RIYADH: With only a few days until Ramadan, Saudis were making changes to their plans to celebrate Mother’s Day on Tuesday.
Each year, mothers vow not to go overboard with Ramadan preparations, but can still be found lining up in stores to buy decorations and table settings, or busy in the kitchen preparing for the celebrations.
Their unmatched strength is one of the reasons Saudis celebrate their mothers.
“I never understood how moms can do so many things at once until I became a mom myself. It is the unconditional love we have for our children that moves us to do this, and not think of how or why,” said Sarah Battal, a mother of three young boys.
“So, I made it a tradition to treat my mother and myself to a much-needed pampering at a spa treatment center.”
Mother’s Day can be tricky for Saudis — fail to remember the special day and mothers will remind them by sharing how others celebrated. But if one does remember, their mother may well say that every day should be Mother’s Day.
“To be fair, they are not wrong. Every day should be a Mother’s Day,” said Naif Abdulaziz, a father of two.
“I don’t know how hard it is to be a mom, but I can get a sense of how that might feel like watching my mom take care of us growing up, and watching how wonderfully my wife is doing as a mother.”
For those living in Riyadh, there are many ways to show appreciation for mothers on this special day, including a reservation for tea at the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton’s Chorisia Lounge or at Oplaisir.
“This year, I am making a surprise visit to my mom as she lives in another city, and I am taking her to buy spices from the old markets in Riyadh. This is her favorite thing to do,” said Abdullah Ibrahim, a Saudi chemical engineer based in Dhahran.
For those living in other cities, a quick and easy way to show love and appreciation is to send a colorful bouquet of flowers with a special note.
Online flower stores that offer a same-day express delivery in the Kingdom include Floward, Lamuda, Little Flora and Gifto.
Saudi Arabia to host 10th session of Arab-Chinese Business Conference
Expected to be the largest Arab-Chinese gathering for business and investment, with over 2,000 participants
Updated 12 sec ago
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will host the 10th session of the Arab-Chinese Business Conference and the eighth Investment Symposium from June 11-12 in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency has reported.
“Collaborating for Prosperity” aims to boost cooperation in the areas of the economy, trade, and investment to achieve solutions of mutual interest to Arab nations and China through strategic collaboration.
It is organized by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Arab League’s secretary-general, the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and a number of government agencies.
The conference is expected to be the largest Arab-Chinese gathering for business and investment, with more than 2,000 participants, including high-level government representatives, senior officials, CEOs, investors, and entrepreneurs.
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that trade and cultural ties between Arab countries and China extended over 2,000 years, and that the conference reflected that historic relationship.
He added that Saudi-Chinese relations had developed, especially following King Salman’s visit to China in 2017 and the two historic visits by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Beijing in 2016 and 2019.
Trade in 2022 between the Arab countries and China reached SR1.6 trillion ($430 billion), a 31 percent increase on the previous year.
Saudi Arabia led the way in that, with trade between the countries around SR400 billion ($106 billion), a 30 percent increase over 2021.
The conference’s agenda will include many dialogue sessions and bilateral meetings on the development of Arab-Chinese relations; prospects for investment and financing China’s Belt and Road Initiative; review investment opportunities in a variety of economic sectors; and mobilizing efforts to achieve sustainable development in various Arab countries and China.
The conference will also focus on promising economic sectors, most notably manufacturing industries; the digital economy and artificial intelligence; renewable energy; agriculture and food security; construction and real estate activities; mining; tourism and entertainment; infrastructure; logistics; and entrepreneurship and innovation.
Two-day event at L’Art Pur in Riyadh opened doors for conversations and cultural exchange in the world of fashion
Updated 29 May 2023
RIYADH: The Saudi Fashion Commission teamed up with the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise for an event in L’Art Pur in Riyadh.
The two-day France & Fashion event on Saturday and Sunday gathered fashion fans for exhibitions, panel discussions, and training workshops with leading French fashion experts.
Ambassador of France Ludovic Pouille and CEO of the Fashion Commission Burak Cakmak attended the official opening.;
“This is why the French Embassy wanted to bring to Saudi Arabia, French talents from embroidery, fashion history, creation, and training,” said Pouille.
“This is a unique moment to gather French and Saudi experts, at a very special time, when Saudi designers are now growing, and we can see their popularity inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.”
The Fashion Commission, established two years ago, has provided increased support for local designers with opportunities and initiatives to reach a global audience.
Cakmak said: “We are happy to see that our efforts in training and education are now going beyond and countries like France are very interested in supporting talent within Saudi Arabia.”
• The two-day France & Fashion event gathered fashion fans for exhibitions, panel discussions, and training workshops with leading French fashion experts.
• Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission, established two years ago, has provided increased support for local designers with opportunities and initiatives to reach a global audience.
The event began with a presentation by Barbara Jeauffroy, the associate curator of the Christian Dior Museum on the early years of one of French fashion’s biggest icons.
“Dior, a museum, a story” revisited the designer’s childhood and explored his parents’ grand villa and the influence it had on his designs.
Panel discussions were led by Saudi fashion designers including Mona Alshebil, Arwa Alammari, Haifa AlHumaid and Bander Hawsawi, and leading French fashion experts including professors and directors from the Institut Francais de la Mode, and Nadia Albertini, the French embroiderer and historian.
