Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: Training programs spark new opportunities for Diriyah youth

Short Url
Updated 29 October 2021
Follow

Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: Training programs spark new opportunities for Diriyah youth

As part of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority’s mission to invest in the personal growth of the Diriyah community, its community engagement team has partnered with STTAR Tourism Institute to provide local young people with a series of training programs to support the community to be part of the growing tourism and hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia.
The programs were designed in line with international best practices, together with authentic Saudi hospitality values, to equip the young people with the skills and knowledge required to excel in the food and beverage sector of the Kingdom’s burgeoning travel industry.
STTAR developed two separate programs. The first was a barista training session for those with a passion for making coffee. The second was an assistant chef program for those young people keen to learn more about Saudi cuisine.
Fifteen young men and 15 young women applied to take part and were taught by some of the best instructors in the Kingdom. Each instructor enthusiastically imparted their expertise to the eager students, who were treated to a range of different coffee and culinary-related sessions and activities.
At the end of the program, each of the 30 participants were invited to interview with a number of local businesses within the food and beverage sector. These businesses were all more than happy to deepen their engagement with the community and add young local talent to their growing staff.
Sara AlHussaini, senior community engagement officer at DGDA, was pleased with the project’s success, saying: “I am so thrilled to see these young people developing their skills in areas they feel immensely passionate about. I can’t wait to see them thriving in Diriyah’s local restaurants and coffee houses, and I’m sure the people of Diriyah can’t wait either.”
She added: “DGDA is absolutely committed to the empowerment of Diriyah’s young people. They, along with the wider local community, are the soul of Diriyah and we want them to have the opportunities to succeed in whatever field they choose. That is exactly what we are doing with these programs.”
DGDA’s partner, STTAR Tourism Institute, is a leading hospitality and tourism training institution in Saudi Arabia and is the educational arm of the renowned Swiss Hospitality Company. STTAR was established to meet the needs of the Kingdom’s expanding tourism labor market by providing development programs that seek to bring the quality of service provided in Saudi tourist facilities to an international standard.
The work of DGDA will soon see Diriyah transformed into a global gathering place, welcoming visitors from across the world to share in what will be a hub of Saudi culture.
To DGDA, it is vital that, as the project grows, so too does the local community. Programs like these training sessions will ensure that the young people of Diriyah have the chance to flourish and become an integral part of the development themselves. This fits more broadly with a core focus of the Vision 2030 strategy, which seeks to boost the employment of Saudis across the Kingdom.


Ancient castles in Sabya governorate reflect architectural heritage

Updated 6 min 56 sec ago
Follow

Ancient castles in Sabya governorate reflect architectural heritage

  • The Sabya Archaeological Castle has origins that date to the early 20th century

RIYADH: The Sabya governorate in the Jazan region is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, each with its own unique story.

Among these is the Sabya Archaeological Castle, whose origins date to the early 20th century. The castle, steeped in history, is a must-visit for any archeology enthusiast or researcher.

The castle is situated near Sabya Avenue, within King Fahd Park. It is part of the present city of Sabya, which offers a view of Wadi Sabya. 

The Sabya Archaeological Castle, an architectural marvel, boasts spacious rooms with high ceilings and thick walls. The walls, adorned with beautiful geometric and floral patterns, are a testament to the skill of the craftsmen who built them.

Local materials such as volcanic stone, wood, and limestone were used during construction. Some accounts suggest that the clay used in making bricks was sourced from the banks of Wadi Sabya.

The use of volcanic stones of various sizes and shapes in particular gives the castle a unique and captivating beauty. The stones were obtained from volcanoes near the city, including Jabal Akwa, located a short distance northeast of Sabya.

The mosque, situated north of the castle, was also constructed using the same building materials as the castle and other structures in the area. It was intended for prayers and gatherings of religious leaders, dignitaries, and the people of Sabya. Its mihrab, or prayer niche, still stands despite some damage.

