Saudi Arabia launches first music diploma course 

Saudi Arabia launches first music diploma course 
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The diploma course is one of several initiatives undertaken recently by the ministry to develop the music industry in the country. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia launches first music diploma course 
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The diploma course is one of several initiatives undertaken recently by the ministry to develop the music industry in the country. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia launches first music diploma course 
3 / 3
The diploma course is one of several initiatives undertaken recently by the ministry to develop the music industry in the country. (SPA)
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Updated 05 September 2023
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Saudi Arabia launches first music diploma course 

Saudi Arabia launches first music diploma course 
  • Initiative will contribute to ‘spreading the culture of music as a global language’
  • Saudi Music Commission recently inaugurated its Oud House project in Riyadh

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has approved the country’s first diploma course for music, which will be offered by the Music Home School of Art in Riyadh, it was announced by the latter on Tuesday. 

Traditional instruments such as the oud, duff, rebab and mizmar, commonly played at celebrations in the Kingdom, are a key part of the country’s musical culture.

Moataz Al-Shabanah, the executive director of the school, made the announcement in the presence of Noha Kattan, deputy minister for national partnerships and development at the Ministry of Culture, along with various prominent figures from the media and music industry.

Al-Shabanah said the world-class two-year diploma course starts in September. It would contribute to spreading the global language of music, which helps create bridges between cultures.

Al-Shabanah said the course covers education and performance, and that it would qualify graduates to become teachers or professionals.

The diploma course is one of several initiatives undertaken recently by the ministry to develop the music industry in the country.

The Saudi Music Commission recently inaugurated its Oud House project in Riyadh and invited applications from people interested in learning how to play Arab musical instruments.

Oud House has been set up as a training center for musicians under the guidance and supervision of maestro Naseer Shamma and will offer lectures and workshops.

The oud, which has been used for more than 3,000 years, is one of the oldest and most important string instruments in the Arab world.

The Oud House curriculum will include lessons by experts on instruments including the flute, bezek, cello and violin.

The project aims to promote Arab culture, raise awareness about the significance of the oud, and foster a global community of professional players.

After undergoing a period of training and rehearsals, students will have the opportunity to participate in concerts.


Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 

Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 
Updated 03 October 2023
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Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 

Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s electronic music festival Freaks of Nature is returning to Riyadh this weekend from Oct. 5 to 6. 

The two-day event, organized by Saudi creative agency Disrupt, will feature international artists including Belgian DJ and record producer Lost Frequencies, techno house legends Agents of Time, Grammy-nominated electronic music artist Nic Fanciulli and Danish DJ Morten.

The CEO of the event Yazeed Al-Hashim, chief disruption officer at Disrupt Group, described the festival to Arab News as a “crazy and quirky friend that always makes you have a great time. Imagine these qualities and personas as a full experience.”

Al-Hashim said: “Freaks of Nature is not only a music festival. We think about it as an immersive experience where everyone comes to hear great music, feel really special and have a wholesome experience that transcends through visuals, special effects and dancers. We want to create a new entertainment concept that is not only seen in Saudi but also internationally.”

A number of Saudi and regional talents will also take part in the festival including DJ Mubarak, Aziz.wav, KALI-B, Hamza Hawsawi, and Timba JD.

Al-Hashim initially launched the festival to give artists and DJs, like himself, a platform to share their music with a crowd. 

“Freaks of Nature originated from giving local artists an opportunity to play on big stages with full, amazing production. So, we’re happy we have some of the most established local artists such as Dish Dash, for example,” Al-Hashim said. 

“We also have artists that are playing for the first time in front of a public crowd in this event. So, we created this environment where we can select artists based on passion and love for music. Then we do everything, all the marketing and branding, for all the artists. So even the opening artists get their own flags, their artworks, and they get their whole set recorded.”

The CEO said that this helps boost the artists’ presence and gives them content to share online. 

Freaks of Nature will also take place in Amsterdam on Oct. 22. 

“The Riyadh event is our flagship event. That is our core business. Our participation in Europe is for us to showcase the brand to the international music community,” Al-Hashim explained.

“Amsterdam Dance Event is the biggest music conference and festival in the world, where the whole city turns into a music festival and everyone from the music industry travels to Amsterdam and that where they do their business for a year.

“So for us, it was really essential to show the international music community the Saudi entertainment scene as well as Saudi local artists.” 

Al-Hashim said that six local artists will present back-to-back sets at the Amsterdam festival. The artists will get paired up with their international idols and play the sets with them, he added.


