Art Jameel announces opening date for Hayy Jameel cultural complex in Jeddah

23/06/2021

The long-awaited Hayy Jameel has announced it will finally open the doors this winter. Supplied

  • The 17,000-square-meter cultural complex will open in Jeddah this winter, 2021

DUBAI: In another win for the Saudi art scene, the long-awaited Hayy Jameel has announced it will finally open the doors to its sprawling 17,000-square-meter cultural complex in Jeddah in winter 2021. Hayy Jameel, which derives its name from the Arabic word for “neighborhood,” intends to be exactly such — a space for collaboration and creative exchange. The new cultural complex adds to the growing list of new cultural enterprises launched in the Kingdom over the last several years as Saudi Arabia continues its mission to push for a “creative economy.”

“Hayy Jameel is set to be a home-from-home for Jeddah’s creative community — a dynamic, multidisciplinary complex created specifically to support the art scene and nurture next-generation talent,” Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel, told Arab News.

Hayy Jameel three-storey render. Supplied

“This is a hugely exciting, new era for Saudi culture, in general. Now, complementing and supporting the dynamic and large-scale developments led by the Ministry of Culture and government-affiliated entities, we have the first major not-for-profit, private sector contribution and one with a wholly civic purpose,” she added.

Located in a three-story edifice in the residential area of Al-Mohammadiyyah in north Jeddah, Hayy Jameel will include the launch of Hayy Cinema, a 200-seat cinema that marks Saudi Arabia’s first independent cinema; Hayy Arts, a 700-square-meter exhibition center; Hayy Studio, an artists’ studio; Feta Hayy, a multi-purpose space for performances, workshops and talks; Hayy Learning, a community-focused education platform featuring a program that offers in-person and virtual learning, research and apprenticeships; and Hayy Residents, a space that will bring together pioneering creative businesses from Jeddah, ranging from contemporary art and performance to design and publishing, as well as baking institutes, new cafes and restaurants.

The the interior space is open and centered around Saha. Supplied

The complex is designed by waiwai, a Dubai and Tokyo-based architectural studio, also the creator of the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park in front of Dubai’s Jameel Arts Center. The cinema is designed by Jeddah-based Bricklab, a commission awarded to the firm after an international design competition staged by Art Jameel.

Jeddah has long been known for its creative scene, with its annual 21’39 festival that has taken place throughout the city since 2013; its Athr Gallery and Hafez Gallery, two of the Kingdom’s most renowned art galleries; and its host of emerging and established Saudi artists. The city will also play host to the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in November 2021. What has been lacking in the scene, however, are spaces in which to create and incubate artistic production.

Hayy Arts render. Supplied

In many ways, Hayy Jameel has arrived as the missing ingredient in Jeddah’s cultural mission. It is distinct from Dubai’s Jameel Arts Center in that its purpose is not solely to act as a museum or place to exhibit the Jameel family collection but to nurture cross-cultural dialogue and creative production.

“We think of Jameel Arts Center as a contemporary visual arts museum and Hayy as a multidisciplinary creative hub,” added Carver. “Both embrace creative dialogue, while Hayy focuses more on artistic production.”

Hayy Cinema render. Supplied

Such ideas are reflected in its architecture. Its three-story structure is characterized by tall façades that reflect the intimacy of a private home, while the interior space is open and centered around Saha, a communal courtyard meant to be a re-interpretation of the traditional courtyard typology with surrounding landscaping rooted in sustainable and green practices. The structure’s airy ambiance is supported by natural light, which streams in from all sides, further enhancing the space as a place for easy dialogue and creation. The building uses a steel structure with aluminum cladding and concrete flooring — elements that offer flexibility to the spaces, allowing them to be used in a versatile fashion for exhibitions, events, workshops and more.

Saha, a communal courtyard meant to be a re-interpretation of the traditional courtyard. Supplied

Hayy’s architecture and design are already the recipients of numerous architectural accolades, including Gold in the Hong Kong Design Awards; Silver in the New York Design Awards; and the Honor Award for Exceptional Design by the American Institute of Architects’ Middle East chapter. It has also been nominated for the 2A Continental Architectural Award as well as the London Design Awards.

