Saudi culinary treats: From spicy kibda to flavorful balila

During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)
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Updated 06 April 2024
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Saudi culinary treats: From spicy kibda to flavorful balila

  • Saudi food stall owners rejoice as Kingdom’s Ramadan markets draw crowds seeking to fulfill Hijazi cravings

JEDDAH: For many Saudis, the holy month of Ramadan is not only a time to rejuvenate spiritually, but also an opportunity to start small businesses and share the tastes of local culinary treats.

During the month, good, affordable snacks may be found at stalls in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets and residential areas, where Saudis and visitors can take in the festive mood of Ramadan.




During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)

The main draws are the vendors serving a range of street cuisine and regional specialties, such as kibda (fried liver) and balila (boiled chickpeas with cumin, vinegar, pickled cucumber and other spices), as well as traditional Ramadan drinks, particularly sobya (made from barley, dried bread, raisins, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon).

These stands have grown to be a well-known aspect of the holy month and they offer seasonal opportunities to business owners hoping to capitalize on the throngs of people that fill the streets throughout the night.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Among food items popularly sold at Ramadan markets are kibda, balila and traditional Ramadan drinks like sobya.

• The food stalls offer seasonal opportunities to business owners hoping to capitalize on the throngs of people that fill the streets throughout the night.

• Hussain Al-Malki, whose stall is known for its Hijazi food, said he appreciates the chance to interact with people during Ramadan.

They are also an important means of earning revenue and give Saudi entrepreneurs the chance to showcase their expertise to a wider, eager audience.




During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)

Hussain Al-Malki, a 42-year-old father of four, runs a balila and kibda stand in one of the streets of Al-Zahra district. Al-Malki, whose stall is known for its Hijazi food, expressed how much he appreciates the chance to interact with people during Ramadan.

Wearing traditional clothes, Al-Malki and his business partner Hussain Abu Taleb took a break from their government jobs in Jeddah to run the stand. The duo stated that they had wanted to run their own business and had come up with the idea of a food stand in Ramadan.

It is a tough competition around here as you see many stalls around me, but, thanks to Allah, we get good money out of it which is good enough to keep me going.

Um Ahmed, Food stall owner in Al-Balad district

“It is an annual business for me and my partner in Ramadan … a long time ago we thought about doing something useful in Ramadan and we came up with the balila and fried liver stall,” Al-Malki said.




During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)

“Alhamdulillah, it is a great business and we make a good money during the blessed month,” he added.

On another corner in Rawdah district, hardworking young boys Basem Al-Mutabagani, Hamid Turkistani and Imad Al-Fadel sell potato fries — a simple yet classic snack that never goes out of style and continues to attract customers.




During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)

“We found that the potato stall was the best additional source of income because there is a large demand for potatoes and people rush to buy them during Ramadan,” said Al-Mutabagani.

The three young sellers come to the Ramadan market right after Isha prayers and leave around 3 a.m. This Ramadan was their second year managing the stand, and their ambitious energy has resulted in some show of creativity with potato as their star ingredient. “Every year we try to add a new spirit to the stall by adding cheese or various sauces to potatoes and people really like it,” he said.




During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)

Many Saudi women can also be seen selling flavorful items like balila, kunafa, potato dishes and kibda in Jeddah’s historic Al-Balad district, which is a Ramadan Season hotspot.

One such seller, Um Ahmed, and her daughter welcome customers to their food stand located amidst a long line of stalls. She told Arab News that she appreciates the opportunity to make the extra money and noted that it is her first year in Al-Balad selling balila and potato items.




During the month, thousands explore festivities in Al-Balad historic district in Jeddah and other Ramadan markets that also offer popular regional snacks and dishes. (Ramadan Season/Supplied)

“I think people are more comfortable buying food that is prepared by women as they are more particular about cleanliness,” she noted.

“My preparation starts at home and then after Maghrib prayer, I go to Al-Balad to start preparing my food stuff and clean my stall. It is a tough competition around here as you see many stalls around me, but, thanks to Allah, we get good money out of it which is good enough to keep me going,” she said.

Thousands of visitors explore Al-Balad each day since the beginning of Ramadan, and Um Ahmed and other women managing stalls say they stay busy all through the night.

 


King Abdulaziz Foundation organizes Saudi-Chinese relations seminar in Beijing

Updated 37 sec ago
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King Abdulaziz Foundation organizes Saudi-Chinese relations seminar in Beijing

  • Seminar discussed maritime trade between two countries, role of Chinese libraries in caring for Arabic manuscripts

LONDON: The King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, organized a scientific seminar on cultural and economic relations between Saudi Arabia and China from June 19-23 in Beijing, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The seminar was held as part of the Beijing International Book Fair, which featured the Kingdom as the guest of honor. It discussed a variety of topics, including maritime trade between the two countries and its cultural and economic implications, the role of Chinese libraries in caring for Arabic manuscripts and preserving Arab heritage, and Arab heritage in China.
Numerous agreements of cooperation in the fields of energy, trade, and investment have strengthened the two countries' strategic partnership. Both countries participated in initiatives aimed at boosting global trade, including joint projects to develop ports, railways, and industrial zones.
Cultural exchanges and academic programs have helped to improve understanding between the two peoples, and Saudi Vision 2030 has broadened the scope of economic cooperation with China in areas such as technology, renewable energy, and infrastructure development.
 


