‘New Method to Read Historic Texts’…New Book by Palestinian Researcher Khaled Hussein Ayoub

Book, Khaled Ayoub
Book, Khaled Ayoub
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‘New Method to Read Historic Texts’…New Book by Palestinian Researcher Khaled Hussein Ayoub

Book, Khaled Ayoub
Book, Khaled Ayoub

Dar Kanaan Publishing, Damascus, released ‘New Method to Read Historic Texts’, a new book by Palestinian researcher Khaled Hussein Ayoub.

“The book features historic texts from Italy, Cyprus, Turkey, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, dating back to the first millennium BC. It showcases the wrong grammar methods that researchers used to read these historic texts, based on virtual grammar rules, which are no more than a tool to distort the real meanings of these texts. It also seeks to refute the purposes behind distorting and falsifying facts,” he said in the introduction.

Ayoub explains that “the conventional studying method of the languages dubbed ‘semitic’ is based on five main rules, in addition to the omission and replacement of letters from and in the historic text. These rules are voicing three letters, insertion of four letters, projection of eight letters, and replacement of letters in 66 cases; the total replaceable letters are 81. There is also the place changing rule which allows to change the place of the entire alphabet…setting rules that cause chaos instead of firm, strict ones that regulate the text is just an insult for the mind and logic.”

The researcher says the historic texts he studied are not prose, but mostly poems. In his book, he compared their poetic characteristics, composed poem samples, and found that both the original and the sample poems matched in the digital demonstration. He notes that the poetic style had an important impact on the reading of these texts, as it doesn’t allow any addition or omission of letters, because alterations applied according to the conventional method could disturb the poetic balance.



Saudi Translation Movement Witnesses Surge in Publications

Translation has become an urgent necessity to keep pace with civilizational progress and exchange of knowledge (SPA)
Translation has become an urgent necessity to keep pace with civilizational progress and exchange of knowledge (SPA)
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Saudi Translation Movement Witnesses Surge in Publications

Translation has become an urgent necessity to keep pace with civilizational progress and exchange of knowledge (SPA)
Translation has become an urgent necessity to keep pace with civilizational progress and exchange of knowledge (SPA)

A Saudi initiative has translated ancient Arabic poems into Italian, making them accessible to a wider audience in an effort to showcase Arab literary heritage and culture on a global scale.

The translated book of odes presents the first complete Italian edition of these poems.

Supported by the “Tarjim” initiative by the Saudi Authority for Literature, Publishing, and Translation, this move highlights the Kingdom’s vibrant cultural scene since the launch of the National Culture Strategy in 2021.

The latest cultural report from Saudi Arabia’s Culture Ministry highlighted the success of the Tarjim initiative. This initiative aims to boost Saudi publishing and translation efforts.

In 2022, it translated 524 works into 12 languages, with English leading at 75.37%, followed by French at 10.26%.

The initiative translated 341 books from 26 publishers across 20 subjects, with male translators making up about 72% of the translations. The remaining 28% was done by female translators.

Novels ranked third in translated works at around 15%, after educational children’s books and philosophy.

In 2023, the initiative saw even more success, translating over a thousand editions between Arabic and other languages, involving about 22 global languages and engaging over 500 international translators.


Saadiyat Cultural District Abu Dhabi on Track for Completion in 2025

DCT Abu Dhabi reaffirmed that Saadiyat Cultural District, along with its cultural institutions, is on track for completion in 2025. WAM
DCT Abu Dhabi reaffirmed that Saadiyat Cultural District, along with its cultural institutions, is on track for completion in 2025. WAM
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Saadiyat Cultural District Abu Dhabi on Track for Completion in 2025

DCT Abu Dhabi reaffirmed that Saadiyat Cultural District, along with its cultural institutions, is on track for completion in 2025. WAM
DCT Abu Dhabi reaffirmed that Saadiyat Cultural District, along with its cultural institutions, is on track for completion in 2025. WAM

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has reaffirmed that Saadiyat Cultural District, along with its cultural institutions, is on track for completion in 2025, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Saadiyat Cultural District is a global platform, emanating from a rich cultural heritage, celebrating traditions, and advancing equitable culture. It is an embodiment of empowerment, showcasing museums, collections, and narratives that celebrate the region’s heritage while promoting a diverse global cultural landscape, WAM said Wednesday.

