AlUla to celebrate Saudi National Day with beats of top artists

AlUla to celebrate Saudi National Day with beats of top artists
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Saudi Violinist and DJ, KAYAN played a set during the media event hosted by MC Philip Jones and Saudi DJ Baloo. (Huda Bashatah)
AlUla to celebrate Saudi National Day with beats of top artists
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Saudi DJ Baloo, the man behind Azimuth 2022. (Huda Bashatah)
AlUla to celebrate Saudi National Day with beats of top artists
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Philip Jones, Royal Commission of AlUla chief management and marketing officer. (Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 03 September 2022

AlUla to celebrate Saudi National Day with beats of top artists

AlUla to celebrate Saudi National Day with beats of top artists
  • KAYAN, the female Saudi violinist and DJ, will perform
  • ‘Festival tailored for tourists seeking luxury setting’

RIYADH: Top local and international artists are set to perform at AlUla to celebrate the 92nd Saudi National Day later this month, it has been announced.

The lineup was broadcast on Riyadh Boulevard City’s 82 screens with a five-minute performance by female Saudi violinist and DJ, KAYAN, who played against a backdrop of AlUla’s iconic Elephant Rock.

In its second edition, Azimuth, amplified by MDLBEAST, will include regional and local artists KAYAN, Dorar, Solskin, Dish Dash, Baloo, Biirdperson, Nomad, Gooner, ANMARZ, Vinyl Mode, Damian Lazarus, DJ Snake and Parov Stelar.

The event will start on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day. On Friday, the show will run from 4:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Saturday.

Saudi DJ Baloo, the man behind Azimuth 2022, said: “We’re really excited to be throwing Azimuth this year on the national day weekend, in the breathtaking and enchanting AlUla.”

The festival is set to take place in the same valley where Desert X AlUla art exhibition was hosted earlier this year.

“Everything that’s been developed for AlUla is above par and coming into this place as a music programmer we had to come in and create a festival so special to fit the magical space we’re given,” he added.

Dorrar, Solskin, DJ Snake, Dish Dash, Damian Lazarus, and Vinyl Mode will be performing on day one of Azimuth.

On day two, KAYAN, Biirdperson, Gooner, Parov Stelar, ANMARZ, and Baloo will take the stage.

Philip Jones, Royal Commission of AlUla chief management and marketing officer, told Arab News the main difference between MDLBEAST Riyadh and MDLBEAST in AlUla was that “while you might have 30,000 people in Riyadh, there will only be around a thousand in AlUla.”

Jones said it is more of an individual, tailored experience with smaller crowds.

“What we offer is very experiential that it will set us apart because it fits the brand of AlUla as a premium luxury destination, so think of it as a premium luxury festival.”

This year, AlUla Moments will present several festivals and events: Azimuth, Winter at Tantora, AlUla Wellness Festival, and for the first time The Ancient Kingdoms Festival which is inspired by 7,000 years of successive civilizations on the Arabian Peninsula and the famed incense trading route.

“One of the things we want to do is nurture and develop the entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia, and because AlUla lends itself to such amazing backdrops with film and entertainment and videos, we wanted to use it as an opportunity to really highlight that aspect of it and develop the existing local talent and showcase it,” said Jones.

Tickets are on sale at experiencealula.com.


KSRelief delivers relief aid to Pakistan, Yemen, Niger, Afghanistan and Jordan

KSRelief delivers relief aid to Pakistan, Yemen, Niger, Afghanistan and Jordan
Updated 02 February 2023

KSRelief delivers relief aid to Pakistan, Yemen, Niger, Afghanistan and Jordan

KSRelief delivers relief aid to Pakistan, Yemen, Niger, Afghanistan and Jordan
  • A shipment delivered by KSRelief containing 500 food packages benefited 500 families in Niger
  • Syrian refugee children in eight Jordanian governorates received school bags

DUBAI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed 350 food packages to those affected by the floods in Pakistan’s Sindh province. 

The relief center’s delivery benefited 2,450 individuals on Tuesday, state agency SPA reported. 

It also distributed 42 tons and 372 kilograms of food items in Yemen’s Marib, benefiting 132 families and 924 individuals in the area. 

