Saudi Arabia participates in UNESCO cultural conference

Saudi Arabia participates in UNESCO cultural conference
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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation to MONDIACULT 2022. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia participates in UNESCO cultural conference
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(SPA)
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Updated 30 September 2022

Saudi Arabia participates in UNESCO cultural conference

Saudi Arabia participates in UNESCO cultural conference

MEXICO: Unequal access to new technologies, illicit trafficking and threats to cultural heritage were among the issues on the agenda for international culture ministers who met Wednesday in Mexico City for the World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, or MONDIACULT.

Representatives of around 160 UNESCO member states are participating in the three-day conference, which seeks to reaffirm the global commitment to contemporary challenges facing multicultural societies and to formulate a forward-looking vision for cultural policies.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation to MONDIACULT 2022.

The Saudi minister also headed the regional consultations for the Arab region, representing Saudi Arabia.

The consultations focused on four main objectives: identifying national and regional trends of cultural policies in countries, identifying and analyzing challenges and opportunities for cultural policies throughout the region, supporting the listing of culture in the regional trends agenda, and identifying priorities that can contribute to the final statement of MONDIACULT 2022.

The goals of the final declaration to be adopted on Friday include guaranteeing artists’ rights and regulating distribution platforms, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said.

Another objective is to ensure culture is included in international discussions on climate change, notably through traditional and Indigenous knowledge systems.

“Our cultural heritage is threatened very directly by global warming,” Azoulay said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that culture is vital for public health, according to conference coordinator Pablo Raphael.

“No one would have been able to survive the confinement and stress…without books, music and cinema,” he said.

The health crisis also laid bare technological inequalities between different communities, Mexican Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto said.

One of the meeting’s objectives is to find ways to guarantee that artists have access to technologies to share their work.

The final declaration is expected to include a call to recognize culture as a “global public good” that benefits all of the world’s citizens.


Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif

Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif
Updated 10 sec ago

Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif

Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif
  • Marking the first phase of the $50 billion Diriyah Gate Development Authority project, the opening signals a new chapter in the area’s history

RIYADH: The prominent citadel of Salwa Palace, made from mudbricks three centuries ago in the historic Turaif district, the first capital of the Saudi dynasty, was illuminated on Dec. 4 with a spectacular light display in celebration of its opening to the public.

Just a few steps away, also in the historic Diriyah area, the Bujairi Terrace, a slew of high-end dining experiences ready to welcome over 3,000 people within an area of 15,000 square meters and featuring both Saudi and top international restaurants, opened to its first visitors.

It was a historic day for Saudi Arabia as the opening of both sites marked the first phase of completion for the $50 billion project of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

“This area is very special because it is the birthplace of the Kingdom,” Jerry Inzerillo, group CEO at the DGDA told Arab News. “It’s the ancestral home of Al-Saud, and it is the source of national identity and pride for all Saudis and all Arabs.”

To mark the special day, traditional performers in national dress put on a show and distributed gifts to visitors.

Stunning illuminated walkways lead the way through new buildings reflective of traditional mudbrick Arabian homes and lampposts decorated in the Najdi style typical to central Arabia. Palm trees line the Wadi Hanifa that separates the Bujairi Terrace from Turaif.

Visitors can walk over a bridge after dining at the Bujairi Terrace to visit the recently restored ruins of the original seat of the Al-Saud dynasty, taking the same steps as Saudi rulers did centuries ago.

What distinguishes the Bujairi Terrace from other high-end dining areas in the Gulf is the balanced offering of Saudi cuisine alongside top-notch international Michelin-star brands.

Maiz and Takya, two Saudi restaurants, offer a mix of traditional and contemporary cuisine within sleek settings decorated with a modern take on native Najdi patterns and architecture.

“We are offering specialties from the 13 provinces of Saudi Arabia,” Bader Al-Shaikh, a chef at Maiz, told Arab News.

“The idea was to create a place where people can dine in comfort and peace,” Hessah Al-Mutawa, owner of Takya, told Arab News. “We offer a contemporary fusion of traditional Saudi dishes.”

Inzerillo said that, in addition to the first 20 restaurants already present at the site — including well-known names like Angelina Paris, Café de L’Esplanade, Flamingo Room by tashas, which over the last few years has taken neighboring Dubai by storm — there are other 10 in the works for the second phase of development.