Once completed, the diversity of Saadiyat Cultural District’s institutions will make the district one of the most unique cultural platforms. It is already the home of Louvre Abu Dhabi – the first universal museum in the Arab world – showcasing artworks from different cultures side by side and telling a story of human connections. Since opening in 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi has welcomed 5 million visitors and is recognized for its breathtaking architecture and its innovative narrative. Nearby, Berklee Abu Dhabi offers music, performing arts and educational programs throughout the year.

Additionally, Manarat Al Saadiyat serves as a center for creative artistic expression and is home to two significant initiatives in Abu Dhabi’s cultural calendar: Abu Dhabi Art and Culture Summit Abu Dhabi.

The current construction progress of the soon-to-open institutions in Saadiyat Cultural District stands at 76 percent. Zayed National Museum, the national museum of the United Arab Emirates, will celebrate the nation’s rich history and culture, as well as honor the legacy of the country’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Additionally, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi invites visitors to an ever-changing exploration that will transcend the limits of their imagination.

It will be joined by the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, which will include a research and teaching institution that will take visitors on a 13.8 billion-year journey through the story of our universe and our planet, WAM said. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a museum celebrating art from the 1960s to the present and the most important artistic achievements of our time.

Saadiyat Cultural District pays homage to the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, who defined the cultural agenda and unveiled the history of the UAE to the world through archaeological excavations and findings. This legacy began with the establishment of Al Ain Museum, the first museum in the UAE, which opened in 1971. This was followed by the inauguration of the Cultural Foundation in 1981. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy continued to evolve under the guidance of the late Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Today, President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, continue to build on that legacy.


Quality of Life Program CEO: ‘Cultural Houses’ Are Integrated Hubs for Advancing the Saudi Cultural Scene 

The Cultural House in Dammam. (SPA)
The Cultural House in Dammam. (SPA)
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Quality of Life Program CEO: ‘Cultural Houses’ Are Integrated Hubs for Advancing the Saudi Cultural Scene 

The Cultural House in Dammam. (SPA)
The Cultural House in Dammam. (SPA)

CEO of the Quality of Life Program Center Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Baker commended on Tuesday the Cultural Houses established by the Libraries Commission in Dammam city and the Ahad Rafidah province, describing them as integrated cultural hubs.

Al-Baker said these Cultural Houses represent interactive cultural platforms that will provide a comprehensive cultural experience to various segments of society, in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

The inauguration of the Cultural Houses is part of an initiative to develop public libraries, one of the Quality of Life Program's initiatives aimed at boosting Saudi Arabia's contribution to arts and culture, he stated.

Al-Baker emphasized that the opening of the Cultural Houses marks a significant milestone in the Saudi cultural scene.

It signifies the birth of a modern and integrated cultural incubator that will contribute to the advancement of society and enable creators to discover their talents and develop their diverse skills, he went on to say.

He highlighted the objective of Vision 2030 to transform public libraries into vibrant cultural centers that reflect the diversity of creativity, art, and knowledge in the Kingdom.

"The Quality of Life Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and relevant entities, seeks to develop the cultural infrastructure," Al-Baker stated.

He also underlined the program's efforts to boost cultural sites and improve libraries as part of its initiatives to develop cultural facilities.


Saudi Minister of Culture Meets Japanese Counterpart in Tokyo 

Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud. (SPA)
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Saudi Minister of Culture Meets Japanese Counterpart in Tokyo 

Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud held talks on Tuesday with Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Dr. Masahito Moriyama in Tokyo.

The officials discussed means to boost cultural cooperation between their countries in light of the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030, which represents a translation of a long history of close cooperation and strategic partnerships between Riyadh and Tokyo.

