Saudi fast becoming global creative hotspot, says DJ and filmmaker

Saudi fast becoming global creative hotspot, says DJ and filmmaker
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Updated 26 January 2023

Saudi fast becoming global creative hotspot, says DJ and filmmaker

Saudi fast becoming global creative hotspot, says DJ and filmmaker
  • Misha Saied excited by thriving scene in the country
  • Will continue documenting ‘overwhelming’ changes

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is fast becoming a hotspot for all things creative, according to a locally based DJ and filmmaker, who appeared on “The Mayman Show” this week. 

Misha Saied, who has roots in Russia and Palestine, recently moved to the Kingdom from Syria to realize his dreams in the Kingdom’s thriving entertainment scene. 

“It’s overwhelming. I’m not going to lie. You know, it’s pretty fascinating to be able to document all the change that’s been going on in the country and to see how year by year they keep on exceeding everyone’s expectations,” he said.  

Saied’s latest project was at Riyadh Season’s Imagination Park, and he was taken aback by the entertainment offerings including the Netflix and automotive zones.  

 

“So for the Netflix zone, you had four different experiences. Basically they showcase four of the most popular series in Saudi. So you had ‘Army of the Dead,’ ‘Money Heist,’ ‘Squid Game’ (and) ‘Stranger Things.’ I think more than $1 million worth of cars. Amazing collection. It was fun.” 

Saied said he has had the opportunity to work on several events including Formula 1 and Formula E races. “I was covering Diriyah Season, so I also got the chance to shoot Anthony Joshua’s fight. It was the first time he came to Saudi.  

“If you want to go back, the first thing was the Golf International Tournament, which was hosted at KAEC (King Abdullah Economic City), and that was the first time Tiesto came to the country. (And) that was the first time Mariah Carey came to the country. It was pretty fascinating to see. It was the start of the change.” 

 

Saied said that he had an inkling of the changes taking place in Saudi while he was working in clubs in Istanbul. “I wasn’t surprised when they announced MDLBEAST you know, like the biggest electronic music festival in the region.  

“Which is insane. So yeah, I’ve done MDLBEAST, XP, had two different roles, obviously as a photographer and as a DJ. XP this year was amazing. I (also) had my first-ever photography exhibition,” he said. 

“It was pretty fascinating. It was an amazing experience. A lot of creatives, a lot of locals. It was, it’s beautiful to witness all the change happening and how a lot of creatives from all over the Kingdom and even internationally would come to Saudi and discuss, talk about the music industry. And see how everyone could collaborate and MDLBEAST gave a lot of opportunities to a lot of local artists.” 

 

Saied recalled DJ Khaled visiting Saudi Arabia and performing. “He barely even flies. So he showed up and he performed in the MDLBEAST. That was historic.”  

He said he was happy to have settled in the Kingdom and able to document the historic events taking place in Saudi.


Saudi Arabia among top 5 donors for Turkiye quake fund

Saudi Arabia among top 5 donors for Turkiye quake fund
Updated 01 April 2023

Saudi Arabia among top 5 donors for Turkiye quake fund

Saudi Arabia among top 5 donors for Turkiye quake fund
  • UN raises quarter of $1 bn Turkey quake funds target
  • On Feb 6 a 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed more than 50,000 in Turkiye and nearly 6,000 in Syria leaving entire cities in ruins

RIYADH: The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs on Friday thanked Saudi Arabia and other donor countries who contributed to raising over a quarter of the flash appeal issued by the UN following devastating earthquakes in Turkiye, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The UN said it had raised $268 million in response to the $1 billion humanitarian funding appeal for relief work in Turkiye following the 7.8-magnitude quake on Feb. 6 and its aftershocks that devastated swathes of southeast Turkiye and parts of war-torn Syria.
OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke said that 27 percent of the appeal had been funded and the largest donors were Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait, the European Commission, and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, while urging countries to provide support and contribute to financing the appeal.


He said that the aid comes in support of the response led by the Turkish government, adding that 9 million people were directly affected by the quakes and 3 million people had been displaced.
On Feb. 16, the UN launched the $1 billion appeal to help more than five million people in Turkiye and a twin flash appeal for Syria to help survivors over the first three months. The latter has raised $364 million of the $398 million requested.
The UN and other humanitarian agencies have reached more than 4.1 million people with basic household items and clothes, and 3 million with emergency food aid, while more than 700,000 people have received support to improve their living arrangements, including tents, relief housing units, and tent repair tools, Laerke said.


