Haj agencies win royal plaudits for stellar work

Updated 19 October 2014

Haj agencies win royal plaudits for stellar work

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has commended the efforts of government agencies and private organizations in making this year’s Haj a "big success," enabling more than 2 million Hajis to perform their rituals in peace and comfort.
“We appreciate the efforts of your royal highness and the Supreme Haj Committee as well as security officers and employees of public and private agencies in making the Haj operation a big success,” the king said in a cable to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif, chairman of the committee.
King Abdullah thanked the Almighty for His blessings and praised all officials and employees of Haj-related organizations for doing their jobs responsibly. “This has resulted in them efficiently carrying out the various plans related to Haj security, health services, traffic and pilgrim safety,” the king said.
King Abdullah underscored the coordinated efforts that allowed pilgrims to move smoothly to the tent city of Mina, Mount Arafat for the standing in prayer ritual, before moving to Muzdalifah and then Mina for the stoning of the Jamrat, without any major incidents.
“We thank God for protecting the health of pilgrims from infectious diseases,” the king said while praising the precautionary measures taken by the Health Ministry. He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s readiness to extend the best possible services to the guests of God.
Prince Mohammed had sent a message to King Abdullah congratulating him on the successful completion of the pilgrimage. He said over 2 million faithful, which included 1.4 million foreign Hajis, stood at Arafat on Friday. “There was uninterrupted water and electricity supply,” he said while praising municipal workers for cleaning Makkah and the holy sites.
According to a report carried by a local news website, two pilgrims died and 95 fainted inside the Grand Mosque on Monday after nearly 1.5 million thronged the mosque complex for Tawaf Al-Wida. The Civil Defense and Special Security Force deployed more officers at the mosque to control the crowd.
Mahmoud Al-Sayed from Egypt said he was extremely happy for having the rare opportunity to perform his first Haj. “I never expected this huge arrangements made by the Saudi government for the pilgrimage,” he said.
“Nobody can underestimate the marvelous services being extended by the Kingdom for the welfare of pilgrims,” said Anwar Al-Kuthairy of Yemen. “The introduction of the Mashair Railway was a wonderful idea that facilitated the movement of pilgrims between the holy sites,” said Tunisian Makhlafi Abdullah.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, congratulated King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal for the successful Haj operation.
“Pilgrims have been able to make use of the second phase of mataf expansion and the historic giant expansion of the Grand Mosque ordered by the king during this Haj season,” Al-Sudais said.

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.