Artist captures Saudi charm with digital works

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Drawing from the beauty of Saudi culture and traditions, many of Ghada Al-Shammari artworks depict men and women in tradition Najdi-style garments. (Supplied)
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Drawing from the beauty of Saudi culture and traditions, many of Ghada Al-Shammari artworks depict men and women in tradition Najdi-style garments. (Supplied)
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Updated 25 May 2024
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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.


Jeddah Season 2024 launching June 27

Jeddah Season 2024 will launch next week under the slogan “Once Again.” (@JEDCalendar)
Updated 5 sec ago
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Jeddah Season 2024 launching June 27

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.


Authorities implement more than 80 projects in Alkhobar

The Eastern Province municipality is currently implementing more than 80 development projects and programs in Alkhobar.
Updated 34 min 29 sec ago
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Authorities implement more than 80 projects in Alkhobar

  • The initiatives include neighborhood developments, road rehabilitation, new parks, and comprehensive development projects in various sectors

DAMMAM: The Eastern Province municipality is currently implementing more than 80 development projects and programs in Alkhobar governorate.

The initiatives include neighborhood developments, road rehabilitation, new parks, and comprehensive development projects in various sectors.

The goal is to improve the quality of life, create a model sustainable environment, and reinforce Alkhobar’s position as a tourist attraction and influential economic center.

The municipality indicated that the projects include a program to develop key and main roads, encompassing more than 38 roads in the governorate.

Efforts are also underway to improve traffic flow on several roads and intersections in the region by enhancing road network performance and raising traffic safety to meet international standards.

Additionally, the municipality is focused on the continued development of King Salman Bridge, including covering, beautifying and lighting the bridge walls as part of ongoing work to enhance bridges and tunnels.

 


Princess Nourah University launches Masar program

Summer program Masar was launched Sunday at the Students Career Support Center at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University
Updated 49 min 52 sec ago
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Princess Nourah University launches Masar program

  • Program aims to prepare female university students and graduates for the labor market by undertaking training courses at the headquarters of participating entities

RIYADH: The summer program Masar was launched on Sunday at the Students Career Support Center at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, with the participation of private sector entities.

The program aims to prepare female university students and graduates for the labor market by undertaking the necessary training courses at the headquarters of participating entities.

Masar is designed to strengthen competitive competencies to contribute to the Kingdom’s development, while enhancing students’ career readiness by providing them with professional skills and practical experience. The journey begins with personal and professional development and ends in training opportunities.

The summer program comprises a package of events and activities, including a career guidance camp organized in partnership with a training entity. The participating student is working toward a management certificate. The program also includes a virtual workshop, organized in partnership with Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University.

The events and activities are part of the Students Career Support Center’s efforts to contribute to achieving the PNU Strategic Plan 2025 by helping female students into the labor market and increasing their competitiveness, while enabling them to help to build the society of the future.


More than 1.4 million people visit Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa during last six weeks

More than 1.4 million people visited Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during the last six weeks. (SPA)
Updated 23 June 2024
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More than 1.4 million people visit Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa during last six weeks

  • The area of Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa is 330 square meters and has a capacity to accommodate 800 visitors per hour
  • 762,101 males and 641,539 females visited the sacred site between Dhul-Qadah 1 and Dhul-Hijjah 14

RIYADH: More than 1.4 million people visited Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during the last six weeks, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

762,101 males and 641,539 females visited the sacred site between Dhul-Qadah 1 and Dhul-Hijjah 14, SPA said.

The Holy Rawdah lies between the Sacred Chamber (known as the Prophet’s house), and the Prophet’s Minbar (or pulpit).This southeastern section of the Prophet’s Mosque is where his house once stood, where he lived with his wife Aisha bint Abu Bakr and is buried. It is of extremely great religious value to Muslims.

The area of Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa is 330 square meters and has a capacity to accommodate 800 visitors per hour, with each visitor spending an average of 10 minutes in the area.

Appointment bookings are verified through the Nusuk and Tawakkalna applications, and visitors scan their QR codes on arrival at the mosque. They are then directed to waiting areas before entering the holy area.


Saudi border guards foil smuggling attempts near Jazan

Updated 23 June 2024
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Saudi border guards foil smuggling attempts near Jazan

RIYADH: Border Guard land patrols have foiled an attempt to smuggle 135 kilograms of qat in Al-Dayer sector of Jazan Region. 
Also in Jazan region, border police thwarted an attempt to illegally transport 160 kilograms of qat in Al-Ardah. 
Legal procedures were followed, and the seized items were handed over to the concerned authority.
Meanwhile, two Pakistani residents attempting to sell 4.7 kilograms of methamphetamine in Jeddah. The individuals were referred to the Public Prosecution for legal action.