K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 
Updated 03 October 2023
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K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

DUBAI: South Korean boy band Riize are set to perform at Saudi Arabia’s K-Pop music festival KCon, which will be held at Boulevard Riyadh City on Oct. 6 and 7. 

The seven-member boy band, who made their debut to much acclaim this year, released their first single album “Get a Guitar” in September.  

The group, which features Wonbin, Seunghan, Shotaro, Sohee, Sungchan, Eunseok and Anton, will perform on the event’s first day.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KCON (@kconofficial)

In an interview with Arab News, Anton said that he was surprised to know that the Kingdom is home to fans of K-Pop.  

“I felt very thankful that there are people in Saudi Arabia who are getting to know more about K-Pop! I can’t wait for more opportunities to connect with the people there,” he said.  

His bandmate Seunghan is as excited to be meeting the group’s fans in Riyadh. His message to his fans was: “Since we don’t get to see each other often, I want to see you more and for a longer time.”  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RIIZE (@riize_official)

The singer said he hopes that the crew’s performance “inspires young talents” in Saudi Arabia to dream. “I will be really glad if that happens,” he added.  

The group has noticed the number of rising local talents in the Kingdom, with Shotaro noting he “would love to collaborate with a Saudi artist, if I meet a good opportunity.”  

Wonbin teased that he is working on new music with the band. “I think I'll be able to see you soon with wonderful music. Please look forward to it and I am also looking forward to meeting Saudi fans again,” he told Arab News.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RIIZE (@riize_official)

Riize is under South Korean multinational agency SM Entertainment, which manages groups such as Super Junior, EXO, SuperM and Red Velvet.  

On the first day, Riize will perform alongside Everglow, Highlight, Hyolyn, Kard, Super Junior-D&E (which are members Donghae and Eunhyuk) and 8Turn.  

The second day will see performances by Dreamcatcher, El7z Up, Evnne, Oh My Girl, Super Junior, Tempest and TNX.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RIIZE (@riize_official)

The event, which launched in Los Angeles in 2012, is said to be one of the largest Korean cultural festivals in the world and has been held in seven countries.  

The Kingdom’s hosting of the event is part of an agreement signed between the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Seoul-based entertainment company CJ ENM in June 2022. It also reflects the ministry’s efforts to boost international cultural exchange in line with the goals of Vision 2030. 


K-Pop’s Super Junior ‘looking forward’ to performing at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

K-Pop’s Super Junior ‘looking forward’ to performing at KCon in Saudi Arabia 
Updated 30 September 2023
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K-Pop’s Super Junior ‘looking forward’ to performing at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

K-Pop’s Super Junior ‘looking forward’ to performing at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

DUBAI: South Korean boy band Super Junior are gearing up to perform at Saudi Arabia’s popular K-Pop music festival KCon, which will be held at Boulevard Riyadh City on Oct. 6 and 7. 

The group — which consists of Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun — will hit the stage on Oct. 7.  

In an interview with Arab News, Shindong said that the group is looking forward “to proper fandom culture. I hope that singers and fans will work together to have a positive impact on society,” he said.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KCON (@kconofficial)

 

For his part, Donghae, said:  “I am looking forward to performing in Saudi Arabia after a long time and I am glad to be able hear the cheering of Saudi fans again. I know that K-Pop is very popular in Saudi Arabia, so I want to perform there quickly.” 

“We will make you happy and (give you) precious memories  — as much as the time you waited,” he promised his fans.  

Ryeowook views art as a powerful connective tool.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KCON (@kconofficial)

 

“We would be honored if many future artists were inspired by Super Junior and found themselves in great positions,” he told Arab News. “I want to show you songs and performances that can have a positive impact right here and now.”  

During the interview, Siwon said he would love to collaborate with local talent in the Kingdom. “I really hope this will happen. I believe that collaboration in the field of cultural exchange is a great development for both countries,” he said.  

Meanwhile, Leeteuk was surprised to learn that people in the Kingdom are fans of K-Pop. “I was very surprised and once again moved by their passion. I will do my best to repay their passionate love,” he said.  

Eunhyuk, who will perform twice at the festival, told Arab News: “We will be able to show you Super Junior and Super Junior-D&E’s performance together, so you will be able to see the charm of our diverse music and performances.” 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KCON (@kconofficial)

 

Super Junior falls under South Korean multinational agency SM Entertainment, which manages groups like EXO, SuperM and Red Velvet.  

