Balad Al-Fann program emphasizes sonic forms of memory recall and resistance

Balad Al-Fann program emphasizes sonic forms of memory recall and resistance
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Balad Al-Fann program emphasizes sonic forms of memory recall and resistance
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Updated 28 January 2024
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Balad Al-Fann program emphasizes sonic forms of memory recall and resistance

Balad Al-Fann program emphasizes sonic forms of memory recall and resistance
  • The program aims to revive ancestral forms of wisdom and knowledge transference through sound, music, and silence
  • The program is divided into several thematic periods, each offering unique experiences and opportunities for visitors

Jeddah: Jeddah’s historic district is currently hosting the Samaa program as a part of the Balad Al-Fann initiative, which focuses on early developmental learning through communal listening, music and storytelling.

The program aims to revive ancestral forms of wisdom and knowledge transference through sound, music, and silence. With a series of events and workshops, the Samaa program highlights the significance of sonic forms of memory recall, personal growth and resistance. Its ultimate aim is to create a vibrant and inclusive cultural space within the community.

Tara Al-Dughaither, curator of the Samaa program and founder of the artistic research, documentation and production platform Sawtasura, spoke about the program’s significance and its focus on diverse voices and perspectives.

She said: “We provide a space where the public mostly decides what to do in it. We simply offer some tools such as instruments and books, or devices to play music, while the messaging encourages ‘Learn and Play.’ We believe playfulness and organic expression contribute to the development of people’s creativity, which is the essence of a healthy and diverse culture.”

Al-Dughaither further emphasized the importance of deep listening and the program’s departure from market-driven expectations: “The main goal of this program is enhancing deep listening as a way to tap into the creative process and focus on that rather than final and complete works, which is almost opposite of what the market demands. But I think that’s significant.”

The program is divided into several thematic periods, each offering unique experiences and opportunities for visitors. The program first started with “Electronic Sounds,” exploring the inclusive nature of synthesized and electronic music as a mode of sonic transference. This segment ran until Jan. 2, with artists sharing their music and conducting workshops on sound production techniques for creating synthesized, recorded, and looped forms of memory and storytelling.

From Feb. 1- 14, the focus will shift to “Alternative Arab Narratives,” providing a platform for artists to share their musical expressions and exchange ideas with local artists, representing the ethnic and cultural diversity of Jeddah and the region. This exchange aims to foster a sense of allyship and remembrance.

The period from Feb. 15- 21 will be dedicated to “Folk Remembrance,” emphasizing traditional local culture and prioritizing women and children’s circles. Activities during this period will revolve around rhythm and Arabic poetry as forms of timekeeping and memory transference.

Finally, from Feb. 22 to March 9, the program explores “Listening and Presence” as a means of inner reflection and self-empowerment. Artists and musicians will engage with sound and music academically, delving into deep listening as a gateway to transformation and collective empowerment.

Regarding challenges, Al-Dughaither added: “When approaching an open-ended project like this, it’s always a matter of working with hopes rather than clear expectations. We can only manage and control a select number of pre-planned events while the rest is up to the people and how they respond to the space.”

Sawtasura, the curator-led platform behind the program, aims to organize, collect, and archive musical histories in the Arab and Gulf region, offering alternative and sonic ways of knowing. As with all Sawtasura’s initiatives, the emphasis of sound or voice is integral and central. This particular program marks their first interactive engagement with the public.

Al-Dughaither concluded: “We’re especially excited to host some musicians from our neighboring countries performing in an alternative style. This program is a unique opportunity to engage with sound and music as a form of intellectual and emotional rigor, self-determination, and collective empowerment. Sound here plays the deeper role that it can play, becoming a psycho-emotional gateway to transformation.”

Ahmed Nawaf, a music enthusiast said: “I was blown away by the range of experiences offered in this program. The exploration of electronic sounds allowed me to uncover profound layers of meaning within the music. This program has undeniably transformed my perspective on music and creativity, leaving a lasting impact. I eagerly anticipate the upcoming engagements in the coming months.”


Saudi, Norway foreign ministers discuss Gaza during call

Saudi, Norway foreign ministers discuss Gaza during call
Updated 1 min 17 sec ago
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Saudi, Norway foreign ministers discuss Gaza during call

Saudi, Norway foreign ministers discuss Gaza during call

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Saturday received a telephone call from his Norwegian counterpart Espen Barth Eide, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
During the call, they discussed the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and efforts to contain the crisis.
The call comes a day after Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said that Norway was ready to recognize a Palestinian state together with other countries,


Saudi fashion graduate who dared to dream

Saudi fashion graduate who dared to dream
Updated 13 April 2024
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Saudi fashion graduate who dared to dream

Saudi fashion graduate who dared to dream
  • Manal Marvelous’ tips for aspiring designers have turned her into social media star

RIYADH: Saudi fashion and lifestyle content creator Manal Marvelous discovered her love of design and sewing while at university and soon began sharing her work on social media.  

