Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023 kickstarts 4th edition themed ‘Energy of Harmony’

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Updated 10 January 2023

Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023 kickstarts 4th edition themed ‘Energy of Harmony’

The fourth edition of Tuwaiq Sculpture began on Jan. 8, featuring 30 artists from around the world producing large-scale sculptures that will become permanent fixtures of Riyadh’s urban landscape as public art. Themed “Energy of Harmony,” this edition of the annual sculpture symposium will continue until Feb. 10 and features a live-sculpting event along with a public program of more than 65 activities, including panel discussions and interactive workshops that welcomes the public.

Participating sculptors for Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023 have been selected by a jury panel of experts from 650 applications received via open call. Hailing from 20 countries as far as Austria, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland, as well as a strong representation from Saudi Arabia, the artists have exhibited works internationally, with a number working as academics within the field of sculpture. Their proposed works consider concepts such as synergy, nature, and pose questions around the human experience, rendered in abstract and figurative forms.

Launched in 2019, Tuwaiq Sculpture is part of the broader Riyadh Art program, one of the largest public art projects undertaken in the world today. Riyadh Art seeks to turn the city into a “gallery without walls,” with more than 1,000 artworks to be displayed across Saudi Arabia’s capital. To date, Tuwaiq Sculpture has engaged with 90 renowned local and international artists and thousands of visitors.

For the first time since its launch, Tuwaiq Sculpture will be using stone sourced from Saudi Arabia, specifically granite and Riyadh stone, also known as sandstone. Sarah Al-Ruwayti, Tuwaiq Sculpture project manager, said: “The decision to use stones from our local quarries poses symbolic significance for Tuwaiq Sculpture, specifically to highlight Saudi Arabia’s rich history with the medium, from ancient artifacts to rock carvings and modern-day sculpture. In addition, we wanted local and international artists to connect with material drawn directly from the country’s environment. These granite and sandstone, once transformed into beautiful artworks, will fill Riyadh’s public spaces, from parks to cultural and commercial areas for residents and visitors to see and appreciate.”

The sculptors began working on the stones on Jan. 8, with the public invited to witness the sculpting live on a dedicated site in Durrat Al-Riyadh, located in the north of the city. After the sculptural works have been completed, Tuwaiq Sculpture will culminate in an exhibition that runs from Feb. 5 to 10. 
In parallel to the creative process, more than 65 community engagement events will take place, including interactive workshops in the realms of calligraphy, lino print, wood sculpting, as well as stone and glass carving. A series of enriching panel discussions will explore a range of topics, from the techniques of sculpture and principles of design to urban ecology and the business of art. To reach a wide variety of audiences, Tuwaiq Sculpture’s community events will take place from January to February in two locations across Riyadh, Durrat and JAX District, with activities for beginner and intermediate levels conducted in English and Arabic.

“Energy of Harmony,” the theme of Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023, was developed by curator Marek Wolynski and reflects on the fundamental characteristic of human existence — the ongoing synthesis of opposing forces. It encourages artists to reimagine sculptural possibilities and capture manifestations of ephemeral processes of introducing, witnessing, and experiencing change.
Wolynski is also the chairperson of the jury panel that has selected the Tuwaiq Sculpture artists, consisting of Alaa Tarabzouni, co-founder of Very Public and an architect, artist, and curator, whose practice focuses on urbanism and the built environment; Ali Al-Tokhais, a sculptor with a practice spanning 40 years and an expert in stones originating from Saudi Arabia; Dr. Effat Fadag, an acclaimed academic whose work revolves around the arts, culture and heritage of Saudi Arabia; and Johannes von Stumm, a critically acclaimed sculptor, president of the Oxford Art Society and past president of the Royal Society of Sculptors in the UK.

Participating artists will contribute to Tuwaiq Sculpture’s community engagement program, which will host school and university visits, providing students direct exposure to various sculptural practices, as well as sculpting skills, tools, techniques, and materials.