Hayy’s inaugural show titled “Staple: What’s on your plate?” is co-curated with London-based partner the Delfina Foundation. Inspired by Jeddah’s diverse demographic, the exhibition will explore the relationship between food and memory, ecology, and place through the works of over 30 artists, thinkers, performers, researchers, filmmakers, and other creative practitioners.

The kickoff date for such conversations is set for November 2021 and will continue until April 2022, supported by a public program of talks, performances, and educational and film programs, with contributions from regional and international artists. Workshops will also be held for people of all ages, from children to the elderly, proving how art is accessible to all and the creative journey and knowledge acquired through it long-lasting.

Abdul Latif Jameel (center) with management, 1980s. Supplied

Hayy Jameel also marks the 75th anniversary of the Jameel family’s global philanthropy.

Headquartered in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Jameel family has long been one of the Arab world’s biggest patrons. For decades, Art Jameel has supported artists and creative communities across the Middle East through exhibitions, commissions, research, and community-building, propelled by the belief that the arts can be open and accessible to all. Hayy is the next chapter in Art Jameel’s journey.

“Art Jameel was born in Jeddah, and Hayy is our most ambitious project to date,” Fady Jameel, chairman of Art Jameel, told Arab News. “This homecoming, at a time of unprecedented local interest and investment in the arts, is such a significant milestone moment for our family.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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KSA Fashion Commission backs luxury designs with 100 Saudi Brands program

04/06/2021

The program will help build 100 Saudi brands that are able to compete regionally and internationally. (Screenshot)

The authority invited those wishing to take part in the program to register before June 20
The program offers a one-year package of training and guidance programs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission has launched the “100 Saudi Brands” program, which aims to support the business development of 100 Saudi designers and luxury brands, providing Saudi fashion products with international competitive standards.
The authority invited those wishing to take part in the program to register via the website https://saudi100brands.com before June 20.
The program offers a one-year package of training and guidance programs, and includes sessions for groups and individuals, along with virtual and physical training workshops to develop competitive business advantages in the Saudi fashion industry.
Course topics will include brand review and mentoring, training in defining brand concepts, sales performance strategies, public relations and marketing strategies, methods for finding and identifying particular clients, innovations, technology and leadership skills.
The program’s stages include activities presented to the consumer to encourage sales in the local market, the first of which will be held in Riyadh in December, the activation of electronic sales outlets in January, and a campaign targeting wholesales in order to activate international sales in February.
The program will help build 100 Saudi brands that are able to compete regionally and internationally, within the framework of the Fashion Commission to develop the fashion sector in the Kingdom in all its legislative and regulatory aspects, and to support and empower its workers, including creators and investors.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Youth in Saudi Arabia’s Jazan region dive into the world of roasting, selling coffee

30/05/2021

The recent surge in coffee shops has created jobs for young people in Jazan who, despite their age, have transformed into barista coffee makers and providers. (SPA)
Modern cafe houses are one of the most developed commercial activities in the Jazan region over the past three years

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia the most preferred destination of overseas Filipino workers

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority survey of 2019, the amount of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia is notable.

Saudi Arabia has been the most popular destination for OFWs.

From April to September 2019, almost 22.4 % of  all  Overseas Filipino Workers worked in Saudi Arabia.

Throughout that year, one Filipino out of every five was able to get a job in the country, thus over a million Filipino migrants work in various fields in Saudi Arabia, mainly in construction, or in hospitals as nurses, and even as housekeepers.

In 2020, Filipinos in Saudi Arabia transferred over $1.8 billion in remittances to their home country, making it a significant source of foreign cash inflows and a vital contributor to the Philippines’ economy.

Author: own staff

Kingdom Holding leads post-Eid Tadawul trading surge

Time: 18 May 2021

Tadawul closed for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday on May 10, with trading resuming a week later on May 17. (Reuters)

This is despite the fact the company in March reported a net loss after Zakat

RIYADH: A total of 56 companies listed on the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul) were trading above their three-month averages on Tuesday, as the bourse reopened this week following the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

Leading the pack was Kingdom Holding, the company controlled by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

According to data compiled by financial website Argaam, Kingdom Holding was trading 418 percent higher than its three-month trading average.

