Saudi FM arrives in Cuba for G77 + China summit

Update Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Cuba on Friday ahead of the G77 + China summit, which is being held in Havana from September 15 to 16. (KSAMOFA)
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Cuba on Friday ahead of the G77 + China summit, which is being held in Havana from September 15 to 16. (KSAMOFA)
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Updated 16 September 2023
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Saudi FM arrives in Cuba for G77 + China summit

Saudi FM arrives in Cuba for G77 + China summit
  • The G77 is a group of developing countries in Asia, Africa and Central and South America first formed in 1964
  • Prince Faisal will hold number of bilateral meetings with representatives of the participating countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Cuba on Friday ahead of the G77 + China summit, which is being held in Havana from September 15 to 16, Saudi Press Agency reported.

On arrival, the prince was received by Cuban Minister of Labor and Social Security Marta Elena Vito, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Abdulaziz Al-Wasil and the Saudi ambassador to Cuba Faisal Al-Harbi.

Prince Faisal, who is taking part in the summit on behalf of King Salman, also met with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on his arrival in Havana.

 

 

Diaz-Canel also received the Saudi minister and a number of heads of delegations upon their arrival at the summit venue.

Prince Faisal then participated in the official memorial photo of the delegations participating in the summit. 

The G77 is a group of developing countries in Asia, Africa and Central and South America first formed in 1964 and which has since grown to more than 130 members.

 

 

The summit will discuss developments on the international scene and the challenges that the world is facing, SPA said.

Representatives of the 77 countries and China participating in the summit will discuss sustainable solutions to the challenges, it added. 

Prince Faisal will also hold a number of bilateral meetings with representatives of the participating countries.


Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia

Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia

Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia

RIYADH: The Saudi General Directorate of Civil Defense is taking part in a collaborative mission with the Kingdom’s search and rescue team in Tunisia.

The White Operation Hypothesis exercise is being held until March 7, reported the Saudi Press Agency, and underlines the ongoing cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in civil protection and defense.

It aims to use hands-on experience to bolster the capabilities and knowledge base of the international search and rescue team.

The exercise features various simulated scenarios involving rubble and water, providing an opportunity for valuable practical training.


KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania

KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania
Updated 04 March 2024
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KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania

KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency KSrelief is collaborating with the Muslim community in Albania to support orphans in the country.

Monthly financial assistance will be provided to 206 beneficiaries in 10 provinces covering healthcare, education and living expenses.

The project includes weekly education sessions on community and social interaction.

KSrelief has successfully implemented a collaborative project with the Muslim Community of Albania. (SPA)

Elsewhere, KSrelief has provided 645 food parcels to the most vulnerable and displaced families in the Northern State of Sudan, benefiting 3,870 individuals.

In Yemen, KSrelief continued its mine-clearance project, Masam. Its operators successfully dismantled 669 mines across various regions during the fourth week of February.

These included 23 anti-personnel mines, 109 anti-tank mines, and 537 unexploded ordnance.


Saudi ministry launches portal for muslims wanting to organize iftars in Grand Mosque

An e-portal through which people can request permits to provide iftar at the Grand Mosque during Ramadan has been launched.
An e-portal through which people can request permits to provide iftar at the Grand Mosque during Ramadan has been launched.
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudi ministry launches portal for muslims wanting to organize iftars in Grand Mosque

An e-portal through which people can request permits to provide iftar at the Grand Mosque during Ramadan has been launched.

RIYADH: Muslims wanting to organize iftars to be held in the Grand Holy Mosque during Ramadan can apply for a permit through an online government portal, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

The General Authority for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has launched an e-portal through which people can request permits to provide iftar spreads at the mosque in Makkah during the holy month.

Applications can be submitted by visiting the general presidency's website, choosing iftar banquets and continuing registration procedures to issue the permits.

Ramadan is expected to start within the next week.


Dhahran Art Group presents diverse works at 70th show

Dhahran Art Group presents diverse works at 70th show
Updated 03 March 2024
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Dhahran Art Group presents diverse works at 70th show

Dhahran Art Group presents diverse works at 70th show
  • Themed ‘Araaqa: Deep Rootedness,’ the artists presented works in various media inspired by their culture, heritage

DHAHRAN: For four days this week, the lavender carpet was rolled out in front of the iconic Ad Diwan Hall in the Aramco compound leading into the 70th annual Dhahran Art Group show which concluded on March 2.

