EU Embassy, Arab News honor makers of Saudi ‘Horizon’ documentary

EU Embassy, Arab News honor makers of Saudi ‘Horizon’ documentary
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Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud, secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies, leads the presentation of an honorary certificate to Abdullah Alahmari, CEO of Konoz initiative, and Yazeed Albader, associate producer of “Horizon.” (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
The makers of a documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
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The makers of a documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
The makers of a documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
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The makers of a documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Christophe Farnaud, Princess Lama Al-Saud, and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas attend the special screening of the film “Horizon”. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
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EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Christophe Farnaud, Princess Lama Al-Saud, and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas attend the special screening of the film “Horizon”. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 25 April 2024
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EU Embassy, Arab News honor makers of Saudi ‘Horizon’ documentary

EU Embassy, Arab News honor makers of Saudi ‘Horizon’ documentary
  • Princess Lamia: ‘Screening is a reminder of our shared responsibility to protect precious ecosystems’
  • Ambassador Farnaud: ‘The Saudi Green Initiative and the European Green Deal have shared goals’
  • Abbas: ‘We are delighted to partner with the EU envoy to showcase Saudi Arabian wildlife in a captivating manner’

RIYADH: The makers of a recently produced, highly acclaimed documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh.

The new documentary, produced by the Konoz Initiative, is part of a collaboration between the Saudi Ministry of Media’s Center for Government Communication and the National Center for Wildlife.

It explores the ecological treasures and unique habitats of the Kingdom.

Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud, secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies, was a guest of honor. Princess Lamia, through her work with Alwaleed Philanthropies, has recently announced an initiative called Atlai, an innovative artificial intelligence platform to support global efforts to combat deforestation.




Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud (L), secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies, was a guest of honor at the event. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)

The screening was followed by a presentation of an honorary certificate to Abdullah Alahmari, CEO of Konoz initiative, and Yazeed Albader, associate producer of “Horizon.” This was presented by EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Christophe Farnaud, Princess Lamia and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas.

Farnaud said: “The ‘Horizon’ documentary captures the breathtaking beauty of Saudi Arabia’s diverse natural landscapes and wildlife.

“For centuries, much of the Arabian Peninsula, including Saudi Arabia, held a mysterious attraction for European explorers and travelers.”

The ambassador spoke of the significance of protecting the environment due to basic human needs such as food and water, and dependency on the health of our global environment.

“The Saudi Green Initiative and the European Green Deal have shared goals. We all depend on nature for our food, air, water, energy and raw materials. Nature and biodiversity make life possible, provide health, and drive our economy. Nature is also our best ally in tackling the climate crisis,” he said.

“Climate change, economic diversification and transitioning to renewables remain priority areas for both the EU with its policy of European Green Deal as well as for Saudi Arabia with its Vision 2030.”

Princess Lamia gave her thoughts on Saudi Arabia’s fascinating natural wonders that are featured in the film.

“Through ‘Horizon’ we are transported to the breathtaking beauty and rich biodiversity of Saudi Arabia. This documentary promises to immerse us in the heart of the Kingdom’s diverse wildlife and scenery,” she said.




The makers of a documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)

“Tonight’s screening is not only a celebration of Saudi Arabia’s rich natural heritage but also a call to action — a reminder of our shared responsibility to protect and conserve the precious ecosystems that define our world.

“In a time where our forests and natural ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate, Atlai, created by Alwaleed Philanthropies, is a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration. It’s about igniting a passion for preservation, a fervor for conservation, and a commitment to safeguarding our planet for generations to come.”

Abbas expressed appreciation for the Saudi team behind the “Horizon” documentary, saying: “We are delighted to have partnered with the EU delegation to host a special screening of this remarkable documentary which showcases Saudi Arabian wildlife in a truly captivating manner.”




Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)

He added: “As part of Arab News Green and Blue initiative, which focuses on environment and sustainability, we are also proud to present the Saudi team behind the ‘Horizon’ documentary with a certificate of appreciation, and thank them for their contribution in preserving and showcasing the wonders our beloved Kingdom has to offer.”

Arab News has recently launched its Green And Blue, an initiative which discusses environmental subjects regarding climate change, desertification, wildlife preservation, sustainability, and green energy, with a close emphasis on the environment in Saudi Arabia.

The CEO of Konoz initiative expressed how thrilled he was to attend the screening of the movie.

“This documentary sheds light on the beauty of Saudi Arabia, its versatile terrain and highlights the wildlife we are blessed to have in the Kingdom,” Said Alahmari.