This is despite the fact the company in March reported a net loss after Zakat and tax of SR1.46 billion ($390 million) for 2020, compared with a profit of SR420.2 million the year before, a swing of 449.1 percent.

Second on the list was Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Company, which was trading at 259 percent above its three-month average.

The telco in February reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SR102.6 million for the nine months ending on Dec. 31 last year, compared with a loss of SR62.49 million for the same period in 2019, a swing of 264 percent.

Etihad Atheeb resumed trading on Tadawul on Feb. 14 after it was previously suspended in July 2018 for not disclosing financial results.

In total, 17 companies saw a triple digit percentage trading surge. Ranked third was Saudi Printing, up 215 percent, followed by the Al Abdullatif Industrial Investment Co (up 205 percent) and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company – Maaden (up 190 percent).

Tadawul closed for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday on May 10, with trading resuming a week later on May 17.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Alwaleed Philanthropies and the Ministry of Health Launch Anti-Smoking Campaign across the Kingdom

Time: 31 May 2021

Your right to breathe – حقّك تتنفس

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Alwaleed Philanthropies

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, and the Ministry of Health announced today they have joined forces to launch a two-year anti-smoking campaign, targeting smokers and non-smokers across the country. The partnership has come to fruition to address the prevalence and dangers of tobacco use as one of the major public health concerns in Saudi Arabia. The campaign is part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious strategic tobacco control plan of reducing smoking rates from 19.8% to 8% and enhancing the quality of preventive and therapeutic health care services as a part of its Vision 2030.

Commenting on the partnership, HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman of Alwaleed Philanthropies said, “We are determined to enhance the quality of lives of citizens and residents across the Kingdom and are pleased to be partnering with the Ministry of Health to reduce the prevalence of smoking and raise awareness of its dangers in Saudi Arabia. This partnership is very much in line with our commitment to making sustainable philanthropic investments to empower people, near and far.”

The first phase of the awareness campaign will target non-smokers, while the second phase will focus on smokers. Moreover, in an effort to identify violators of government anti-smoking regulations, Alwaleed Philanthropies and the Ministry of Health will be directing people to a mobile application to report and monitor violations of anti-smoking regulations, including smoking in public places, selling tobacco to minors and advertising cigarette or shisha smoking on television channels.

According to the World Health Organisation, the tobacco use epidemic is one of the major global public health challenges, causing over 7 million deaths due to smoking-related diseases each year, 70,000 of which are Saudi citizens[1]. A previous Saudi Health Information Survey revealed Saudi Arabia had a total of 5.5 million smokers, equating to 23% of the Kingdom’s population.

For four decades, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported and spent more than 4 billion dollars on social welfare and initiated more than 1000 projects in over +189 countries, managed by 10 Saudi female members, reaching more than 1 billion beneficiaries around the world, regardless of gender, race, or religion. Alwaleed Philanthropies collaborates with a range of philanthropic, governmental, and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief, and create cultural understanding through education. It seeks to build bridges for a more compassionate, tolerant, and accepting world.

[1] WHO EMRO | Combating tobacco use in Saudi Arabia: a review of recent initiatives | Volume 26 issue 7 | EMHJ volume 26 2020.

http://www.emro.who.int/emhj-volume-26-2020/volume-26-issue-7/combating-tobacco-use-in-saudi-arabia-a-review-of-recent-initiatives.html.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1522164/Alwaleed_Anti_Smoking.jpg

Related Links

https://alwaleedphilanthropies.org/

SOURCE Alwaleed Philanthropies

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Revealed: Top 5 most powerful Arabs in Saudi Arabia

Time: 12 April 2021

The highest ranked Arabs originating from Saudi Arabia in Gulf Business’ annual Arab power list

BY GULF BUSINESS

Saudi nationals once again stood out as the second largest group in Gulf Business‘ annual Arab Power list for 2021, with the number of entries tallying 20 this year.

