MusicHall captivates Jeddah Season visitors

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AN photos by Huda Bashatah
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A tribute to Frank Sinatra was part of the programs. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
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Friday’s performances included Fadia Najm singing Egyptian Tarab songs, the Chehade Brothers, Italian singer Tino Favazza, Latin American pop, reggae and more. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 23 June 2019

MusicHall captivates Jeddah Season visitors

JEDDAH: The MusicHall, organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), is taking place at King Abdullah Sports City until July 18 as part of the Jeddah Season festival, gathering a variety of international acts under one roof.
Friday’s event featured a tribute to Frank Sinatra, Fadia Najm singing Egyptian Tarab songs, the Chehade Brothers, Italian singer Tino Favazza, Latin American pop, reggae and more.
“The MusicHall was created 18 years ago, with the first one being in Beirut, Lebanon. The idea is instead of just having a DJ, we have live stage performers and cover as many different cultures and genres,” said MusicHall co-owner Jean Elefteriades.
“They’re back-to-back acts. With every 15 minutes of live performance, there’s a 15-minute DJ break while the stage is prepared for the next act.”
Rami Chehade of the Palestinian Chehade Brothers, who performed for a Saudi audience for the first time, told Arab News: “It was an amazing experience. We were well received by the audience and their warm reactions.”
He added: “We were very happy with their interaction tonight, and they were happy with this change. They were looking forward to this art.”
Colombian singer Jenni Paula, who performed in the Kingdom for the first time, told Arab News: “Saudi people are very kind, from the airport to the hotel. They were accommodating and helpful, and had a smile on their face all the time.”

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The Chehade Brothers are a duo from Palestine who moved to Lebanon and studied music.

She said: “I’m very happy to be performing in Saudi Arabia. I believe it’s the first time a Colombian singer performs here, on this kind of stage or event.”
She added: “I hope people visit the MusicHall because it offers various international shows. Saudi people have to see these amazing shows that we’re bringing just for you.”
Nojoud Abdullah, who attended Friday’s event, told Arab News: “I really appreciate the GEA’s efforts. They paid so much attention to detail, and visitors are really happy.”
Her favorite performance was that of Favazza. “His performance was very engaging and energetic,” she said.


The Hajjana: heritage of Saudi Arabia’s camel riding border patrol honored

Updated 30 October 2020

The Hajjana: heritage of Saudi Arabia’s camel riding border patrol honored

The Hajjana — fearless camel riders who patrolled the Kingdom’s borders — helped pave the way for the establishment of the modern Saudi state.
Their story goes back almost 90 years when a Hajjana border patrol was established during the reign of King Abdul Aziz in 1933.
After the Kingdom’s founder reclaimed Al-Ahsa, he ordered sea and land patrols to be carried out to tighten security in the region’s border areas.
Patrols were led by camel riders, so a military sector was formed at that time known as Hajjana. Its name was derived from their means of transport — camels.
Now, nine decades later, the Camel Club has established the Royal Hajjana to commemorate the group’s distinguished cultural heritage.
Since its creation in April, the Royal Hajjana has been preparing to take part in official reception ceremonies for King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s guests as well as national festivals sponsored by the king and crown prince.
It will also perform in Saudi heritage shows and represent the Kingdom in local and international camel festivals.
Hajjana officers became famous throughout the country after acquiring their name from the “hejin,” or camel. They protected the Kingdom’s residents from the south of the Empty Quarter to north of the Nafud Desert.
One of the founding king’s priorities was to provide security and protect the nation’s borders, so the Border Guard was among the first military sectors created.
The Coast Guard’s budget also included allocations for Hajjana officers, known as the Hajjana patrol commanders, whose role was part of the Frontier Corps.
Patrols continued to operate in southern regions until recently. However, the memory of the Hajjana remains fresh in the minds of the Kingdom’s border guards.