Bienalsur Opens at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax

The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third edition of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South – Bienalsur – at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax (SAMoCA). (SPA)
The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third edition of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South – Bienalsur – at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax (SAMoCA). (SPA)
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Bienalsur Opens at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax

The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third edition of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South – Bienalsur – at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax (SAMoCA). (SPA)
The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third edition of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South – Bienalsur – at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax (SAMoCA). (SPA)

The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third edition of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South – Bienalsur – at Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art at Jax (SAMoCA), said a statement from the ministry on Wednesday.

The exhibition, titled “Imagine: Fantasies, Dreams, Utopias”, presents the artworks of 26 renowned artists from Saudi Arabia and the world. Displayed in SAMoCA’s interior as well as external spaces, the exhibition extends its reach to the JAX District with a presence that modifies the perception of space to reveal new and unexpected aspects that shed light on fantasy and creativity.

Part of the exhibition is showcased at Fenaa Alawwal’s cultural center in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh. Titled “Blur the borders”, it displays artworks that are the product of the cross-residencies of six photographers from Saudi Arabia, France and Argentina who engaged in an inspiring cross-cultural dialogue and encounter.

In 2019 Saudi Arabia made history as the first Middle Eastern country to host the exhibition at the National Museum in Riyadh. In 2021, Bienalsur returned to Saudi Arabia with installations at Jax District in Riyadh and Khuzam Palace in Jeddah, welcoming over 20 artists from five continents, including five artists from Saudi Arabia.

SAMoCA’s hosting of the third edition of Bienalsur reflects its commitment to promote cultural exchange and elevate the local cultural and artistic scene in line with the Ministry of Culture’s mission to promote culture as a way of life.



Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth Section of Large Ramses II Statue

A section of a limestone statue of Ramses II unearthed by an Egyptian-US archaeological mission in El Ashmunein, south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt in this handout image released on March 4, 2024. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via REUTERS
A section of a limestone statue of Ramses II unearthed by an Egyptian-US archaeological mission in El Ashmunein, south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt in this handout image released on March 4, 2024. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via REUTERS
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Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth Section of Large Ramses II Statue

A section of a limestone statue of Ramses II unearthed by an Egyptian-US archaeological mission in El Ashmunein, south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt in this handout image released on March 4, 2024. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via REUTERS
A section of a limestone statue of Ramses II unearthed by an Egyptian-US archaeological mission in El Ashmunein, south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt in this handout image released on March 4, 2024. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via REUTERS

A joint Egyptian-US archaeological mission has uncovered the upper part of a huge statue of King Ramses II during excavations south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt's tourism and antiquities ministry said on Monday.
The limestone block is about 3.8 meters (12.5 feet) high and depicts a seated Ramses wearing a double crown and a headdress topped with a royal cobra, Bassem Jihad, head of the mission's Egyptian team, said in a statement.
The upper part of the statue's back column shows hieroglyphic writings that glorify the king, one of ancient Egypt's most powerful pharaohs, Reuters quoted him as saying.
Also known as Ramses the Great, he was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt and ruled from 1,279 to 1,213 BCE.
The size of the statue when combined with its lower section, which was unearthed decades ago, would reach about 7 meters.
The city of El Ashmunein, on the west bank of the River Nile, was known in ancient Egypt as Khemnu and in the Greco-Roman era was the regional capital of Hermopolis Magna.
Studies have confirmed that the upper part of the statue is a match for the lower section discovered by German archaeologist Gunther Roeder in 1930, said Mustafa Waziri, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The mission has begun cleaning and preparing the block ahead of modelling what the statue would look like when the two sections are combined, Waziri said.


Saudi Students Win Gold, Silver Medals in Gulf Arab Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition

Saudi students won two gold medals and one silver medal in the Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition hosted by Sharjah City. SPA
Saudi students won two gold medals and one silver medal in the Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition hosted by Sharjah City. SPA
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Saudi Students Win Gold, Silver Medals in Gulf Arab Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition

Saudi students won two gold medals and one silver medal in the Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition hosted by Sharjah City. SPA
Saudi students won two gold medals and one silver medal in the Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition hosted by Sharjah City. SPA

Saudi male and female students won two gold medals and one silver medal in the Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition hosted by Sharjah City, the United Arab Emirates. The event was organized by the Arabic Language Education Centre for the Gulf States (ALECGS), affiliated with the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS).

Abdulrahman bin Saad bin Mohammed Talian from the Education Department in Al-Kharj Governorate secured the gold medal at the Gulf level in the poetry category.

Bassam bin Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Rajhi from the General Department of Education in Riyadh Region got the gold medal in the Novel Category.

Al-Jawhara bint Hassan bin Ali Al-Omari from the General Department of Education in Asir Region secured the silver medal in the Story Category.

The Poetry, Story, and Novel Competition is a newly established contest held for the first time at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) level. It is organized and supervised by the ALECGS in Sharjah.
The competition aims to deepen loyalty and belonging to the Arabic language as one of the most important tools for enhancing national identity.


