Islamic Arts Biennale announces participants for Al-Musalla Award

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The second edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale will take place in Jeddah from January-May 2025. (SPA)
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The second edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale will take place in Jeddah from January-May 2025. (SPA)
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Updated 15 April 2024
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Islamic Arts Biennale announces participants for Al-Musalla Award

  • The competition invites international architects to compete in creating the design of the space, to be built on the biennale site

RIYADH: The Diriyah Biennale Foundation on Sunday announced the names of this year’s Al-Musalla Award participants, an international architectural design competition under the Islamic Arts Biennale.

The second edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale will take place in Jeddah from January-May 2025 and is dedicated to the arts of Islamic civilization, connecting its past to its present. 

The 2025 edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale will take place in the Western Pilgrims Hall at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah but will have an expanded focus on Islamic cultural architecture. In its second edition, the Islamic Arts Binneale aims to launch this new award for creating a “musalla” — a small prayer space or mosque.

The competition invites international architects to compete in creating the design of the space, to be built on the biennale site. 

The teams selected to partipate include AAU Anastas Engineering Office from Palestine, Sahel Al-Hiyari from Jordan, East Architectural Studio from Lebanon and the UAE, the Saudi company Dabbagh Architectural Engineering, and Asif Khan from the UK. 

They were each chosen to participate in the competition based on their past work and proven experience and knowledge in the fields of Islamic art and architecture.

The teams are each required to submit a proposal design for the prayer and gathering space that is versatile, sustainable, and meets all requirements. 

There are a few guidelines the participants must follow in the process, including building the space using no less than 50 square meters.

The winner of the award will be announced later this year by the Diriyah Biennale Foundation judging committee which includes Prince Nawaf bin Ayyaf who serves as the chairman of the committee.

He said the award encourages teams to find new ways to integrate the latest building techniques in representing and examining innovative models for architecture while utilizing traditional crafts and time and place.  

He added he hopes that the competition will produce an unforgettable landmark, which will be a source of inspiration for others to participate in future editions of the award, celebrating sustainability, creativity, comprehensiveness, and ingenuity in design.

The CEO of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, Aya Al-Bakri, confirmed that creating a space through the competition calls for innovation that is closely linked to the goal of the foundation, which seeks to implement creative ideas in various fields.

She explained that Al-Musalla Award comes in cooperation with the Abdul Latif Al-Fozan Award for Mosque Architecture, which addresses new ideas for designing mosques around the world and encourages innovative planning, design, and technical ideas that can shape the identity of mosque architecture in the 2st century.

The chosen design will be witnessed by visitors from around the world to the second edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale for four months in the Western Pilgrims Hall in Jeddah.


King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj

Updated 9 sec ago
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King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj

  • The gesture is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah
  • Since its inception 26 years ago, more than 60,000 pilgrims have been hosted under the program

RIYADH: King Salman ordered the hosting of 2,322 Hajj pilgrims on Tuesday, including 1,000 family members of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israel or held in Israeli prisons.

1,300 people from over 88 countries and 22 family members of conjoined twins who were separated in the Kingdom will also be hosted for the pilgrimage, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The gesture is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance.

Since its inception 26 years ago, more than 60,000 pilgrims have been hosted under the program.

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikhb said the order reflects the Saudi leadership’s constant care for Muslims around the world and its efforts to strengthen unity and brotherhood among Muslims by bringing them together for Hajj at the expense of the king.

The minister said preparations to host these pilgrims have begun and a strategic plan has been developed.


Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 

Updated 29 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned on Tuesday the Israeli forces’ continued “genocidal massacres against the Palestinian people without deterrence” by targeting the tents of defenseless Palestinian refugees in Rafah.

The Kingdom holds the Israeli authorities fully responsible for what is happening in Rafah and all the occupied Palestinian territories, a foreign ministry statement read.

Israel’s military denied striking a tent camp west of the city of Rafah on Tuesday after Gaza health authorities said Israeli tank shelling had killed at least 21 people there, in what Israel has designated a civilian evacuation zone.

Earlier, defying an appeal from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israeli tanks advanced to the heart of Rafah for the first time after a night of heavy bombardment, while Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognized a Palestinian state, a move that further deepened Israel’s international isolation.

Saudi Arabia reiterated that the Israeli forces’ blatant violation of all international and humanitarian laws and norms, amid the silence of the international community, exacerbates the unprecedented Palestinian humanitarian catastrophe, and puts the credibility of international legitimacy institution at stake.

“The Kingdom stresses the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities to stop the massacres against the Palestinian people and hold those responsible accountable,” the statement concluded.

- With Reuters. 


Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding

Updated 28 May 2024
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Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding

  • Deal aims to advance media sector in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft Arabia in Riyadh on Tuesday covering several areas of cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Assistant Minister of Media Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, and Ziad Mansour, Microsoft’s executive vice president of data and artificial intelligence.

Bassem Al-Hazmi, the general manager of digital transformation and information technology and the general manager of cybersecurity, was also present, along with the President of Microsoft Arabia Turki Badhris.

Cooperation will include developing technical aspects in the areas of data analysis, self-learning, AI, security and privacy solutions, and various software and service development solutions.

It will aim to raise the quality of local media content and keep pace with global transformations to serve the future goals of the Ministry of Media.

The memorandum also bids to advance the media sector in the Kingdom, enabling it to contribute to the local economy while benefiting from the developments of AI and its multiple applications in the field of media.


Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Updated 28 May 2024
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Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Mansour Al-Babtain is the vice president of commercial partnerships and liaison at the World Defense Show.

A former fighter pilot, Al-Babtain has extensive experience working with high-level government figures and private-sector leaders.

He joined the WDS in April 2021. His current role is to oversee the sales, sponsorship and customer experience divisions, in addition to maintaining his liaison responsibilities with Saudi government entities including the General Authority for Military Industries and international delegations.

The department links WDS business owners with the appropriate government entities, ensures the security of the location and people prior to, during and following the show, and manages WDS committees.

From the initial show license to security support, Al-Babtain effectively manages the challenges of ensuring the smooth entry and exit of military supplies, technology, and personnel.

Having graduated from King Faisal Air Academy, he served 12 years in the Royal Saudi Air Force as a fighter pilot, squadron leader and tactical intelligence officer before moving to the Ministry of Defense and later to several government entities.

In addition to his degree in aerial sciences, Al-Babtain holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from Air University in Alabama and a diploma in diplomatic and political relations from the International Arbitration Commission in Cairo.
 


AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

Updated 28 May 2024
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AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

RIYADH: Intellectual property and artificial intelligence will be discussed at a regional meeting of the Arab League’s Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Department on Wednesday.

The virtual gathering, which will be hosted via video link, will include experts from the World Intellectual Property Organization and governmental intellectual property offices from several Arab nations, reported Saudi Press Agency.

Key topics on the agenda are optimizing intellectual property frameworks for AI development, the impact of AI on patenting processes, legislative efforts to address legal challenges, and implications of AI for copyright regulations.

Minister Plenipotentiary Dr. Maha Bakheet, director of legal affairs at the Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Department, said the meeting aimed to safeguard AI models through intellectual property mechanisms and enhance services.

It also hopes to drive service delivery and management progress within regional intellectual property offices.