Culture ministry approves 20 coffee research projects

Culture ministry approves 20 coffee research projects
The Ministry of Culture has approved grants for 20 coffee research projects. (X: @Saudiicoffee)
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Updated 20 December 2023
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Culture ministry approves 20 coffee research projects

Culture ministry approves 20 coffee research projects
  • Initiative, launched in collaboration with the Saudi Coffee Co., a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, aims to encourage research that focuses on Saudi coffee
  • Grants will help researchers and specialists from a range of fields who are interested in studying various aspects of coffee

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has approved grants for 20 coffee research projects from both the Kingdom and abroad, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The initiative, launched in collaboration with the Saudi Coffee Co., a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, aims to encourage research that focuses on Saudi coffee as part of the Kingdom’s cultural heritage.

Grants will help researchers and specialists from a range of fields who are interested in studying various aspects of coffee.

Researchers will be provided with financial and scholarly support throughout the research process, extending to the publication of scientific papers.

The grants encompassed three primary tracks: focus on coffee in the Arabian Peninsula, delving into its historical origins, manufacturing processes and proliferation within the Kingdom; explore the intangible cultural heritage surrounding Saudi coffee, examining the associated knowledge, skills, social traditions, practices and cultural handicrafts; bolster local content by supporting Saudi coffee production, enhancing its competitiveness and contributing to the transformation of the Saudi economy into a sustainable model.

The initiative is part of the Year of Saudi Coffee 2022, launched by the Ministry of Culture with support from the Quality of Life Program, one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs.

In collaboration with the Culinary Arts Commission, the initiative aims to study the Saudi coffee market, preserve the national cultural heritage and values, highlight the cultural significance associated with Saudi coffee, promote national identity, and foster the global dissemination of Saudi coffee culture.


The Saudi artist’s gallery celebrates unbounded imagination

Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)
Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)
Updated 21 June 2024
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The Saudi artist’s gallery celebrates unbounded imagination

Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)
  • Mohammed Abubshait’s ‘Living in Wonderland’ is a treasure trove of imaginative expression

RIYADH: Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait has created a haven for other artists in Riyadh. His gallery, Living in Wonderland, is a treasure trove of imaginative artistic expression.

“Art has always been in my blood, and I believe it is in everyone’s blood. I used to mess around with my clothes, accessories, goods, cars, and whatever else. I don’t like the way things are,” Abubshait told Arab News.

After 10 years as an employee at an oil company, he chose to switch gears and pursue his passion for creating art out of various materials including metal, wood, and resin.  

“When COVID-19 hit, I decided work on my art and I ended up with 150 pieces … I decided to open a gallery in Riyadh to showcase them,” he explained. “It was kind of risky at the time because, as you see, this is not a typical art gallery. It’s different — a lot of pop art, street art and things that are a bit outside-of-the-box.”

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

Abubshait opened Living in Wonderland in 2020. “Many of us have seen and grew up with ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It’s an escape to another world — unrealistic, creative, no boundaries,” he said. “So, I thought it would fit the creative idea and concept that we’re looking for. (The gallery) takes you down the rabbit hole to another world.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• The gallery supports many local artists, work created in a variety of mediums, with a particular focus on modern and pop art.

• It also currently includes work by artists from Mali, Italy, the UK and the US. Prices range from SR2 (50 cents), to more than SR20,000.

The gallery supports — and sells the work of — many local artists, work created in a variety of mediums, with a particular focus on modern and pop art. It also currently includes work by artists from Mali, Italy, the UK and the US. Prices range from SR2 (50 cents), to more than SR20,000.

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

“We’ve got something for everyone,” Abubshait said. “I believe we introduced something unique and different to the market.”

From paintings and sculptures to installations and interactive displays, the gallery features an eclectic mix of work that pushes boundaries, giving visitors an intriguing and thought-provoking experience.

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

Abubshait is also known for incorporating currency — both real and virtual — into his work.

“The majority of my art features money in the background, whether Saudi riyals or American dollars,” he said. “And the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is one of my signature backgrounds. People ask me why I use money and I’m, like, ‘Well, we use money in our everyday lives.’ Everyone can manifest money.”

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

The gallery also offers a variety of workshops including resin, rug tufting, and painting.