Saudi Arabia to host 56th International Chemistry Olympiad

Updated 32 min 11 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to host 56th International Chemistry Olympiad

  • Participation of more than 340 students expected 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to host the 56th International Chemistry Olympiad, with participation from more than 340 students and 400 university professors and chemistry teachers from 90 countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The prestigious event, which will run from July 21-30 at King Saud University, is organized by the Ministry of Education, and King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, and boasts exclusive sponsorship from the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.

The event is a global chemistry competition in which talented high-school students from around the world compete in the subject. It aims to inspire interest in the subject through the solving of complex and creative chemistry problems; promote international communication in the field; and foster friendships among young science enthusiasts from diverse nationalities.

It will mark the first time Saudi Arabia has hosted the event.

Secretary-General of Mawhiba Amal bint Abdullah Al-Hazzaa said Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the olympiad was testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting talent, science, and innovation, in line with the goals of Vision 2030.

Al-Hazzaa added that Mawhiba had prepared for the event through several parallel tracks, including strengthening coordination with partners to ensure an exceptional hosting experience; preparing talented students for strong competition; and aiming to achieve new milestones for the nation.

Members of the International Steering Committee for the International Chemistry Olympiad praised the Kingdom’s comprehensive preparations during a recent visit to Riyadh.

Their visit included meeting the Saudi minister of education, who launched the awareness campaign for the event in January.

The Kingdom has collected 14 silver and 25 bronze medals at the event in the past, and the Saudi team secured four prestigious awards at the 2023 International Chemistry Olympiad in Switzerland.
 


MAWANI and REVIVA establish recycling and industrial waste complex at Jeddah Islamic Port

MAWANI signed on Sunday a SR30million contract with Reviva to establish a complex for recycling marine and industrial waste.
Updated 57 min 41 sec ago
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MAWANI and REVIVA establish recycling and industrial waste complex at Jeddah Islamic Port

  • Contract is part of the efforts exerted by MAWANI to promote environmental sustainability and maintain the safety of the marine environment

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, MAWANI, signed on Sunday a SR30million ($8 million) contract with the Global Environmental Management Services Ltd., or Reviva, to establish a complex for recycling marine and industrial waste at Jeddah Islamic Port.

The president of MAWANI, Omar bin Talal Hariri, and the CEO of of the Saudi Investment Recycling Co., Ziad bin Mohammed Al-Shiha, signed the contract in the presence of a number of other officials.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the contract is part of the efforts exerted by MAWANI to promote environmental sustainability, maintain the safety of the marine environment, and build a sustainable maritime sector that enhances the Kingdom’s position as a global logistics center and a hub connecting three continents.

The implementation of the contract comes in line with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy and the Green Port Initiative. The new complex will contribute to enhancing the transformation of waste into valuable resources while building a thriving circular economy in the Kingdom.

According to SPA, these objectives can be met by providing comprehensive waste management and recycling solutions, industrial maintenance and transportation services, and recycling by-products. As such, waste volume is significantly reduced while waste management and environmental conservation improves.

The strategic cooperation scales up the outcomes of efforts exerted to achieve waste management goals in the Kingdom in line with Saudi Vision 2030. It also increases the private sector’s contribution to supporting economic development and listing Jeddah Islamic Port under the Top 10 ports in the world.

MAWANI is keen to introduce pioneering initiatives directly related to the Saudi Green Initiative which aims to reduce emissions, address climate change, and enhance the partnership between the public and private sectors to expand the related scope of work and thus, improve the commercial attractiveness of the Kingdom’s ports in the eyes of the whole world.


National Cybersecurity Authority joins UN Security Council talks

Updated 23 June 2024
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National Cybersecurity Authority joins UN Security Council talks

  • The Kingdom emphasized the importance of striving to create a safe and reliable cyberspace

RIYADH: The Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority participated in a high-level open discussion session held by the UN Security Council titled “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Addressing Evolving Threats in Cyberspace.”

Senior officials and permanent representatives of member states of the UN, as well as the secretary-general of the organisation, Antonio Guterres, participated in the session.

Leading the Saudi delegation was the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Wasil. The delegation included representatives from the cybersecurity authority, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The session addressed developing a common understanding among states on enhancing the role of the Security Council in addressing cyberthreats, in light of the Security Council’s primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, taking into account the potential threat to international peace and security posed by malicious activities in cyberspace.

The Kingdom emphasized the importance of striving to create a safe and reliable cyberspace that enables growth and prosperity, especially since enhancing cybersecurity is essential to protect the vital interests of countries as well as national security.


Jeddah Season 2024 launching June 27

Jeddah Season 2024 will launch next week under the slogan “Once Again.” (@JEDCalendar)
Updated 23 June 2024
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Jeddah Season 2024 launching June 27

  • Jeddah Season 2024 will offer a variety of entertainment, tourism and cultural activities

JEDDAH: Jeddah Season 2024 will launch next week under the slogan “Once Again,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The opening ceremony will be held on June 27 at 9:30 p.m. in the Art Promenade area located within the Jeddah Waterfront.

According to the SPA, Jeddah Season 2024 will offer a variety of entertainment, tourism and cultural activities. Events will be held in several designated areas, including the City Walk, which offers a diverse mix of interactive experiences, motor and skill games, Arabic plays, concerts, restaurants, cafes and shops.

The season will feature Warner Bros. Discovery: Celebrate Every Story, held for the first time in the Kingdom, offering a mix of games and entertainment shows. The family-friendly attraction features renowned stories and characters under one roof.

The 2024 Jeddah Season will also host numerous events at Imagine Monet and Prince Majid Park, as well as international concerts.

The event map, set to be unveiled, includes activities such as live artistic and cultural performances, and entertainment, sports and tourism activities.