Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show

Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show
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Prince Salman bin Sultan, the governor of Madinah, inaugurates the 12th Cultures and Peoples’ Festival. (SPA)
Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show
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Prince Salman bin Sultan, the governor of Madinah, inaugurates the 12th Cultures and Peoples’ Festival. (SPA)
Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show
3 / 4
Prince Salman bin Sultan, the governor of Madinah, inaugurates the 12th Cultures and Peoples’ Festival. (SPA)
Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show
4 / 4
Prince Salman bin Sultan, the governor of Madinah, inaugurates the 12th Cultures and Peoples’ Festival. (SPA)
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Updated 29 April 2024
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Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show

Festival in Madinah puts cultural diversity from 95 countries on show
  • Prince Salman bin Sultan toured the pavilions of the participating countries, learning about the festival’s goals, which are to foster communication, unity and understanding among people
  • Hassan Al-Oufi: The festival creates a harmonious and cooperative environment where the East and West unite on the university’s premises

RIYADH: Prince Salman bin Sultan, the governor of Madinah, on Monday inaugurated the 12th Cultures and Peoples’ Festival, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The governor toured the pavilions of the participating countries, learning about the festival’s goals, which are to foster communication, unity and understanding among people.

The festival, which also encourages teamwork and promotes Islamic values, supports dialogue, coexistence and peace among nations, and strengthens communication between university students and the local community.

The event, organized by the Islamic University of Madinah, runs until May 6.

During the inauguration ceremony, the acting president of the university, Hassan Al-Oufi, said that over 100,000 students from more than 170 countries have graduated from the university, contributing significantly to the development of their societies and homelands.

Al-Oufi said that the festival brings together students from 95 countries, providing them with a platform to display their cultures, customs, and traditions.

“The festival creates a harmonious and cooperative environment where the East and West unite on the university’s premises,” he said.

Representatives from various countries present more than 40 activities and events for families, children, and the community.

Festival events and activities include celebrations of Saudi coffee, Arabic poetry, tea, and the Year of the Camel 2024. There are also entertainment, educational and cultural sections that offer enriching experiences for visitors.


Eastern Municipality signs 6,000 development investment contracts

Eastern Municipality signs 6,000 development investment contracts
Updated 7 sec ago
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Eastern Municipality signs 6,000 development investment contracts

Eastern Municipality signs 6,000 development investment contracts
  • According to SPA, this will contribute to the creation of tens of thousands of job opportunities and support economic growth and development in the area

DAMMAM: The Eastern Province Municipality has recently confirmed more than 6,000 contracts in the field of investments and revenue development in the cities and governorates of the province, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

According to SPA, this will contribute to the creation of tens of thousands of job opportunities and support economic growth and development in the area.

The municipality said that the contracts were signed in cooperation with the Eastern Province Development Authority. It also stated that Prince Saud bin Nayef, governor of the Eastern Province, launched 18 development and investment projects at the beginning of this year, with a total cost of SR14 billion ($3.733 billion) to support the quality of life in the province.

This includes improving services and city economies by making a digital and qualitative leap in the number of projects and quality investment services through launching a large and diverse range of projects, contracts, agreements, investment opportunities and developments in various cities and governorates of the region, according to SPA.

The municipality said that Dammam city has obtained most of the projects, contracts, opportunities and investment agreements. These include investment in King Abdullah Cultural Hall, Dammam Corniche development, Al Marjan Island marine activities project, collaboration with Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven) of the Public Investment Fund, an opportunity to invest in naming and sponsorship rights for the Dammam Corniche, infrastructure development projects, industrial and service plans, landfills and recycling factories in partnership with the Saudi Investment Recycling Company affiliated with the PIF.

Additionally, there are projects in resorts, transport, sea taxis, ports and marinas to connect cities and governorates in the Eastern Province. These projects are expected to bring about a significant improvement in entertainment services, tourism, marine activities, infrastructure, environmental safety and industry, ultimately enhancing the quality of life.


Saudi crown prince receives message from Emir of Qatar

Saudi crown prince receives message from Emir of Qatar
Updated 13 min 7 sec ago
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Saudi crown prince receives message from Emir of Qatar

Saudi crown prince receives message from Emir of Qatar

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday received a letter from the Emir of Qatar, relating to relations between the two brotherly countries, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The message was received on behalf of foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan by deputy minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji during a reception in Riyadh with the Qatari ambassador to the Kingdom Bandar Mohammed Al-Attiyah.