“If you haven’t been to Living in Wonderland yet, even if you’re not an art fan, you should come and socialize. People (often come here) to work. If you’re looking for a distinct feel, a different ambience, and something exciting, then you must visit,” Abubshait said.

 

 


The best movies of 2024 so far 

The best movies of 2024 so far 
Updated 21 June 2024
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The best movies of 2024 so far 

The best movies of 2024 so far 
  • Senegal shines, ‘Hit Man’ is a hit, and Zendaya slays it — twice

‘Dune: Part Two’ 

The second instalment in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi saga isn’t just one of this year’s best films, but has a strong argument for being one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. It follows Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalomet) as he attempts to earn the trust of the native Fremen people of the desert planet Arrakis to persuade them to help him take down House Harkonnen, who are responsible for the massacre of Paul’s own house. This sprawling second chapter covers some heavy themes, including love versus duty, religious extremism, and the morality of violence, but always keeps sight of the need to entertain its audience. This it does throughout its almost three-hour running time with some dazzling battle sequences, the central love story between two of Hollywood’s biggest young stars (Chalomet and Zendaya’s fierce Fremen woman Chani), and thrilling sandworm rides.  

‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ 

With two hugely bankable stars (Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth), a lauded director (George Miller), and the fact that it’s a prequel and spin-off to one of the finest action movies of the past 10 years (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) — itself a part of a hugely popular post-apocalyptic franchise, “Furiosa” looked set to be one of the year’s box-office blockbusters. Instead, it was a relative flop. But that shouldn’t be taken as any reflection of its quality: Taylor-Joy is excellent in the lead role, finding an emotional connection to Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Furiosa in “Fury Road,” Hemsworth holds nothing back in his performance as the evil warlord biker Dementus, the action scenes are astounding (of course, it’s George Miller), the screenplay (uncommonly for a “Mad Max” film) has real depth, and the whole thing makes for brilliant big-screen entertainment.  

‘Hit Man’ 

Despite the title, director Richard Linklater’s latest isn’t filled with cunningly planned “Killing Eve”-style assassinations. Instead, it’s an entertaining blend of noir-thriller, black comedy, and romance held together by Glenn Powell in the lead role of Gary Johnson, a mild-mannered university professor who adopts a variety of personas while working for the New Orleans police department as a fake contract killer in order to catch people thinking of hiring an actual assassin. That wild premise is actually based (very loosely) on a true story. Johnson finds himself in trouble when he falls hard for a potential client, the beautiful Madison (Adria Arjona). Unwilling to get her sent to prison, he begins a relationship with her, but as “Ron,” his latest alter-ego. Inevitably, Johnson’s plan doesn’t go smoothly, and the results make for a great cinematic romp. 

‘Io Capitano’ 

Migrants and refugees have become populist political scapegoats, and with so much news coverage around the clock inuring others to the hardships those groups face, it takes something special to cut through. Director Matteo Garrone and his Senegalese star Seydou Sarr provide it with “Io Capitano,” which follows two young cousins, Seydou and Moussa, on a perilous journey from Dakar to Europe — a journey they undertake not because of the threat of starvation or violence, but because they want to travel and see the world, just as young people in the developed world do. Garrone mixes magical realism and graphic horror to convey the traumas the cousins have to deal with, and, in Seydou, gives us a memorable hero. The dialogue may be sparse, but “Io Capitano” packs a real emotional punch.    

‘Challengers’ 

Hollywood’s brightest young female star, Zendaya, steals the show in Luca Guadagnino’s sporty romantic drama. She plays former tennis prodigy Tashi Duncan, who’s now a coach after an injury forced her retirement. She’s coaching her husband, Art (Mike Faist), who just needs a US Open win to complete a Career Grand Slam. But Art is struggling with form and fitness, so Tashi enters him in a minor event in New York, hoping he’ll pick up a win and a confidence boost. But facing him is his former best friend (and competitor for Tashi’s affections), Patrick (Josh O’Connor). And it seems like he’s still carrying a torch for her, and vice-versa. The story gets pretty silly, but the performances of — and chemistry between — its three stars make “Challengers” a lot of fun. Great soundtrack, too. 

