Hayy Jameel’s bustling Ramadan Nights embraces community, culture

Ramadan Nights takes place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering to all ages and backgrounds. (Instagram/hayyjameel)
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Ramadan Nights takes place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering to all ages and backgrounds. (Instagram/hayyjameel)
Hayy Jameel’s bustling Ramadan Nights embraces community, culture
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Abdullah Alsilani, a carpenter and the founder of NBR Carpentry. (AN photo)
Hayy Jameel’s bustling Ramadan Nights embraces community, culture
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Hadeel Alabbasi, the founder of Qanaateer with a kid teaching Arabic fonts. (AN photo)
Hayy Jameel’s bustling Ramadan Nights embraces community, culture
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Carlota Martin. (AN photo)
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Updated 01 April 2024
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Hayy Jameel’s bustling Ramadan Nights embraces community, culture

Ramadan Nights takes place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering to all ages and backgrounds.
  • Vibrant program ‘by the community, for the community’ offers evenings of reflection and joy

JEDDAH: The inaugural Ramadan Nights at Jeddah’s Hayy Jameel cultural center features a range of activities including workshops, film screenings, dining experiences, and shopping options.

Highlighting the importance of community, culture, and well-being, the event will take place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering for all ages and backgrounds.




Ramadan Nights takes place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering to all ages and backgrounds. (Instagram/hayyjameel)

Ramadan Nights includes local artisanal crafts, books, organic seasonal produce, accessories, clothing, and gifts at Hayy Markets. The platform provides the creative community with a space to exhibit their products, engage with customers, and raise awareness about local initiatives that champion sustainability, well-being, and artistic practices.

Rahma Al-Harbi, founder of Sigo and a first-time participant at Hayy Markets, told Arab News: “I am selling souvenirs that are locally authentic and reflect the rich culture of Saudi Arabia and its various cities.




Ramadan Nights takes place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering to all ages and backgrounds. (Instagram/hayyjameel)

“We also offer traditional games that have been reimagined in a modern style, each representing different aspects of cities such as Diriyah and AlUla. The interaction with customers is truly unique, and we manage to sell all our products every week.”

Samar Allarakia, an artist and designer, said: “I create limited-edition abayas by painting and printing on fabrics exclusively for Hayy Jameel. Each time I sell out, I restock.




Hadeel Al-Abbasi, Qanaateer founder

“I also offer handmade items specifically for this bazaar. The response has been incredible, and customers have shown great love for my work. I look forward to collaborating further with Hayy Jameel.”

Raghad Bawazir, the founder of FouZentric, said: “Our brand features 100 percent handmade abayas, dresses, and bags in a boho style. The crowd’s response has been incredible, and people truly appreciate our trendy boho designs.”

I am thrilled to be a part of this initiative and to share Islamic and cultural traditions with children.

Hadeel Al-Abbasi, Qanaateer founder

Carlota Martin, founder of Root Spain and Kids at the Patio, said: “We are showcasing two unique brands at this market. The Root specializes in gourmet Spanish food, including exceptional products like extra virgin olive oil, artisanal flower petal jams, and marron glace (candied chestnuts).




Ramadan Nights takes place every Wednesday to Saturday over 14 nights during Ramadan catering to all ages and backgrounds. (Instagram/hayyjameel)

“We also offer elegant marble bowl and spoon hampers to complement our offerings.

“Our kids’ brand features stylish clothing for newborns to children, catering to both boys and girls. Visitors are loving our products and are eager to learn more. I am grateful for the invitation from Hayy Jameel.”




Eiman Elnaiem, Hayy Jameel public programs manager

Abdullah Alsilani, a carpenter and the founder of NBR Carpentry, presents wood-carving sessions. He said his business focused on creating custom designs based on requests and its product range included tables, candle stands, kitchen items, and keychains.

Anas Bukhari and Kholoud Faqih, the founders of JED Board Games who frequently collaborate with Hayy Jameel. Faqih said: “We provide a diverse array of challenging board games, offering over 150 options for this Ramadan Nights program.