The full artist list is as follows:

Agnessa Petrova Bulgaria
Aleksandre Phophkhadze Georgia
Ana Maria Negară Romania
Azhar Madlouh  Saudi Arabia
Bertha Shortiss Switzerland
Damjan Komel Slovenia
Fahad Aljebreen Saudi Arabia
Ikram Kabbaj Morocco
Javier Alvarez Germany
José Millán Spain
Liliya Pobornikova Bulgaria
Lyudmyla Mysko Ukraine
Marino Di Prospero Italy
Mohamed Elsayad Egypt
Mohammad Al-Faris Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Al-Thagafi Saudi Arabia
Nilhan Sesalan  Turkiye
Noha Alsharif Saudi Arabia
Qian Sihua China
Rajaa Alshafae Saudi Arabia
Rob Good United Kingdom
Roland Hoeft Germany
Sasho Sazdovski North Macedonia
Stefan Esterbauer Austria
Sylvain Patte Belgium
Talal Altukhaes Saudi Arabia
Tatsumi Sakai Japan
Vasilisa Chugunova Russia
Wafa Alqunibit Saudi Arabia
Yannick Robert France

Ethiopian Airlines marks 78 years of success in African skies

Updated 13 April 2024

Ethiopian Airlines marks 78 years of success in African skies

Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s largest airline group, has marked its 78th anniversary, highlighting a legacy of resilience and innovation since 1946. Group Chief Executive Officer Mesfin Tasew and Chief Commercial Officer Lemma Yadecha accompanied the crew on a flight to Cairo, marking the airline’s inaugural international service. Their involvement extended beyond in-flight duties, as they also provided assistance to passengers during check-in and boarding processes, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

Tasew said: “This event symbolizes our unwavering commitment to our passengers and our belief that true leadership lies in serving others first. Serving our passengers on this special flight to Cairo is not just a tribute to our first international service but a reaffirmation of our commitment to the ethos of servant leadership. From our humble beginning back in 1946, we’ve come to be the aviation giant in Africa that we are now, pioneering African aviation with many first aviation innovation introductions to Africa along the way. As we are maturing beautifully, our commitment only gets stronger.”

In line with the airline’s values of community engagement, passengers received season’s greeting packages and “Happy Fasting” messages, reflecting the airline’s respect for diverse traditions. The packages included a postcard commemorating the anniversary, serving as a tangible reminder of the airline’s enduring legacy.

“Our mission extends beyond transportation,” said Yadecha. “We strive to foster a sense of unity and belongingness among our passengers, regardless of their background or belief. This anniversary is a celebration of unity and diversity. By stepping into the roles of our dedicated ground and flight crew, we honor every individual who has been part of our story. Our service today is a promise of continued service excellence for all our passengers.”

In a display of commitment, all executives at Ethiopian Airlines have taken a hands-on approach to service, personally attending to the needs of the airline’s valued customers. This initiative underscores the airline’s ethos of servant leadership and its dedication to providing an exceptional travel experience.

Celebrating its 78th anniversary, Ethiopian Airlines has reaffirmed commitment to its mission of bridging Africa with the world. The airline remains dedicated to enhancing passenger experience, as evidenced by its consideration to offer complimentary Wi-Fi to Cairo-bound travelers.

Huawei FreeClip: Stylish and comfortable earbuds for active lifestyles

Updated 13 April 2024

Huawei FreeClip: Stylish and comfortable earbuds for active lifestyles

Open-ear earbuds — hate it or love it, this genre of earbuds has added greater diversity to a market that lacks it. For many users, in-ear earbuds may not always be the standard cup of tea, yet they have become the dominant product in the wireless audio consumer market. While in-ear earbuds are suited for audiophiles, their design inherently makes them susceptible to sliding and falling off the ears, and could be uncomfortable if worn for long periods. Open-ear earbuds have sought to address these downsides.