‘Civil War’ 

Alex Garland’s dystopian thriller — which follows a team of war journalists traveling from New York to Washington DC during a US civil war between an authoritarian government and a loose coalition of regional factions — has proven divisive, with some arguing Garland is championing style (this is the most expensive film so far made by distributor A24) over substance, and others arguing that there’s too much intellectual substance and not enough emotion. All of which suggests that maybe Garland has pitched his take on the horror of war, and the traumas faced by those involved and those reporting on it, just right. Visually, it’s stunning — the shots of war-torn suburbia as breathtaking as the famous scene from 2002’s “28 Days Later” (which Garland wrote) when Cillian Murphy awakes from a coma and staggers out into London’s abandoned streets — and Garland proves a master at ratcheting up the suspense whenever a new encounter happens. Treat it as entertainment, and not a thesis, and “Civil War” is worth a watch.  


Recipes for success: Chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette offers advice and a special salad recipe

Recipes for success: Chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette offers advice and a special salad recipe
Updated 21 June 2024
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Recipes for success: Chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette offers advice and a special salad recipe

Recipes for success: Chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette offers advice and a special salad recipe

DUBAI: French chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in Paris and influential eateries in Moscow. He is now chef de cuisine at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort’s overwater restaurant Tilina.  

Colette says his grandmother, also a chef, was the inspiration behind his passion for cooking. “I always helped her, and it became quite natural that, when I was around, like, 12, if I was alone at home, I would try to cook something for myself, or for my family,” he tells Arab News. 

Here, he discusses common kitchen mistakes, annoying customers, tips for amateur chefs and shares a special salad recipe. 

Tilina at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. (Supplied)

When you started out, what was the most common mistake you made? 

Seasoning. I started out in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and there, it wasn’t just salt and pepper. It was all about the balance in the dish, so you also need to think about the acidity and things like that. So at the beginning it was quite complicated. Every time my chef tried something I made, he was, like, “No, it’s not good. It’s missing this, this and that.” 

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs? 

Don’t be scared to experiment, and don’t be scared to fail, because, actually, many great dishes came from failure. So try and enjoy it — that’s what cooking is all about. 

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish? 

Many chefs will say it’s love — because you need to care about and love what you are doing. But for me, it’s salt. Seasoning is so important. Even if you have the best ingredients, if you don’t season them, they’ll lack flavor.  

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food?  

No. Even if there’s something wrong, I would never tell the chef. If I see a mistake on the service side, or if there is food I don’t like, I would just try and learn from it to prevent my own customers from experiencing it. 

Tilina at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. (Supplied)

What’s your favorite cuisine?  

It’s really about the chef, not the cuisine. If I want to go to a restaurant, then I’ll find a chef that I want to try, so it will be either be a set menu or his signature dish. And when I go back to France, I have to have a nice steak tartare. 

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home? 

Pasta. You can play with it so much — you can make it with fish, with meat, with vegetables… Boil some water, put some pasta in, and see what you have in the fridge: maybe some shrimp, some tomato, a little bit of garlic and parsley. That’s perfect. 

What customer behavior most annoys you? 

Asking to change an ingredient in a dish. When I make a dish, it’s all about the balance. So, if you take out one ingredient, then the idea behind the dish doesn’t make sense anymore. I really try to avoid doing this. I’ll go and talk with the guest, and rather than change the dish, maybe try to do something special for them, something else that they would like. 

What is your favorite dish to cook? 

Seafood. This was my childhood in Normandy: When the sea was low on Sundays, we would go and pick up fresh fish. We’d go back home and cook them very simply, with a little bit of garlic, parsley, cream, and that’s it. So seafood always reminds me of this time. 

As a head chef, what are you like? Are you strict? 

You can’t run a kitchen without discipline, everyone needs to be focused during service. But, I don’t believe that discipline comes from shouting, it comes from mutual respect.  

Chef Thomas’ Red Sea Salad recipe 

INGREDIENTS: 

500g heirloom tomatoes; 3 Carabineros prawns; 10g chives; 10g salmon roe; 5g gelatine leaves; 1 egg yolk; 100g grapeseed oil or sunflower oil; 10g olive oil; 1 lemon; 50g parsley (leaves)  

INSTRUCTIONS: 

For the tomato jelly  

1. Process 250g of tomatoes in a blender. Once the mixture becomes smooth, strain it through a cheesecloth. 

2. Place the gelatine leaves in cold water. 

3. Take 50g of the tomato mixture and heat to 50° C. Add the gelatine, let it melt and then add the rest of the tomato mix. 