He added that 1.6 million have received water, hygiene and sanitation assistance and about 1 million liters of drinking water were delivered.
The UN humanitarian agency’s spokesman said that the Turkish Ministry of Health has been supported with 4.6 million vaccine doses, and 16 mobile health clinics, in addition to medicines and medical supplies for reproductive health and treatment of trauma and injuries.
“Now we are involved in the humanitarian emergency phase, where we look at what the survivors need,” Laerke told reporters in Geneva.
With AFP


Smile brighter in Ramadan with the magic of miswak

Smile brighter in Ramadan with the magic of miswak
Updated 31 March 2023

Smile brighter in Ramadan with the magic of miswak

Smile brighter in Ramadan with the magic of miswak
  • Local sellers note increase in sales of teeth-cleaning twig during the holy month

RIYADH: As the holy month of Ramadan begins, Muslims across the world are observing fasts that require abstinence from all food and drink from dawn to dusk.

The blessed month is rooted in faith, history and culture, and few practices emphasize that as much as the use of miswak, a teeth-cleaning twig. Many Muslims use miswak during the day to maintain freshness, oral hygiene and to protect overall dental health. In the Islamic tradition, using miswak is a well-known sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Various ahadith document the elevated status and significance of miswak. Abu Hurairah once narrated that the Prophet said, “Were it not (for the fear) of overburdening my Ummah, I would have ordered them to (brush their teeth with) Siwak at every Salat.” (Sahih Muslim)

According to the Islamic tradition it is sunnah to use a miswak. (Supplied)

Aisha narrated that the Prophet said, “The siwak is a means of purifying the mouth and pleasing the Rabb.” (Nasai)

Abu Hurairah further narrated that the Prophet said once on a Friday, “O Community of Muslims! Allah has made this day an Eid for you, so take a bath and needfully brush your teeth with siwak.” (Tabarani, Majma’uz-Zawaid)

In Saudi Arabia, miswak is typically sourced from the Salvadora persica L. trees, known as arak in Arabic. The variety is also found in Sudan, Egypt and Chad. The bitter-tasting palm or olive trees are also used for miswak. The neem tree is a popular option in South Asia.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Miswak has even gained recognition beyond the Arab region. The World Health Organization recommended the use of miswak for oral hygiene in 1986 and in 2000.

• There is now increasing scientific evidence that miswak has medicinal properties and helps fight plaque, recession of gums, tooth decay, bleeding gums and deep periodontal pockets.

Miswak can be sourced from various trees except for those known to cause harm, such as pomegranate and myrtle trees.

The arak trees contribute to environmental sustainability and preservation as well. In various parts of the Arab region, the arak trees are indigenous to arid regions and planting them reduces desertification where little else is capable of growing. This also helps local communities across the Middle East to develop a sustainable income while preserving an important part of their cultural and religious heritage.

Miswak has even gained recognition beyond the Arab region. The World Health Organization recommended the use of miswak for oral hygiene in 1986 and in 2000.

There is now increasing scientific evidence that miswak has medicinal properties and helps fight plaque, recession of gums, tooth decay, bleeding gums and deep periodontal pockets.

“The repeated process of chewing sticks releases fresh sap and silica (a hard glossy mineral), which acts as an abrasive material to remove stains,” noted a study conducted by a panel of dentists at King Saud University.

The study identified 19 natural substances found in miswak that benefit dental health. It contains natural antiseptics that kill harmful microorganisms in the mouth, tannic acids that protect gums from disease, and aromatic oils that increase salivation. Researchers also noted that the miswak bristles are parallel to the handle rather than perpendicular, therefore it can reach areas that a conventional toothbrush often fails to.

Mohammed bin Zahid, a dentist, said that miswak is a “natural toothbrush” that, among other benefits, also “creates a fragrance in the mouth and sharpens memory.”

Sales of miswak tend to triple in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan as people opt for the traditional hygiene technique. Ahead of Ramadan, every shop ensures that miswak is available for buyers and it is often placed at the prime location of the check-out counter.

