Saudi farmers sow seeds for expansion of lucrative plant-growing business

Saudi farmers sow seeds for expansion of lucrative plant-growing business
Jazan’s farmers are placing a focus on jasmine cultivation. (SPA)
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Updated 24 July 2023
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Saudi farmers sow seeds for expansion of lucrative plant-growing business

Saudi farmers sow seeds for expansion of lucrative plant-growing business
  • Expansion of high-value Arabian jasmine growing business
  • 950 farms in Jazan region focused on plant’s cultivation

RIYADH: Saudi farmers are sowing the seeds for the expansion of a lucrative business in growing Arabian jasmine.

Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture figures show that 950 farms in the Kingdom’s southwestern Jazan region will soon be seeing the plants bloom.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, more growers are focussing on the high-value species as part of plans to boost cultivation in the country.

Jazan’s Chamber of Commerce recently conducted joint studies in Jazan Economic City into the crop’s production potential and found the plant offered generous returns on investment.

Last year, the region’s farmers established the Association of Arabian Jasmine and Aromatic Plants.

Chairman, Mohammed Al-Hobani, said: “The association aims to be a pioneer in cultivating Arabian jasmine and aromatic plants and downstream industries, and to provide comprehensive investment solutions for all farmers and those interested.”

Native plants such as the Arabian jasmine, narcissus, and the pandanus tectorius, known locally as the hala tree, have played a prominent role in shaping the region’s cultural heritage and folklore.

They have also taken center stage at wedding ceremonies, birthdays, and holiday events, and are often presented as gifts to tourists and visitors to Jazan.

Saudi Arabia aims to plant 100 million mangrove trees around its coastline over the coming years, and according to the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification, Jazan will be getting the bulk of more than 3.3 million seedlings.

The first Jasmine and Aromatic Plants Festival was held in 2018, overseen by Jazan Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Nasser. The second event will take place this year and include the Jazan Winter Festival alongside other special attractions showcasing locally sourced harid fish, mango, coffee, and honey.


Symposium on fatwas to be held at Prophet’s Mosque

Symposium on fatwas to be held at Prophet’s Mosque
Updated 28 November 2023
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Symposium on fatwas to be held at Prophet’s Mosque

Symposium on fatwas to be held at Prophet’s Mosque
  • A fatwa is a legal ruling on a point of Islamic law

RIYADH: The head of religious affairs at the two holy mosques Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais announced that royal approval had been issued to hold a symposium on fatwas at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

A fatwa is a legal ruling on a point of Islamic law, and the symposium will focus on rulings at the two holy mosques and their impacts on facilitating visitors to the religious sites.

Al-Sudais said the symposium is an extension of the efforts of the Saudi government to serve the two holy mosques and conveying their message to the world in accordance with the Kingdom’s moderate approach based on the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad.

He explained that the approval to hold this symposium supports the shift in methods of issuing fatwas and their digitalization in a way that suits and meets the religious needs of the visitors of the mosques, while helping them perform their rituals.

Al-Sudais added that the approval of King Salman to hold the symposium reflected the Kingdom’s concern for fatwas, given their direct impact on the pilgrims to the Two Holy Mosques.


Saudi crown prince, Ukrainian president discuss Ukraine-Russia conflict

Saudi crown prince, Ukrainian president discuss Ukraine-Russia conflict
Updated 28 November 2023
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Saudi crown prince, Ukrainian president discuss Ukraine-Russia conflict

Saudi crown prince, Ukrainian president discuss Ukraine-Russia conflict
  • Crown prince affirmed the Kingdom's commitment and support for all international efforts aimed at resolving crisis

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman received a phone call on Monday from the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the call, the crown prince affirmed the Kingdom's commitment and support for all international efforts aimed at resolving the Ukrainian-Russian crisis.

President Zelensky, in turn, acknowledged the efforts undertaken by the Kingdom in this regard.

The conversation also included a review of the bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as a discussion on various issues of mutual interest.


Greek Embassy hosts agri-food event in Riyadh on eve of Saudi Horeca exhibition

Greek Embassy hosts agri-food event in Riyadh on eve of Saudi Horeca exhibition
Updated 27 November 2023
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Greek Embassy hosts agri-food event in Riyadh on eve of Saudi Horeca exhibition

Greek Embassy hosts agri-food event in Riyadh on eve of Saudi Horeca exhibition
  • Attica Sense showcases Greek products with aim of enhancing Saudi-Greek cooperation and highlighting investment opportunities in the Kingdom and wider region
  • It takes place the day before the start of Saudi Horeca 2023, a 3-day annual international exhibition for food, beverage and hospitality companies

RIYADH: An event in Riyadh on Sunday offered visitors the chance to learn more about agri-food products from Greece and the history behind the flavors of Athens.

Attica Sense, presented by the Greek embassy and the government of the Hellenic Republic Region of Attica, took place the day before the start of Saudi Horeca 2023, a three-day, annual international exhibition that aims to encourage cooperation between food, beverage and hospitality companies around the world and businesses in Saudi Arabia.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities that you will see in the days to come; there is much more we can do together,” said Alexis Konstantopoulos, the Greek ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who hosted Attica Sense at the Radisson Blu Hotel Convention Center with Giorgios Patoulis, the regional governor of Attica.

The aim of the event on Sunday was to showcase Greek products and enhance Saudi-Greek cooperation by highlighting investment opportunities in the Kingdom and the wider Middle East region.

“Our countries enjoy excellent bilateral relations; our prime minister was here twice in the past few years,” said Konstantopoulos. “His royal highness the crown prince visited Athens in July 2022 and together established the Higher Strategic Council, which has different subcommittees.”

One of those subcommittees, the ambassador added, focuses on the commercial field with the aim of encouraging businesses from the two countries to work together, so that they can benefit from the support available from Saudi and Greek authorities, and help achieve ambitious bilateral commercial targets.