4. Pour 80g of it into each of three bowls and place in refrigerator. 

For the tomato tartare  

1. Boil 1L of water. 

2. Using a small knife, make a small cross at the bottom of the remaining tomatoes. 

3. Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 seconds, then put them in iced water, remove the skin and dry them with a paper towel. 

4. Cut the tomatoes into four, remove the insides to get tomato petals. (Keep the insides for later, they can be used for a sauce.) 

5. Chop the tomato petals into cubes of 0.5mm. 

6. Finely chop the chives. 

7. Mix the tomatoes and chives with 5g olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and salt, then place in the refrigerator. 

For the marinated prawns  

1. Clean the prawns. (Tip: If you keep the heads and the shell they can be used in a sauce or soup later). 

2. Chop the prawns in 1cm cubes. 

3. Mix the prawns with 5g olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and lemon zest. Let them marinate for 10 minutes.  

For the parsley mayo  

1. Warm up 100g of grapeseed oil to 72°C, then pour it into blender with parsley leaves and mix for two minutes. 

2. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. 

3. Put 1 egg yolk, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk while slowly adding the parsley oil. 

Plating  

1. Take your plates of jelly out of the refrigerator 

2. Place a circular disc on the jelly and put 1.5cm of tomatoes and 1.5cm of marinated prawn inside. Remove the circle. 

3. Finish with a few dots of parsley mayo and a few dots of salmon roe. 


Highlights from artist Maisara Baroud’s ‘I’m Still Alive’ exhibition

Highlights from artist Maisara Baroud’s ‘I’m Still Alive’ exhibition
Updated 21 June 2024
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Highlights from artist Maisara Baroud’s ‘I’m Still Alive’ exhibition

Highlights from artist Maisara Baroud’s ‘I’m Still Alive’ exhibition

DUBAI: Here are three highlights from Maisara Baroud’s ‘I’m Still Alive,’ which runs at Zawyeh Gallery in Ramallah until June 23. 

‘I’m Still Alive No. 1’ 

In the early days of the ongoing Israeli military assault on his hometown of Gaza, artist Maisara Baroud lost both his home and his studio. So he took to drawing a diary, which he has continued as the devastating violence continues, “to tell my friends that I am still alive.” This exhibition sees artists including Mohammad Sabaaneh recreating Baroud’s works in Ramallah. 

‘I’m Still Alive No. 3’ 

“To declare that Maisara is still alive is a declaration that we are all still alive too,” Sabaaneh said in a statement. “So, we don’t become neutral in this genocidal war targeting and annihilating Palestinians physically and spiritually, we decided to participate in re-drawing Maisara’s paintings in Ramallah, playing the same role of a prisoner smuggling another prisoner’s paintings out of prison.” 

‘I’m Still Alive No. 5’ 

On June 23, Baroud’s works will be wiped from the walls, “highlighting the project’s impermanence and the transient nature of the war, hoping for an end to the occupation nightmare one day, as “no condition is permanent,’” the organizers stated. “The exhibition serves as a tribute to Baroud and Palestinians in Gaza.”  


Donald Sutherland, star of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, dead at 88

Donald Sutherland, star of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, dead at 88
Updated 20 June 2024
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Donald Sutherland, star of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, dead at 88

Donald Sutherland, star of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, dead at 88
  • Known for his unconventional looks and his versatility as an actor, Sutherland played a wide range of memorable characters
  • Ron Howard, who directed Sutherland in ‘Backdraft,’ called him ‘one of the most intelligent, interesting and engrossing film actors of all time’

