Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry

Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry
1 / 2
The festival’s schedule features film screenings, interviews and workshops, giving visitors the chance to explore the film industry from the perspectives of both makers and critics. (SPA)
Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry
2 / 2
The festival’s schedule features film screenings, interviews and workshops, giving visitors the chance to explore the film industry from the perspectives of both makers and critics. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 15 April 2024
Follow

Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry

Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry

RIYADH: The fourth Gulf Cinema Festival, which runs until April 18, is currently taking place in Riyadh.

Organized by the Saudi Film Commission under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the minister of culture and chairman of the commission’s board of directors, the event brings together several pioneers of Gulf cinema.

Dignitaries, cultural and media figures, as well as prominent activists and influencers in the film industry, are also taking part.

The festival’s schedule features film screenings, interviews and workshops, giving visitors the chance to explore the film industry from the perspectives of both makers and critics.

Film Commission CEO Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Qahtani delivered the culture minister’s speech at the start of the event. In it, Prince Badr said: “This edition of the festival represents a crucial milestone in cultural cooperation among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and embodies our leadership’s commitment to enhancing collaboration among us.

“This festival reflects the strong connection between ambition and the cultural strategy of the GCC countries, which play a significant role in enhancing cultural exchange, expanding infrastructure, drawing inspiration from successful experiences, and encouraging Gulf talents to offer more.”

The opening ceremony also featured a film highlighting the depth of Gulf cinema and the festival’s contribution. It is hoped the event will enrich national cinema, providing creative platforms for talented individuals to showcase their work and share their experiences.

A rich and diverse program is planned across the five days, with the screening of 29 films — including feature-length, short films and documentaries — produced by renowned Gulf filmmakers across various categories.

Specialized training workshops will cover topics such as “How to make an impactful documentary film” by Abdulrahman Sandokji, “The relationship between the music composer and the film director” by Mohammad Haddad, and “Art, writing and script development” by Mohammad Hassan Ahmed.

Discussion sessions include “Challenges of producing adapted films,” “Film festivals in Gulf countries,” “Support funds and joint financing,” “Independent films and small budgets” and “The experience of exhibition platforms in the Middle East.”

Gulf filmmakers are also competing for nine awards recognizing various aspects of filmmaking such as directing, photography, music and acting.

The festival aims to promote the growth and development of the regional cinema industry while honoring prominent Gulf cinema figures who have contributed significantly to the global cultural scene. It also fosters cultural and knowledge exchanges among those taking part.


25 arrested for violating Hajj regulations

25 arrested for violating Hajj regulations
Updated 15 June 2024
Follow

25 arrested for violating Hajj regulations

25 arrested for violating Hajj regulations
  • Offenders apprehended at entrances to Makkah

ARAFAT: The Saudi Ministry of Interior has said that Hajj security forces have apprehended 25 individuals at the entrances to Makkah for violating Hajj regulations and instructions, including performing rituals without a permit. The individuals include seven expatriates and 18 citizens, who were transporting 103 violators.
The seasonal administrative committees of the General Directorate of Passports issued 24 administrative decisions against the offenders. These resulted in a prison sentence of 15 days for each transporter; a financial fine of SR10,000 ($2,666) for each violator transported; public shaming; the deportation of expatriate transporters with a ban on re-entry into the Kingdom for a legally specified period after serving the sentence; and the confiscation of two vehicles used in transportation.
The ministry urged all citizens and expatriates to abide by and comply with Hajj regulations and instructions to ensure that pilgrims can perform their rituals in security, safety and comfort.


Ukraine peace process will need compromise, says Saudi foreign minister

Ukraine peace process will need compromise, says Saudi foreign minister
Updated 15 June 2024
Follow

Ukraine peace process will need compromise, says Saudi foreign minister

Ukraine peace process will need compromise, says Saudi foreign minister
  • Prince Faisal was speaking at a conference in Switzerland aimed at engineering a peace between Russia and Ukraine

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Saturday that any credible peace talks on the war in Ukraine will need Russia’s participation and that it would involve “difficult compromise.”

Prince Faisal was speaking at a conference in Switzerland aimed at engineering a peace between Russia and Ukraine and he added that Saudi Arabia was committed to helping to bring an end to the conflict.

“We believe it is important that the international community encourage any step toward serious negotiations which will require difficult compromise as part of a road map that leads to peace,” the prince said.

The Saudi minister also stressed that any process leading to peace in Ukraine would need Russian participation.