During the reception, they reviewed ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to discussing topics of common interest, SPA added.


Saudi FM visits Istanbul to discuss Saudi-Turkish ties

Saudi FM visits Istanbul to discuss Saudi-Turkish ties
Updated 14 July 2024
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Saudi FM visits Istanbul to discuss Saudi-Turkish ties

Saudi FM visits Istanbul to discuss Saudi-Turkish ties

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Istanbul on Sunday on an official visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 

During the visit, the minister will also discuss regional and international developments of common interest, SPA added.

Prince Faisal was received by the Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Noah Yilmaz upon his arrival at Ataturk International Airport.  


KSrelief launches training program for orphan supervisors in Yemen

KSrelief launches training program for orphan supervisors in Yemen
Updated 14 July 2024
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KSrelief launches training program for orphan supervisors in Yemen

KSrelief launches training program for orphan supervisors in Yemen

RIYADH: The Saudi aid agency KSrelief has started a training program for people supervising orphans in Yemen’s coastal area of Hadramout in coordination with the country’s ministry of social affairs and labor.

The initiative is part of the agency’s Sanad for Orphans project to “enhance the efficiency and capabilities of orphan supervisors through skills development, knowledge enhancement, and practical behavioral training,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

It will also cover practices related to orphan protection and care.

The Sanad project provides social, educational and economic empowerment programs for orphans and their families. As part of this initiative, a training program will be provided for 30 social supervisors from organizations working in orphan care in Hadramout and Taiz governorates.


Skill meets heritage in initiative boosting Saudi handicrafts sector

Skill meets heritage in initiative boosting Saudi handicrafts sector
Updated 13 July 2024
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Skill meets heritage in initiative boosting Saudi handicrafts sector

Skill meets heritage in initiative boosting Saudi handicrafts sector
  • Saudi Artisanal Company is ‘leveraging the country’s cultural wealth to empower local artisans’

JEDDAH/RIYADH: The Saudi Artisanal Company is playing a central role in the development of Saudi Arabia’s flourishing handicrafts sector — a reminder of the Kingdom’s rich heritage and commitment to honoring its traditions.

According to the company’s acting CEO, Ibrahim Al-Dulaijan, the SAC is “leveraging the country’s cultural wealth to empower Saudi artisans, build sustainable partnerships, and deliver Saudi-crafted goods that are an integral part of the nation’s legacy.

Saudi Artisanal Company equips skilled local artisans with the latest technologies to create their pieces. (AN photos by Loai Al-Kellawy)

“The company not only supports its skilled local artisans but also equips them with the latest technologies to create their pieces blending heritage, tradition, and innovation.”

Al-Dulaijan told Arab News in a written statement: “Empowering local artisans and designers is a key element of the company’s operations. We have activated a strategic partnership with the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts, through which practical training is provided for artisans, offering them practical and profitable opportunities in the artisanal field.”

HIGHLIGHT

Saudi Artisanal Company’s strategic partnership with the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts provides practical training to artisans.

Part of the training includes extensive research on the history and cultural significance of various products.

Saudi Artisanal Company equips skilled local artisans with the latest technologies to create their pieces. (AN photos by Loai Al-Kellawy)

“The team believes in the importance of preserving heritage and reviving and empowering crafts approved by the Heritage Authority. This belief is reflected in the communication, implementation, and supervision processes with artisans and designers.” Al-Dulaijan added.

The resulting products “reflect genuine heritage” and “tell enriching stories,” he said.

Saudi Artisanal Company equips skilled local artisans with the latest technologies to create their pieces. (AN photos by Loai Al-Kellawy)

During a recent visit to the company’s studio in Riyadh’s JAX district, Arab News witnessed some of these skilled artisans at work. Each of them has dedicated years to perfecting their craft, whether working with wool, wicker, wood, plaster, or engraving.

Abeer Al-Rabiah, the product design manager at the company, spoke to Arab News about her background and approach to design.

We aim to enhance our culture, preserve our identity, and pass on our heritage to future generations.