Donald Sutherland, one of Canada’s most versatile and gifted actors, who charmed and enthralled audiences in movies such as “M*A*S*H,” “Klute,” “Ordinary People” and “The Hunger Games,” has died at the age of 88.
The actor, whose lengthy career spanned from the 1960s into the 2020s, died on Thursday, his son, actor Kiefer Sutherland, said on social media.
A tall man with a deep voice, piercing blue eyes and a mischievous smile, Donald Sutherland switched effortlessly from character roles to romantic leads opposite the likes of Jane Fonda and Julie Christie. He also played his share of oddballs and villains.
One of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the 1970s, he remained in demand for film and TV projects into his 80s. Known for his unconventional looks and his versatility as an actor, Sutherland played a wide range of memorable characters.
These included a rascally Army surgeon in “M*A*S*H” (1970), a quirky tank commander in “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), a small-town detective in “Klute” (1971), a stoned and libidinous professor in “Animal House” (1978), a local official facing an alien presence in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978) and a despairing father in “Ordinary People” (1980). He won a new generation of fans with his glorious portrayal of a despotic president in “The Hunger Games” (2012) and its sequels.
“I wish I could say thank you to all of the characters that I’ve played, thank them for using their lives to inform my life,” Sutherland said in his speech accepting an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 2017.
Kiefer Sutherland said his father was “never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly.”
“He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived,” Kiefer Sutherland wrote on X.
Donald Sutherland was born on July 17, 1935, in Canada’s New Brunswick province, and was raised in Nova Scotia. He performed in school productions in college, moved to Britain to hone his craft, then moved to the United States, where his first big break came as a member of a top-notch ensemble cast in the war film “The Dirty Dozen” (1967).
He rocketed to fame three years later playing nonconformist surgeon Hawkeye Pierce in director Robert Altman’s Korean War satire “M*A*S*H” (1970). The film — later spun off into a TV series — depicted hijinks at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, tapping into the anti-war sentiment among many Americans during the Vietnam War era.
Also in 1970, Sutherland starred alongside Telly Savalas and Clint Eastwood in “Kelly’s Heroes” as Sergeant Oddball on a mission to steal gold from the Nazis.
The following year, he was paired with Fonda, one of Hollywood’s luminaries, in “Klute,” and then in 1973 played a grieving father in “Don’t Look Now” that included a sizzling sex scene with Christie. “Klute” sparked a romance with Fonda, with whom he was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement.
His 1978 films could not have been more different. In the uproarious comedy “Animal House,” Sutherland played a professor who sleeps with the girlfriend of a fraternity member. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was a successful sci-fi remake of a classic 1956 original, telling the story of alien pods that take over human beings.
Sutherland’s performance in “Ordinary People,” Hollywood superstar Robert Redford’s directorial debut, helped the 1980 film win four Academy Awards, including best picture. Sutherland starred alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton in this exploration of the splintering of a Midwestern family.
In the 1990s he appeared in films including “JFK” (1991), “Backdraft” (1991), “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992), “Outbreak” (1995), “A Time To Kill” (1996) and “Instinct” (1999) and won an Emmy Award for his performance in the 1995 HBO TV movie “Citizen X.” In the 2000s, he appeared in the acclaimed “Cold Mountain” (2003) and “Pride & Prejudice” (2005).
In the “Hunger Games” films in the 2010s about a dystopian future in which teenagers are sent into a deadly competition as mass entertainment, he reveled in playing the villainous President Coriolanus Snow.
“The reality was he had a country to run. At least he was running it, which is more than you can say for some people,” Sutherland told the Los Angeles Times in 2017.
“It was funny at the beginning with ‘The Hunger Games’ to walk through an airport and suddenly you feel this tug and you look down and it’s some young person — always a girl, never a boy,” Sutherland said. “And her mother is standing there and they say, ‘Could you take a photograph with my daughter?’ And we’d be standing beside each other and I’d be looking at the camera and the girl would say, ‘Could you look mean?’“
Tributes to Sutherland came in across Hollywood and Canada on Thursday.
Ron Howard, who directed Sutherland in “Backdraft,” called him “one of the most intelligent, interesting and engrossing film actors of all time.”
Sutherland had “incredible range, creative courage & dedication to serving the story & the audience with supreme excellence,” Howard wrote on X.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Nova Scotia, said Sutherland “was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft and truly, truly a great Canadian artist.”
Sutherland was considered among the best actors to never receive an Academy Award nomination for any of his roles. He was married three times and had five children, including Kiefer.