RIYADH: The King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language concluded the Harf Arabic Language competition on Monday with 12 winners in four categories from various non-Arabic speaking states.
The competition, launched May 4, is aimed at non-Arabic learners to give them the opportunity to highlight their skills in various fields, to honor the distinguished among them, and to encourage learners to practice the language and promote its use.
The winners were honored after being selected according to the approved criteria during the closing ceremony, held in Riyadh, which saw the participation of more than 750 contestants, representing a number of Saudi universities and institutes, with 56 people reaching the final stage.
Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Washmi, acting secretary-general of the academy, said: “Saudi Arabia’s wise leadership always encourage(s) the non-native Arabic learners to practice and use it.
“The competition contributed to achieving the academy’s goals and implementing its strategy by creating the appropriate environment for the development and consolidation of the Arabic language,” he added.
“The competition aims to encourage the Arabic language scholars, researchers and specialists by developing the professional, linguistic and cultural competencies of Arabic language teachers for non-Arabic speakers, motivating them and creating solutions that support the empowerment of non-Arabic speakers in various challenges they face.”
The academy awarded prizes to the first three winners in each category, with a total value of SR100,000 ($26,666) and honored other finalists with financial prizes totaling SR22,000.
Musa Yaqoub from Cameroon, Umm Al-Qura University, ranked first in the Lexical Ability category; Abdul Rahman Ali Cham from Gambia, Majmaah University, ranked second, and third place was taken by Ibrahim Othman Kalo from the Ivory Coast, Umm Al-Qura University.
The three winners in the Language and Technology category were Zakaria Sirin, from Indonesia, King Saud University, Reem Reforce, from the Philippines, Umm Al-Qura University, and Zehniaa Saleh from the Philippines, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
The winners in the Narrator and Stories category were Khaled Safi from Afghanistan, Umm Al-Qura University, Qanitah Sheikh from India, Umm Al-Qura University, Mariam Mahdi Mirato from the Philippines, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
The winners in the Research Paper category were Mohammed Sako from Guinea, Qassim University, Medina Jalis Khannova from Russia, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, and Effaa Abdullah from India, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
The participants represented more than 60 nationalities. India ranked first in terms of the number of participants with 73 contestants, then Indonesia and Afghanistan with 42 contestants each, then Ivory Coast with 38 contestants, Burkina Faso with 37 contestants, Nigeria with 34 contestants, Guinea, Gambia and Chad, with 32 contestants apiece, while Mali had 30 contestants.
Residents enjoy airshows, military parades, musical performances, art and fireworks as part of National Day celebrations
Updated 1 min 14 sec ago
Nada Hameed Afshan Aziz Jasmine Bager
JEDDAH/DHAHRAN: Residents marked the 93rd Saudi National Day over the weekend with great fervor as they took part in celebratory activities organized across the Kingdom’s regions, captivating audiences and instilling a sense of national pride.
A parade of naval vessels and special marine security boats, helicopter airshows and spectacular aerial ballet by the Royal Saudi Air Force were on show in different cities of the Kingdom. A military parade featuring an array of vehicles and infantry and cavalry units was also held. The Jeddah Waterfront became a focal point of celebration as enthusiastic crowds gathered to savor the day’s activities.
Rehab Al-Dossary, a student at King Abdulaziz University, said: “My family is a big fan of the air shows. It is clear that great efforts were made here.”
Jeddah Art Promenade witnessed a two-hour folkloric show that showcased Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage.
At the Jeddah Yacht Club, the Royal Guard held a parade and the Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team executed intricate formations and aerial displays, leaving spectators spellbound.
The historic area of Al-Balad saw musical performances, a delectable array of food trucks, traditional folk dances, educational workshops, live shows, and guided tours that allowed both locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Saudi Arabia.
A parade of naval vessels and special marine security boats, helicopter airshows and spectacular aerial ballet by the Royal Saudi Air Force were on show in different cities of the Kingdom.
As guests arrived, they were warmly welcomed in the traditional Saudi way, with Arabic coffee and genuine hospitality.