Some accounts suggest the presence of remains of other buildings in the vicinity of the castle, opening the possibility of conducting archaeological excavations to reveal more secrets about this site.

The Kingdom’s Heritage Commission is diligently working to preserve the Sabya Archaeological Castle, recognizing its significance as one of the most important archaeological sites in the Jazan region.


Artist captures Saudi charm with digital works

Updated 14 min 59 sec ago
Follow

Artist captures Saudi charm with digital works

  • Ghada Al-Shammari says art can be a means to showcase nation’s rich heritage

RIYADH: Timeless Arabic songs and heartfelt poetry provide the inspiration for Ghada Al-Shammari’s digital art, which showcases the Kingdom’s culture and society.

Al-Shammari's first artwork in 2017 was inspired by a popular Saudi song by Majed Al-Esa called “Hwages,” which means “concerns” in English.

The music video provided a comment on society by using satire, showcasing women driving cars, skateboarding, and playing basketball — activities that at the time were not easily accessible for women.

“I liked how they portrayed women in the traditional Saudi abaya, which motivated me to draw it,” Al-Shammari told Arab News.

For one of her artworks Al-Shammari was inspired by a poem by literary icon Prince Badr bin Abdul Mohsen and popularly performed by the late Saudi singer Talal Maddah.

The drawing depicts a man glancing at a woman who has her eyes downcast, with an oud instrument between them, and the 1980 song title “Forgive Me” written in Arabic text above the illustration.

The Saudi artist said that she tries to capture the poet’s feelings with her artwork, adding: “Romantic songs with descriptions of the poet’s beloved have been particularly inspiring for me.” 

Al-Shammari draws inspiration from the beauty within the Kingdom’s culture. Many of her artworks depict women wearing traditional Najdi-style dresses and gowns with draping silhouettes and glimmering gold headpieces and turbans.

The men are depicted with striking features and wearing traditional garments like the head coverings called ghutra or shemagh, and bisht, the men’s cloak commonly worn in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

“Saudi culture and traditions have significantly impacted my work. Growing up, I used to think of Saudi Arabia as just what was around me in terms of environment, customs, and traditions,” Al-Shammari said. 

When she moved from her hometown of Hafar Al-Batin to the capital Riyadh, Al-Shammari said her friendships and acquaintances showed her a new world of ideas that elevated her artistic vision. 

She added: “They shared stories about their region, important landmarks, and fascinating tales that were unique to their areas. This motivated me to learn more about my country and enjoy drawing the diversity and differences I discovered in my artworks.

“Saudi Arabia is full of exciting things, and its diversity is what fascinates me the most. Each region has its own heritage, traditions, architecture, and unique dialect, which makes me eager to learn more and create works that reflect this beautiful diversity.”

Al-Shammari said she selects particular color combinations to evoke the emotions she aims to convey, opting for brighter colors for her cheerful and vibrant works. 

Al-Shammari graduated from the College of Arts and Design at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

She added: “Through this specialization, I discovered many artistic and historical aspects, learned about various artists, and got to understand their ideas and philosophies, which transformed my perspective of my work.”

Her love of art began as a child when she would draw characters from her favorite anime and cartoons.

“I started focusing on drawing from an educational perspective at the age of 12 through YouTube tutorials on drawing anime and cartoons, which sparked my artistic journey,” Al-Shammari said.

She added that art is important as it showcases the cultural aspect of a country and its heritage, conveying its history and traditions that help define life in the past and present.

She said: “It serves as a way to preserve and transmit this heritage from one generation to the next, seeking to document knowledge and memories.

“Additionally, from an economic standpoint, art is considered a means to attract tourists interested in discovering the country and its civilization.”

For more information on the artist, visit her Instagram @gh.oi.


KSrelief chief and WHO’s Tedros meet in Geneva, sign agreements worth $20m

Updated 25 May 2024
Follow

KSrelief chief and WHO’s Tedros meet in Geneva, sign agreements worth $20m

  • Al-Rabeeah also signed five executive programs with WHO for Yemen, Sudan, and Syria, with a total value of $19,496,000.

