has always been a part of my life, like other people play video games or play sports. I was at home playing music,” he added.
Sheikh takes the responsibility of being a drummer seriously. He believes it is important to spend time and know your instrument “rather than just knowing the basics as every little details goes into account.”
DJ instructor Mohammed Darweesh, also known as Code Dee, aspired to be a music teacher during his youth.
“I like teaching people, it’s been one of the things I wanted to do since I was a kid. I wanted to be a teacher. I like sharing information, especially if it’s about my passion,” said Darweesh, who joined the center five months ago.
He became a DJ in 2015 with a particular interest in the underground scene, between minimal breaks, house and deep techno.
Speaking about his experiences from the underground music scene, Darweesh said people in Jeddah are always hungry for music events.
“There are so many people in all the events. There are very talented people who were hidden and now are coming up because of the revolution of Saudi music,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful thing and Jeddah is going to be one of the best cities for music in Saudi Arabia.”
International literary experts discuss heritage preservation at Saudi book fair
The event played a prominent role in the ‘renaissance of literature, culture, science, and the arts’ in the Kingdom
Updated 04 October 2022
Ghadi Joudah Rahaf Jambi
RIYADH: Literary experts from around the world have been gathering in Saudi Arabia to help further cement the Kingdom’s position on the global heritage map.
Writers, publishers, and translators are among the delegates taking part in events and discussion sessions being held under the umbrella of the Riyadh International Book Fair, running at Riyadh Front until Oct. 8.
The fair’s program includes dialogue platforms, interactive lectures, and workshops covering art, reading, writing, publishing, bookmaking, and translation.
Chief executive officer of the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission, Dr. Mohammed Alwan, said the event had made significant contributions to the Saudi literary scene and played a prominent role in the renaissance of literature, culture, science, and the arts in the Kingdom.
He described the fair as providing a cultural bridge to understanding others and being a major contributor to the national cultural movement.
Day five of the gathering witnessed six panel discussions, one titled “Saudi Arabia on the world heritage map.”
Saudi archaeological discoveries have recently drawn international attention and experts took to the stage to talk about the Kingdom’s future capabilities, its components, and its growing status as a global leader in heritage preservation.
Ibrahim Aglan, a college research professor at the faculty of letters and human sciences in the Moroccan capital Rabat, said culture was multi-faceted. “It’s a way of life, a way to enhance the Kingdom’s international standing, and economic prosperity.”
Acting general manager of the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, Rehaf Gassas, said: “The society is considered an arm of government bodies and agencies in preserving heritage and implementing specialized projects in this field.
“Whatever we do on our part as researchers, the community remains the sole owner of the heritage, knowing how it flowed and changed from generation to another, and how it is practiced.”
General manager of the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s intangible heritage, Ebtisam Al-Wehaibi, told delegates that the ultimate goal was communication between peoples.
She said: “It is amazing that we can get to know other people’s cultures and heritage and create a dialogue; that instead of looking for differences, you look for similarities.”
Al-Wehaibi noted that Saudi Arabia had been among 20 countries that got together after World War II to establish the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
“In 2020, the Kingdom joined the executive board of UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee,” she added.
Meanwhile, a workshop run by Al-Yamamah University law professor, Dr. Muhammad Al-Sudais, looked at the role of the law in protecting cultural heritage.
He said: “With regard to the legal aspect, the Kingdom presented a wonderful model in the matter of preserving heritage.” And he pointed out that over recent years the Ministry of Culture had introduced a range of rules and regulations related to antiquities, museums, and urban heritage.
Al-Sudais noted that the Saudi Heritage Commission had added the 70-year-old oil Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline), built during the reign of King Abdulaziz, to the national register of industrial heritage, adding that the Kingdom’s urban heritage register provided an important source of information for research centers.
“The Kingdom is very interested in excavating antiquities and preventing licensing except for the authorities designated by the system.
“It also specified that it is not permissible for any person, whether a citizen or not, to sell antiquities and engage in any activity related to the import and export of antiquities without obtaining a license from the commission,” Al-Sudais said.