Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour picks up Crystal Award at Davos 2019

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Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, has received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum's 2019 meeting in Davos. (Screenshot/WEF)
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Saudi film maker Haifaa Al-Mansour. (Photo: Brigitte Lacombe)
Updated 22 January 2019

Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour picks up Crystal Award at Davos 2019

DAVOS, Switzerland: Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, has received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum's 2019 meeting in Davos for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab world. Watch a recap of the award ceremony below:

“Wadjda”, Al-Mansour’s feature debut, was the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director.

The success of her 2005 documentary “Women Without Shadows” was a breakthrough that was followed by a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and front-page headlines of Saudi Arabia finally opening cinemas in the Kingdom.

She was recently appointed to the Board of the General Authority for Culture to advise on the development of the cultural and arts sectors in Saudi Arabia.

She recently released “Mary Shelly” starring Elle Fanning, and “Nappily Ever After” starring Sanaa Lathan. Al-Mansour is the first artist from the Arabian Gulf region to be invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In her speech after receiving the award, Al-Mansour reflected on the role her father played in her filmmaker dream, paying homage to the films he showed her as a child.

“Those films made me feel part of a bigger world, they made me love the world. They made me who I am,” Al-Mansour said.

"I wanted to have a voice. I wanted to have a passion. I wanted to be happy," she added.

The other winners of the Crystal Awards at this year's Davos meeting are Marin Alsop, for her leadership in championing diversity in music and legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough for his leadership in environmental stewardship.

The Crystal Awards honour exceptional artists and cultural leaders whose important contributions are improving the state of the world and who best represent the “spirit of Davos.”


First Lifestyle Enhancement Conference in Saudi Arabia puts spotlight on healthy living

Updated 42 min 31 sec ago

First Lifestyle Enhancement Conference in Saudi Arabia puts spotlight on healthy living

  • The LEC brought together globally renowned experts on health care, wellness, medicine and alternative therapies to discuss some of the most pressing issues of today
  • The conference highlighted the importance of healthy choices, nutrition, and physical activity

RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and in association with the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya), has held the first Lifestyle Enhancement Conference (LEC) in Riyadh.

The LEC, focusing on the emerging science of lifestyle medicine and preventative nutrition, took place on Dec. 7-8, 2019, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.
The LEC brought together globally renowned experts on health care, wellness, medicine and alternative therapies to discuss some of the most pressing issues of today. The conference highlighted the importance of healthy choices, nutrition, and physical activity to help prevent obesity and diseases such as diabetes.
“The Saudi Sports for All Federation champions physical activity and fitness as a major tenet of increasing health and welfare. As part of our mission to enhance the quality of life in the Kingdom, we are also advocating for conscientious nutrition,” said Ms. Shaima Saleh Alhusseini, managing director at the SFA. “The Lifestyle Enhancement Conference, staged in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Weqaya, is the first event to bring together top caliber medical professionals to facilitate the increase of health education levels in Saudi Arabia.”
Speaking at the conference, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, president of the Saudi Sports for All Federation, said: “Diseases such as diabetes and obesity are increasing at an alarming rate in the region and becoming a major cause of worry. We are seeing that the lack of sports participation and physical activity, combined with substandard health education, are all contributing factors to poor health. Adopting a healthy and balanced lifestyle are among the top factors needed to prevent these diseases. As an organization focused on a healthy public, we seek to engage and communicate on measures that contribute to prevention.
“The SFA endeavors to counter the health threats that our society faces. We aim to contribute to proactive, healthy behaviors by hosting experts from various branches of health, fitness, wellness and medicine together to discuss and share insights on prevention and alternative remedies to these diseases.”
Saudi Vision 2030 has outlined its goals for a more physically fit population by increasing student participation in sport by 25 percent and increase the number of fitness coaches in the country. The LEC aims to proactively address this target by also adding health education metrics to its national campaigns.
The event’s presentations and panel discussions presented the importance of exercise and nutrition for mental and physical wellbeing, highlighting prevention and treatment measures for different types of diseases.
Attended by medical and health care professionals, nutritionists, wellness experts, sports and fitness coaches, physical therapists, and students of the related fields, the LEC’s inaugural edition was a resounding success.
The SFA intends to build on the LEC’s positive reception in Saudi Arabia by continuing its close cooperation with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health and Weqaya to establish an annual event open to the public.
SFA, a proactive community sport and wellness organization founded to promote a healthy lifestyle in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, aims to provide access to opportunities for all members of society to practice physical activity.
Partnering with government organizations, sports delivery bodies, sports federations, and the wider public and private sector to achieve its goals, the SFA focuses on increasing physical activity and health and wellness metrics across the country. The increase of physical activity is achieved by advancing four strategic priorities: education, community and volunteering, fitness and wellbeing, and campaigns and promotion.
It does this by designing recreational sports programs tailored for women, men, youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities across Saudi Arabia.