Souk Okaz festival opens in Taif today

Updated 11 September 2012

Souk Okaz festival opens in Taif today

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal will cut the ribbon on the Sixth Souk Okaz Festival at the summer resort of Taif today.
Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, education minister; Prince Sultan bin Salman, chair of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities; Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, president of youth welfare presidency; Khaled Al-Anqari, higher education minister; and Abdul Aziz Khoja, culture and information minister, will attend the opening ceremonies.
Prince Khaled, who is also the chairman of the supervisory committee of the Souk, commended the support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Vice Custodian Prince Salman, minister of defense, for the success of the Souk over the years.
Prince Khaled, along with members of the supervising committee, will honor the winners of the six competitions at the opening ceremony. The winners include: Raudah Ali of Sudan, winner of the Poet of the Souk Okaz award; Iyad Hakami of Saudi Arabia, winner of the Okaz Youth Poet award; and Ahmed Al-Qarni of Saudi Arabia, winner of the Outstanding Science Invention award.
The winners of the Arabic calligraphy competition are Syrian Husam Al-Matar, Egyptian Muhammad Al-Hawari and Iraqi Muhammad Al-Nouri.
Photography competition winners include Iraqi Shoaeb Khattab, Faisal Al-Shahri of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Owaid Al-Oqaily.
The opening ceremony will feature a presentation on the legendary Arabian poet and warrior Antara bin Shaddad, a presentation of the poets of the modern Okaz, and a dialogue between ancient Arabic and modern-day poets.
Taif University will host a seminar entitled "What we expect from the youth and what the youth expects from us," as a prelude to the inauguration of the Souk at one 1 p.m.
Seminar participants will include Prince Khaled, Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, Prince Sultan bin Salman, Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, Khaled Al-Anqari and Abdul Aziz Khoja, as well as many university students.
The goal of the seminar is to establish an open dialogue between the Kingdom’s youth and decision-makers, as well as establishing a forum for the exchange of ideas on cultural and scientific experiences. Topics discussed will include the role of youth as partners of development, youth education, youth and the Kingdom’s cultural dimension, youth and sports, youth and the media, and the role of the Saudi youth in creating a cultural, social and humanitarian bridge with other cultures through the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program.

 


Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

Nutrition is the most important part when it comes to bodybuilding, then comes type of exercise, and good rest. (AFP)
Updated 29 November 2020

Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

  • Ali Al-Salam, who stopped consuming animal products in 2017, says certain steps must be completed to have an athletic body

JEDDAH: The vegan diet has risen in popularity in Saudi Arabia in recent years and has been a constant topic of debate among Saudis, attracting the interest of many, including athletes.

Ongoing debates about whether the vegan diet is sufficient for normal people, let alone bodybuilders, abound, but one Saudi is answering them physically.
Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.
Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease, but other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.
Speaking to Arab News, 33-year-old Saudi vegan bodybuilder, Ali Al-Salam, who first started his vegan diet three years ago when he was suffering from high blood pressure, highlighted that the consumption of animal products is a deep rooted idea among bodybuilders and athletes.
“We always hear that in order to build muscle, we must consume animal products. In some parts of the world, there are people who can only have a small amount of animal products yet they live their lives healthily and comfortably and are not suffering from malnutrition — on the contrary, they have a lower level of chronic illnesses.”

When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.

Ali Al-Salam, Saudi vegan bodybuilder

He said it also opened his eyes to what goes on in the dairy and meat industry; he began researching in 2016 and decided to become vegan in 2017.
“I was just like every other athlete, I used to consume a high amounts of protein. I remember in the last days before turning vegan, I used to have 10 egg whites and a piece of steak for breakfast to fulfil my protein needs. This made me think, ‘is this the only way to consume protein?’ And from then on, I started researching and got introduced to the vegan diet at a larger scale,” he said.
“When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.”
He explained that bodybuilding does not solely rely on protein, and that there are steps that must be completed in order to reach an athletic body. Nutrition is the most important part, then comes type of exercise, and good rest.
“When we talk about good nutrition, it does not just rely on protein. Yes, it is important, but the amount of calories in general is more important,” he said.
“Let’s say you needed 200 grams of protein, does that mean if you consumed 200 grams of it, you would gain muscle? No. You need all the basic nutrients to reach a certain amount of calories in general,” he added.
He highlighted that as soon as people register for gym memberships, they immediately look for supplements because they think they cannot reach the needed amount of protein.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.

• Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease.

• But other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.

• Vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants.

• Animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.

“I’m talking about non-vegans here too, where their protein intake is already high. Marketing plays a big role here. People link protein to animal products because our society grew up with this idea as well.
“Can a vegan build muscle? Yes, when they eat right, exercise correctly and rest well. The misconception about protein stems from amino acids. People think vegan food lacks amino acids, and only animal products are full of them and that is far from the truth,” he added.
When comparing vegan athletes to regular athletes, he said vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants which helps greatly in recovery, and because “animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.”