Similarly, a shipment delivered by KSRelief containing 500 food packages benefited 500 families in Niger, while 400 food packages were sent to Afghanistan, benefiting 2,400 individuals in-need. 

Meanwhile, Syrian refugee children in eight Jordanian governorates received school bags from KSRelief in cooperation with the Jordan Hashemite Charity. 

The aim was to provide 29,881 male and female students with basic educational supplies.


Saudi crown prince, French FM discuss bilateral relations

Saudi crown prince, French FM discuss bilateral relations
Updated 02 February 2023

Saudi crown prince, French FM discuss bilateral relations

Saudi crown prince, French FM discuss bilateral relations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received on Thursday Catherine Colonna, French minister for Europe and foreign affairs, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The meeting discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations in all fields, in addition to the latest regional and international developments.

Saudi and French senior officials attended the meeting.

Colonna arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday on an official visit to the Kingdom.

French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)

Upon her arrival at King Khalid International Airport, she was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

Colonna’s visit is expected to focus on ways to enhance the distinguished cooperation between the Kingdom and France, the ministry added.


Saudi foreign minister reviews relations with OIC chief, Cypriot and Kyrgyz counterparts

Saudi foreign minister reviews relations with OIC chief, Cypriot and Kyrgyz counterparts
Updated 02 February 2023

Saudi foreign minister reviews relations with OIC chief, Cypriot and Kyrgyz counterparts

Saudi foreign minister reviews relations with OIC chief, Cypriot and Kyrgyz counterparts

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha, the ministry said on Wednesday. 
During the call, they reviewed aspects of cooperation between the Kingdom and the OIC in various fields, in addition to discussing the most prominent regional and international developments.
Prince Faisal also received separate calls from his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides and his Kyrgyz counterpart Zheenbek Kulubaev, the ministry said.
During the calls, they reviewed bilateral relations, and ways to enhance and develop them in various fields of cooperation and joint coordination, and discussed aspects of enhancing joint action toward various regional and international issues.


Top chef serves up the story behind Saudi Arabia’s new national dishes

Top chef serves up the story behind Saudi Arabia’s new national dishes
Updated 02 February 2023

Top chef serves up the story behind Saudi Arabia’s new national dishes

Top chef serves up the story behind Saudi Arabia’s new national dishes
  • In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Rakan Al-Oraifi explains the appeal and cultural significance of jareesh and maqshush
  • They were recently named by the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s Culinary Arts Commission as the Kingdom’s national dish and dessert

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture’s Culinary Arts Commission announced this month that jareesh has been selected as the national dish of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and maqshush as its national dessert.

Jareesh is a slow-cooked dish of cracked wheat, vegetables and a sauce, with the optional addition of lamb. Maqshush is made of buckwheat bites topped with some combination of ghee, honey, dates, molasses and sugar.

The commission’s announcement forms part of its National and Regional Dishes Narratives initiative, which seeks to identify and celebrate popular dishes that are part of the Kingdom’s culinary culture. It will include research to discover which dishes best represent each region, the results of which are due to be announced later in the year.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Rakan Al-Oraifi, an internationally renowned Saudi executive chef, welcomed the initiative, which he said will showcase traditional dishes and ensure they are at the forefront of the Saudi Culinary scene.

Al-Oraifi, who is a member of the World Master Chefs Society and the founder of Kit Catering, said that jareesh originated in the central Najd region and there is more than one variety.

“Usually, we cook it with laban (buttermilk), so it is known as white jareesh,” he said. “We also have a second kind of jareesh, which is from Hail (in north-western Saudi Arabia), and it is red because we cook it with tomato sauce.”

The distinctive flavors of the dish come from its topping of ghee, caramelized onions and lemon powder, he added.

The selection of jareesh as national dish reflects its popularity across Saudi society, the Culinary Arts Commission said, and references to it can be found in heritage books dating back centuries. It is considered one of the most important dishes in Saudi heritage and is known as “master of dishes,” it added.

Al-Oraifi said that the main reason jareesh is so popular is because people in the Najd region historically ate wheat rather than rice because it required fewer resources.