GENEVA: The chief of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah met with Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday in Geneva.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly currently being held in the Swiss city. 

Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of common interest related to joint relief and humanitarian projects in the health sector, as well as the mechanisms for delivering medical assistance to patients and the injured worldwide.

Tedros praised the medical projects and programs carried out by the Kingdom, through KSrelief, to improve the health situation of those in need in various countries.

Also on Saturday, Al-Rabeeah signed five executive programs with WHO for Yemen, Sudan, and Syria, with a total value of $19,496,000.

The first agreement aims to address the severe shortage of kidney dialysis supplies in Sudan to reduce mortality among kidney failure patients across various Sudanese states by providing dialysis supplies sufficient for some 235,000 dialysis sessions, securing 100 dialysis machines, and paying the salaries of medical staff in 77 dialysis centers, with a value of $5 million.

The second agreement entails providing medical assistance to earthquake victims in Syria, with a total cost of $4,746,000.

The third agreement focuses on combating the spread of measles among children under five in Yemen, with a total cost of $3 million.

The fourth agreement aims to improve water and sanitation services in healthcare facilities, ensuring sustainable water supplies to serve the neediest populations in Yemen, valued at $3,750,000. The agreement includes drilling solar-powered wells in 10 healthcare facilities.

The fifth agreement aims to reduce the spread of cholera across Yemen, with a value of $3 million.


First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative

Updated 25 May 2024
Follow

First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative

  • The Saudi leadership has prioritized caring for the pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of faith during their Hajj journey

RIYADH: The first group of Hajj pilgrims from Morocco arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah on Saturday, having departed from Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca.

The pilgrims have traveled to the Kingdom through the Makkah Route Initiative.

The initiative aims to make the journey for pilgrims to complete Hajj as easy as possible, through electronic registration in their country of origin, including those related to immigration, health, luggage, travel, and housing in Makkah and Madinah.

They are transported by buses on designated routes, with service agencies delivering their luggage to their places of stay, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The MRI is part of the Ministry of Interior’s Pilgrim Experience Program (PEP), a pillar of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Now in its sixth year, the initiative is carried out in cooperation with a host public and semi-government authorities, including the ministries of foreign affairs, health, Hajj and Umrah, media, civil aviation, the Zakat, Tax and Customs authority, SDAIA and PEP.

The Saudi leadership has prioritized caring for the pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of faith during their Hajj journey.

Pilgrims who have been arriving in recent days have expressed their “gratitude to the Kingdom’s government for the services and facilities that have been provided, making their pilgrimage safe and reassuring,” Saudi Press Agency said.


Saudi authorities foil drug smuggling attempts in Jeddah, Hail, Jazan, Asir

Updated 6 sec ago
Follow

Saudi authorities foil drug smuggling attempts in Jeddah, Hail, Jazan, Asir

RIYADH: Saudi authorities recently made several drug-related arrests in operations across the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

The General Directorate of Narcotics Control arrested five individuals for violating border security regulations in Jeddah, among them an Ethiopian female on a visitor visa who had attempted to sell 27 kg of hashish and amphetamine.

Meanwhile, in Hail, the directorate arrested a Saudi national for selling 9.7 kg of hashish.

In another operation, Border Guard patrols in the Al-Harth governorate of the Jazan region thwarted an attempt to smuggle 27 kg of hashish.

Additionally, in the Al-Raboah sector of the Asir region, Border Guard patrols apprehended five border security violators of Ethiopian and Yemeni nationalities attempting to smuggle 352 kg of qat.

Preliminary legal procedures have been completed, and the seized drugs have been handed over to the authorities. All those arrested have been referred to the Public Prosecution.

The Saudi government urges anyone with information related to suspected smuggling operations or customs violations to call the confidential hotline 1910, the international number +966114208417, or to email [email protected].

Tips relating to smuggling and breaches of common customs law are treated with strict confidentiality. Financial rewards are offered for valid tips.