Tehran: Mina crush was ‘beyond human control’

Updated 03 October 2015

Tehran: Mina crush was ‘beyond human control’

JEDDAH: Iran’s health minister has praised Saudi Arabia’s rescue and medical efforts after the stampede in Mina last week.
Hassan Hashimi, at a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih in Jeddah on Wednesday, said that the Kingdom’s ambulance and other teams had done well to transport the injured to hospitals in the region.
Hashimi said the incident was out of human control and that people should surrender to the will of Allah. He praised the Kingdom for the services it provides every year for pilgrims under difficult circumstances.
The parties agreed to ensure that the Iranians who died in the stampede would be sent home as soon as possible, and provide continued care for those hospitalized with injuries.
Al-Falih sent the condolences of the Saudi government and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to the Iranian people for their loss. He said the Kingdom was willing to cooperate with the Iranian government on the matter.
The statements of the Iranian minister comes in the wake of the Kingdom criticizing sections of Iranian society for trying to politicize the crane crash in Makkah and the Mina stampede, which saw the loss of hundreds of lives.
Meanwhile, Al-Falih held a meeting with Egyptian Health Minister Ahmed Emad Al-Deen Radi to discuss the situation of injured Egyptian pilgrims. Al-Falih said the Kingdom was providing them top quality services.


LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.