The makers of a documentary on Saudi wildlife were honored at a special screening of the film “Horizon” at the residence of the EU ambassador in Riyadh. (AN photo/ Huda Bashatah)

He expressed his appreciation to the Minister of Media Salman bin Yousef Al-Dossary for his constant support in ensuring that the movie highlights the Kingdom and reaches a broader audience.

The associate producer of the work explained how the documentary took more than 260 days of shooting and more than 2,000 hours of recording because it covered all the regions.

“If you want to shoot some of the animals, you may not get luck on the spot. So, you have to do some scouting, you have to arrive a couple of days before, stay for weeks to spot a nice shot, or to get that perfect skyline with the clouds, sunset or sunrise,” said Albader.

“I was honored to be here, the screening was great. It is a pleasure to be here with the ambassadors, and to see how a lot of people care about nature and wildlife. This is just the beginning of many events to come.”

“Horizon” is now available on Netflix internationally.


Saudi Arabia, Norway host meeting on coordinated approach to recognition of Palestine in Brussels

Saudi Arabia, Norway host meeting on coordinated approach to recognition of Palestine in Brussels
Updated 26 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia, Norway host meeting on coordinated approach to recognition of Palestine in Brussels

Saudi Arabia, Norway host meeting on coordinated approach to recognition of Palestine in Brussels
  • Meeting discussed the urgent need to end the war in Gaza and take the necessary steps to implement a two-state solution

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Norway hosted a meeting on a coordinated approach to the recognition of Palestine in Brussels on Sunday.

The meeting discussed the urgent need to end the war in Gaza and take the necessary steps to implement a two-state solution, Saudi Press Agency reported.

It was attended by ministers and representatives of Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Latvia, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Palestine, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkiye, the UAE, the UK, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The meeting is a continuation of a previous one on the same subject hosted by Riyadh on April 29 for Arab and European ministers.

The conference expressed support for efforts aimed at reaching an immediate ceasefire, releasing prisoners and hostages, ending the war in the Gaza Strip and all illegal unilateral measures and violations in the occupied Palestinian territories including controlling the Rafah crossing, and addressing the catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

Concrete steps toward establishing a Palestinian state in the context of the two-state solution, and adopting a political path that supports a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were also topics of discussion.

The meeting stressed the importance of the international community’s recognition of the Palestinian state in order to adopt a comprehensive approach toward a reliable and irreversible path to implementing the two-state solution in accordance with international law and agreed standards, including UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

This would then lead to a just and lasting solution that meets the rights of the Palestinian people and achieves security in the region, paving the way for normal relations between countries, the meeting heard.

The meeting comes before Norway, Spain and Ireland formally recognize a Palestinian state on Tuesday, a largely symbolic move that has infuriated Israel.


Saudi artist embraces her Jazani heritage 

Saudi artist embraces her Jazani heritage 
Updated 26 May 2024
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Saudi artist embraces her Jazani heritage 

Saudi artist embraces her Jazani heritage 
  • Rehab Zakri’s vibrant impressionist works display rich diversity of southern Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Saudi artist Rehab Zakri is carving a niche for herself in the art world by delving deep into the rich culture and identity of southern Saudi Arabia.

The artist’s impressionist works capture her passion for her heritage and have been displayed at various exhibitions, including a solo exhibition in 2020.

The 24-year-old’s art is a vibrant tapestry of colors reflecting the diverse natural landscapes of her daily life in the city of Jazan.

“Jazan, my hometown, is a treasure trove of heritage and natural wonders that stir my soul. Immersed in its rich nature, my artistic journey blossoms,” she told Arab News.

“Each brushstroke tells a story inspired by ventures with friends to coffee farms, the majestic Qahar mountains, and the serene Wadi Lajab.”

Zakris artistic journey began in childhood when her love for painting blossomed into a fully fledged passion after a teacher encouraged her to participate in a drawing competition.

Her talent shone through as she clinched first place in the Jazan region and fourth place nationally in drawing and painting competitions. This early recognition fueled her determination to pursue her artistic dreams further.

Her choice to follow the impressionist school of art stems from her desire for freedom of expression through color, steering away from precision and perfection.

Her paintings, rich in color and emotion, allow her to convey her feelings and thoughts in a visually captivating manner.

“My artistic expression thrives on the interplay of colors, weaving emotions and identity into every stroke, forging a deep connection between my art and my being,” she said.

Zakri has also created a space at home where art comes to life, hosting art gatherings and workshops, welcoming visitors to experience the beauty and identity of Jazan through her eyes.

“I established a personal sanctuary at home, where every stroke of paint breathes life into my creations. It’s a haven where I open my doors to fellow art enthusiasts,” she said.