During the show, the Aramco community came together to listen to live piano, enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres and mingle with local artists showcasing. This year’s theme was “Araaqa: Deep Rootedness.”

Among the participants was Jordanian artist Suad Sami, a familiar face in the local art scene. Armed with a degree in interior design and an insatiable desire to further her creative passions in every form and medium, she completed a jewelry design course 13 years ago, which inspired her to create a small collection of carefully-curated and thoughtfully sourced stones.

Jordanian artist Suad Sami is among the artists who presented works at the 70th annual Dhahran Art Group show which concluded on March 2. (AN photo)

After teaching art classes locally for a time and realizing she would rather make art than teach it, Sami took a leap of faith and invested in herself by become an entrepreneur.

Arab News spoke to Sami a decade ago when she was only a few years into her jewelry business. At that time, she was known for her horoscope pieces.

As an artist, you always want to sprinkle in a bit of your essence into your pieces, something that is distinctly you.

Suad Sami, Jordanian artist

“I design pieces that can be worn on an everyday basis which is simple yet extravagant, casual yet fancy, simple yet extravagant enough to complement women’s beauty and enhance their style,” she told Arab News in 2014.

Serene Rana. (AN photo)

Fast-forward to 2024, she feels she has evolved and improved on her craft — but her inclination to design elegant bespoke pieces in a sort of curated capsule collection remains. She unveiled two necklaces at the Dhahran Art Group’s annual fine art show.

Discussing one of her jewelry designs on display, she told Arab News: “The sword has been a well-known tangible symbol of strength for Arabs. I designed this one specifically for Founding Day and wanted to bring in something new to the table — not something already available in any shop.

“I always strive to design something timeless and unique, not something the eye has seen. As you know, the gold market in Saudi Arabia is huge so I needed to make something to stand out. As an artist, you always want to sprinkle in a bit of your essence into your pieces, something that is distinctly you.”

Art by Serene Rana. (AN photo)

Also, in an artful symbol of solidarity, Sami showcased a series of paintings she crafted showcasing tatreez, the Palestinian-style stitch. She also showcased paintings of birds perched on a bench.

The Dhahran Art Group show is a cornerstone of the local art community, and to Sami it is about more than just showcasing her works. “I love art in all its forms. My daughter is also a designer and used to display her work alongside me at this show in the past. She moved to Dubai now and became a mother and couldn’t be here today — but I’ll keep the tradition going,” she said.

Because of my heritage — I’m from Afghanistan — I wanted to make art that would reach people and would give meaning and change the way people think.

Serene Rana, Artist

Serene Rana, a towering eighth-grader, found out about the show through her mother, who bought her a small set of acrylic paints and a fresh white canvas a few summers ago. Rana found it to be a fun way to pass the time and to express herself.

Jordanian artist Suad Sami is among the artists who presented works at the 70th annual Dhahran Art Group show which concluded on March 2. (AN photo)

At 13-years-old, this was her first big show. She told Arab News: “I think I’m the youngest one here, so it’s kind of intimidating, but at the same time, it feels like I belong here.”

The self-taught artist proudly displayed multiple paintings as people stopped by to ask her about her process and what each piece meant.

“I had a dream and it kind of looked like this — it was in the galaxy so I painted that,” she said of one of her paintings.

Jordanian artist Suad Sami is among the artists who presented works at the 70th annual Dhahran Art Group show which concluded on March 2. (AN photo)

Her early works were mostly void of people but soon after, she started to insert more of her emotions into the pictures.

“I first painted a landscape; it was like a fairytale almost. But as I kept progressing in my art, I realized that because of my heritage — I’m from Afghanistan — I wanted to make art that would reach people and would give meaning and change the way people think,” she explained.

Her pieces, inspired by pop art and surrealism, represent her journey navigating the delicate and dramatic space balancing teen angst with female empowerment and everything in between.