The Huawei FreeClip sports an iconic C-bridge Design, an engineering marvel patented by Huawei. The clip-on open-ear earbuds defy design conventions, offering both comfort and style.

Built for Fitness

The largest demographic of open-ear earbud users is typically athletes who want secure, sweatproof, and comfortable earbuds for workouts. This might be why we have seen most open-ear earbuds being marketed mainly toward active consumers. Huawei spent three years mastering the C-bridge Design and its clip-on mechanism to optimize the FreeClip for fitness enthusiasts. In fact, the C-bridge Design is based on extensive research done on more than 10,000 human ears from all over the world. As a result, the FreeClip can adapt to every ear type and provide a secure and comfortable fit. This is thanks to the C-bridge’s Ni-Ti memory wire core, lightweight build of only 5.6 g each, and optimized 11-degree tilt angle.

All these allow the earbuds to stay on the ears even as you work up a sweat. You can jump, run, and move about without the earbuds slipping off. At the same time, the open-ear design structure brings better breathability to the ears and allows you to stay connected to the real world — important for those dabbling in outdoor sports like running and cycling. These earbuds also carry an IP54-rated water and sweat resistance rating.

Ideal for Workplace

With fewer cubicles and greater collaborative spaces in modern offices, in-ear earbuds can get in the way when you need to work closely with colleagues. The open-ear design of the FreeClip lets users stay focused on work while enjoying their favorite tunes, and also stay aware of their surroundings. This makes it easier for spontaneous interactions with coworkers, and also makes the user seem more approachable.

With a total of 36 hours of battery life with the charging case and incredible call quality, users can get through back-to-back meetings without any battery anxiety. Moreover, with the Reverse Sound Waves System and the C-bridge Design, the FreeClip keeps the audio within the immediate periphery of the ears and reduces sound leakage. This protects the user’s privacy when taking calls around others. Furthermore, the intelligent left-right ear recognition adds a new level of convenience. 

That means users do not have to worry about wearing them correctly and can simply put them on and go.

Fashion Forward

The FreeClip follows Huawei’s new Fashion Forward strategy to transform its wearable technologies into fashion statements. With its earring-like design and two stylish colorways, the FreeClip can pass off as a fashion accessory that complements any outfit.

EazyPay among top 50 fintech companies in Middle East: Forbes

Updated 13 April 2024

EazyPay among top 50 fintech companies in Middle East: Forbes

Eazy Financial Services, or EazyPay, a Bahraini financial institute specializing in point-of-sale and online payment gateway acquiring services, has announced its inclusion in the prestigious Forbes Middle East FinTech 50 list. This recognition underscores EazyPay’s commitment to revolutionizing the digital payment landscape and its significant impact on the financial industry across the Middle East.

The Forbes Middle East Fintech 50 is a highly anticipated annual list that recognizes the most disruptive and influential players transforming the financial technology sector in the Middle East. With 23 entries dedicated to payment gateway firms, EazyPay secured the No. 19 spot, solidifying its position as a distinguished leader in the realm of online payment solutions.

Established in 2016, EazyPay’s innovative technology is revolutionizing digital transactions, establishing it as a leader within the MENA fintech landscape. The company’s success hinges on a comprehensive suite of payment solutions catering to the specific needs of both established businesses and agile startups. This adaptability ensures seamless integration and fosters a thriving digital ecosystem. EazyPay’s impact extends beyond facilitating transactions, establishing themselves as strong advocates for financial inclusion. By creating accessible payment solutions, EazyPay empowers previously unbanked or underbanked individuals to participate in the digital economy. This not only broadens the customer base for businesses but also fosters a more equitable financial landscape in Bahrain.

Nayef Tawfeeq Al-Alawi, founder, managing director, and CEO of EazyPay, said: “We are incredibly honored to be recognized by Forbes Middle East. This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire team, who are passionate about making financial services easier and more accessible for everyone in the region.”