Some of the Greek companies that took part in Attica Sense gave presentations about their histories, operations and products. They included: the Greek Nut Company, which was established in 1952; Leo’s House of Bagels, which in addition to Greece delivers its products to France and now Saudi Arabia; Oliva Boutique, a producer of honey and oil products; Stalia, a manufacturer of extra virgin olive oil; and Kakias Dairy, which was established in 1935.

Saudi Horeca began on Monday, the day after Attica Sense, and continues until Wednesday at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center.


Saudi foreign minister meets Latvian, Cypriot counterparts

Saudi foreign minister meets Latvian, Cypriot counterparts
Updated 27 November 2023
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Saudi foreign minister meets Latvian, Cypriot counterparts

Saudi foreign minister meets Latvian, Cypriot counterparts
  • Officials discuss need for ceasefire in Gaza, humanitarian aid efforts

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met his Latvian counterpart, Krisjanis Karins, on Monday on the sidelines of the Union for the Mediterranean Regional Forum in Barcelona.

The officials discussed the latest developments in Gaza, international efforts to provide humanitarian and medical aid, and the need to agree a ceasefire to protect civilians and prevent the situation from worsening.

Prince Faisal stressed the need for the international community to accept moral and ethical responsibility for upholding international legitimacy, including the UN Security Council resolution issued last week, in a way that achieves peace and security and prevents extremism and violence.

The ministers also discussed issues of mutual interest, including ways to boost relations between their countries.

Prince Faisal also held similar talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos on Monday.

Saudi Ambassador to Spain Azzam Al-Qain attended the meeting.
 


‘Eltiqa’ show builds cultural bridges between Saudi Arabia, South Korea

‘Eltiqa’ show builds cultural bridges between Saudi Arabia, South Korea
Updated 27 November 2023
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‘Eltiqa’ show builds cultural bridges between Saudi Arabia, South Korea

‘Eltiqa’ show builds cultural bridges between Saudi Arabia, South Korea
  • Three-day show in Riyadh features spectacular performances, artistic exhibition

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea came together at the Red Hall in Princess Noura University Theater on Sunday night for a series of performances blending the two cultures.

The show, which will conclude on Nov. 28, was launched by the Saudi Royal Institute of Traditional Arts in partnership with the Korea National University of Arts.

‘Eltiqa,’ held in riyadh from nov. 26-28, was a cross-cultural artistic experience comprising 10 performances, five from each Saudi Arabia and Korea. (Supplied)

Suzan Al-Yahya, CEO of the institute, said that the show aims to promote “global cultural exchange in the Kingdom and create a meeting point between the traditional arts of various countries.”

The show, titled “Eltiqa,” features 50 artists from both the Saudi institute and South Korean university performing dances that celebrate the diversity of the two cultures and reflect a fusion of artistic sensibilities.

FASTFACTS

• ‘Eltiqa’ was launched by the Saudi Royal Institute of Traditional Arts in partnership with the Korea National University of Arts.

• It included an indoor exhibition exploring the two countries’ wooden handicrafts, textile arts, traditional art, and clay works.

The show opened with a Korean and Saudi performer meeting each other halfway across the stage and exchanging a letter, symbolizing the story of how the two nations met.

‘Eltiqa,’ held in riyadh from nov. 26-28, was a cross-cultural artistic experience comprising 10 performances, five from each Saudi Arabia and Korea. (Supplied)

This was followed by a cross-cultural artistic experience comprising 10 performances, five from each country.

The Korean performances showcased traditional royal court music and dances including the Three-Drum Dance, known in Korean as Samgomu.

It was an amazing performance, exceeding my expectations, and I felt close to the Korean audiences attending and seeing the two cultures merge.

Abdulaziz Taher, Riyadh-based artist

The last of the Korean performances included a traditional dance influenced by modern movements and musical rhythms.

‘Eltiqa,’ held in riyadh from nov. 26-28, was a cross-cultural artistic experience comprising 10 performances, five from each Saudi Arabia and Korea. (Supplied)

The five Saudi performances showcased dances from different regions of the Kingdom, reflecting the nation’s cultural diversity: Al-Samari, Al-Daha, Al-Liwa, Al-Khatwa, and Al-Khabiti.

Abdulaziz Taher, a Riyadh-based artist, said it was “hard to pick one favorite performance.”

Traditional Korean hairpins known as Binyeo are ornaments made from metal or horn. (Supplied)

He added: “It was an amazing performance, exceeding my expectations, and I felt close to the Korean audiences attending and seeing the two cultures merge.”

In between dances, a short theatrical performance depicted Saudi Arabia and South Korea coming together to overcome obstacles and celebrate their differences. It received a standing ovation from the audience.

The Hahoetal masks, showcased at Riyadh exhibition, are iconic symbols of Korean culture. (Supplied)

Raghed Al-Qahtani, a Saudi pharmacy student at Princess Nourah University, said: “The ending was the best part for me. It was beautiful seeing Saudis and Koreans taking turns and dancing to traditional Saudi and Korean music.”

The show accompanies the “Eltiqa” indoor exhibition, which explores the four elemental forces of earth, wind, fire, and water as they symbolize wooden handicrafts, textile arts, traditional art, and clay works, respectively.

An outdoor food area also offers visitors from both countries the chance to sample each other’s traditional cuisines.

King SeJong Institute, a Korean learning institute in Riyadh, participated in the show with freshly cooked kimchi-fried pancakes and kimbap, giving visitors an authentic taste of some of Korea’s best street food.

“Eltiqa” is part of the royal institute’s initiatives aimed at promoting cultural exchange in the Kingdom and preserving heritage in line with the strategic goals of Saudi Vision 2030.