“Welcoming visitors from afar, I offer them a glimpse into the essence and allure of Jazan. This city, ingrained in my artistic soul, finds its way into myriad brushstrokes, embodying its spirit and beauty in every painting I create.”

Her large-scale interactive artwork, titled “Generosity,” draws inspiration from Saudi culture and vividly portrays the elegance of the Najdi majlis, symbolizing the warm hospitality ingrained in Saudi society. The piece was crafted to honor the Kingdom’s Founding Day.

In her portrayal of a Jazani mountain girl, she captures the essence of the people of Fayfa and their rich cultural heritage. Fayfa village is known for its unique natural features and the warmth of its people. Nestled amid lush greenery and surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes, Fayfa has a rich biodiversity, with vibrant flora and fauna adding to its charm.

Through meticulous attention to detail, the mountain girl is depicted wearing traditional Jazani attire, adorned with a garland of roses and a straw hat and set against a backdrop of lush green. Zakri’s portrait of the girl skillfully reflects the beauty of Jazan’s natural surroundings.

Another painting, “Coffee Farms,” captures the essence of the famed coffee plantations nestled in the Bani Malik mountains of Jazan.

Having participated in various exhibitions, including her first solo exhibition supported by the Culture and Arts Association in Jazan, Zakri’s artwork has garnered widespread acclaim, with each work representing a cherished moment in time.

“The painting dearest to my heart is a portrait of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” she said. “It embodies Saudi pride and the ambitious vision reflected in his gaze toward a radiant future.”

Describing her approach to the work, she said,:“I employed my impressionist style, infusing vibrant colors and crisp lines to craft a vivid and expressive depiction exuding prominence. This artwork was acquired by the deputy governor of the Jazan region, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz,” she said.

Her painting titled “Our Present to Our Future” symbolizes the Saudi people’s achievements in the journey to Vision 2030, depicting that dreams can come true with belief in one’s abilities.

Her advice to aspiring artists, is straightforward. “Work hard, stay committed, and stay open to new experiences,” she said. “In art, don't be afraid to explore new things. And most importantly, enjoy the journey, even when it gets tough.”

Zakri remains enthusiastic about exploring new opportunities in the art world and has built a platform on Instagram where she displays her art and engages with the community.


Training courses for Hajj and Umrah workers begin

An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday. (SPA)
An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 26 May 2024
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Training courses for Hajj and Umrah workers begin

An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday. (SPA)

RIYADH: An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

As part of the Rafid Al-Haramain initiative, 100,000 workers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors will be trained to ensure that the services they offer are of the highest quality and leave a lasting positive impression on visitors to the Kingdom.

The initiative is being organized by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and Makkah’s Umm Al-Qura University.


Three ibex born in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah National Park

Three ibex born in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah National Park
Updated 27 May 2024
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Three ibex born in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah National Park

Three ibex born in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah National Park
  • The release of the ibex aims to preserve and enhance Saudi Arabia’s biodiversity

RIYADH: Three ibex were born in King Abdullah National Park’s Red Rock Zone after Soudah Development, a Public Investment Fund company, released 23 ibex into the wild last year in collaboration with the National Center for Wildlife.

The release of the ibex aims to preserve and enhance Saudi Arabia’s biodiversity.

It marks a significant milestone in joint reintroduction and conservation efforts, aligning with the Saudi Green Initiative and Vision 2030’s environmental goals.

The two newborns were delivered by two adult ibex, and the third was delivered by a two-year-old ibex.

Soudah Development is closely monitoring a herd of nine ibex to ensure the population’s health and to study their habitat preferences.

“The successful births of the ibex signify a major step forward in our mission to reintroduce endangered species and revitalize the ecosystem within the region,” said Saleh Aloraini, CEO of Soudah Development.

“This development not only reflects our dedication to conservation but also highlights our unwavering commitment to the Saudi Green Initiative.”


Saudi ambassador to Guinea sees off first group of Hajj pilgrims from country

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi sees off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi sees off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims.
Updated 26 May 2024
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Saudi ambassador to Guinea sees off first group of Hajj pilgrims from country

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi sees off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims.
  • Al-Rashidi said the Kingdom was fully prepared for Hajj

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi on Sunday saw off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims heading from Conakry to the Kingdom.

Al-Rashidi said the Kingdom was fully prepared for the pilgrimage, during which millions of pilgrims from various parts of the world will perform their rituals in the best possible manner, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ambassador said that due to God’s grace and the generous care and directives of the Saudi leadership, the Kingdom had mobilized its resources, personnel, and capabilities to ensure the comfort, security, and safety of pilgrims.