Sadiq Al-Hajri, Artisan supervisor, Saudi Artisanal Company

Growing up in an artistic household, she was surrounded by art and design but also had a strong interest in science. Al-Rabiah felt torn between these passions until discovering industrial design, which combines elements of both.

The Saudi Khawlani coffee collection, a piece that celebrates Saudi coffee, was one of the award-winning products featured in their studio. (AN photo by Loai El-kellawy)

She emphasized that product design is not just about creating beautiful objects but also about considering their functionality and manufacturability.

Al-Rabiah highlighted the responsibility designers have toward the environment, especially when creating products for mass production.

“Handmade products are a lot more sustainable and eco-friendly than products designed in factories,” she said. “This is the main thing that drew me into the crafts field — the materials used, usually natural materials. You’re not using an entire factory that’s producing a lot of toxins into the environment.

Sadiq Al-Hajri, the artisan’s supervisor showcased the steadiness and intricate carving techniques perfected by the artisans. (AN photo by Loai El-kellawy)

“We do a lot of research before making every product and try to connect our history, culture, and heritage into the design,” she added. “Every product that we make either has a story or a meaning that is related to our heritage and culture. The fact that the products are handmade by Saudi hands, with crafts that have been in the region for years, also connects it to our heritage.

“We try to highlight parts of our heritage that are kind of forgotten or not widely talked about. A good example would be our Khawlani coffee collection. The Arabian Peninsula had a Golden Age when coffee was produced here and sent throughout the entire world.”

Many of the craftsman at the Saudi Artisan Company dedicate hours of their day carving, weaving, and designing products that highlight the Kingdoms culture and heritage. (AN photo by Loai El-kellawy)

The collection is an award-winning piece that celebrates Saudi coffee. The 3D-modeled cover and hand-crafted wooden box reflect the mountainous terrains of the coffee-producing regions of the Kingdom, specifically Mount Talan.

Inside the box sit two porcelain coffee cups inspired by coffee fruits, along with coffee capsules filled with a blend of espresso and Saudi Khawlani coffee.

Saudi Artisanal Company equips skilled local artisans with the latest technologies to create their pieces. (AN photos by Loai Al-Kellawy)

The Khawlani coffee collection won Best Luxury Item at the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism Awards earlier this year, while the dates bowls collection won Best Contemporary Interpretation and Design.

“It’s a global award that we’re very proud of,” Al-Rabiah added.

The craftsman at the Saudi Artisan Company dedicate their careers to preserving and showcasing the Saudi heritage through their handmade products. (AN photo by Loai El-kellawy)

The SAC also has an online store offering more than 100 products, with local and international shipping options available.

“The company also participates in certain seasons and events. For example, we displayed artisans’ products during this year’s Hajj season,” Al-Dulaijan said. “Additionally, we’ll be opening stores in several cities in the Kingdom to serve citizens, residents, and tourists by providing high-quality artisanal products, supporting local products, and empowering local artisans and designers.”

Fatima Al-Thubyani, production unit manager at the company’s workshop, has eight years of experience in the field of handicrafts and an academic background in fashion design.

Al-Thubyani told Arab News, “To support the emerging generation, we use modern materials paired with traditional heritage patterns, creating contemporary and innovative outcomes. This approach integrates designers and artisans, providing sustainable job opportunities.”

The company invites artisans and designers from all over the Kingdom to collaborate, whether by showcasing their products on various sales platforms, participating in training programs, or working on business opportunities together. This mutual collaboration provides sustainable income sources for them and is, the company says, “pivotal in driving a significant transformation in the artisanal sector.”

Sadiq Al-Hajri, the artisan’s supervisor, who has more than 14 years of experience in the field, said: “We aim to enhance our culture, preserve our identity, and pass on our heritage to future generations. We strive to convey what our ancestors were, what we have added, and what the next generation will add.

“My interest in handicraft industries began at a young age, specifically with wood carving. Through workshops, I aim to demonstrate to artisans how an artisan as an artist differs from an artisan as a producer. We work to value artisans by providing the necessary tools to achieve outstanding work.”

The SAC has participated in numerous local and international events and exhibitions, such as the Artigiano in Fiera exhibition in Italy and the Benan exhibition in the Kingdom. International participation is a “significant focus” for the near future, according to Al-Dulaijan, in order to “introduce Saudi heritage to the world.”