Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting

Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting
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On the sidelines of the first meeting, the authority launched an initiative to empower environmental associations to participate in developing vegetation cover in the reserve. (SPA)
Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting
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On the sidelines of the first meeting, the authority launched an initiative to empower environmental associations to participate in developing vegetation cover in the reserve. (SPA)
Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting
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On the sidelines of the first meeting, the authority launched an initiative to empower environmental associations to participate in developing vegetation cover in the reserve. (SPA)
Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting
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On the sidelines of the first meeting, the authority launched an initiative to empower environmental associations to participate in developing vegetation cover in the reserve. (SPA)
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Updated 02 November 2023
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Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting

Royal nature reserve organizes first annual meeting

RIYADH: The King Abdulaziz Royal Nature Reserve Development Authority held its first annual environmental meeting in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The meeting, which was held in the presence of the reserve’s CEO, Maher Al-Gothmi, shed light on the authority’s latest developments and its plans to achieve national environmental goals, which include protecting and developing the environment through afforestation events and raising environmental awareness through media and social media platforms.

On the sidelines of the first meeting, the authority launched an initiative to empower environmental associations to participate in developing vegetation cover in the reserve.

A large select group of academics, experts and specialists, as well as environment enthusiasts and environmental associations, participated in the event.

The King Abdulaziz Royal Nature Reserve is one of seven reserves in Saudi Arabia established by royal decree and is a government member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It is independently managed under the leadership of Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif and includes Al-Tanhat, Al-Khafs and Noura parks, and parts of the Al-Summan plateau and the Al-Dahna desert, which are areas with a rich historical heritage.
 


Saudi crown prince receives chairman of Russia’s State Duma

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives the Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives the Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin in Riyadh.
Updated 6 sec ago
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Saudi crown prince receives chairman of Russia’s State Duma

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives the Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin in Riyadh.
  • During the reception, the crown prince and Vyacheslav Volodin discussed the friendly relations between their countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the chairman of Russia’s State Duma in Riyadh on Monday.

During the reception, the crown prince and Vyacheslav Volodin discussed the friendly relations between the Kingdom and Russia.

They also reviewed prospects for parliamentary cooperation and discussed issues of common interest.

 


Soulful Arab, French songs mark opening of Francophonie Festival

Soulful Arab, French songs mark opening of Francophonie Festival
Updated 7 min 40 sec ago
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Soulful Arab, French songs mark opening of Francophonie Festival

Soulful Arab, French songs mark opening of Francophonie Festival
  • French-Egyptian opera singer Farrah El-Dibany pays tribute to Fayrouz, Dalida and Farid Al-Atrash
  • Month-long event will have events organized by French-speaking nations

JEDDAH: French-Egyptian opera singer Farrah El-Dibany opened the Francophonie Festival on Sunday here with soulful tributes to Arab legends including Fayrouz, Dalida and Farid Al-Atrash.

Dressed in white and gold attire, reminiscent of the clothing of the ancient Egyptians, El-Dibany, accompanied by Mina Barsoum on piano, Ahmed Boustaji on oud, and Aymen Attitallah on percussion, took the audience on a musical journey transcending borders and cultures.

El-Dibany’s repertoire included iconic French tunes such as “Je suis malade” and Arabic classics.

Opening the Francophonie Festival in Jeddah, French-Egyptian opera singer Farrah El-Dibany paid tribute to Fayrouz, Dalida and Farid Al-Atrash. (Supplied)

El-Dibany said: “I am so thankful for being here in Jeddah for the first time,” encapsulating the spirit of cultural exchange and collaboration that defines the Francophonie Festival.

Prior to the performance, the French consul-general in Jeddah, Mohammed Nehad, spoke about the festival’s significance.

FASTFACTS

● The Francophonie Festival’s aim is to promote French and foster education, cultural and business ties with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.

● For the opening performance, Farrah El-Dibany was accompanied by Mina Barsoum on piano, Ahmed Boustaji on oud, and Aymen Attitallah on percussion.

● The launch event was attended by diplomats, French expatriates, and cultural enthusiasts, as well as Saudi Arabian officials and citizens.

He said the aim was to promote French and foster education, cultural and business ties with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.

“Through this festival, we aim to bring people together … francophone itself is a great example for cultural exchange,” he told Arab News.

The launch event was attended by diplomats, French expatriates, and cultural enthusiasts, as well as Saudi Arabia officials and citizens.