The air was filled with enchanting melodies as singers and musicians occupied various areas within the historic district, mesmerizing the audience with their performances.
A kids’ corner ensured that little ones had their fair share of fun and entertainment too.
The Royal Institute for Traditional Arts, in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, held family-oriented activities during Saudi National Day celebrations in Al-Balad.
These included workshops on traditional arts like intricate geometric pattern drawing and hands-on woodcarving sessions.
Suzan Al-Yahya, CEO of the institute, said: “Saudi National Day reminds us of our cultural richness and the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving and promoting traditional art. Through our collaborative workshops, we aim to nurture local talent, provide training, and inspire the community to embrace Saudi Arabia’s artistic heritage.”
Art enthusiasts were delighted by the diverse range of artworks showcased at the Visual Arts Gallery on Abu Inabah Street.
Traditional games at Al-Falah Courtyard brought people together, fostering a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition. A treasure hunt added an element of adventure to the festivities.
In collaboration with Infuse Advisory, Jeddah’s finest chefs opened a three-day pop-up restaurant, Peninsula, at Tahreek Space — a gastronomic initiative that celebrated the diversity of Saudi cuisine, infusing traditional flavors with contemporary trends.
Hashim Nazer, CEO of Infuse Advisory, told Arab News: “Peninsula Pop-Up offered a culinary journey, diving deep into the distinctive flavors emblematic of Saudi cuisine. In tribute to the 93rd Saudi National Day, and as a nod to our rich heritage, the menu has been meticulously curated by the dedicated Saudi chef team at Infuse Advisory, which includes Dana Al-Maddah, Abdulrahman Enani, and Taleen Miliany. While it pays homage to our traditions, the menu also captures the nation’s progressive stride towards contemporary trends.”
The menu showcased a fresh take on beloved Saudi classics, innovating with textures, presentation, and culinary techniques while staying true to the authentic flavors and spices that define traditional Saudi cuisine.
At the King Abdullah Economic City, residents enjoyed a traditional Saudi folk band show, an outdoor Arabesque seating area, and other entertaining activities.
Bay La Sun Hotel at KAEC hosted a grand celebration with live music, cultural shows, exquisite dining, and activities for children.
Sheraton Jeddah Hotel celebrated by honoring Saudi heritage with a buffet of traditional flavors, dance performances, and a commitment to authentic Arabic hospitality.
“Through our National Day celebration, Sheraton Jeddah Hotel aimed to honor the rich heritage of Saudi Arabia and provide our guests with an unforgettable experience that showcased our commitment to authentic Arabic hospitality,” said General Manager Edwin Wijkhuijs.
In Dhahran, the iconic King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra, was lit in a neon green with rays of white as it welcomed visitors young and old for the Kingdom’s three-day celebration.
One big attraction — and perhaps the most photographed — was the Aramco-commissioned large painting, titled “Sights of Grandeur.” The oil on canvas framed art piece was created especially for the 93rd National Day by artist Simon Pasini and depicts the previous late Saudi kings as they walk in unison down steps. The painting shows women standing prominently to the side, with familiar Saudi buildings in the background, including the Ithra building.
“We celebrate our homeland, the great anniversary of its unification; a day of strength, pride and renewed belonging,” Ithra said in a statement.
The “Sing Along for Saudi” karaoke experiment returned with two nightly shows, encouraging audience members to sing from their seats. Popular Saudi song lyrics were displayed on a big screen, accompanied by a live orchestra led by Maestro Yahya Musawa.
With 2023 designated as the Year of Arabic Poetry by the Kingdom, the Ithra Museum offered an Arabic Poetry Exhibit, along with musical performances at the Plaza and the famous Selfie Corner.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, the night skies across Saudi Arabia were illuminated by breathtaking fireworks displays.
Cities like Jeddah, Alkhobar, Madinah at King Fahad Main Park, Taif at King Abdullah’s Public Park, Hail’s Al-Salam Park, Abha’s Al-Sadd Garden and Al-Fan Street, and Tabuk Rose Garden all came alive with dazzling bursts of color and light.