The first day of the festival will see performances by Riize, Everglow, Highlight, Hyolyn, Kard, Super Junior-D&E (which are members Donghae and Eunhyuk) and 8Turn.  

On the second day, Super Junior will perform alongside Dreamcatcher, El7z Up, Evnne, Oh My Girl, Tempest and TNX.  

The event, which launched in Los Angeles in 2012, is said to be one of the largest Korean cultural festivals worldwide.  

The Kingdom’s hosting of the event is part of an agreement signed between the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Seoul-based entertainment company CJ ENM in June 2022. It also reflects the ministry’s efforts to boost international cultural exchange in line with the goals of Vision 2030. 


Turkish film festival canceled over censorship controversy

Turkish film festival canceled over censorship controversy
Updated 30 September 2023
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Turkish film festival canceled over censorship controversy

Turkish film festival canceled over censorship controversy
  • The Ministry of Culture banned the documentary "The Decree", calling it propaganda for the preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of being behind the coup attempt in 2016

ANKARA: An international film festival in Turkiye has been canceled after controversy over a documentary about judicial purges that followed an attempted coup in 2016, authorities said Friday.
The dispute centers on “The Decree,” a documentary about the plight of a doctor and a teacher affected by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown after he survived the failed military coup.
The film was initially selected for Antalya’s “Golden Orange” film festival, but excluded from the competition last week, prompting an outcry from filmmakers who condemned the move as censorship.
The festival’s jury members threatened to pull out if the film was not readmitted and said they “reject the approach that looks for incriminating elements in a film and the normalization of censorship.”
The organizers gave in and reinstated the film, but it was excluded again after the culture ministry waded in.
“I regret to inform film lovers that we have canceled our festival, which was set to take place between October 7-14, due to external developments,” the mayor of Antalya said in footage shared on social media.
The Ministry of Culture withdrew its support for the festival, calling it propaganda for the preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of being behind the coup attempt in 2016.


Arab movies ‘Inshallah a Boy,’ ‘Bye Bye Tiberias’ join Oscars race 

Arab movies ‘Inshallah a Boy,’ ‘Bye Bye Tiberias’ join Oscars race 
Updated 29 September 2023
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Arab movies ‘Inshallah a Boy,’ ‘Bye Bye Tiberias’ join Oscars race 

Arab movies ‘Inshallah a Boy,’ ‘Bye Bye Tiberias’ join Oscars race 

DUBAI: Jordan has submitted Amjad Al-Rasheed’s movie “Inshallah a Boy” and Palestine submitted Lina Soualem’s documentary “Bye Bye Tiberias” for consideration in the Best International Feature Film category at the 96th Academy Awards, it was announced this week. 

This means that both films are considered for the shortlist. If the Arab movies get shortlisted, they could then get nominated for an Academy Award.

“Inshallah a Boy” was the first Jordanian film to compete in the Cannes Film Festival in May. The feature film was chosen to compete in Cannes Critics’ Week, a subsidiary event that ran alongside the 76th edition of the festival. 

“Bye Bye Tiberias” is by Lina Soualem. (Supplied)

The film, titled “Inshallah Walad” in Arabic, portrays the narrative of a young widow, Nawal, and her daughter, who are about to lose their home. 

The 90-minute film was shot last year in the Jordanian capital Amman over the course of five weeks. It received a Jordan Film Fund and Royal Film Commission production grant in 2019, as well as a post-production grant in 2022. 

In the much-hyped documentary “Bye Bye Tiberias,” Soualem, who is French, Palestinian and Algerian, captures the stories passed on by four generations of Palestinian women in her family, one of whom is her mother Hiam Abbass, the actress whose credits include “Succession,” “Ramy,” “Inheritance” and “Munich.”  

Soualem accompanies her mother and questions her choices as Abbass returns to her native Palestinian village 30 years after she left in her early 20s to follow her dream of becoming an actress in Europe, leaving behind her mother, grandmother, and seven sisters.  

The film will screen in the Documentary Competition section of the 67th BFI London Film Festival, set to take place from Oct. 4 – 15, 2023. 

Jordan and Palestine are not the only two Arab countries that submitted movies for the Oscars. 

Egypt has selected Mohamed Farag-starring “Voy Voy Voy!” while Yemen has selected director Amr Gamal’s “The Burdened” and Tunisia is competing with Kaouther Ben Hania’s “Four Daughters.”

Morocco has selected Asmae El Moudir’s documentary “The Mother of All Lies.”