Leading from the front is the chair of the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, while its CEO Amin Naseer also sat among the top five most powerful Arabs from the kingdom.

Lubna Suliman Olayan, chairperson of Saudi British Bank and a trailblazer in her own right, made it into the top five ranking.

Those on the list from the kingdom span across industries – from finance and energy to telecom.

1. Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Chairman, Aramco/Governor, PIF

Sector: Diversified
Overall rank: 1
2020 rank: 1

In what has been an incredibly tough year, one person who has been keenly investigating opportunities – backed by a massive pool of resources – is Yasir Al- Rumayyan, the governor and board member of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund – among the world’s largest with roughly $400bn in assets – has been frequently making headlines as it snaps up investments in diverse sectors including video games and fintech.

Al-Rumayyan has also pledged that the fund will invest $40bn annually in the kingdom to boost the economy. Also chairman of the world’s biggest oil producer Saudi Aramco, Al-Rumayyan confirmed last month that the company still intends to sell more shares following its historic IPO in 2019, when it sold less than 2 per cent of its shares and raised $29.4bn. A close aide of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Al-Rumayyan also serves on the boards of Soft-Bank Group and Uber and chairs Sanabil Investments.

As Saudi Arabia embarks further on its ambitious Vision 2030 agenda, Al-Rumayyan will play a significant role in making that vision a reality.

2. Amin Nasser
President and CEO, Aramco

Sector: Energy
Overall rank: 7
2020 rank: 10

Calling the pandemic the “biggest crisis in a century” for the oil industry at a recent conference, Amin Nasser, CEO of the world’s biggest oil producer, however stressed that he was optimistic about demand recovering this year. He is also leading Saudi Aramco’s diversification into hydrogen and ammonia – it made the world’s first blue ammonia shipment from Saudi Arabia to Japan for use in power generation in 2020. In April last year, Aramco also achieved the highest single day crude oil production in its history, reaching up to 12.1 million barrels per day.

3. HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Chairman, Kingdom Holding Company

Sector: Finance
Overall rank: 10
2020 rank: 9

While the Saudi businessman’s Kingdom Holding has not been much in the news, the humanitarian organisation he chairs, Alwaleed Philanthropies has taken several initiatives in the past year including the allocation of up to $30m on various projects to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also taken up educational and housing projects in Yemen.

Meanwhile his independent record label, Rotana Music, also announced in February that it had received an undisclosed amount of investment from Warner Music Group (WMG). The deal will see Rotana’s music released outside the region to a global audience.

4. Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan
Vice chairman and CEO, SABIC

Sector: Industry
Overall rank: 1
2020 rank: 1

Serving as the chair of the Business Twenty (B20) Saudi Arabia, Yousef Al Benyan led the two-day talks in the kingdom in October as global business leaders discussed and made policy recommendations to the G20 to reinvigorate the global economy and ensure inclusive growth. Meanwhile he also led petrochemicals heavyweight SABIC to post a profit in 2020, beating analyst expectations of a loss.

SABIC is “cautiously optimistic” for a gradual recovery in the year ahead, he said. Al Benyan also chairs Yansab, Nusaned and the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

5. Lubna Suliman Olayan
Chairperson, Saudi British Bank

Sector: Finance
Overall rank: 16
2020 rank: 11

Lubna Olayan, one of the region’s most influential businesswomen and the chairperson of Saudi British Bank (SABB) led the bank’s successful integration with Alawwal Bank, following their merger in 2018. Olayan became the first woman to chair a Saudi-listed company when she took on the role in 2018 and was reappointed for a three-year term in January 2020. A strong propagator for women empowerment in the kingdom, Olayan served as CEO of Olayan Financing Company for over 35 years, and presently chairs its executive committee and the Olayan Saudi Holding Company.

She also serves as a board member of Schlumberger.

