Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction

Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction
1 / 5
Supplied
Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction
2 / 5
Supplied
Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction
3 / 5
Supplied
Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction
4 / 5
Supplied
Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction
5 / 5
Supplied
Short Url
Updated 08 November 2022

Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction

Noor Riyadh, Saudi artists collaborate to raise funds for upcoming charity auction
  • All proceeds from the auction will go toward enhancing the organizations’ ongoing art programs
  • The works will be on view to the public at Warehouse H04 in the JAX District until Nov. 19

RIYADH: The second annual light and art festival Noor Riyadh, which began on Nov. 3, is bringing together four major Saudi artists and four charities to raise funds for an online charity auction this month.
Noor Riyadh has selected established artists Ahmed Mater, Moath Alofi, Rashed Al-Shashai and Saad Al-Howede and asked them to collaborate with the charities Aleradah Organization, Saudi Alzheimer’s Disease Association, International Rehabilitation Team and Al-Nahda, respectively, to create artworks that will then be sold at the auction.
All proceeds from the auction will go toward enhancing the organizations’ ongoing art programs, which will enrich the lives of beneficiaries through creative expression.
A total of eight artworks, two for each artist, were produced in October during dedicated workshops between the artists and the charity beneficiaries. The completed pieces range in materials and form, incorporating elements of painting, sculpture and light art.
The works will be on view to the public at Warehouse H04 in the JAX District until Nov. 19, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. (except for Nov. 9, when the exhibition will be closed for a private function).
The artworks will then go on sale online through the Saudi-based art market platform Atrum from Nov. 14-15. Individuals can register and place a bid on their artwork of choice. After the auction closes, the platform will automatically close the bidding and the artworks will go to the highest claim. A minimum bid of SR50,000 ($13,302) has been set for each lot.
Al-Shashai said: “I am delighted to participate in this special Noor Riyadh initiative, which increases the awareness of these notable charitable causes and is as important as the numerous cultural activities that the festival offers. Through the online charity auction, Noor Riyadh is ensuring more people than ever can stay surrounded by art and enrich their lives through the powerful possibilities that art offers.”
Al-Shashai’s piece, “Amenin,” the Arabic word for “secure,” features LED light mounted on canvas and speaks to the artist’s personal vision for the country’s future, one that embraces inclusivity and community participation. For the initiative, the artist collaborated with the International Rehabilitation Team, which provides daycare services to the severely disabled.
His second work, “Layan’s Vehicle,” a mixed media installation of a cleaved bumper car with a vibrant pink light attached, was inspired by an encounter with a young girl named Layan during the workshops. Struck by the child’s lighthearted spirit despite her physical limitations, Al-Shashai created the work as a tribute to her and other individuals who remain resilient in the face of adversity.
Mater said: “I invite everyone to view the outstanding work of the creators in the online charity auction organized by Noor Riyadh. I am delighted to be part of such a purposeful initiative alongside other distinguished Saudi Arabian artists.”
Mater’s works include “Hope,” which comprises toy gun caps transformed into a wall-mounted installation that spells a message of aspiration and unity. The artist’s “Guncaps” series from 2012 utilized the popular toy gun caps as a way to reframe their symbolism from negative to positive.
In another work, Mater reappropriates bullet rings and removes their associations with violence, replacing them with uplifting expressions of culture and craftsmanship contributed by the participants. For the initiative, the artist collaborated with Aleradah Organization, which supports gifted people with disabilities.
Alofi said: “Art has always been an umbrella for discussion and a bridge to communicate. With Noor Riyadh, the bridge has been extended further.”
Alofi, who collaborated with the Saudi Alzheimer’s Disease Association, considered how the condition affects both the patients and their loved ones. In “A Novel Light,” Alofi pays homage to the caregivers, drawing from their experiences and turning their stories into emotive symbols.
His second work, “Hands on Memory,” was produced through sharing and cooperation, with the handprints of participants filling a canvas that has been overlaid with a hand-shaped neon LED. For the artist, the hand represents a human tool that has enabled our development but also allows us to wield creativity and connection.
Al-Howede said: “As an artist, I look at the human experience. I have tried to offer everything I can to help people and the participants of this initiative to get the support they need and to carry their lessons through life.”
In Al-Howede’s “The High Sky,” towering light sculptures of flowers speak to underappreciated talents that could rise and bloom if recognized within an open and inclusive society. The aesthetic of the work is inspired by a drawing from one of the participants from the charity Al-Nahda, which aims to empower beneficiaries through its program.
“Ascent,” meanwhile, is based on another participant’s drawing, which the artist has used as the background base for numerous light tubes that illuminate various symbols of diversity and harmony in society.
Noor Riyadh and the online charity auction are part of the larger initiative Riyadh Art, which runs multiple programs that seek to enhance the city’s artistic and cultural landscape with public art projects, events, exhibitions and workshops.


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.


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 28 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.”

 

 


Makan hosts Indian music night in Jeddah

AN photos by Adnan Salem Mahdaly
AN photos by Adnan Salem Mahdaly
Updated 29 January 2023

Makan hosts Indian music night in Jeddah

AN photos by Adnan Salem Mahdaly
  • Speaking to Arab News, The Groove Town band co-founder, bassist Firdous Amir, said: “Makan encourages artists to the extent where they regularly organize events and draw fans to their stage almost every weekend

JEDDAH: Makan Music Center organized an Indian-themed music night for local artists and bands on Friday evening.

Fans of Indian music were treated to well-known Bollywood tunes and other genres of Indian music. The themed night was part of Makan’s cultural events calendar, during which a variety of local bands showcase genres including Arabic and Latin music.

Shaher Karkashan, CEO and co-founder of Makan, said: “We have accomplished a tremendous amount over the last four years in terms of enhancing the local music scene and providing a space for music learners and hobbyists.

“Aside from the themed weekend events, Makan provides various services including music lessons, studio production, events and artist management. We aim to make our music center competitive internationally and spread cross-cultural music diversity.”

Speaking to Arab News, The Groove Town band co-founder, bassist Firdous Amir, said: “Makan encourages artists to the extent where they regularly organize events and draw fans to their stage almost every weekend. Additionally, they offer a music school with a vast lineup of excellent music instructors.”

His fellow co-founder, drummer Razin Rafeek, added: “The Saudi music scene has come a long way in the last four or five years. The acceptance level the Saudi audience has shown is phenomenal and encourages artists to come and showcase their talent in public. The fact that we have international acts visiting and performing in the Kingdom makes it all the more special.”

He continued: “Makan has always been a wonderful space to perform that is ingrained with a cool and groovy vibe, and run by a musically gifted team. It’s one of our favorite places to perform in Jeddah. The Indian music night was lovely and heartfelt. People from different nations came to hear us.”

Makan’s future plans include running workshops for beginners, Karkashan said.