Othman bin Affan Mosque, a 1200-Year-Old Building in Historic Jeddah

The Jeddah Historic District Program unveiled the findings of the archaeological excavations at Othman bin Affan Mosque as part of the first phase of the Archaeology Project in Historic Jeddah. (SPA)
The Jeddah Historic District Program unveiled the findings of the archaeological excavations at Othman bin Affan Mosque as part of the first phase of the Archaeology Project in Historic Jeddah. (SPA)
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Othman bin Affan Mosque, a 1200-Year-Old Building in Historic Jeddah

The Jeddah Historic District Program unveiled the findings of the archaeological excavations at Othman bin Affan Mosque as part of the first phase of the Archaeology Project in Historic Jeddah. (SPA)
The Jeddah Historic District Program unveiled the findings of the archaeological excavations at Othman bin Affan Mosque as part of the first phase of the Archaeology Project in Historic Jeddah. (SPA)

The Jeddah Historic District Program unveiled the findings of the archaeological excavations at Othman bin Affan Mosque as part of the first phase of the Archaeology Project in Historic Jeddah, according to a press release from the program SPA said on Monday.
The excavations unearthed significant details about the mosque's history, including numerous artifact fragments, some dating back nearly 1,200 years.
The release stated that the archaeological excavations revealed that the mosque underwent numerous renovations and reconstructions over its long history. Aside from its latest, modern form, which was constructed sometime during the 14th century AH (late 20th century AD), all previous architectural phases followed the traditional style of mosques in the region at that time, with an open courtyard leading to a roofed prayer hall.
The mosque's size, orientation and mihrab niche remained essentially unchanged for over a thousand years.
Changes in the mosque primarily occurred in the elevation and flooring style. Clay tile and plaster flooring eventually led to flagstone, which remained in use for approximately 400 years. The floor level was periodically elevated during renovations, and the same flagstone flooring was reused until the early 20th century AD.
Moreover, alongside the significant changes that occurred in the mosque was the construction of an underground cistern system beneath the building. Archaeologists found cisterns "sealed and filled with crystal-clear water, left untouched by their builders for almost 800 years," the press release added. The construction of such underground cisterns was commonplace in historic Jeddah, given the city's scarce water supply.
The 1200-year-long history of the Othman bin Affan Mosque is illustrated by thousands of archaeological finds discovered during the excavation, from fragments of the 11th century AH (17th century AD) Chinese blue and white porcelain and 4th-6th century AH (11th-13th century AD) Chinese so-called Celadon ware with a pleasing soft green-grey colored glaze.
One of the earliest artifacts unearthed in the mosque are fragments of white, green and yellow glazed pottery dated by experts to the 3rd- 4th century AH (9th-10th century AD).


Saudi Ministry of Culture to Participate in LEAP 2024

The Ministry of Culture will take part in the third edition of LEAP 2024 Tech Conference. (SPA)
The Ministry of Culture will take part in the third edition of LEAP 2024 Tech Conference. (SPA)
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Saudi Ministry of Culture to Participate in LEAP 2024

The Ministry of Culture will take part in the third edition of LEAP 2024 Tech Conference. (SPA)
The Ministry of Culture will take part in the third edition of LEAP 2024 Tech Conference. (SPA)

The Ministry of Culture will take part in the third edition of LEAP 2024 Tech Conference, slated to be held from March 4 to 7, at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Center, SPA said on Monday.
The ministry will participate under the theme “Into New Worlds”, as the diamond sponsor of LEAP, in which the ministry's pavilion will showcase efforts in preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Kingdom with the latest technical methods.
The pavilion will embrace a digital environment that allows users to experience many cultural activities and attractions around the Kingdom. The pavilion also exhibits cultural attractions such as the history march, and sectors dedicated to music, art, history, and handicrafts.
Ten modern technologies that simulate artificial intelligence will be displayed in the pavilion, which provide a combination of cultural displays and digital innovation.


Saudi Post Issues Stamp to Mark Diriyah Season

The Saudi Post (SPL) issued on Sunday a commemorative stamp to mark Diriyah Season 2023-24. (Saudi Post)
The Saudi Post (SPL) issued on Sunday a commemorative stamp to mark Diriyah Season 2023-24. (Saudi Post)
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Saudi Post Issues Stamp to Mark Diriyah Season

The Saudi Post (SPL) issued on Sunday a commemorative stamp to mark Diriyah Season 2023-24. (Saudi Post)
The Saudi Post (SPL) issued on Sunday a commemorative stamp to mark Diriyah Season 2023-24. (Saudi Post)

The Saudi Post (SPL) issued on Sunday a commemorative stamp to mark Diriyah Season 2023-24.

The stamp, called “Entertain Your Cultural Curiosity, was issued in cooperation with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority and Diriyah Company.

Saudi Post stamps are issued based on the most prominent national or international events and occasions, making them an ideal choice for stamp collectors and historians worldwide.