This article was first published in Gulf Business

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How Shaima Al-Husseini and Sports For All helped promote a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia

11/03/21

Shaima Al-Husseini is the Managing Director of Saudi’s Sports For All (SFA) Federation. (Sports For All)

The positive impact Saudi Sports For All (SFA) had on a homebound population’s mental and physical wellbeing during a suffocating lockdown has been tangible
Programs such as “Baytak Nadeek” (Your Home, Your Gym), the Women’s Fitness Festival, and others attracted thousands, and often millions, of participants through social media channels
The year 2020 will forever be remembered for one thing, and one thing only. But from adversity came innovation, and a fierce fightback.

What the rest of 2021 and beyond will look like after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic abates remains to be seen, but the positive impact Saudi Sports For All (SFA) had on a homebound population’s mental and physical wellbeing during a suffocating lockdown has been tangible.

Programs such as “Baytak Nadeek” (Your Home, Your Gym), the Women’s Fitness Festival, and others attracted thousands, and often millions, of participants through social media channels.

“The lockdown of 2020 showed us how we can innovate and work around tight, necessary, restrictions.” Shaima Al-Husseini, managing director at SFA, told Arab News. “If we have another lockdown, we could build on the foundation of the successful programs we’ve put in place and innovate further as needed.”

While Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries are not short on major international sporting events, the SFA’s mission is to ensure that sports thrive at grassroots levels. It’s a bottom-up approach that has over the last three years seen the SFA sign a number of fitness initiatives at local communities across the country.

Among them is an agreement with the Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs and Housing to activate parks and public spaces in three cities, with multi-sport, running and walking programs, equipment rentals, and community academies being introduced to impact healthy long-term behavior.

In November, the SFA signed a memorandum of understanding with Majid Al-Futtaim under which the sports group will produce community programs at future Majid Al-Futtaim malls, while receiving guidance on how to ensure SFA facilities are aligned with international standard green building requirements.

There are other plans, on a more global scale.

“We also developed and strengthened partnerships both locally and internationally with parties such as the World Health Organization (WHO), PepsiCo, the Global Goals World Cup, The Association for International Sport for All, Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports, and many others,” Al-Husseini said.

“Our collaboration with the WHO will see the SFA host global events in the Kingdom, including the Riyadh edition of Walk the Talk,” she added. “The SFA’s strategy will also receive technical assistance from WHO which will keep it aligned with the global action plan of physical activity.”

Since its establishment in 2018, the SFA has become an integral part of the Saudi sporting scene, but for Al-Husseini, there is much work still to be done and no time to sit back and admire what has already been achieved.

“The SFA’s focus is to take a holistic approach to healthy living under several pillars that benefit all sectors of society. So, it’s difficult to be proud of one (particular) step, when we have achieved so much in different areas,” she said.

“With 2020’s lockdown restricting movement, we had to innovate to bring ‘at home’ solutions to Saudis throughout the Kingdom, and we were able to deliver a number of digital offerings to keep people active. We continue to work towards our goal to have 40 percent of all people in Saudi active by 2030.”

The level of engagement during the lockdown prompted SFA President Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal to say: “I’m awestruck by the power of our healthy and active community.”

Crowning a hectic 2020 for the SFA was the launch of the Women’s Football League (WFL) in November, with 24 teams taking part in the competition across Riyadh, Jedddah, and Dammam.

“The establishment of the WFL has been a landmark achievement in Saudi’s sporting history,” said Al-Husseini.

What perhaps went unnoticed beyond its cultural significance was the sheer scope of logistics needed to get the WFL off the ground, with the competition originally mooted for the start of the year but delayed by COVID-19.

“Having the WFL kick off in three parts of the country allowed for a wide scope of players to come forward and sign up, and we had 607 players in 24 teams that had all-female organizational and technical teams,” said Al-Husseini, adding: “The players’ enthusiasm for the game and their sheer talent were remarkable. It’s exciting to think about how the SFA can continue to develop the League, both in terms of enhancing the infrastructure for women in sports and offering training opportunities for local referees.”

On Dec. 17, Challenge Riyadh defeated Jeddah Eagles to take home the WFL Champions Cup and the prize money of SR150,000 ($39,975). The league is set to return for a second season.

Its success bodes well for the future of other organized sports competitions.