The Saudi Minister praised the cultural cooperation achieved between the two friendly countries, stressing the importance of strengthening it and expanding its horizons in line with the ambitions of the two countries.

Prince Badr praised the great interest being given to the Kingdom’s participation in Expo 2025 Osaka and wished all success to the friends in Japan in hosting it.

In turn, the Japanese Minister thanked his guest for efforts exerted by the Saudi Ministry of Culture to boost cultural exchange between their countries.

He also highlighted the fruitful partnership with the Kingdom in many cultural sectors, hoping to deepen the cultural cooperation.


'Perfumes of the East' Exhibition Opens at National Museum in Riyadh

The National Museum in Riyadh inaugurated on Tuesday the Arab World Institute "Perfumes of the East" exhibition. (SPA)
The National Museum in Riyadh inaugurated on Tuesday the Arab World Institute "Perfumes of the East" exhibition. (SPA)
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'Perfumes of the East' Exhibition Opens at National Museum in Riyadh

The National Museum in Riyadh inaugurated on Tuesday the Arab World Institute "Perfumes of the East" exhibition. (SPA)
The National Museum in Riyadh inaugurated on Tuesday the Arab World Institute "Perfumes of the East" exhibition. (SPA)

The National Museum in Riyadh inaugurated on Tuesday the Arab World Institute "Perfumes of the East" exhibition, held in its first international stop under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan.

The institute invites visitors on an immersive journey, exploring the deep-rooted connection between the Arab world and perfume. Guests will embark on a sensory adventure, encountering the distinctive scents of the East and discovering the age-old traditions that imbued perfume with social significance in Arab culture, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

"Perfumes of the East" highlights the profound cultural and historical impact of perfume in the Arab world. The exhibition takes on to centuries-old rituals on the Arabian Peninsula, where precious aromatic materials were collected and traded with ancient civilizations. This old tradition fueled a passion for perfume that continues to permeate the entire Arab world.

Over 200 captivating artifacts and art works, both ancient and contemporary, are on display, weaving a captivating narrative of the enduring relationship between the Arab world and perfume.

The exhibition unfolds through distinct spaces: from the raw beauty of nature to bustling town streets and the intimate setting of a private home. The trajectory enables visitors to experience the evolution of perfume making through a blend of historical treasures and modern artistic expressions.

This exhibition aligns with the National Museum's commitment to celebrating Saudi Arabia's rich cultural heritage and the enduring legacy of Arab and Islamic civilization.

It offers a multi-faceted educational and cultural experience, enriched by accompanying workshops and seminars that delve into the composition of various perfumes, the intricate process of their creation, and the artistic design of perfume packaging.

The event runs through September 14.


Saudi Arabia’s ‘Houses of Culture’ Redefine Libraries, Enrich Local Communities

Libraries Commission CEO Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Asim (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Libraries Commission CEO Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Asim (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia’s ‘Houses of Culture’ Redefine Libraries, Enrich Local Communities

Libraries Commission CEO Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Asim (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Libraries Commission CEO Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Asim (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Saudi Culture Ministry’s Libraries Commission opened another “House of Culture” in one of Asir region’s provinces on Sunday, the second to open this month after one in the Eastern Region.

It’s part of a plan to revamp public libraries into vibrant cultural hubs in the area.

With Saudi Arabia’s cultural scene evolving since the launch of its National Culture Strategy, institutions are keen on embedding culture as a lifestyle.

They're focusing on enhancing the Kingdom’s library sector, with the first two cultural houses opening out of 153 planned across Saudi Arabia. These spaces aim to go beyond book storage, becoming platforms to uplift local communities’ quality of life.

In mid-June 2020, the Culture Ministry launched an initiative to upgrade public libraries nationwide.

The aim is to turn them into modern cultural hubs that cater to all segments of society, offering knowledge, participation, and interaction opportunities.

This move comes after a field study by the ministry on the status of libraries in Saudi Arabia.

Based on the findings, a development plan stretching until 2030 was crafted. The plan aims to establish 153 public libraries across all regions, all following the concept of “House of Culture,” blending library functions with cultural engagement.

