‘Vampire’ star steals fans’ hearts at Saudi Comic Con in Jeddah

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Actor and model Ian Somerhalder at the second Saudi Comic Con. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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10,000 people gathered from across Saudi Arabia to attend the first day of Saudi Comic Con. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Ian Somerhalder, a special guest for day one at the second Saudi Comic Con. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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10,000 people gathered from across Saudi Arabia to attend the first day of Saudi Comic Con. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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10,000 people gathered from across Saudi Arabia to attend the first day of Saudi Comic Con. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The first day at Saudi Comic Con witnessed successful engagement between local artists, performers, competitions and Hollywood stars. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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10,000 people gathered from across Saudi Arabia to attend the first day of Saudi Comic Con. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)(AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 23 March 2018

‘Vampire’ star steals fans’ hearts at Saudi Comic Con in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Actor and model Ian Somerhalder, star of “The Vampire Diaries,” thrilled fans at a sold-out Comic Con, responding to a warm welcome with “Saedna bi liqaikum,” or “very pleased to meet you.”
Somerhalder, a special guest at the event, told his audience: “I have traveled the whole world and this is by far the most special. I’ve never been to Saudi and have always wanted to come.”
Saudi Comic Con promised Twitter followers an unforgettable night on Thursday, with screenings of films such as “Bilal” and a local production “Mas’hoor” (or “Enchanted“), live performances by Saudi musicians including Mojo, and a surprise appearance by YouTube vloggers the Saudi Reporters.
Somerhalder later told Arab News: “There are few places in the world where I feel as welcomed and loved, a real sense of belonging. There is so much history here and so much beauty — I have never seen something like this where the sea meets the desert. It’s so beautiful.
Earlier, the actor told a panel discussion that he looked forward to being part of the Kingdom’s “film and television revolution.”
He said the reopening of cinemas in the country was encouraging but offered a warning. “People can enjoy film and television with community and people around you, but it’s important not to become jaded.
PHOTO GALLERY: Saudi Comic Con 2018 - Jeddah
“You have to appreciate what you see from a filmmaker’s perspective, and be respectful of the experience. Put your phone away and just enjoy it for an hour and a half or two. It’s an exciting time, and I hope to become a staple in this community as far as film and television goes.”
After his live performance, singer and songwriter Mojo told Arab News: “It was amazing to share my music with people here. I’m really appreciative of Time Entertainment for bringing this event to us, and the General Entertainment Authority.”

Sara Al-Ghamdi, an illustrator and motion graphics graduate, shared posters, stickers and postcards of characters from the video game “Overwatch” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” at her booth. “The outcome is amazing. I didn’t expect it to be so crowded. People are so supportive and there were some cute reactions from passers-by.”
A visitor to Comic Con, Iyad Al-Qadi, told Arab News the event was important to the youth community. “It’s mind-blowing. We all want fun and entertainment.”
Saudi Comic Con is sponsored by the GEA and organized by Time Entertainment to bring performances to the Saudi community and support local artists. Last year’s Comic Con was judged best event of 2017 by the GEA.


Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

Updated 23 October 2020

Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

JEDDAH: Six international organizations have completed two studies on e-learning in the Kingdom and praised its efforts in providing a rapid response, multiple options and continuous improvement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The studies involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.
The center said that the global organizations completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic, with the aim of documenting and studying the reality of the experience and coming up with initiatives to develop e-learning practices in accordance with current global practices and standards.
The studies were conducted with the participation of students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders.
The number of participants in the public education study reached 318,000, while the number of participants in the higher education study reached 24,000.
The first study was prepared by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), with the participation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Quality Matters (QM), the UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) in the US.
The second study was prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the cooperation of the Harvard Graduate School
of Education.
In the studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries. The two studies showed the Kingdom’s distinction in the diversity of options, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education.

NUMBER

342k

The studies on e-learning involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.

The percentage of countries that succeeded in providing these at the national level was only 38 percent.
The study conducted by the OECD and the Harvard Graduate School of Education included a comparison of the Kingdom’s response to education during the COVID-19 pandemic with 37 member states.
The results showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 out of 16 indicators on the average of
these countries.
The study also revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to e-learning.
The study of public education indicated that there was a clear strategy for the Ministry of Education to reopen schools in the Kingdom and address any issues.
OLC hailed the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis by providing a variety of options for e-learning, and the quick response to the pandemic and immediate shift to remote instruction.
The two studies recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education.
The National Center for e-Learning is working in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and begin their implementation.
The center announced that the organizations that conducted the studies would publish their results and complete the second phase at the end of the current semester.

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