Filipina players dominate at women’s bowling championship in Jeddah

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Filipina players dominated the sixth Women’s Singles Bowling Championship in Jeddah. (Photo Supplied)
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Filipina players dominated the sixth Women’s Singles Bowling Championship in Jeddah. (Photo Supplied)
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Filipina players dominated the sixth Women’s Singles Bowling Championship in Jeddah. (Photo Supplied)
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Filipina players dominated the sixth Women’s Singles Bowling Championship in Jeddah. (Photo Supplied)
Updated 15 June 2019
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Filipina players dominate at women’s bowling championship in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Filipina players took the top three places at the sixth Women’s Singles Bowling Championship, which was held at Jeddah City Bowling Center on Friday.

Rica Ventura won the gold medal and top prize of SR 4,000. Mica Ecalnir took the silver medal and SR 2,000, while Elizapeth Policarpio received the bronze medal and SR 1,000

Fifty-six players from six countries — the Philippines, Malaysia, Kuwait, Eritrea, Tanzania, and Saudi Arabia — competed in the event, which was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation and sponsored by Arab News and Arriyadiyah newspapers. The Saudi players came from Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.

Dr. Razan Baker, a member of the federation’s board of directors, presented the winners with their prizes. She noted that since the fifth championship in Alkhobar, 30 new players —Saudis and foreigners — had joined the federation.

“The tournament has seen an increase in the number of competitors...which shows the interest in the game in Saudi society, and gives us an incentive to provide more,” she said, as she highlighted how far the sport has come in Saudi Arabia in just two years.

“We have come a long way from having only a small team in Alkhobar to having three teams this year in Jeddah, Riyadh and Alkhobar, in addition to creating a new bowling community of mixed nationalities, including Saudis, who are eager to participate and happy to travel from one city to another to play, have fun and enhance their experiences and skills.”

Among the players were four Malaysians who were competing for the first time in the Saudi league.

Malaysian bowler Nurima Saydak said: “There were about 45 Malaysian players in Saudi Arabia and they were keen to play in Filipino and Malaysian tournaments. Now we are happy to participate in the Saudi women’s league (where we can have) a wonderful time while developing our skills.”

Three deaf players from Jeddah — Lujain Bashnini, Duaa Bukhari and Elaf Issa — also competed for the first time in the championship, under the supervision of Dr. Faiza Natto, chair of the board of Deaf Women in Jeddah and a member of the Saudi Deaf Sport Federation.

She said the players were part of a team of 12 deaf people who began bowling about five months ago, and that the experience has helped them to conquer their fears and increase their self-confidence by encouraging them to become role models. She added that Alanoud Al-Aslab, a 17-year-old student, had played a big role in forming the team, out of a desire to help and encourage deaf people.

Baker concluded the event by highlighting the great achievements of the Saudi Bowling Federation, especially its support of women, in less than two years since Saudi women began to play and participate in a local and international tournaments, which she said was a great incentive for them to continue to improve and compete on a global level.


Korean language rising in popularity among Saudis

Updated 7 min 2 sec ago
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Korean language rising in popularity among Saudis

  • Korean is the 20th most spoken language in the world, and is gaining popularity as the second foreign language across Asia

JEDDAH: Korean music and TV, better known as K-pop and K-drama, have relished a momentous rise in popularity all over the world.

As Korean soap operas and pop groups have captivated audiences, Korean has become an appealing language to learn. Now, Saudis are joining the growing crowd of enthusiasts.

There are a variety of reasons why Saudis want to learn Korean: To enjoy watching their favorite shows in the original language, to visit and experience the culture of Korea first-hand, or even to move to South Korea. 

“Most of my students loved K-pop and Korean dramas, and they wanted to expand their knowledge by learning the language,” Myung Hee Park from the Korean International School in Jeddah told Arab News.

“Sometimes they learned the language because they wanted to understand the shows without having to read the English subtitles.”

People from all over Saudi Arabia are traveling to Korea to attend concerts and watch their favorite artists perform.

“Lots of the people who come to learn from me have an experience of visiting Korea and enjoying concerts by artists such as BTS, Monsta X or SM Town,” Myung said.

Saudi appreciation of Korea does not stop at entertainment. “Some of my students wanted to study at Korean universities too,” Myung said.

Last November, 51 people took part in the first Ambassador’s Cup Korean Speech competition, held at the official residence of the South Korean ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jo Byung-wook. The competition was organized to promote the country’s culture, language and heritage.

“The growing interest in learning the Korean language in Saudi Arabia shows the strength of our bilateral relations,” said the ambassador.

“Korean is the 20th most spoken language in the world, and is gaining popularity as the second foreign language across Asia, the US and even the Middle East.”

Myung said: “There are many (cultural) similarities between the two countries, and I think that’s one of the reasons why Saudis have fallen in love with Korean culture so easily.”

She said Prince Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud “is an amazing student. Even when he comes back from long business trips, he resumes his lessons the very next day. I can see joy in the eyes of the people I’m teaching, and it makes my profession very rewarding.”

English teacher Amira Mohammad Al-Khateeb, who has been learning Korean, said: “It’s one of the languages that I’ve always wanted to learn. I’ve been watching Korean dramas for years, and at some point I sat myself down and said, ‘Amira you must learn the language now.’ I was delighted to find the school in Jeddah.”

She added: “After I learn the language, I intend to go to Korea and become a teacher there. I don’t just want to speak Korean for fun, I want to become a part of Korean culture.”