“If the interest in the WFL is any indicator, women’s sport in Saudi Arabia is likely to expand exponentially,” Al-Husseini said. “We are working towards developing sports across all sectors and women’s sport is certainly included in that.”

Despite her busy schedule, Al-Husseini herself continues to regularly play tennis and squash, and is an avid follower of basketball and American Football. And while she has no particular favorite individual athletes, she points to several inspirational Saudi female role models.

“HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud is a role model for any young female Saudi,” she said. “Not only is she the former Chair of the SFA, but she is also currently the Saudi Ambassador to the US.

“In July, she was confirmed as a member of the International Olympic Committee, which further cemented her commitment to continue endorsing the ongoing endeavors of the SFA, where she remains a member of the board, to reach its Vision 2030 goals.”

Al-Husseini believes that while the SFA’s role is to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle at community level, it can also be a catalyst to promoting the nation’s high-achieving athletes towards professional careers in sport.

“We are working with different bodies to develop the necessary infrastructure to keep raising the caliber of sporting talent in the Kingdom,” she said.

“As different sports continue to receive the necessary support in terms of funding and facilities, and as athletes continue to be given the right environment, training, and encouragement to achieve their best, Saudi Arabia will continue to produce competitors that will make their mark in the international and Olympic arenas.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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One of Saudi Arabia’s oldest traditional forms of weaving remains a key aspect of community life

Time: 05 January 2021

Al-Sadu is a craft that requires innovative skills and a lot of effort as the weaver works hard to transform the raw material into something new. (Shutterstock)

  • The loom, made of palm trees, was carried as Bedouins roamed the deserts in search of water oases to settle

JEDDAH/RIYADH: With tightly spun red, black or white colored yarns produced on handheld wooden spindles, one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest traditional forms of weaving remains a key aspect of community life.

The art of Sadu weaving is an ancient tribal craft. Inspired by the desert environment, Bedouin women of the Arabian Peninsula have for generations made use of the desert’s conditions and raw materials such as sheep’s wool and camel hair that allowed them to produce tents, rugs, mats and more in a variety of patterns and colors.
Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Delayel Al-Qahtani, the director of studies and research department at Atharna, a social enterprise dedicated to Arabian culture and craft, said: “Al-Sadu is made by laying the wool, hair or fur yarn horizontally on the floor loom to produce different shapes and colors that fit the daily needs of Bedouin communities in rural areas.

It is an intricate craft that requires precise hand movements. The final product is always a beautiful design.

Dr. Delayel Al-Qahtani

“Al-Sadu is a craft that requires innovative skills and a lot of effort as the weaver works hard to transform the raw material into something new. It is an intricate craft that requires precise hand movements. The final product is always a beautiful design.”
The craft is found mostly in the central and northern desert regions of the Kingdom and Kuwait, it was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list.
To create the Saudi pattern, the weaver has to skillfully go through a number of phases. Firstly, the animal hair is sheared then cleaned before being shaken and combed. It is then dyed using colors extracted from pomegranate skin and tree cortex and finally spun on drop spindles, explained the director.
The loom, made of palm trees, was carried as Bedouins roamed the deserts in search of water oases to settle. With time and modernization, many families settled, but the tradition was kept alive.

FASTFACTS

• The craft is found mostly in the central and northern desert regions of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

• It was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list.

• The G20 logo was a decorative shape reflecting Al-Sadu.

“The Sadu craft has been gaining increasing attention over the past two decades. The G20 logo was a decorative shape reflecting Al-Sadu. Many organizations and centers give training courses on how to make Sadu products,” said Al-Qahtani.

Al-Qahtani said the craft should be modernized and advanced technology should be used to make it. Craftsmen should be trained by designers on how to make Sadu products modern to attract community and tourists.
Saudi fashion designer and founder of clothing brand Hindamme, Mohammed Khoja, used patterns of Sadu weaving in one of his collections. Referring to Sadu weaving as one of the Kingdom’s cultural jewels, he was inspired by his mother’s origins from Al-Ahsa in the Eastern Province. He explored his ancestral background and applied it in his designs.
“My mom’s home of Al-Ahsa is rich in history and heritage; she has always encouraged me to be curious and informed about different elements of heritage and how they came to be and the reasons why they look the way they do,” Khoja told Arab News.
He stressed that the Sadu design pattern holds great significance to Saudis, explaining that each pattern or each symbol within the Sadu represents an element of life for the early Arabs and Bedouins.
“It’s sort of like a pattern that reflects an element of storytelling because it says so much about the livelihoods of the early Arabs and I think that once it is shared with the global audience, its popularity will only grow.”