On his part, Libraries Commission CEO Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Asim highlighted the need for a fresh approach to libraries.

He emphasized the importance of the new House of Culture concept, which aims to create interactive platforms serving diverse community needs, from education to entertainment and entrepreneurship.

Al-Asim underscored the significance of these cultural houses for Saudi Arabia’s social and cultural sectors, aligning with the goals of “Vision 2030.”

He expressed optimism that these initiatives will bring tangible benefits to society, encouraging investment in hobbies and interests, and fostering a vibrant cultural and social scene.

The cultural houses have diverse sections, including learning areas, a kids’ theater, a main stage, and a library with reading spaces.

Each house also offers innovation and tech spaces, along with essential facilities like prayer rooms, meeting areas, printing and computer services, a café, and a store.

These houses are part of the “Quality of Life” program, a key aspect of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 national transformation plan.

They aim to upgrade cultural infrastructure, establish cultural hubs, and improve public libraries to boost Saudi engagement in arts and culture as part of the Kingdom’s long-term vision.


Demise of Rangelands 'Severely Underestimated', Report Says

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Demise of Rangelands 'Severely Underestimated', Report Says

From camel drivers in the Sahara to nomads on the Mongolian steppe, traditional herders the world over rely on earth's wildest open spaces to support an ancient way of life.
But the expansive plains, tundra and savanna they inhabit are in much greater peril than previously thought, researchers said Tuesday in a major reassessment of the health of these crucial environments.
As much as half of all rangelands -- encompassing some of nature's most striking vistas from the Arctic to the tropics, deserts and mountains -- are believed to be degraded, the report said.
Mostly natural grasslands used by livestock and wild animals to graze, they also include scrubland, mountain plateaus, deserts and wetlands.
Climate change, urban expansion, population growth and the conversion of land for farming was fueling their destruction, said the report by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Rangelands were grossly undervalued and their "silent demise" had passed mostly unnoticed despite what was at stake, said UNCCD executive secretary Ibrahim Thiaw.
"We as humanity have to pay attention to this," he told AFP.
The "persistent loss and deterioration" of rangelands would be felt beyond the pastoralist communities who have adapted to life in these environments over centuries, the report said.
Climate ally
Healthy rangelands are an asset in the fight against global warming, locking away carbon in soil and spurring the growth of vegetation that pulls planet-heating CO2 from the atmosphere.
Traditional farming customs -- such as rotating grazing areas and conserving scarce resources in difficult times -- improved soil health and its capacity to store carbon, the report's lead author Pedro Maria Herrera Calvo told AFP.
Poor policy, neglect and large-scale rangeland mismanagement had eroded soils, releasing carbon rather than storing it, and stripped the earth of the nutrients needed to support plant and animal life.
Rangelands are biodiversity hotspots, providing habitats for Africa's most iconic wildlife, and pasture for one billion grazing animals, the report said.
They account for one-sixth of the world's food production, it added, and underpin many national economies.
They are also a cultural bedrock for half a billion pastoralist people in more than 100 countries, mostly poor and marginalized communities such as the Bedouin, Fulani and Saami.
A quarter of the world's languages are spoken among pastoral groups who call these places home.
"It is part of our heritage," said Thiaw. "Losing it would mean not only losing ecosystems and losing the economy, but losing our own culture."
'Voiceless and powerless'
Yet they are barely studied, said Calvo. Rosier outlooks did not reflect reality, and this reassessment by dozens of experts was long overdue, he added.
"We feel that the actual data estimating rangelands degradation around 25 percent is severely underestimated," he said. "We think that almost 35 -– even 50 percent –- of rangelands are already degraded."
Rangelands cover 80 million square kilometers -- more than half the land surface of earth. Protecting them would require policy that better supports the pastoralists who understand them best, the report said.
Instead of having a seat at the table however, nomadic communities were "voiceless and powerless", the report said.
Ignoring their wisdom in sustainably managing these complex environments -- or, worse still, forcing them off the land -- would only condemn these wild places and their custodians to an even bleaker future, Thiaw argued.
"It is important for this to be taken much more seriously."