Tourists Flock to AlUla's Gharameel Reserve for Endangered Species

The Gharameel nature reserve is a stunning expanse of desert wilderness renowned for its unique biodiversity (SPA)
The Gharameel nature reserve is a stunning expanse of desert wilderness renowned for its unique biodiversity (SPA)
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Tourists Flock to AlUla's Gharameel Reserve for Endangered Species

The Gharameel nature reserve is a stunning expanse of desert wilderness renowned for its unique biodiversity (SPA)
The Gharameel nature reserve is a stunning expanse of desert wilderness renowned for its unique biodiversity (SPA)

Located 60 kilometers north of AlUla city, northwestern Saudi Arabia, the Gharameel reserve is a stunning expanse of desert wilderness renowned for its unique biodiversity, for the variety of rock formations, and for its sand dunes and hills, SPA said on Sunday.
This remarkable landscape has made Gharameel a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world.
In a recent effort to enhance the reserve's natural beauty and ecological balance, the National Center for Wildlife and the Royal Commission for AlUla collaborated to release 14 Arabian oryx and 40 gazelles into the reserve.
The aim is to reintroduce locally endangered species, restore biodiversity, and promote environmental sustainability, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 goals.


King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language, Thailand's Prince of Songkla University Sign MoU

Photo by SPA
Photo by SPA
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King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language, Thailand's Prince of Songkla University Sign MoU

Photo by SPA
Photo by SPA

The King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language (KSGAAL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in the Kingdom of Thailand.
KSGAAL’s Secretary-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Washmi and PSU President Asst. Prof. Dr. Niwat Keawpradub signed the memorandum on the sidelines of the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) Conference held in Riyadh, SPA reported.
The MoU aims to strengthen cooperation in the field of the Arabic language by preserving its integrity by teaching the Arabic language to non-native speakers through proficiency tests, digital dictionaries, blogs, curricula, and tools related to the language services and consultations in areas of common interest.


Saudi Arabia, Jordan Discuss Ways to Strengthen Cultural Ties

General view of streets in Amman, Jordan. Reuters file photo
General view of streets in Amman, Jordan. Reuters file photo
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Saudi Arabia, Jordan Discuss Ways to Strengthen Cultural Ties

General view of streets in Amman, Jordan. Reuters file photo
General view of streets in Amman, Jordan. Reuters file photo

Saudi Ambassador to Amman Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi has met at his office in the embassy with the Jordanian Minister of Culture, Haifa Najjar.

During Wednesday’s meeting, they discussed ways to strengthen cultural relations between the two countries and emphasized the importance of promoting cooperation and cultural exchange.


Tunisia’s Religious Affairs Minister, Pakistani Delegation Visit Hira Cultural District in Makkah

Tunisia’s Minister of Religious Affairs and the delegation from Pakistan visited the Hira Cultural District. SPA
Tunisia’s Minister of Religious Affairs and the delegation from Pakistan visited the Hira Cultural District. SPA
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Tunisia’s Religious Affairs Minister, Pakistani Delegation Visit Hira Cultural District in Makkah

Tunisia’s Minister of Religious Affairs and the delegation from Pakistan visited the Hira Cultural District. SPA
Tunisia’s Minister of Religious Affairs and the delegation from Pakistan visited the Hira Cultural District. SPA

Tunisia’s Minister of Religious Affairs Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Shaibi has paid a visit to the Hira Cultural District in Makkah, where he toured the Revelation Exhibition and other venues in the district.

The minister commended on Wednesday the efforts exerted in introducing visitors to the stories of the Prophets.

A delegation from the Pakistan Navy War College also visited the Hira Cultural District and toured the Revelation Exhibition and other venues in the district.


Minister: Kuwait Theater Festival is Beacon of Culture, Art in Arab World

People look on as fireworks light the sky in Fahaheel district, 35 km South of Kuwait City on February 25, 2024, during the country's National Day celebrations. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
People look on as fireworks light the sky in Fahaheel district, 35 km South of Kuwait City on February 25, 2024, during the country's National Day celebrations. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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Minister: Kuwait Theater Festival is Beacon of Culture, Art in Arab World

People look on as fireworks light the sky in Fahaheel district, 35 km South of Kuwait City on February 25, 2024, during the country's National Day celebrations. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
People look on as fireworks light the sky in Fahaheel district, 35 km South of Kuwait City on February 25, 2024, during the country's National Day celebrations. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)

Minister of Information and Culture Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi said that the Kuwait Theater Festival, whose 23rd edition kicked off Wednesday, has been a beacon of culture and art in the Arab world since its launching in 1989.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Abdulhussain Abdulredha Theater in Salmiya, Al-Mutairi, the festival's sponsor, said since its inception, the Kuwaiti festival formed its identity and continued its march toward excellence and dissemination of the culture of diversity.

The Minister added that the festival has also become a platform for developing the theatrical movement in the country.

This year's edition coincides with Kuwait's national days' celebrations and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature (NCCAL), he said.

"We work at the NCCAL on implementing the directives of His Highness Emir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah on backing and encouraging culture and arts in Kuwait," the minister stated.

He said he was happy at the naming of Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Commission CEO Sultan Al-Bazie as the festival's guest and Kuwaiti artist Saad Al-Faraj the personality of this year's edition, honoring them as well as other dignitaries and artists.