Ramadan Nights has community at the heart of it all … and it is incredible to see Hayy Jameel buzzing at every corner.

Eiman Elnaiem, Hayy Jameel public programs manager

“Our community has been thriving as we aim to educate individuals about the world of board games. By spreading awareness and knowledge about these games, we hope to encourage more people to step away from electronic devices.

“During Ramadan, it’s a perfect opportunity for families and friends to come together, spend quality time, and enjoy the experience of playing board games.”

During Ramadan, Hayy Cinema presents a selection of local and international films, offering the opportunity to unwind and relax after iftar until midnight.

The program also features Hayy Explorer which provides children with a chance to dig into Islamic arts, participate in games, and discover culinary traditions from different regions in Saudi Arabia.

Hadeel Felemban, who oversees Hayy Explorer, said: “We have storytellers sharing tales of food from Baha and Aseer. We’ve partnered with Akwan to host a fun games night for kids, featuring memory card games for Ramadan and activities to build Arabic alphabets.

“Kids can also enjoy hands-on activities like making mamoul (dates cookies), drawing sessions, and art projects. Each session lasts for one hour and can accommodate up to 20 children.”

The Arabic language institute, Qanaateer, has been highlighting the traditions and history of the Arabian Peninsula through art, stories, and culture for kids.

Qanaateer founder, Hadeel Al-Abbasi, said: “We are collaborating on weekends to teach artwork, Arabic fonts, creating Eid carpets, crafting Ramadan lanterns with wishes and prayers, and more.

“Everything is thoughtfully organized at Hayy Jameel. I am thrilled to be a part of this initiative and to share Islamic and cultural traditions with children.”

At a session hosted at Project Space by Hayy Learning’s teaching artists Nayla Attar and Sahrish Ali, participants explored the Holy Qur’an, and shared stories, recipes, and memories.

Maria Alem, senior manager at Hayy Jameel’s learning program, said: “For Ramadan Nights, we immersed ourselves in discussions about the fruits mentioned in the Qur’an, expressing gratitude for their blessings. This was followed by a creative printmaking session where participants crafted prints inspired by these fruits.

“They also reflected on personal recipes that hold special meaning, translating them into beautiful lino prints.”

Regarding a workshop on making a sobia blend using sourdough and dates, a healthier alternative to the staple Hejazi drink, Maram Murad, from Health in a Jar, said: “I came to Saudi Arabia with an idea to revive the art of fermented foods and started Health in a Jar six years ago, specializing in fermented food.

“We conduct workshops on fermented foods like sourdough, kombucha, kimchi, and during Ramadan, we focus on sobia.

“Collaborating with Hayy Jameel, we offered a healthy version of sobia during Ramadan with dates, raisins, and sourdough bread. It’s amazing to see the community’s growing interest in learning the process of making sobia is truly inspiring.”

Public programs manager, Eiman Elnaiem, said that the inaugural cultural Ramadan program was all about celebrating togetherness, community spirit, and well-being.

“The program has been developed with something for anyone and everyone in mind — from Hayy Markets and its selection of artisanal crafts, books, design, gifts, and local produce by entrepreneurs and creatives from across Saudi Arabia to film screenings at Hayy Cinema, children’s activities centered on storytelling, games, and reminders of the meaning of Ramadan and reflective and inspiring talks, workshops, live calligraphy, and performances celebrating tradition, customs, and shared values,” Elnaiem added.

She also noted the variety of food and beverage options available across Hayy Jameel.

“Ramadan Nights has community at the heart of it all. It is for the community, by the community, and it is incredible to see Hayy Jameel buzzing at every corner, including those curious to explore our current exhibition ‘At the Edge of Land’ in Hayy Arts, as well as Hayy residents in their spaces.

“The Ramadan program has been such a success, introducing us and bringing new audiences to Hayy Jameel. We hope it continues to grow and become the place to be each and every Ramadan for the years to come.