In Saudi Arabia, the festival acts as a platform for cultural exchange and education. (Supplied)

Among those in attendance was Larry Lamartiniere, the director of Alliance Francaise in Jeddah, who lauded El-Dibany’s performance as a fitting inauguration of the month-long Mois de la Francophonie 2024 in Saudi Arabia.

He told Arab News: “During March, the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise Saudi Arabia alongside other French-speaking countries and partners will organize events celebrating the rich diversity of francophone cultures.”

Established in 1970, the month is aimed at promoting cultural ties and human development across French-speaking nations worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, the festival acts as a platform for cultural exchange and education.

Several upcoming events include Benjamin Piat performing at NougCafe on Feb. 28, and the French University Graduates’ Night on March 27.

The Alliance Francaise will host a children’s workshop on Feb. 29, featuring culinary and visual arts programs. This will take place alongside a screening of the 2022 French film “Divertimento” that is the story of twin teenage sisters who dream of forming their own orchestra and making classical music available to everyone.

Senegal’s consulate will have discussions and cultural exchanges, the Francophonie Village will have a celebration of food, clothing and folk dance; and there will also be films shown at various schools, consulates and French clubs.

 


Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup

Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup
Updated 22 min 22 sec ago
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Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup

Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup
  • Raghad Al-Hogail’s jewelry creations are inspired by Saudi heritage, Arab identity

RIYADH: Los Angeles-based Saudi jewelry designer Raghad Al-Hogail brought showstopping looks to the Saudi Cup, accentuating her style statement with select pieces of jewelry she designed.

The founder of Ragail Jewelry spoke to Arab News about the thought that went into the pieces she was wearing: “I chose the most relatable piece — the Sun Orchid flower — because this flower when planted anywhere, it helps the other plants around them to grow and this is how I feel about Saudi people, they help each other grow.”

The brand’s origin began when Al Hogail was asked to participate in an exhibition in 2007. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah/Supplied)

Ragail Jewelry, a Saudi brand founded in 2014, features collections that emphasize the Saudi and Arab identities. Al-Hogail is proud of her identity and heritage, which is why she incorporates motifs such as Arabic lettering, camels, and Saudi coffee dallah in her designs.

The brand’s origin began when Al Hogail was asked to participate in an exhibition in 2007. It was her first time designing and presenting a collection, and she was surprised when every piece sold.

“In high school, my pieces were just brass, ribbon, and plastic and when my entire inventory was sold, I realized I had something special when it came to jewelry.

HIGHLIGHTS

● Ragail Jewelry was founded by Saudi designer Raghad Al-Hogail in 2014.

● The designs incorporate motifs such as Arabic lettering, camels, and Saudi coffee dallah.

● The designer hopes to create an art gallery in Saudi Arabia where people can engage and create art pieces.

“I participated in galleries and exhibits inside and outside the Kingdom and went to 40 shows around the world, including Paris Fashion Week, the Doha Jewelry Show, and more. I also started using materials like diamond, silver, and gold,” she said.

She exhibited her collections in Personage concept store from 2018 to 2020 and recalls it as a “a good experience.”

A piece inspired by the silver frame around the Black Stone located in the corner of the Kaaba in Makkah.

Al-Hogail relocated to California in 2014, attended a jewelry design school, and launched her own business in the downtown district of Los Angeles.

Speaking about her process and what inspires her collections, she added: “We don’t create collections for the summer or winter, but I do artwork whenever I get inspired. Stories served as inspiration for the pieces we created. It can occur at any moment, just like when writing a poem.”  

The brand’s origin began when Al Hogail was asked to participate in an exhibition in 2007. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah/Supplied)

According to Al-Hogail, each piece has a story, and the main reason for this is that she wants people to be able to relate to the story— when they wear the jewelry, they experience and become a part of it.

The pieces are made in Los Angeles and start at $400. She has also designed a piece that sold for $400,000, her most expensive creation.

I believe that when creative people come together … they flourish, and I want Saudi Arabia to have such an environ-ment.

Raghad Al-Hogail, Saudi jewelry designer

Al-Hogail said that her most sentimental collection is the Organic line, which she designed during a period of homelessness. The collection was inspired by the silver frame around the Black Stone located in the corner of the Kaaba in Makkah.

Despite being based in Los Angeles, the designer hopes to create an art gallery in Saudi Arabia where people can engage and create art pieces. She also hopes to take part in additional exhibitions within the Kingdom.