ALECSO General Conference Praises Saudi Arabia's 'Gifted Arabs' Initiative 

The Gifted Arabs initiative is organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) in collaboration with ALECSO. (SPA)
The Gifted Arabs initiative is organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) in collaboration with ALECSO. (SPA)
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ALECSO General Conference Praises Saudi Arabia's 'Gifted Arabs' Initiative 

The Gifted Arabs initiative is organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) in collaboration with ALECSO. (SPA)
The Gifted Arabs initiative is organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) in collaboration with ALECSO. (SPA)

The Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) praised on Monday the Gifted Arabs Initiative that has played a significant role in supporting talented individuals across all Arab countries.

The initiative is organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) in collaboration with ALECSO, which held a General Conference in Jeddah on Monday.

The event was attended by Minister of Education and Vice Chairman of the Saudi National Committee for Education, Culture, and Science, Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Benyan, as well as ministers and heads of national committees for education and science from 22 Arab countries.

The initiative has been instrumental in creating an encouraging environment for talent and creativity in the Arab world for the third consecutive year.

It reflects the Kingdom's commitment to sharing its pioneering experience in discovering and nurturing talented students with the Arab world and supporting Arab youth in utilizing their energies and capabilities.

This is achieved through the development of a specialized assessment to identify talented and creative individuals in the Arab world, taking into account the diverse Arab environment and culture.

The assessment is based on a scientific methodology that incorporates the best global educational practices.


Louvre Abu Dhabi, Oman's National Museum Continue Cultural Exchange

This agreement continues the tradition of cultural exchange between the two museums. WAM
This agreement continues the tradition of cultural exchange between the two museums. WAM
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Louvre Abu Dhabi, Oman's National Museum Continue Cultural Exchange

This agreement continues the tradition of cultural exchange between the two museums. WAM
This agreement continues the tradition of cultural exchange between the two museums. WAM

Louvre Abu Dhabi and the National Museum of Sultanate of Oman (NM) have signed a new loan agreement, through which two distinguished pieces from Louvre Abu Dhabi's collection will be exhibited at the museum for one year, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

This agreement continues the tradition of cultural exchange between the two museums, offering visitors an insightful exploration of Islamic art and modern abstraction, WAM said.

The National Museum will feature the following artworks from the Louvre Abu Dhabi: a "Bowl with a Two-color Inscription" and "Homage to the Square,” it added.


Ministry of Culture, ALECSO Launch Arabic Observatory of Translation

Ministry of Culture, ALECSO Launch Arabic Observatory of Translation
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Ministry of Culture, ALECSO Launch Arabic Observatory of Translation

Ministry of Culture, ALECSO Launch Arabic Observatory of Translation

The Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission at the Ministry of Culture has joined forces with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) to launch a groundbreaking initiative: the Arabic Observatory of Translation.
The project is greatly important to the efforts to support and monitor translations from and into Arabic, spoken by over 350 million people worldwide, SPA reported.
Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission CEO Mohammed Hasan Alwan highlighted the Kingdom's leading role in fostering collaborative Arab cultural endeavors. The observatory, he said, is designed to build bridges of communication and enrich cultural content across the Arab world.
The observatory offers a dedicated digital platform specifically designed to cater to the needs of the Arab translators. The platform will provide a vast and valuable resource, offering a comprehensive database of translated works, said Alwan.
Aspiring scholars and researchers will also benefit from the research grants dedicated to the field of translation.
The platform will establish important networks for translators and publishers, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing across the Arab world.
The observatory is ALECSO's first regional body in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in its 54-year history.
Its key projects entail research grants, monitoring and documenting translated books, and providing valuable sources for publishing houses and translators.
The establishment of the Arabic Observatory of Translation is testimony to the commitment to foster a more vibrant and interconnected Arab world. Through the power of translation, the observatory has the potential to break down barriers, promote cultural exchanges, and enable the sharing of knowledge across the region.