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Effect of forest fires showcased in Abha art exhibition – Arab News

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JEDDAH: An art exhibition titled “Find Me Through the Fog” highlights the crises of the forest fires in Abha in 2020 through the work of eight local artists.
The exhibition, which opened on March 19 and runs until April 9, takes place in the historic Al-Muftaha village in Abha.
It showcases different aspects of the forest ecosystem, and the outcome of the fires.
Hatem Al-Ahmad, a multidisciplinary artist participating in the exhibition, told Arab News: “The driving force for the work and the project, in general, is, for me at least, how to take a positive stance with nature that surrounds us, especially the forests.
“I had the important question, as an artist: Can I be a person who thinks after the event? In my work I don’t care about what happened in the past, I care about how we act in the present and what is our responsibility towards this environment.”
The fires destroyed an area of more than 4.7 million square meters before being brought under control by the Saudi Civil Defense. Tens of thousands of perennial trees — including wild olives, neems, junipers, and acacias, some of which were more than 50 years old — were destroyed.
Through his work presented in the exhibition, Al-Ahmad said: “I tried to invent, or to take an external practice related to, agricultural engineering or garden practices, and insert them as an element to help the trees recover faster.
“I worked with a two-part compound, one called copper sulfate, and the other calcium hydroxide compound; once combined with each other, it gives us something to help the trees recover from the cracks, the fires, and the damage done, and help speed up the healing process,” he said.
“I felt that I had to stand a positively with our surrounding environment and help with its recovery. ”
The exhibition is part of the Visual Arts Commission’s effort to provide local artists with the platform to shed light on environmental challenges surrounding the forests ecosystem, with the aim of raising awareness of the impacts resulting from the fires, and the importance of conservation efforts to preserve the forests in the region.
“When you’re on a visit to the fire location or you’re looking at these fires, you can feel the pain that an important part of the environment, the forests, is missing or parts of it. I felt it was our responsibility as artists to focus on the concept of the accident and what happened to the forests but with different points of view,” said Al-Ahmad.
“My point of view was whether I, as an artist, could provide two types of service, a community service that supports in raising the awareness among the volunteers who were part of the recovery project, and the second part was, as an artist, I have the ability to show solidarity and compassion with my environment. And I was able to accomplish the two concepts throughout this project,” he added.
The exhibition also showcases the work of artists Mohammed Al-Faraj, Alaa Tarbzouni, Fahad bin Nayef, Ayman Zedani, Saeed Gabaan, Aziz Jamal, and Reem Al-Nasser. It includes a children’s digital catalog designed by local artist Sara Abdu.
JEDDAH: After the resounding success in the first edition of the Gifted Arabs initiative, the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization on Wednesday launched its second edition.
The announcement was made during a ceremony, held in honor of the winners of the first version of the initiative, which was launched last April.
The event was held in Riyadh under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture and chairman of the National Committee for Education, Culture and Science.
Speaking to Arab News, Mawhiba Secretary-General Dr. Saud bin Saeed Al-Mathami said that Mawhiba is a leading international institution in discovering, nurturing, and empowering talented students.
“Mawhiba has the most comprehensive talent-nurturing program in the world. In cooperation with the Education and Training Evaluation Commission, Mawhiba has developed a scientific scale for discovering Arab talents, taking into account the various cultural differences,” he said.
In his speech at the launch, Al-Mathami said that there should be an Arabic program to take advantage of artificial intelligence, technology, and the Internet, pointing out that such a project requires cooperation between students, families, schools, and governments.
Al-Mathami stressed that Mawhiba is a Saudi success story, and that Saudi Arabia has shared its experience in discovering, nurturing, and investing in talented young people to pursue a prosperous Arab world.
Addressing students all over the region, Al-Mathami said: “The era of teacher-centered classrooms has ended, and the task has moved from teachers and schools to the learners themselves. With their talent, these students will transfer societies to the horizons of progress and advancement.”