The Sadu weave is very much sentimental to the Saudi designer because it reminds him of the past and it reminds him of his upbringing and seeing it in his many trips to the desert.
“Each pattern within the Sadu reflects a different theme, and we have only been exposed to a very small part of the Sadu,” he said, adding: “It comes in many various forms in various colors so it’s incredibly inspiring I definitely know within my designs I wanted to reference it. I wanted to reflect its beauty in a more contemporary format.”
Khoja encourages more designers to look into using the design, but not necessarily imitating their entire look: “They can interpret it in their own way and become inspired by it, by its geometrical shapes and colors. So when I applied it to season two of my collection for Hindamme, I applied it in a more contemporary format with pieces that were inspired by rock and roll.
“It was really a clash of cultures and I did reference two or three various types of Sadu within this collection.”

Khoja said designers should be true to themselves but also encouraged them to study their heritage “because knowing your past can guide your future,” he said, adding that many different traditions in the Kingdom’s past are coming to light.
“We’ve been given these cultural jewels, and for us not to be inspired by them or use them would not be ideal. I feel like using them would pique our interest into our own designs and shape our cultural and design identity.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Mission possible: Saudi Arabia ‘has control over virus spread’

28/12/20

The western region’s first vaccine center is serving 700 beneficiaries a day and operating from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Supplied)
  • Eastern Province to begin inoculations with the opening of first vaccine center in the region

JEDDAH: The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia has fallen by 96.9 percent since a mid-June peak of 4,919, a clear sign that the Kingdom is in control of the outbreak, according to a Health Ministry spokesman.

The past six months have shown a steady decline, with Saudi Arabia recording 154 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
The number of patients in critical care units has also fallen by 83.1 percent since reaching its peak during the summer, while deaths have also decreased by 84.5 percent.
Though overall numbers have seen a significant decline in recent weeks, the ministry’s spokesman, Dr. Al-Abd Al-Aly, said that numbers in some areas have been fluctuating in the past two weeks, with half the Kingdom’s regions seeing a 50 percent rise, most notably in the Eastern Province, Qassim, Hail and Jazan, Northern Borders and Baha regions.
“The fluctuating numbers are not indicators that (the spread) is out of control,” Al-Aly said. “On the contrary, some areas have shown significant declines and any slight increase will make a difference.”
He said that the coronavirus vaccine being distributed in Saudi Arabia will be effective against the mutations now being detected in some areas of the world.
The Kingdom is joining the global community in monitoring the changes around the clock in order to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

FASTFACT

362k The total number of coronavirus cases in KSA reached 362,220.

“More than 700,000 people in high-risk groups have registered for the vaccine so far,” Al-Aly said.
“The number of registrations is increasing. This is a positive indicator that the community’s awareness level is high and people are playing a responsible role in ensuring the safety of the community.”
Vaccine clinics are set to open in Dammam as Saudi Arabia’s nationwide vaccine program rolls out.
With Sunday’s numbers, 362,220 people have been infected with the virus since March 2, 2020.
There are currently 2,856 active cases, 391 of which are in critical care units.
The Kingdom’s regions are again recording numbers below the 50 case mark, with Riyadh leading with 42 cases, Makkah with 33, Eastern Province with 17, Madinah with 16, and Asir region with 12.
A total of 175 new recoveries were also reported, raising the overall number to 353,179. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is currently 97.5 percent.
Nine new fatalities were reported, raising the death toll from complications due to the COVID-19 infection to 6,185.
More than 10.87 million polymerase chain reaction tests have been conducted in Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

This article was first published in Arab News

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