“We feel proud at Hayy Jameel to work with and support local collaborators and participants through the program, allowing them to share their passion, creativity, and connect with the wider community,” Elnaiem said.

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KSrelief extends humanitarian aid efforts to Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief extends humanitarian aid efforts to Sudan, Yemen
Updated 14 April 2024
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KSrelief extends humanitarian aid efforts to Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief extends humanitarian aid efforts to Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief extended its commitment to providing vital assistance to those in need, with recent efforts spanning Sudan and Yemen.

In the Karari locality of Khartoum, KSrelief distributed 233 shelter bags to needy and displaced families, offering urgent relief to 1,357 individuals.

Meanwhile, in Yemen's Hajjah Governorate, KSrelief's Mobile Medical Clinic rendered essential medical services to 2,072 beneficiaries in February 2024. The clinic's diverse services included treating patients for epidemiological diseases, providing emergency care, and offering internal medicine and reproductive health services. 

In Saada Governorate, Yemen, KSrelief's ongoing projects aim to address the primary healthcare and water needs of displaced individuals in Razih District. Throughout February, medical clinics under this initiative treated patients for various ailments, including epidemic diseases, emergencies, internal medicine issues, and reproductive health concerns. The project also provided nursing services, surgical assistance, and medical referrals, alongside conducting waste disposal programs and supplying potable water to the district.


Saudi Arabia expresses concern over military escalation in Middle East

Saudi Arabia expresses concern over military escalation in Middle East
Updated 53 min 38 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia expresses concern over military escalation in Middle East

Saudi Arabia expresses concern over military escalation in Middle East
  • Arab states echoed Saudi sentiment, condemning regional escalation and call for restraint"

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday expressed deep concern over the military escalation in the Middle East and urged all parties involved to exercise restraint, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of “serious repercussions” on the region and its peoples from the dangers of a wider war, according to SPA.

 

 

Iran on Saturday launched drones and missiles against Israel, making good its threat to retaliate against the Israeli air strike that destroyed an Iranian embassy annex building in Damascus, Syria, killing at least 13 people, including two generals of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

The Saudi ministry “affirmed the Kingdom’s position calling for the need for the Security Council to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security, especially in this region that is extremely sensitive to global peace and security, and to prevent the escalation of the crisis that will have serious consequences if it expands,” said the SPA report. 

The Saudi staement was echoed by the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, who emphasized the imperative of upholding regional and global security and stability amidst recent developments in the Middle East.

He urged, in a statement, all involved parties to exercise utmost restraint to forestall further escalation, which could endanger regional stability and civilian welfare. Albudaiwi underscored the necessity of collaborative efforts and diplomatic resolutions to address conflicts and ensure regional security.

He emphasized the pivotal role of the international community in bolstering these peace and stability endeavors, and warned of the potential ramifications of heightened tensions.

The UAE called for the exercise of the utmost restraint to avoid dangerous repercussions in the Middle East, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The UAE also called for resolving conflicts through dialogue and diplomatic channels.

Iran launched missiles and drones at Israel overnight in retaliation for a suspected Israeli air strike on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus on April 1, raising the threat of a wider regional conflict.

Egypt also urged all parties to exercise utmost restraint to prevent further escalation in the region, aiming to safeguard its stability and the well-being of its inhabitants.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last night, Egypt underscored that the current dangerous escalation in the Iranian/Israeli arena is a direct consequence of previously highlighted concerns. Egypt has consistently warned against the perils of expanding conflicts in the region, particularly stemming from Israeli military actions in Gaza and provocative maneuvers in the area.

The statement emphasized Egypt’s continuous engagement with all relevant stakeholders to mitigate the situation, halt the escalation, and avert the region from spiraling into instability, thereby safeguarding the interests of its people.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Al-Safadi emphasizes that stopping the Israeli aggression on Gaza, ending the occupation, and advancing the two-state solution are essential measures to halt the escalation in the region.


Saudi, Norway foreign ministers discuss Gaza during call

Saudi, Norway foreign ministers discuss Gaza during call
Updated 14 April 2024
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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.