Addressing teachers and school officials in the Arab world, the secretary-general urged them to pay attention to “students who show boredom” in class, and to “provide additional enrichment programs, give them more time to develop their abilities and skills, and direct their talent to the academic fields that suit their talent.
“When a student is classified as ‘talented’ in a certain field, their personality will drastically change once they know about their talents. Their determination and thinking will also rise to higher levels.”
In his speech, Al-Mathami added that talented students normally need qualitative programs that take them to wider horizons, and develop their passion.
“With such programs, not only the talented people or their countries would benefit from their creativity, but also humanity and the whole world will reap the fruits of these gifted people’s minds.”
Al-Mathami then, along with Hani Al-Moqbel, the executive director at ALECSO, honored talented students and representatives of the ministries of education participating in the initiative from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Palestine, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania, Bahrain, and Oman.
In the 2021 edition of the initiative, some 230 Arab students scored the highest marks, representing 12 countries, with 57 students from Saudi Arabia, two from the UAE, 34 from Bahrain, eight from Qatar, 30 from Oman, 12 from Palestine, 20 from Jordan, 15 from Iraq, two from Yemen, 15 from Tunisia, nine from Mauritania and 26 from Libya.
These gifted students were divided into three categories: Exceptional talents, talented students, and promising ones. Mawhiba last year said it would provide a package of programs to develop the capabilities of the qualified Arab talents.
The foundation added that it would also provide the “exceptional talents” with several in-person and remote care programs, including an excellence program for enrollment in prestigious universities.
According to Al-Mathami, the support would also include offering counseling, guidance, leadership programs, and the Mawhiba Universal Enrichment Program and Mawhiba Academic Enrichment Program, which cover scientific studies and skills of the 21st century.
The secretary-general added that the students in the “promising talent” category would be enrolled in the Mawhiba Academic Enrichment Program remotely. He told Arab News that Mawhiba “strongly believes in the role that school teachers can play in developing talented students.”
He added: “School teachers are our main partners. Mawhiba has so far trained more than 200,000 teachers systemically. These teachers have helped in training their colleague teachers in their schools.”
Al-Mathami said that most of the talented students Mawhiba has discovered were a result of this “fruitful” partnership.
“All our teachers should further learn how to discover talented students in classrooms so that we don’t lose a talent that should have been spotted and nurtured,” he said.
Meanwhile, Al-Mathami revealed that Mawhiba is collaborating with the Saudi Ministry of Culture to launch a national project that focuses on discovering creative people in the Kingdom.
Mawhiba provides enrichment programs in more than 20 scientific tracks, including mechanical engineering, aviation, robotics, electrical engineering, space and more. Its students have won 456 international awards and 83 awards at the International Science and Engineering Fair, of which 53 were medals and certificates of appreciation awarded in 2021.
RIYADH: The Saudi Falcons Club and Sela signed on Thursday a partnership agreement to develop an exhibition center and leisure complex at the club’s headquarters in Malham, north of Riyadh.
The agreement was signed by Hossam Al-Hazimy, CEO of the Saudi Falcons Club, and Sela Managing Director Dr. Rakan Al-Harthy.
According to the agreement, Sela will invest in 9.3 million square meters of the total land, which covers 27.7 million square meters. The investment includes an international exhibition center, desert resort and commercial markets.
Sela will also develop the complex to include an airstrip equipped to receive international delegations and operate and manage the leasing of the hotel, resort and commercial spaces.
In addition to enhancing the revenue potential of the Saudi Falcons Club, the agreement serves to bolster activities and events that contribute to the promotion of Saudi falconry, a press release said.
The exhibition center will host world-leading programs for falconry, helping to preserve traditions and transfer knowledge to the next generation.