“My passion for fashion was a coincidence; actually, I had to take one semester of fashion classes in college because of some weird situation I got myself into and I was supposed to transfer after the semester ended, but I fell in love and never looked back,“ Marvelous told Arab News.

Manal Marvelous loves to share how she develops and sews her creations, and her TikTok has 3 million views and 700,000 followers. (Supplied)

“I love out-of-the box and creative ideas I can share with my audience, which consist of girls around my age with similar interests who either love fashion or got inspired to start their journey after watching my content,” she said.

She loves to share how she develops and sews her creations, and her TikTok has 3 million views and 700,000 followers.  

HIGHLIGHTS

• Marvelous took part in the Sony Creators Convention, where she showcased her work on models, and offered advice to aspiring content creators about the business, how to succeed, and how to make their passions their careers. 

• Marvelous believes that with an abundance of talented and creative Saudi designers, as well as the diversity of Saudi fashion and traditional costume, the KSA scene needs more useful fashion events.

• Aside from TikTok, Marvelous supports up-and-coming fashion designers on her YouTube channel, paving a path for them to enter the industry. 

• She said that constructive criticism is always appreciated, and that she tries to hear what people have to say to improve her material, gain insight into her audience, and receive feedback.

“It felt like magic to me how can you transform a piece of fabric into art just by cutting here and stitching there,” she said.

Marvelous took part in the Sony Creators Convention, where she showcased her work on models, and offered advice to aspiring content creators about the business, how to succeed, and how to make their passions their careers.

Manal Marvelous loves to share how she develops and sews her creations, and her TikTok has 3 million views and 700,000 followers. (Supplied)

“My work as a fashion and lifestyle creator takes me around the Kingdom to collaborate with global and local brands ranging from clothing to skincare to makeup,” she said.  

Aside from TikTok, Marvelous supports up-and-coming fashion designers on her YouTube channel, paving a path for them to enter the industry.  

Manal Marvelous loves to share how she develops and sews her creations, and her TikTok has 3 million views and 700,000 followers. (Supplied)

“In my YouTube channel, I share my love of sewing, but with a twist. From sewing pants out of bandannas and a corset with plastic, to recycling my old jeans into a denim jacket,” she said.

Marvelous had the backing of friends and family from the start, and they were her supporters.

Manal Marvelous loves to share how she develops and sews her creations, and her TikTok has 3 million views and 700,000 followers. (Supplied)

She did, however, mention how some elements of social media, like cyberbullying, were deterring her from sharing and how she overcame it.

“Bullying on social media has become the norm lately. What I do and what I recommend everyone do is ignore the comment, especially when it’s obvious that the person is just trying to hurt you.”

Manal Marvelous loves to share how she develops and sews her creations, and her TikTok has 3 million views and 700,000 followers. (Supplied)

She said that constructive criticism is always appreciated, and that she tries to hear what people have to say to improve her material, gain insight into her audience, and receive feedback.

“But people who just want to put you down and make you feel bad should be muted,” she added.

Marvelous believes that with an abundance of talented and creative Saudi designers, as well as the diversity of Saudi fashion and traditional costume, the KSA scene needs more useful fashion events.

“Saudi Arabia has some of the most talented and creative designers in the field, and their work should be appreciated and celebrated nationally and internationally. Having more shows in the Kingdom could be beneficial not only to the designers but to the country as well.”

Marvelous said that the Fashion Commission has been a significant asset to the sector for many years, planning events and providing support for emerging designers through programs such as 100 Brands.

“I advise upcoming designers to never stop dreaming big; this is our time to shine and create the unexpected. There’s space for everyone.”

Marvelous offers three tips for aspiring fashion content creators seeking to be authentic: “Don’t try to copy other creators; it’s good to follow trends, but only when it suits your content and your personality. Consistency is key. Pick the schedule that suits you and make sure to stick to it.”

