Saudi crown prince, US state secretary discuss cooperation

Saudi crown prince, US state secretary discuss cooperation
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received Antony Blinken in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Updated 07 June 2023
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Saudi crown prince, US state secretary discuss cooperation

Saudi crown prince, US state secretary discuss cooperation
  • Pair discussed ways to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jeddah, the Saudi Press Agency reported early Wednesday.

The pair discussed ways to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations in various fields, and efforts toward the latest regional and International developments.

Senior Saudi and US officials attended the meeting.

Blinken arrived in Jeddah on Tuesday.

His trip comes as the Kingdom and US seek to broker a durable cease-fire between Sudan’s warring generals in ongoing talks in Jeddah.

Blinken will participate in a US-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ministerial meeting to discuss growing cooperation with Gulf partners and how they can promote security, stability, de-escalation, regional integration, and economic opportunities across the Middle East, spokesman Matt Miller said.

The state secretary and Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan will co-host a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh “to address the continuing threat of (Daesh) and reaffirm our commitment to ensure its enduring defeat,” he added.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla, UNESCO sign deal for cultural programs, heritage fellowships

The AlUla vision aligns with Vision 2030 in bolstering strategic partnerships in development, including with UNESCO. (SPA)
The AlUla vision aligns with Vision 2030 in bolstering strategic partnerships in development, including with UNESCO. (SPA)
Updated 26 September 2023
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Saudi Arabia’s AlUla, UNESCO sign deal for cultural programs, heritage fellowships

The AlUla vision aligns with Vision 2030 in bolstering strategic partnerships in development, including with UNESCO. (SPA)
  • The two-year program will emphasize the role of heritage and creativity in constructing sustainable sites and a development model founded on cultural and social interaction in AlUla

RIYADH: Royal Commission for AlUla and UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization officials recently triggered the second phase of a cultural programs agreement signed in Paris in 2021.

The inking of the deal to activate the next stage of the initiative came in coordination with a steering committee represented by bodies including the RCU, UNESCO, the Saudi National Committee for Education, Culture, and Science, and the Saudi permanent delegation to UNESCO.

The AlUla vision aligns with Vision 2030 in bolstering strategic partnerships in development, including with UNESCO. (SPA)

Part two of the accord will focus mainly on projects related to building an integrated cultural scheme and developing a fellowship program in antiquities protection in cooperation with UNESCO and the Al-Mamalek Institute. Both initiatives aim to preserve heritage, promote education, nature, and creative arts.

The RCU UNESCO program will provide technical support while concentrating on capacity building and promoting international relations.

HIGHLIGHT

The fellowship program in antiquities protection will welcome its first fellows to AlUla this year, enabling researchers and heritage professionals to conduct work focused on conservation, management, and the exchange of knowledge.

It also aims to highlight cultural heritage and creativity as drivers of AlUla’s sustainable development plan, aligning with the AlUla vision and Saudi Vision 2030.

The two-year program will emphasize the role of heritage and creativity in constructing sustainable sites and a development model founded on cultural and social interaction in AlUla.

The fellowship program in antiquities protection will welcome its first fellows to AlUla this year, enabling researchers and heritage professionals to conduct work focused on conservation, management, and the exchange of knowledge.

The AlUla vision aligns with Vision 2030 in bolstering strategic partnerships in development, including with UNESCO. It aims to enhance education, culture, and science to stimulate economic opportunities, generate employment, and achieve comprehensive sustainable development.

 


Restaurant-owning Saudi prince cooks up social media sensation

Restaurant-owning Saudi prince cooks up social media sensation
Updated 26 September 2023
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Restaurant-owning Saudi prince cooks up social media sensation

Restaurant-owning Saudi prince cooks up social media sensation
  • Prince Nayef bin Mamdouh bin Abdulaziz dons a chef’s apron to serve and cook for customers

JEDDAH: A Saudi prince has caused a social media sensation with video clips of him serving and cooking for customers at his newly opened restaurant.