Panelists considered the Kingdom’s place in the global fashion industry, its cultural influence on local designs, female participation and the future of fashion. Challenges and opportunities for designers, technology and social media were also topics.
“I believe this is the perfect place, the perfect timing for anybody, especially women to be in Saudi Arabia,” said Alshebil. “Everybody is rooting for us, everybody is helping us, the government, the Fashion Commission, the population.”
This is a unique moment to gather French and Saudi experts ... when Saudi designers are now growing, and we can see their popularity inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.
Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France
Alammari said: “For a fashion industry to succeed, there should be an ecosystem, and this has started two years ago, with fashion schools, and the updated curriculum of fashion majors in universities, like in PNU.
“We need more know-how. We have the minds, we have the vision, but we need to learn more about the know-how and the new technology in the industry.”
Speaking on the international perception of the Saudi fashion industry, IFM associate professor Jean-Marc Chauve said: “We can see now in magazine articles the Saudi fashion designers and their collections and brands, which didn’t exist five years ago … we didn’t hear about Saudi fashion designers then.”
The event offered training for designers, including how to structure a fashion collection, creating a brand and embroidery.
As part of its ongoing efforts to support the local designers and the Saudi fashion industry, the Fashion Commission will be exhibiting 100 Saudi brands to Paris on June 20.
“We will have a big moment that is going to spread for two weeks, with pop-ups, fashion shows, and other experiences highlighting the best out of Saudi Arabia in the heart of the fashion capital in Paris to a global audience,” said Cakmak.
Nodah, a visitor, said that the event was well organized and the talk on the Dior museum “full of useful information.”
Who’s Who: Areej Naqshbandi, senior director at the Public Investment Fund
Updated 29 May 2023
Areej Naqshbandi has been the senior director and head of the project management office at the Public Investment Fund since 2021.
As part of PIF’s rapid growth over the last few years, Naqshbandi has contributed to the operational transformation across different aspects of the business to establish consistency, efficiency and best practice.
She is leading the PMO, a centralized department within the PIF that upholds the highest standards of project management.
It governs operating models, methodologies and tools to ensure best-in-class project management standards and improve delivery.
Naqshbandi’s oversight ensures that the PMO provides support and guidance to project managers and teams across PIF and its portfolio companies.
In her 23-year career, Naqshbandi has held several executive positions such as director and head of the enterprise project management office within the public and private sectors, including leading government, financial, investment and retail institutions.
Before joining PIF, she established and develop several EPMOs.
Naqshbandi won the PMO Leader of the Year Award by the Project Management Institute in 2022.
She is also a holder of Six Sigma belt certificates, a strategy management certificate in the public sector and an international project management certificate.
Naqshbandi holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from King Saud University and an executive master’s degree in business administration from HEC Paris.
Saudi Arabian citizen kidnapped in Beirut: Officials
“With an iron fist, we work to liberate any citizen who is exposed to any harm on Lebanese soil,” Mawlawi tweeted
Updated 15 min 9 sec ago
BEIRUT: The Saudi embassy in Lebanon announced on Monday that it was “contacting authorities in Beirut to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of a Saudi citizen.”
The embassy confirmed in a statement that it had received “a notification from the family of a Saudi citizen about losing contact with him at dawn on Sunday.”
Instructions have been issued to the employees of the Saudi embassy in Lebanon not to go out into the streets.
“The Saudi citizen, Mashari M., who is an employee of Saudi Airlines in Beirut and lives in the Aramoun area in Mount Lebanon, was kidnapped at around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday in Beirut. The kidnappers contacted his family from the southern suburbs of Beirut and demanded a financial ransom,” the statement said.
In audio messages from the kidnappers, a $400,000 ransom was demanded for the return of the Saudi citizen.
Security officials said the Saudia employee was in the administrative department at the airline company, and it is believed that 4 people in military uniforms kidnapped him. The Lebanese security services monitored three locations in the southern suburbs of Beirut; Hazmieh and Dahr Al-Baidar, while his car was later found in the Bekaa region.
The officials said: “The car in which the kidnapped Saudi was forced to move into was in the Bashoura area near central Beirut.”
Preliminary information indicated that the victim was last seen in the Biel area of central Beirut, and was last seen on the road toward Beirut Airport, which leads to the Aramoun area, where the kidnapped man lives.
“The incident is being closely monitored,” a military source told Arab News.
Al-Arabiya TV reported that the Lebanese security services had reached initial leads about the party or persons who carried out the kidnapping.
The Minister of the Interior Bassam Malawi said earlier he had been following the kidnapping with internal security forces since Sunday.
Mawlawi said he was also in contact with the Kingdom’s ambassador to Lebanon, Waleed Bukhari, regarding the incident.
“With an iron fist, we work to liberate any citizen who is exposed to any harm on Lebanese soil,” Malawi tweeted.
“What happened affects Lebanon’s relationship with its brothers, and the perpetrators will be punished harshly,” he added.
A political observer described the kidnapping of the Saudi as “a very dangerous, reprehensible and unacceptable matter with suspicious aims.”
Bukhari met with the commander of the Lebanese army, General Joseph Aoun, on Monday, according to reports.