 


Thriving gardens: Growing and nurturing plants without destroying soil

Thriving gardens: Growing and nurturing plants without destroying soil
Updated 13 April 2024
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Thriving gardens: Growing and nurturing plants without destroying soil

Thriving gardens: Growing and nurturing plants without destroying soil
  • The foundation of a successful garden is soil health
  • It is critical to take care of the soil before planting seeds by creating organic elements in the soil rather than relying on chemical or synthetic fertilizers

RIYADH: Caring for plants at home reduces stress and increases satisfaction. Gardening allows people to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of their home garden.
However, it is important to use sustainable methods to ensure that plants are healthy, and the environment is protected from damage. Soil preservation and care are therefore very important for sustainable gardening.
The foundation of a successful garden is soil health. It is critical to take care of the soil before planting seeds by creating organic elements in the soil rather than relying on chemical or synthetic fertilizers.
Compost food scraps, garden waste and other organic products to improve soil fertility will provide nutrients to plants, increasing microbial activity and boosting the health of the soil.
“Synthetic fertilizers aren’t used in the Kingdom. It is rare. Most people use organic products such as animal waste mixed with food waste,” said Haitham Sharbaji, an agricultural technician who works in Riyadh.
Sharbaji, who operates his own nursery, explained how different plants require specific techniques.
When asked about examples of plants that are grown in hot, dry weather like in Saudi Arabia, he mentioned trees including poinciana, racosperma and oleander. According to Sharbaji, these species are especially suitable for the weather in Riyadh.
He highlighted the importance of planting trees in healthy soil.
“Firstly, the soil must be healthy and suitable for the type of plant you want to grow. For example, there are kinds of soil for indoor plants and others for outdoor plants,” Sharbaji said.
“Lighting is also important, as each plant differs in terms of its need for lighting.”
Another method gardeners can use to prevent soil depletion is controlling the rotation of plants. Rotating plants grown in different areas of a garden helps reduce diseases and pests, and prevents nutrient deficiencies.
In addition to changing the position of the plant, covering it with a layer of organic mulch like wood chips or leaves helps maintain soil health. This technique captures moisture as well as moderates the temperature of the soil, which in turn improves the structure of the soil. Over time, it enriches the soil with beneficial organisms.
Chemical pesticides are another tool to avoid or reduce, as they can harm beneficial insects, damage organisms in the soil and disrupt the garden’s ecosystem. Natural pest control methods like introducing insects such as ladybugs and lacewings are a useful alternative.
Water in Saudi Arabia is a precious resource for growing any plant, and using it efficiently is vital. An optimal way to regulate watering plants is to install drip irrigation systems to control the amount of water that is used and deliver it directly to the roots.
People should be mindful of the hot climate in the Kingdom, which may speed up the evaporation of water. Therefore, watering the garden late in the afternoon or evening hours reduces water loss because of low temperatures.
“Water is the biggest enemy for indoor plant soil. The soil that is prepared for indoor plants doesn’t need too much water because it can create toxic fungi,” said Sharbaji.
He recommends watering indoor plants according to room temperatures. Generally speaking, a person can water an indoor plant every 15 to 20 days, he added.
Excessive use of synthetic fertilizers can lead to nutrient imbalance and environmental pollution. It is best to test soil regularly to detect any signs of nutrient deficiencies such as decolorization of leaves or irregular shapes.
Synthetic fertilizers can be useful but only when necessary, and they must be used wisely. This ensures the plant receives the nutrients it needs while minimizing the risk of biomagnification — the increase in concentration of a substance in the tissues of organisms at successively higher levels in a food chain.
By practicing sustainable gardening practices, people can grow and protect their gardens while maintaining soil health. Healthy soil preparation, mulching and natural pest control methods are some examples of healthy gardening, keeping in mind that a thriving garden starts with the soil.


Saudi Arabia arrests 20,667 illegals in one week

Saudi police have arrested hundreds of illegals breaching country’s law. (SPA)
Saudi police have arrested hundreds of illegals breaching country’s law. (SPA)
Updated 13 April 2024
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Saudi Arabia arrests 20,667 illegals in one week

Saudi police have arrested hundreds of illegals breaching country’s law. (SPA)
  • The report showed that among the 959 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 53 percent were Ethiopian, 44 percent Yemeni, and 3 percent were of other nationalities

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 20,667 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 14,805 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 3,860 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,002 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 959 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 53 percent were Ethiopian, 44 percent Yemeni, and 3 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 58 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and nine were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.

 


MWL chief visits orphanage in Pakistan

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa celebrated Eid with the orphans in Pakistan. (Supplied)
Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa celebrated Eid with the orphans in Pakistan. (Supplied)
Updated 13 April 2024
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MWL chief visits orphanage in Pakistan

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa celebrated Eid with the orphans in Pakistan. (Supplied)
  • The orphanage is affiliated with the MWL in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, recently met the children of the Ali bin Abi Talib Orphanage in Pakistan.

The orphanage, which serves more than 4,600 orphans, is affiliated with the MWL in Islamabad.

Al-Issa celebrated Eid with the orphans and inaugurated new facilities, including a gymnasium and a training center.