Six million trees and plants have also been incorporated into the area so that visitors can walk for hours, enjoying the natural and historic surroundings before and after dining at world-class restaurants.

Bruno, the famed French restaurant from the south of France, also opened in Bujairi, marking its second branch abroad after St. Petersburg, Russia. Saudi-owned gastronomical brands include GRIND, Somewhere, SUGAR and Sum + Things.

Upon the completion of the DGDA project, scheduled to be finished in 2030, Diriyah will be home to cultural, educational and entertainment shows, along with retail and hospitality facilities. The latter will include 38 hotels, in addition to a series of museums, cultural and academic institutes and retail areas.

The destination is expected to add around SR27 billion ($7.2 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product and create 55,000 jobs, with a focus on upskilling women.

The historic area of Diriyah, known for its Bedouin hospitality and culture, is experiencing a renaissance through a celebration of its past and present.

Inzerillo stated: “Now, from today, it is going to be one of the great gathering places in the world. Everybody will come.”

 

 


AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program

AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program
Updated 06 December 2022

AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program

AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program
  • Training on archaeological digs, recordkeeping
  • Focus on protecting Saudi heritage, says royal body

RIYADH: The Royal Commission for AlUla has announced the launch of an International Fellowship Program in the field of antiquities preservation in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The international fellowship program provides the opportunity to explore and learn about civilizations in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula.

The program, in cooperation with archaeologists and heritage experts from the RCU’s Kingdoms Institute, is part of a four-month workshop in AlUla. It is expected to strengthen the scientific and technology transfer partnership between the RCU and UNESCO.

Training for field and administrative positions will be offered during the course of the program, which includes the study of artifacts and the preservation of archaeological monuments and key sites of interest.

Jose Ignacio Gallego, the RCU’s archaeology and heritage research executive director, said: “The international fellowship program will enhance knowledge transfer between international experts and trainees in a variety of specialized fields.”

“The fellowship aims to support the heritage of AlUla and establish it as a center of knowledge in the field of antiquities protection, and enhances the Kingdoms Institute’s position as a leading entity that implements innovative solutions and ideas in the field of heritage research, preservation and publicization.”

The Kingdoms Institute is a project of the RCU governorate. It is located in the Dadan Oasis. Its urban design is inspired by the Dadanian civilization, which is represented by one of the most prominent buildings carved into the mountains opposite the archaeological site.

The institute includes several basic archaeological programs and research, most notably preserving rock art, inscriptions, languages, agriculture, sustainability in prehistoric times, communication, and the protection of records and sites.

The Kingdom Institute specializes in studying and analyzing artifacts, and applying international practices for archaeological excavations and heritage preservation.


Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

King Salman invited President of China Xi Jinping for an official visit to attend the Saudi-Chinese summit held in Saudi Arabia from Dec. 7 to 9, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday. 

The summit will be chaired by King Salman and the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It will look at relations between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab states with the People's Republic of China,

Discussions are expected to focus on strengthening joint cooperation in economy and development.


Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco
  • KSRelief continued providing medical aid to Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s Zaatari camp

RIYADH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has concluded an anti-blindness voluntary program in Morocco’s Tiflet.

Under the Saudi Noor Voluntary Program, held in collaboration with the Kingdom’s Al-Basar International Foundation, doctors performed 462 cataract removal operations, examined 5,800 patients and distributed 1,470 glasses.

The program comes as part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to help low-income families in the region, according to a statement by state news agency (SPA).

KSRelief continued providing medical aid to Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s Zaatari camp. The agency’s medical clinics offered consultations to 14,704 refugees during November, said SPA.

The laboratory and radiology departments also received 1,480 people.


Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s MASAM project clears 1,307 mines in one week in Yemen
  • MASAM removed over 375,000 mines from Yemen since its 2018 launch

RIYADH: A total of 1,307 mines planted by the Iran-backed Houthi militia across Yemen were dismantled in one week under King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s (KSrelief) Masam project.

The extraction, which took place at the end of November, included 20 anti-personnel mines, 113 anti-tank mines, 1,170 unexploded ordnance, and four explosive devices, state news agency (SPA) reported.

Since its launch in 2018, the landmine clearance project has removed over 375,000 mines from Yemeni lands.

Earlier in June, KSRelief renewed Masam project for a fifth year at a cost of $33.292 million.