Being listed on Forbes Middle East FinTech 50 marks a significant milestone for Eazypay and further reinforces its position as a leading force shaping the future of finance in the Middle East. The company remains committed to continuous innovation and collaboration to create a more inclusive and prosperous financial ecosystem for the region.

Saudi Sports for All celebrates success of Ramadan events

Updated 10 April 2024

Saudi Sports for All celebrates success of Ramadan events

Saudi Sports for All has announced the resounding success of its series of Ramadan tournaments, culminating in an unprecedented celebration of sportsmanship, community, and healthy living across the Kingdom.

The SFA Ramadan Domes tournament, held in Dammam, witnessed an overwhelming participation of thousands of individuals across nine tournaments. From padel to basketball, male and female athletes showcased their prowess and passion for sports, embodying the spirit of camaraderie and competition. With cash prizes for winners and runners-up, as well as complimentary court bookings for spectators, the tournament truly encapsulated the essence of inclusivity and excellence.

In Riyadh, the R7 Run brought together hundreds of participants representing an impressive array of 37 nationalities, fostering unity and diversity through the universal language of sport. Meanwhile, in Jeddah, the Masafat Run witnessed an astounding participation of hundreds of individuals from 42 nationalities, underscoring the global appeal of SFA’s initiatives.

Furthermore, the SFA Ramadan Steps Challenge, a digital activation aimed at promoting physical activity and well-being, attracted a staggering 5,331 participants who collectively achieved an astonishing 724,010,991 steps, emphasizing the power of technology in driving positive lifestyle changes.

“We are thrilled to continue the ‘Ramadan a Chance to Change’ campaign for the second year,” said Ammar Alamro, director of marketing and communication at SFA. “Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and spiritual rejuvenation, and we believe it is also an opportunity for individuals to embrace positive change in various aspects of their lives. We invite everyone to join our events and embark on this transformative journey together.”

During the holy month of Ramadan, the SFA encouraged everyone to harness the power of change and embrace movement in their lives. Whether it is a conscious decision or a response to life’s challenges, change is a vital aspect of personal development. By approaching change with passion and dedication, individuals can experience remarkable results during this special month.

As SFA continues to champion the importance of sports and active living, the organization remains committed to empowering individuals of all ages and abilities to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives through inclusive and accessible sporting opportunities.

Bolt enables customers to book rides up to 90 days in advance

Updated 10 April 2024

Bolt enables customers to book rides up to 90 days in advance

Bolt is extending its Scheduled Rides pre-booking feature’s window from 72 hours to 90 days in response to customer feedback. The ride-hailing platform has seen soaring demand for Scheduled Rides, with demand growing 30 percent month over month.

Extending the time period that a Scheduled Ride can be ordered in advance will upgrade customers’ ride-hailing experience by helping them plan their trips around their city and allow for better planning leading up to a trip abroad. When traveling in their own city, customers can better plan their travel to meetings, special occasions, events, airports, train stations, and bus stations. When traveling, customers can book a Bolt to the airport, from the airport in some cities to the restaurant in the evening after arrival in a new city, then to an event like a concert from there, all 90 days before their trip. In Riyadh and Jeddah, the company also offers the possibility of booking your Bolt to pick you up from the airport 90 days in advance.

Bolt Business customers benefit from access to advance booking for timely travel to meetings and planning trips for company guests to events, while travel industry customers can arrange transport like airport pick-up in advance for their guests.

Haitham Mansour at Bolt said: “We’ve seen tremendous demand for Scheduled Rides since introducing the feature in 2022 in response to customer feedback. By extending the pre-booking window from 72 hours to 90 days, we hope to see the same success. It’s another step toward our mission as enabling customers to plan and predict their ride makes it easier than ever for Bolt and Bolt Business customers to move away from private cars and shift to shared mobility options like ride-hailing.”

Bolt is an European mobility platform with more than 150 million customers in over 45 countries across Europe and Africa. The company seeks to accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility, offering better alternatives for every use case.