King Salman, crown prince exchange Eid Al-Adha cables with leaders of Islamic countries

King Salman, crown prince exchange Eid Al-Adha cables with leaders of Islamic countries
Updated 33 min 7 sec ago
Follow

King Salman, crown prince exchange Eid Al-Adha cables with leaders of Islamic countries

King Salman, crown prince exchange Eid Al-Adha cables with leaders of Islamic countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday received cables of congratulations from leaders of Islamic countries on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, which begins on Monday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The king and crown prince sent messages of thanks to the leaders for their congratulatory cables.

Hajj pilgrims arrived in Arafat early Saturday morning, the ninth day of Dul Hijjah, and attended the annual Hajj sermon at Namirah Mosque.


Arafat sermon translated into 37 international languages

Arafat sermon translated into 37 international languages
Updated 15 June 2024
Follow

Arafat sermon translated into 37 international languages

Arafat sermon translated into 37 international languages

ARAFAT: The General Authority for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque translated the Arafat Day sermon on Saturday into 37 international languages, including live translation into 20 and non-simultaneous translation into 17 further languages.

This allowed Muslims to follow the sermon through the Al-Haramain platform, the authority’s YouTube channel, the Nusuk platform, and FM radio frequencies in the Arafat region.

The Arafat Sermon Translation Project, which is spearheaded by the Saudi leadership, aims to showcase Islam, enhancing its values and providing pilgrims and Muslims all over the world with the best service.


Hajj pilgrims arrive in Arafat, attend annual sermon

Hajj pilgrims arrive in Arafat, attend annual sermon
Updated 15 June 2024
Follow

Hajj pilgrims arrive in Arafat, attend annual sermon

Hajj pilgrims arrive in Arafat, attend annual sermon
  • Pilgrims say they wish time could pause so they could continue praying on the most special day of Hajj
  • The Hajj sermon highlights that Shariah mandates 'justice and noble ethics' for all Muslims in the world

ARAFAT: Amid strict security and health measures, this year’s Hajj pilgrims arrived in Arafat early Saturday morning, the ninth day of Dul Hijjah, and attended the annual Hajj sermon at Namirah Mosque.

As the sun rose, pilgrims camping in the tent city of Mina performed dawn prayers, then began their journey to Arafat, where Prophet Muhammad gave his final sermon more than 144 decades ago. On Saturday, one could hear nothing louder than the crowd chanting supplications.

Ansarul-Haq Rasheed, a 63-year-old Indonesian pilgrim, expressed a heartfelt desire to pray to Allah for as long as possible.

“I wish time could pause so I could continue praying to Allah with all my heart,” he told Arab News. “These moments are unforgettable. I want to lay bare all my emotions to my creator, who knows everything. I seek His blessings for my needs in this life and the hereafter.”

 

 

Reflecting on the pilgrimage experience, he expressed gratitude for the services provided to pilgrims. He compared it with stories he had been told of his late father’s Hajj, some 45 years ago. “My mother shared the hardships my father faced during Hajj; I wish he could see how much more comfortable Hajj has become,” Rasheed said. 

Meanwhile, 49-year-old Khadija Yakoubi, a Moroccan pilgrim, anticipated a transformative experience from his pilgrimage.

“When all sins are forgiven, life inevitably changes for the better, leading to a renewed enjoyment. This feeling motivates pilgrims to continue doing good throughout their lives,” Yakoubi said, adding that the services pilgrims have received at the holy sites have been “exemplary.”

The Day of Arafat is the most important part of the Hajj — one of Islam’s five pillars; without it, a pilgrimage is not valid. Pilgrims typically combine and shorten the Dhuhr and Asr prayers before staying in Arafat until sunset. They then move on to Muzdalifah before returning to their tents in Mina.

Sheikh Maher bin Hamad Al-Muaiqly, one of the imams of the Grand Mosque, who delivered this year’s sermon, described Hajj as a “sincere act of worship for Allah.”

He urged pilgrims to seize “the great blessings” during their time in Arafat, reminding them that “in this honorable place and virtuous time, the Almighty multiplies his rewards” for their good deeds and forgives their sins.

In his sermon, Al-Muaiqly emphasized that Islam is a religion of peace and that Shariah “mandates justice, noble ethics, and kindness to parents, along with the importance of maintaining family ties, truthfulness in speech, and safeguarding rights to ensure they are rightfully upheld. It also emphasizes respect for contracts and encourages obedience to rightful authorities.”

He added that Shariah also emphasizes the obligation to obey the five central religious laws: safeguarding religion, and protecting the soul, the mind, one’s possessions, and one’s dignity — all important principles in Islamic jurisprudence and ethics, and, he said, guiding principles for the well-being and growth of individuals and society.

“Indeed, Shariah considers any transgression against these basics a crime deserving punishment. Furthermore, safeguarding these essentials is a path to entering paradise and attaining Allah’s satisfaction. It also serves as a key to stability, happiness, progress, and advancement in this world,” the imam said.