Prince Nayef bin Mamdouh bin Abdulaziz donned a chef’s apron and joined the staff to offer traditional Saudi cuisine such as mandi, jareesh, kabsa, mitazeez, margoog, harissa, and arekah at the Makarem Najd restaurant in Jeddah.

In one video clip, the prince can be seen cooking chicken over charcoal, and explaining the restaurant’s food safety accreditation to a customer.

“Young people say to me, ‘Why are you wearing this, and why are you working like this?’ This is my job,” the prince said. “I like to share my work with my team. Work is an honor, it is not a shame, and there is no prophet who did not herd sheep — work on yourself.”

Fans on social media approved. Abdul Rahman Al-Solaim said: “This is a message to some of our young men and women who may refuse to work in such professions. Prince Nayef bin Mamdouh bin Abdulaziz mobilizes enthusiasm and promotes the culture of self-employment.”

Another user, Mohammed Al-Shehri, said: “A beautiful and wonderful scene of Prince Nayef personally supervising and serving the patrons of a restaurant.”

The son of inventor, philanthropist, and former Tabuk Gov. Prince Mamdouh bin Abdulaziz, the prince has followed in his father’s footsteps doing charitable work.

One of his projects involved the creation of a rescue and relief helicopter with firefighting capabilities, an initiative that earned him a grand prize from the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions.


Musical nostalgia beats in the heart of Jeddah

Musical nostalgia beats in the heart of Jeddah
Updated 25 September 2023
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Musical nostalgia beats in the heart of Jeddah

Musical nostalgia beats in the heart of Jeddah
  • Paying homage to world and local sounds, ‘Music and Antiques’ is a vibrant space founded by Saudi collector and producer Anwar Idriss

JEDDAH: In the heart of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s rich musical heritage is being revealed for contemporary audiences with a space titled “Music and Antiques,” thanks to the passion of Anwar Idriss, a well-traveled enthusiast, collector and producer.

The space represents the deep-rooted love Idriss holds for music, nurtured in Saudi Arabia and the US, where he spent his formative years.

Taking inspiration from signature Georgian designs, infused by his own style he labels “organized chaos,” Idriss has created an inviting and enveloping atmosphere within Music and Antiques. It is characterized by symmetrical layouts, decorative molding, and a generous splash of warm tones.

Music and Antiques is home to 4,000 vinyl records, including an original 1931 classic by Ludwig van Beethoven, and a 100-year-old piano. (AN photos by Nada Hameed)

The striking maroon walls are a testament to this style, coupled with polished wooden floors that seem to echo with stories with every step taken on them. Wooden shelves, showcasing a vast array of musical artifacts, line the walls, adding depth and history to the ambiance.

It is like a luxurious living room, with its wooden nuances and sparkling chandeliers. But the true marvel lies on the second floor, which has been transformed into a museum of musical collectibles.

HIGHLIGHTS

• ‘Music and Antiques’ is located on Al-Zahra district’s Al-Batarji street in Jeddah.

• The second floor is a museum of musical collectibles.

• Most of the showcased items were handpicked by founder Anwar Idriss.

Idriss has an enviable musical background, having collaborated with many prominent Saudi and Arab musicians. This expertise includes the production of TV commercials and music videos.

In a conversation with Arab News, Idriss recalled being a part of the last generation to receive formal music classes at Al-Thagour School in Saudi Arabia: “Ever since then my passion for music never died.”

Music and Antiques is home to 4,000 vinyl records, including an original 1931 classic by Ludwig van Beethoven, and a 100-year-old piano. (AN photos by Nada Hameed)

Idriss says the space is a culmination of a “personal dream,” emphasizing that he seeks to foster an appreciation of music without the distractions of modern technology.

The space serves several purposes, including to educate and protect the artistic heritage of generations past. It also acts as a space for live performances, and encourages children to come for rehearsals or simply explore their own passion for music.

“At its core, Music and Antiques is not just about reminiscing; it is about fostering all talents,” Idriss explained.

Anwar Idriss, Music and Antiques founder

“We motivate people to thrive on their skills and not to over-rely on technology when it comes to music,” he added.