 
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of State Security, in coordination with the US Treasury Department, blacklisted 25 people and entities for their involvement in facilitating the financial activities of the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
The designated individuals are listed as follows:
1. Chiranjeev Kumar Singh
2. Abdo Abdullah Dael Ahmed
3. Konstantinos Stavridis
4. Said Ahmad Muhammad Al-Jamal
5. Manoj Sabharwal
6. Jami Ali Muhammed
7. Hani Abd Al-Majid Muhammad Asad
8. Abdi Nasir Ali Mahamud
9. Talib Ali Husayn Al-Ahmed Al-Rawi
10. Abdul Jalil Mallah
The designated entities are listed as follows:
1. Aurum Ship Management FZC
2. Peridot Shipping & Trading LLC
3. JJO General Trading Gıda Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi
4. Garanti Ihracat Ithalat Kuyumculuk Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi
5. Al-Foulk Trading Co LLC
6. Al-Alamiyah Express Company for Exchange and Remittance
7. Al-Hadha exchange Company
8. Adoon General Trading LLC Gıda Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim
9. Swaid and Sons for Exchange Co
10. Adoon General Trading LLC
11. Moaz Abdalla Dael for Import and Export
12. Fani Oil Trading FZE
13. Adoon General Trading FZE
14. Triple Success MOI9167148 (vessel)
15. Light Moon MOI9109550 (vessel)
All funds and assets of those listed above will be frozen, the Kingdom’s Presidency of State Security said.
“Financial institutions, Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions, and natural and legal persons are prohibited from engaging in any direct or indirect transactions with them, on behalf of them, or for their interests” a presidency statement said.
SAN MARINO: Saudi Arabia and San Marino, the oldest republic in the world, have agreed to increase tourism cooperation during a visit by the Kingdom’s Tourism Minister Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb.
He met with San Marino’s Foreign Secretary Luca Beccari and Tourism Secretary Federico Pedini Amati.
Nestled in the northeast of Italy a few miles away from Rimini, a very popular beach location, San Marino has been an independent state for 1,720 years and has a population of nearly 34,000.
With its medieval buildings, fine monuments and iconic landscapes, it is a very well-known attraction for visitors to the Riviera Romagnola.
A group of experts from San Marino and Saudi Arabia will work together “to foster the development of an important sector for the economy,” according to a media event attended by Arab News.
Pedini Amati said further cooperation will be established “so that the two countries will deepen the knowledge of their respective challenges on the horizon and evaluate the opportunities for collaboration and exchange, and to consider the opportunities for mutual investments.”
Saudi Arabia recently launched its Digital Tourism Strategy, which is designed to increase tourist inflows. Riyadh is a candidate city to host the World Expo 2030.
Saudi Arabia and San Marino have begun to consider collaborations and common initiatives at the UN’s World Tourism Organization.
Pedini Amati will pay an official visit to Riyadh in June at the invitation of Al-Khateeb, who said: “Learning from San Marino will be an honor. We will work together to build better tourism.”
The Kingdom “can learn from San Marino, a historic country full of attractions, and from its long tourism tradition,” he added.
“This is the beginning of a long and successful collaboration, and I look forward to hosting Secretary Pedini Amati for the UNWTO meeting in June in Saudi Arabia.”
RIYADH: Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi deputy minister of defense, patronized the graduation ceremony of the 19th group of King Abdullah Air Defense College cadets, the Saudi Press Agency reported on early Thursday.
He attended the ceremony on behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Commander of the college Major general Mohammed Al-Balawi said that the cadets studied for three years at the college in Taif, where they provided with knowledge and rehabilitation using the latest education and training means under the supervision of elite teachers and instructors.
He added that since the college receives cadets from other countries annually, this batch included cadets from Bahrain, Mauritania, Djibouti, Yemen, and Sudan.
After the parade, the cadets performed the oath, and then Prince Khaled honored the high achieving cadets.
On Wednesday, 228 female Saudi cadets graduated from the General Directorate of Passports military training course, where they completed their fourth basic individual training.
They were honored during a ceremony patronized by Lt. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya, the directorate’s director general, under the patronage of Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, the minister of interior.

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