Speaking about why this dream is important to her, she said: “I enjoy being in creative environments because I believe that everyone is creative in some capacity. I believe that when creative people come together, whether they be authors, musicians, designers, or something else entirely, they flourish, and I want Saudi Arabia to have such an environment. A gathering place for all artists.”

 


Manga Productions celebrates Arab voice talents

Manga Productions celebrates Arab voice talents
Updated 26 February 2024
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Manga Productions celebrates Arab voice talents

Manga Productions celebrates Arab voice talents
  • Elyas Zoroqi and Nora declared winners of dubbing a scene from a Manga Productions project
  • Competition encourages Saudi and Arab dubbing actors to make their mark in animated cartoons

RIYADH: Manga Productions company, which is affiliated with the Misk Foundation, hosted a ceremony in Riyadh on Sunday to reveal the results of the Dubbing it in Arabic competition.

The event was attended by jury members from prominent Arab and Saudi dubbing companies, as well as distinguished professionals and influencers in the anime and entertainment industry.

The competition, which took place over two weeks, received over 1,800 entries from across the Arab world. Open to anyone passionate about voice acting, it offered the opportunity to participate in upcoming Manga Productions projects in the anime genre.

A jury panel comprising esteemed figures such as Jihad Al-Atrash, Sanaa Younis, Souad Jawad, and Ibrahim Al-Hasawi announced the winners of the competition that ran from Jan. 30 to Feb. 11.

The panel evaluated the top contenders and gave a score for each participating voice actor. After the votes were counted, the victors were revealed.

Male voice actor Elyas Zoroqi, and Nora, a female voice actor, were declared the winners for their performances in dubbing a scene from a Manga Productions project.

Arabic dubbing artist Al-Atrash told Arab News that the Arab world was currently in an exciting moment as it develops its own entertainments and showcases its culture to the globe.

He said: “The people who took part in the tournament were astounding. This demonstrates how well Manga Productions is working, and it needs to interact with the wide Arab audience everywhere.

“We used to appropriate other people’s cultures rather than our own, but these days we export culture to every country in the world.”

The jury committee praised the competition, which encouraged Saudi and Arab youngsters to make their mark in animated cartoons in Arabic, based on works from Manga Productions.

The CEO of Manga Productions Essam Bukhary said: “Since its inception Manga Productions has taken it upon itself to train and develop talented Arab youth, as we are pleased to embrace these Arab talents in the field of dubbing while involving the distinguished among them in our upcoming artistic works.

“Our pride today is to be part of the journey of developing these talents and enabling them to achieve their dreams and make a positive impact in the Saudi creative industry, exporting Arabic content to be dubbed into international languages.”

Jury member and actor Jawad said: “This competition is a dream that I have dreamed for more than 40 years. The approach that Manga Productions is adopting to stimulate these talents is an outlook that reassures future generations.”

Sanaa Bakr, another member of the jury and voice actor, said: “My happiness is indescribable in being a member of the jury. The participation was amazing.”

Manga Productions, which is a pioneer in the Arab anime community, is dedicated to developing and supporting talents. Through initiatives like Teaching Manga on the Madrasati platform, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, it has reached more than 3 million students.

With its focus on empowering Saudi youth, Manga Productions has trained over 4,000 talents in creative content in a bid to lead the industry.


4th Saudi National Cultural Awards launched

4th Saudi National Cultural Awards launched
Updated 26 February 2024
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4th Saudi National Cultural Awards launched

4th Saudi National Cultural Awards launched
  • The National Cultural Awards initiative is part of the Quality of Life Program, one of the Vision 2030 schemes

RIYADH: Officials from the Saudi Ministry of Culture have launched the fourth National Cultural Awards, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

Sponsored by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it will cover 16 categories including film, music, fashion, national heritage, literature, theater and performing arts, visual art, architecture and design, culinary arts, publishing, and translation.

Among the awards will be cultural personality of the year, youth culture, international excellence, male and female business achievers, and a cultural institutions gong.

The awards aim to encourage cultural content and production, in addition to supporting winners and granting them an honorary representation of the cultural sector within the Kingdom and internationally.

Members of the public and cultural community can submit nominations via https://www.moc.gov.sa/Modules/Pages/Cultural-Awards. The application period will last for two months, with the stages of screening, evaluation, and judging of nominations ending with the announcement of the winners at the closing ceremony to be held in September.

The National Cultural Awards initiative is part of the Quality of Life Program, one of the Vision 2030 schemes.