Smoking is prohibited during performances, and as well as recording performers. The focus is on nurturing artistic growth and expression, not on seeking fleeting fame, he says.

The beating heart of Music and Antiques is its vast vinyl collection, encompassing genres ranging from blues and jazz to R&B, rock, hip-hop, and Arab music.

At its core, Music and Antiques is not just about reminiscing; it is about fostering all talents.

Anwar Idriss, Music and Antiques founder

Idriss proudly added: “This place houses over 4,000 vinyl records, including an original 1931 classic by Ludwig van Beethoven and a 100-year-old piano.”

The treasure trove of unique items includes paintings by local artists, hundreds of vintage cassette tapes, videotapes, CDs, TVs, and audio equipment, including stereos and gramophones.

Posters of American and Arab music legends including Ray Charles, Abdel Halim Hafez and Fairuz adorn the walls, adding layers to the rich tapestry of musical history being showcased.

Idriss handpicked most of the showcased items at Music and Antiques, and he  encourages collectors to exchange music-related antiques.

With an eye on helping people to diversify their income, in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision, Idriss welcomes the selling of items by music aficionados and collectors.

“Everything in the place is for sale, and we support and respect all items,” he said.

The response from the Saudi community has been overwhelming, with visitors flocking from all over the Kingdom to experience the magic of Music and Antiques.

Idriss is even considering franchising the concept to spread its unique spirit far and wide.

Looking ahead, Music and Antiques has ambitious plans to introduce the concept of “Tiny Disc,” which allows musicians to create music on the go. It is a testament to Idriss’ unwavering commitment to artistic creation for generations to come.

Music and Antiques stands as a beacon, reminding us of the enduring power of sound in people’s lives.

 


Who’s Who: Bandar Al-Mashhadi, CEO of the Media Rating Co.

Bandar Al-Mashhadi
Bandar Al-Mashhadi
Updated 25 September 2023
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Who’s Who: Bandar Al-Mashhadi, CEO of the Media Rating Co.

Bandar Al-Mashhadi

Bandar Al-Mashhadi is CEO of the Media Rating Co., a privately owned company that provides content consumption data measurement services to the media industry in Saudi Arabia. It is the Kingdom’s only licensed provider for data on viewership and is authorized by the General Authority of Media Regulation.  

The company aims to provide reliable insights into viewership and consumption patterns by ensuring its measurement methodologies align with the ever-changing requirements of media owners, agencies, and advertisers.

Under Al-Mashhadi’s leadership, the company provides precise information regarding media consumption across various platforms, including television and the internet, and aims to venture into emerging domains like gaming and podcasting as part of its expansion strategy.

Al-Mashhadi’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, and reliability forms the bedrock of the company’s operational philosophy, instilling confidence among stakeholders and propelling the company toward long-term, sustainable success in the industry.  

He has over 20 years of experience in engineering, media, and project management, having worked in various positions in the media and telecommunications industries.

Al-Mashhadi was vice president and general manager of the Middle East and North Africa region at WWE, managing director at OSN, and advisor to the minister of media.

He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in aerospace from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and later attended Harvard Business School’s Senior Executive Leadership Program in the Middle East.

 


Minister meets Danish envoy to Saudi Arabia

Ali Al-Yousef receives Liselotte Plesner in Riyadh. (Supplied)
Ali Al-Yousef receives Liselotte Plesner in Riyadh. (Supplied)
Updated 25 September 2023
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Minister meets Danish envoy to Saudi Arabia

Ali Al-Yousef receives Liselotte Plesner in Riyadh. (Supplied)
  • They reviewed bilateral relations and discussed regional and international developments of common concern

RIYADH: Ambassador Ali Al-Yousef, Saudi deputy minister for consular affairs, on Monday met Liselotte Plesner, the ambassador of Denmark to the Kingdom.

The parties reviewed bilateral relations and discussed regional and international developments of common concern.

Plesner recently met Saudi Minister of Media Salman Al-Dosari, and said in a post on X that they had discussed “development of the Saudi media landscape and opportunities for cooperation between Denmark and Saudi Arabia.”