Starbucks celebrates Saudi National Day with special cup design
Saudi artist Joud Yahya Al-Sultan’s work won public vote in coffee chain’s second design contest
Updated 9 sec ago
JEDDAH: To commemorate the 93rd Saudi National Day, coffee chain Starbucks has announced the winner of its second design competition, held in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Culture.
The contest, which was launched last year to mark the Year of Saudi Coffee, aims to portray the Kingdom’s heritage and culture through art and creativity and encourage the creative community to pay tribute to Saudi Arabia’s history and its beloved coffee traditions.
This year’s winning design, created by Saudi artist Joud Yahya Al-Sultan, will grace Starbucks’ cups throughout the month. Her work was chosen by public vote from a shortlist of 10 designs, selected from a multitude of entries. The top three artists all received cash prizes.
Al-Sultan’s artwork incorporates immediately recognizable elements of Saudi culture including coffee, camels, and traditional houses adorned with vibrant decorations.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Al-Sultan explained: “Through my illustrations, I tried to highlight elements related to our beloved Saudi culture in a harmonious mixture that represents the Saudi identity. Camels, old houses and Saudi coffee are all elements that are deeply ingrained in the minds of the people, representing a history full of pride and honor.”
She continued: “Frankly, I did not expect to win due to the large number of creative designers and painters in the Kingdom.”
Her winning design was created using Photoshop. She selected a palette of brown tones to represent her country’s heritage and convey a sense of tradition and history.
Al-Sultan added that she is already planning her next creative endeavor for Starbucks — one that will showcase her artistic talents to audiences in the Gulf and beyond.
The artist told Arab News that she has been passionate about drawing since childhood. Her ability to create digital drawings and visual identities has opened up exciting opportunities in the world of art and design, she explained.
“My message to emerging painters and designers is to take advantage of the opportunities available to you because you do not know which of these opportunities will build your future,” Al-Sultan said.
Prince Faisal meets Cypriot president, Turkish and Thai FMs on sidelines of UNGA
The prince discussed relations and ways of boosting cooperation with both ministers
Updated 23 September 2023
NEW YORK CITY: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with Cypriot president Nikos Christodoulides on Saturday, the foreign ministry said.
As well as discussions on relations between the two countries and international affairs, Prince Faisal conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Christodoulides and the Cypriot people.
The foreign ministry also announced Prince Faisal met with the Turkish and Thai foreign ministers on Saturday.
Prince Faisal held talks with Hakan Fidan and Panpree Phahitthanukorn in New York.
The prince discussed relations and ways of boosting cooperation with both ministers, the foreign ministry added.
All meetings were also attended by Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdulaziz Al-Wasil.
Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Almizani, head of sustainability in renewable energy and circular economy at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City
Updated 51 min 11 sec ago
Abdulaziz Almizani is head of sustainability in renewable energy and circular economy at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.
Almizani is responsible for managing stakeholder alignment in the sustainability ecosystem. Some of the stakeholders he works with include the Ministry of Energy and the Water and Electricity Regulatory Authority.
He has been heavily involved in the execution of Riyadh’s city masterplan, planning for renewable alternative sources to meet 50 percent of Riyadh’s electricity consumption needs.
Additionally, Almizani is responsible for managing the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.
Almizani previously served as the director of the Attracting Global Headquarters Program at the commission from 2021 to 2022. In that position, he collaborated with various stakeholders to incentivize the regional headquarters program for multinational companies. Through his efforts, he successfully delivered programs for over 60 initiatives involving 10 stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance.
Between 2020 and 2021, Almizani served as an adviser at the Ministry of Energy. He was responsible for managing the implementation of non-metallic hydrocarbon-based materials.
During his 14-year tenure at Saudi Aramco from 2006 to 2020, Almizani held multiple positions, including program director, operation foreman, and lead project engineer.
Almizani holds certificates in project management and portfolio management from the Project Management Institute, as well as leadership certifications from the Saudi Aramco Executive Leadership Centre.
Almizani graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and material science from the University of California in San Diego.