Saudi and French-Swiss artists create work inspired by Riyadh women’s lives

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The exhibition features multimedia artworks that reflect the stories of the interviewed women through the breadth of their diverse experiences, aspirations and contributions to society. (Loai Elkelawy)
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The exhibition features multimedia artworks that reflect the stories of the interviewed women through the breadth of their diverse experiences, aspirations and contributions to society. (Loai Elkelawy)
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The exhibition features multimedia artworks that reflect the stories of the interviewed women through the breadth of their diverse experiences, aspirations and contributions to society. (Loai Elkelawy)
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The exhibition features multimedia artworks that reflect the stories of the interviewed women through the breadth of their diverse experiences, aspirations and contributions to society. (Loai Elkelawy)
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Updated 25 March 2024
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Saudi and French-Swiss artists create work inspired by Riyadh women’s lives

  • ‘Woven Dreams’ presents art based on intimate conversations with 37 women

RIYADH: Inspired by intimate conversations with 37 women, Saudi artist Dania Al-Saleh and French-Swiss artist Catherine Gfeller present their striking exhibit “Woven Dreams” at L’Art Pur Foundation, which runs until April 6.

The exhibition features multimedia artworks that reflect the stories of the interviewed women through the breadth of their diverse experiences, aspirations and contributions to society.

The showcase is divided into three sections totaling 540 square meters and created in a museum-like style.

Gfeller says that she interviewed each of the 37 women privately, exploring the deep meaning of their voices, testimonies, and the way they express themselves. “Deep meetings with 37 women is like deeply immersed in 37 different universes, very personal and specific universes,” she said. “It means 37 times more work because I try to adapt myself to each voice in a symbolic way.”

“Each woman has her own voice and her own way of seeing life and connecting to us as artists … they only spent one hour with me but I worked for four months, night and day with them,” she said.

Noting the collaborative nature of the process, she added: “I feel like I know them very deeply as my role is to convey the subconscious version of what they told us … I really tried to be a medium through which I can express their deep thoughts.”

Each room in the exhibition showcases a distinctive art form, inspired by the interviews. From projected short films that capture their personal stories to a room adorned with inspirational quotes plastered on the walls, and another room showcasing striking photos of each woman, visitors are taken on a sensory journey through the lives and experiences of these individuals.

Al-Saleh said that working on the project was a once-in-a-lifetime experience: “I felt so privileged to have these wonderful ladies take us and be a part of their inner private lives and share so many interesting stories and emotions with us.

“We really focused on taking care of the stories they shared with us and treating it as a treasure … we had to really think of creating artwork that does it justice.”

Gfeller knew that she wanted to do an exhibition with Al-Saleh, a Saudi artist, after seeing her work and feeling that she is her “art sister,” adding: “She (Al-Saleh) had a wonderful piece in AlUla and when I saw It, I thought ‘I feel so close to her.’ It was really similar to another project in Switzerland about mythology, power of women, and symbol of women.

“When we did this residency, it was interesting to see how similar we are in how we approach art, and how we approach the emotion of women,” she said.

One of the exhibition’s artistic subjects is Farah Al-Turki, a Saudi writer and producer. She said: “The work hit home for me as it touches on how we all come from very different backgrounds, yet we all fall under ‘Women of Riyadh.’ I’m certain visitors will identify and see themselves within the work.”

The exhibition was curated by, Dalia Chabarek, a Lebanese urban researcher and sociologist working between Lebanon and the UAE.

“Woven Dreams” is supported by the French embassy, L’Art Pur Foundation, Alliance Francaise and the Swiss embassy.

Yannick Reichenau, deputy head of mission at the Swiss embassy, said that intercultural exhibitions would grow in the future, in many directions, because “people-to-people exchanges are always key to bilateral relations.”

“Saudi Arabia is opening with Vision 2030 and one of the key cornerstones is art. For a long time, in bilateral relations, art was not a key pillar but now it is. It’s about younger people connecting as well,” Reichnau said.

Noting the opportunities for artists to learn from each other, he added: “This exchange is some of the best. It’s very enriching to both of our countries.”


Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.


12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 May 2024
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12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

  • A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan Region

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 12 Yemeni nationals for attempting to smuggle 266kg of qat through the borders of Asir region, state news agency SPA reported.
The items were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, SPA said on Friday.
A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan region. Border authorities said the suspects were arrested and the seized items were transferred to relevant authorities for further action.

Mostly chewed by users, Qat is a mild stimulant and illegal across most of the Arab world.

The government has urged citizens and residents to report any information they have regarding drug smuggling or sales to the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Reports can be made by calling 911 for Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 for other regions. Alternatively, information can be emailed to [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Friday with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris.

The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them as well as improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two officials also discussed the current situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister’s Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.