“Jareesh is a traditional dish everyone likes, young and the old,” he said. “The dish is filled with different flavors; it is kind of salty, a little bit sour because of the buttermilk, and you can eat it during winter or summer.”

According to the commission, the dish is typically served on a variety of occasions, mainly happy ones, and though it originated in the central region it spread throughout the Kingdom.

Maqshush, meanwhile is a dessert typically served as breakfast in Saudi households, and comprises wheat flour, ghee and honey or sugar. It is particularly popular during the winter. According to the commission, the history of the dish dates back more than a century and it is commonly served with Saudi coffee.

Al-Oraifi — who is also a member of the World Association of Master Chefs, the Emirates Culinary Guild, Latin American gastronomic association Aregala International, and the Saudi Arabian Chef Association — is pleased that the dessert, which originated in Hail, is being recognized.

“Maqshush also is made from wheat,” he said. “We mix two kinds of flower in Maqshush: white and brown.”

He added that it is a popular breakfast dish because the wheat, ghee and honey provide energy and power.

In addition to their widespread popularity, the authenticity of their flavors, and their significance in Saudi culture, jareesh and maqshush were chosen as national dishes because they are simple to prepare using ingredients that are readily available, the commission said.

According to “Saveurs d’Arabie” (“Flavors of Arabia”), a cookbook published recently by the commission and Cassi Edition, maqshush might be considered a combination of pancakes and bread because of its taste and texture. It’s small, soft loaves are simple to make and were traditionally baked on a saj, a convex metal pan.

According to the book, the word maqshush means one who picks the smallest portion or pieces of food, which is thought to reflect the fact the dish is prepared from simple, inexpensive ingredients.

Al-Oraifi has been crowned the best chef in Saudi Arabia three times. In 2021, he was awarded first place in the culinary category at the National Cultural Awards. He was the executive chef of Suhail restaurant in Riyadh and AlUla, for which he created a unique, authentic menu.

He joined Al-Khozama group as Executive Chef in 2022 to create a contemporary Saudi menu for Maiz restaurant in Diriyah, and recently moved to Paris for the advanced study of French pastry.

Decoder

Jareesh and maqshush

Jareesh, a popular dish that originated from Saudi Arabia's central Najd region, has been designated as national dish of the Kingdom by the Ministry of Culture’s Culinary Arts Commission. It is a slow-cooked dish of cracked wheat, vegetables and a sauce, with the optional addition of lamb. Maqshush, made of buckwheat bites topped with some combination of ghee, honey, dates, molasses and sugar, is the national dessert.


Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Alzamil, director of talent acquisition at the Soudah Development Co.

Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Alzamil, director of talent acquisition at the Soudah Development Co.
Updated 01 February 2023

Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Alzamil, director of talent acquisition at the Soudah Development Co.

Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Alzamil, director of talent acquisition at the Soudah Development Co.

Abdulaziz Alzamil is the director of talent acquisition and organization development at the Soudah Development Co. owned by the Public Investment Fund. 

His role includes overseeing design and implementation of the company structure and talent acquisition function in line with the company’s objectives. He is involved in supporting the development and implementation of HR initiatives and functions while implementing global best practices for sustainable growth. 

Before joining PIF, Alzamil was director of strategic workforce planning and HR transformation for the public sector at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in Riyadh.  

Alzamil played a major part in enhancing government effectiveness and increasing the performance of public sector employees as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 through developing procedures that included top-down analysis, workforce planning, and workload analysis for all ministerial and non-ministerial entities. 

He also helped in developing benchmark comparisons with the public sectors around the world and designed an HR maturity assessment to provide superior employee experiences. 

Alzamil has held several leadership roles in designing and implementing recruiting strategies in telecom and IT companies such as Nokia, Jawwy, and Mobily.  

He also worked as a research assistant at California State University, San Bernardino, in the US. His area of focus mainly involved an integrative emotional intelligence model, the development of social-emotional competence assessment, and coaching competence. His research article was published in a peer-reviewed journal in the US. 

He gained a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh in 2009 and a master’s degree in business administration from California State University, San Bernardino in 2014. 

Alzamil holds a CIPD Level 7 certification and has attended many training courses, including strategic workforce planning from the Leoron Institute in Dubai, and international organizations management from the University of Geneva.