“I was influenced a lot by the pop art style. I feel every color has a certain emotion, so when I want to convey sadness and when I want to convey anger, I use a different color,” she added.

It took Rana about a year to paint the canvases on display, and she is already planning for the next show.

“I think a lot of these pieces hanging here were influenced by my culture — the cultural richness — but I want to go back to solidifying that one idea. I think in my next painting, I would want to go to my heritage more,” she added.

There were also a wide variety of artists on display of both genders, some seasoned figures like Sami and others new-time artists, like Rana. The diverse works ranged from paintings, large and small sculptures to accessories and mixed-media pieces.

As in the previous 69 iterations, the group show was curated locally by the Dhahran Art Group and each participating artist had the option to include a for-sale sticker on their displayed work.

 


Saudi Arabia’s antiques museum in Tarout unlocks bygone eras

Saudi Arabia’s antiques museum in Tarout unlocks bygone eras
Updated 03 March 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s antiques museum in Tarout unlocks bygone eras

Saudi Arabia’s antiques museum in Tarout unlocks bygone eras
  • Mahdie Maylw told Arab News: “At the age of 15, I started collecting paper currency and amassed notes from up to 190 countries around the world

RIYADH: Visitors to Al-Dirah Asalah Museum on Tarout Island, Eastern Province, can travel back in time and admire Saudi Arabia’s rich history and cultural legacy.

Mahdie Maylw, the museum’s owner, took a chance when he built it, as the space once used to be his grandfather’s house on the verge of collapse.

Today, the museum is licensed by the Ministry of Culture and stands tall as a renovated building designed in a traditional Saudi style.

Visitors to Al-Dirah Asalah Museum on Tarout Island can explore rare and valuable items that provide insights into past civilizations and cultures. (Supplied)

Maylw says he grew up with a love for vintage items that reflect his heritage. He told Arab News: “At the age of 15, I started collecting paper currency and amassed notes from up to 190 countries around the world. I continued this hobby for 15 years, before shifting my focus to collecting traditional artifacts that delve into the lives of our ancestors. I have acquired some rare pieces, such as manuscripts and ancient items used by sailors.”

His museum has a range of documents from manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an to vintage newspapers and notes.

I present heritage for educational purposes, to teach generations to preserve the heritage ... I haven’t even started yet, and the best is yet to come.

Mahdie Maylw, Museum owner

Maylw buys his collection of antiques through auctions across the Kingdom, including Dhahran, Al-Ahsa, and Riyadh. He also exchanges valuable items with collectors, and sometimes he even buys from eBay.

The museum is divided into several areas, including a pottery corner, an electronics room, a book and text corner, a vintage watch corner, and a toy room, among others.

Visitors to Al-Dirah Asalah Museum on Tarout Island can explore rare and valuable items that provide insights into past civilizations and cultures. (Supplied)

The “Bride’s Room” is one of the museum’s most popular sections, displaying various items used in preparing a bride prior to her wedding. The room contains Indian-made furniture as well as a collection of cosmetics ranging in age from 50 to 100 years.

The “Divers Room,” or tawashin in Arabic, is dedicated to the ancient method of pearl extraction. The area contains vintage instruments such as a rope box and a compass which were once used to dive for pearls. The tools are about 70-150 years old.

“The tawashin are pearl traders who, after a journey that may last up to three months, return and open the shells to extract the pearls. They then gather in gatherings to exchange buying and selling,” the museum owner explained.

To preserve the museum’s antique items, Maylw ensures that they are stored properly in climate-controlled and secure facilities, “We make sure to preserve the pieces and do some maintenance on them, and I myself do a complete cleaning of the museum,” he said.

Visitors can also explore a collection of rare and valuable items, such as traditional pottery, manuscripts artworks and household items that provide insights into past civilizations and cultures.

Maylw added that the museum has seen visitors from all over the world such as Spain, Azerbaijan, South Africa, and more. “Within a year, the number of visitors reached 6,000. I receive visitors from all over the world. This is an achievement for myself and for the people of the region.”

Speaking about his future plans, he added: “My ambition is greater than this work that I have done. I present heritage for educational purposes, to teach generations to preserve the heritage ... I haven’t even started yet, and the best is yet to come.”