Music blooms in Saudi Arabia’s mountain resort city of Taif as rose ensemble takes a bow

The name ‘Rose Village’ was chosen in recognition of the importance of the rose as the icon for Taif. (AN photo by Tareq Al-Thaqafi)
Updated 23 August 2019

Music blooms in Saudi Arabia’s mountain resort city of Taif as rose ensemble takes a bow

  • An orchestra of Ukrainian and Russian musicians performed enchanting symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven at the Ward (Rose) Village
  • The month-long Taif Season festival highlights the city as a leading Arab tourist destination

TAIF: Hanging from suspended imitation rose flowers and dressed in white, an orchestra of Ukrainian and Russian musicians performed enchanting symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven at the Ward (Rose) Village in Taif’s Arrudaf Park as part of Taif Season.

The month-long Taif Season will run during August with more than 70 quality events designed to highlight the city as a popular Arab resort and leading Arab tourist destination.

Female musicians in the orchestra played from a height of seven meters, delighting large crowds with a spectacular performance of well-known symphonies.

Mashaal Al-Rashid, head of the company organizing the Rose Village Festival, told Arab News that the name ‘Rose Village’ was chosen in recognition of the importance of rose as the icon of Taif.

“The festival’s content was elaborated, and all the activities and events organized so as to promote the value, and the social and economic significance of Taif’s roses,” he said.

Al-Rashid said that the hanging roses orchestra was inspired by the beauty of Taif’s mountains and their startling roses. 

“Each flower carries a musician holding her instrument, delivering a breathtaking performance and an enjoyable experience,” he said.

The orchestra includes musicians from several countries who were selected after delivering string performances in various world capitals.

 Dr. Nayef Al-Buraq, dean of Taif University’s College of Arts, said that Taif’s character is based on its culture and location.

“It is a cultural tourist icon that evolves year after year to keep pace with the national Vision 2030, with events that attract visitors from around the world,” he said.

“The programs aims to promote quality of life, reflected through the joyful Taif Season that paints a bright picture of Saudi creativity,” said Al-Buraq.

He said that the challenges faced in preparing for this season included developing quality academic programs, highlighting popular arts, and attracting Arab, Saudi and international creative involvement.

“These challenges highlight the leading role played by the Kingdom’s government in catering for culture and arts, and turning this festival into a tourist and cultural event throughout the year,” he said.

Festival visitor Omar Al-Khalidi said that the event offers musical attractions and cultural arts that have long been absent from Taif.

“Everyone knows that Taif is the city of arts and culture, and the first Saudi city to host a movie theater. Arrudaf Park was the scene for concerts for well-known artists such as Abdullah Mohammed, Mohammed Abdu, Talal Maddah and many other Arab talents,” he said.


No mediation with Iran to ease tensions, says Adel Al-Jubeir

Updated 22 October 2019

No mediation with Iran to ease tensions, says Adel Al-Jubeir

  • Al-Jubeir says Iranian regime has to change its behavior and “show good intentions rather than words”
  • Praises “strong international position” taken by most European countries and the United States toward Iran

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said on Tuesday no mediation efforts were underway between Saudi Arabia and Iran to ease tensions in the region.
Tensions between Iran and the United States have also been running high since President Donald Trump withdrew from a deal between world powers and Iran that aimed to rein in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. US sanctions have slashed Iranian oil exports.
“It is the responsibility of the Iranian regime to change its behavior and show good intentions rather than words,” Al-Jubeir said at a lecture at the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (Chatham House) in London, in comments reported by SPA, the Saudi state news agency.
Al-Jubeir accused Iran of being behind an attack on two Aramco oil facilities last month, saying that “Iran does not respect the sovereignty of states or international law.”
He also praised the “strong international position” taken by most European countries and the United States toward Iran, stressing that “Iranian actions have become a threat to the interests and security of countries in the region.”
On Yemen where efforts are underway to end a power struggle between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and southern separatists, Al-Jubeir stressed that the Kingdom supported a political solution: “There is an international dialogue on Yemen with a view to reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis.”
On the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the Saudi crown prince’s ambitious plan to overhaul the economy of Saudi Arabia, Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom was pursuing a deliberate plan to achieve the objectives of the vision, which was based on supporting innovation, encouraging young people and promoting new economic sectors such as manufacturing, mining, tourism and maritime transport. 
“The empowerment of women was at the forefront of the vision’s goals, as they now have the right to drive and travel without a permit, in addition to their involvement in the labor market,” the minister said.