Abdullah Al-Otaibi, a miswak seller in Riyadh, said: “I am expecting sales to rise during Ramadan by almost 300 percent.”

Bilal, a miswak vendor near a mosque in Al-Wazarat district in Riyadh, said that his daily profit during Ramadan tends to be anywhere between SR50-SR200.

To use a miswak, simply chew off about one centimeter of the twig at one end and then continue to chew it until it softens and forms bristles. The softening can be sped up by dipping the end in water to separate the fibers. Once bristles are formed, the miswak can be used like a regular toothbrush, without paste.

 


Saudi transport minister inspects services, operational plans at King Abdulaziz Airport

Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser visits King Abdulaziz Airport facilities in Jeddah. (SPA)
Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser visits King Abdulaziz Airport facilities in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 31 March 2023

Saudi transport minister inspects services, operational plans at King Abdulaziz Airport

Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser visits King Abdulaziz Airport facilities in Jeddah. (SPA)
  • The minister toured the screening points that were equipped by Jeddah Airports Company to regulate the entry of Umrah buses to the terminal facilities

JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, accompanied by Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, head of GACA, and number of senior officials, inspected the facilities and services at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

Al-Jasser checked the smooth flow of passengers and the progress of work to ensure it was in line with the approved operational plan during the current Umrah season.

The minister toured the screening points that were equipped by Jeddah Airports Company to regulate the entry of Umrah buses to the terminal facilities. He was also briefed on the work and tasks carried out by the team in charge of the control and rapid intervention room.

Al-Jasser also inspected the control center, the passports and security procedures area, and the travel check-in area, and was briefed on the system for receiving pilgrims.

He was given a visual presentation on the operational plans implemented by Jeddah Airports with the participation of more than 27 governmental, security and operational agencies.

 


Media can help boost Asir tourism

Travel and media experts gathered at the Abha Forum to discuss how the media can revive tourism in Asir. (SPA)
Travel and media experts gathered at the Abha Forum to discuss how the media can revive tourism in Asir. (SPA)
Updated 01 April 2023

Media can help boost Asir tourism

Travel and media experts gathered at the Abha Forum to discuss how the media can revive tourism in Asir. (SPA)
  • 'The role of travel media has become increasingly important within the Kingdom’s tourism strategy'

ABHA: Experts in the travel and media sectors gathered at the Abha Forum to discuss the role the media can play in revitalizing tourism in Asir region.

Abdullah Al-Marei, an associate professor of media at King Khalid University, spoke during the annual event in the city of Abha about ways in which travel journalism can be developed to raise awareness among citizens and help stimulate the tourism industry in villages, cities and resorts across the region.

He said the media can highlight natural, historical, archaeological and other types of tourist attractions using advanced tools and techniques, including films and advertisements, to grab the attention of potential visitors.

Tourism conferences are also important mechanisms for tourism businesses to generate publicity, Al-Marei added, as they introduce delegates, sales teams, tourism agents and affiliated professionals to new programs and initiatives.

The role of travel media has become increasingly important within the Kingdom’s tourism strategy, he said, and is helping to establish the Asir region as a prominent, year-round tourist destination. This requires intensive promotional activity and the development of media products that contribute effectively to introducing and promoting the region and its attractions throughout the year, he added.

 

 


12,000 inspection visits conducted in Al-Kharj markets

The inspection aim to ensure the abundance and quality of products. (SPA)
The inspection aim to ensure the abundance and quality of products. (SPA)
Updated 01 April 2023

12,000 inspection visits conducted in Al-Kharj markets

The inspection aim to ensure the abundance and quality of products. (SPA)
  • The campaign is continuously implemented 24 hours a day, and consumers can submit their reports through the consumer service line on 940

AL-KHARJ: Authorities in Al-Kharj municipality are conducting 12,000 inspection visits to shops and food markets.

The visits aim to ensure the abundance and quality of products, as well as the compliance with health requirements and operating standards. Other undeclared visits will take place based on reports from the public.

Al-Kharj Mayor Khaled Al-Zaid, said: “The supervisory plan of the campaigns aims to ensure the safety of the products and the compliance of workers with the health and technical requirements.

“The campaign is continuously implemented 24 hours a day, and consumers can submit their reports through the consumer service line on 940, in addition to the municipality’s accounts on social media platforms.”