Mohammed Sawaii Releases Selection of Palestinian Poems Translated into English

The book consists of a selection of poems written by 16 Palestinian poets from different generations.
The book consists of a selection of poems written by 16 Palestinian poets from different generations.
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Mohammed Sawaii Releases Selection of Palestinian Poems Translated into English

The book consists of a selection of poems written by 16 Palestinian poets from different generations.
The book consists of a selection of poems written by 16 Palestinian poets from different generations.

Banipal Publishing, London, released a Palestinian anthology, titled "The Tent Generations. Palestinian Poems", translated and edited by Mohammed Sawaii. The book consists of a selection of poems written by 16 Palestinian poets from different generations, from the Israeli-occupied territories of 1948, the lands occupied between 1967 and 1973, and the Palestinian diaspora in Arabic countries.

The poets of this collection were selected by Sawaii, Arabic professor at the University of Virginia, who also translated the poems published in this book into English.

This collection includes poems by prominent poets from the contemporary poetry movement in occupied Palestine, which started in the early 1960s among the Palestinians who persisted in their country after 1948, like Tawfiq Ziad, Samih al-Qasim, Rashid Hussein, Asma Tubi, and Salem Gibran, and poets from the following generation.

The book also includes poems of Palestinian poets who lived in the occupied territories after the full occupation of the historic Palestinian lands in 1967, like Fadwa Tuqan, Zaynab Habash, and Abdul Wahab Zahda, in addition to diaspora poets who were displaced to many Arab countries after the successive wars starting 1948, like Haroun Hashem Rashid, Muin Bseiso, Mahmoud al-Najjar, Youssef al-Deek, Youssef al-Khatib, and Mohammed al-Kaissi.

The collection published in English for the first time, also features an introduction that showcases the literary history of Palestinians, who persevered after the occupation, and struggled with the oppressive, military domination between 1948 and 1966.

It also explores the role of poetry in fighting the Israeli hegemony and embargo that affected people’s life in different aspects.

The introduction sheds light on the poetic production in Palestine since 1948, and provides short, translated biographies of the poets, English captions, as well as some historic, geographic, and historic explanations that help the foreign reader understand the Palestinian struggle.



Red Sea Global Releases First 'Red Sea Waves' Music Album

Red Sea Global (RSG) announced the release of its first 'Red Sea Waves' album, produced by its own Red Sea Studios
Red Sea Global (RSG) announced the release of its first 'Red Sea Waves' album, produced by its own Red Sea Studios
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Red Sea Global Releases First 'Red Sea Waves' Music Album

Red Sea Global (RSG) announced the release of its first 'Red Sea Waves' album, produced by its own Red Sea Studios
Red Sea Global (RSG) announced the release of its first 'Red Sea Waves' album, produced by its own Red Sea Studios

Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Global (RSG), the developer behind regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and Amaala, has announced the release of its first 'Red Sea Waves' album, produced by its own Red Sea Studios.
The creative team at Red Sea Studios -- led by Adham Alzanbagi in his role as Senior Manager, Content Production -- supervised the production of this unique album. The specialized team worked diligently to present an unprecedented musical experience that captures the essence of cultures and civilizations along the Red Sea coast.

The album is the result of considerable collaboration between Saudi, Egyptian, Sudanese, Somali, and other artists and musicians.
“Our Red Sea Studios team has delivered an exceptional musical experience stemming from our responsibility to provide an authentic and enriching guest experience at The Red Sea, through the promotion of cultural and artistic initiatives. Furthermore, releasing this album is a first step towards achieving our objective to establish a creative center in The Red Sea to serve as a hub for pooling local and international talents in various aspects of art and culture,” explained Eng. Ahmed Darwish, the group chief administrative officer at Red Sea Global.

“The Red Sea has always been an area of interest and a continuous source of inspiration for numerous artists at both regional and global levels. It embodies a rich scene of cultural heritage and a long history of arts. It's no wonder that its bordering countries enjoy a unique musical legacy, blending cultures and civilizations along its coasts,” he said.

The album features 12 tracks, each of which is characterized by a different genre and origin. The first track of the album stems from Yanbawi music, whereas later tracks are rooted in several musical cultures. These include a piece of music from the city of Suakin in Sudan, a Tohami song from Hodeidah in Yemen, Ngoni playing from West Africa, Balo Somali Music, and many others.

In collaboration with MDLBEAST, the album was also released on music-streaming platforms to allow a wider audience to enjoy the tracks and to further amplify Red Sea coastal music around the globe.


Cultural Development Fund Reviews Opportunities in Saudi Film Sector at Berlin Festival

Director Mati Diop receives the Golden Bear for Best Film for 'Dahomey' during the awards ceremony at the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 24, 2024. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Director Mati Diop receives the Golden Bear for Best Film for 'Dahomey' during the awards ceremony at the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 24, 2024. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Cultural Development Fund Reviews Opportunities in Saudi Film Sector at Berlin Festival

Director Mati Diop receives the Golden Bear for Best Film for 'Dahomey' during the awards ceremony at the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 24, 2024. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Director Mati Diop receives the Golden Bear for Best Film for 'Dahomey' during the awards ceremony at the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 24, 2024. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The Cultural Development Fund recently concluded its participation in the 74th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival.

At the festival, the fund joined the Saudi pavilion alongside various government agencies to attract top-notch establishments to enter the Saudi film market.

The fund also held meetings with filmmakers and investors to discuss potential cooperation in the film industry.

Throughout its participation, the fund showcased financing and investment opportunities it offers to both local and foreign enterprises and shed light on the promising Saudi film market. In addition, the fund participated in a dialogue session called "Discover the Richness of Cinema in the Kingdom.”

The Festival took place from February 15 to 25.

During this session, Program Development Department Director Faisal Al-Aseeri highlighted the fund's efforts to provide financing solutions that cater to the sector's needs.

He also discussed the fund's role in reducing investment risks in the sector.


King Abdulaziz University Wins Global 'Zero Project Award’ for 2024

King Abdulaziz University Wins Global 'Zero Project Award’ for 2024
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King Abdulaziz University Wins Global 'Zero Project Award’ for 2024

King Abdulaziz University Wins Global 'Zero Project Award’ for 2024

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) won the "Zero Project Award" for the third consecutive time, amidst participation from 523 candidates representing 97 countries.
On Saturday, KAU’s initiative "We Hear You: The Preparatory Year for the Deaf Students" was awarded at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

This award, presented annually, honors innovative projects and initiatives that aim to empower people with disabilities worldwide, SPA reported.
The university's third consecutive award is a testament to its commitment to sustaining its achievements, particularly in supporting students with disabilities.

This recognition also underscores the university's dedication to ongoing efforts aimed at enhancing the services offered to this demographic and prioritizing their participation in global events and celebrations.


The Other Profile, by Irene Graziosi. Translated by Lucy Rand.

Irene Graziosi
Irene Graziosi
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The Other Profile, by Irene Graziosi. Translated by Lucy Rand.

Irene Graziosi
Irene Graziosi

By Lovia Gyarkye

Kevin Systrom, a founder of Instagram, recently confessed that the platform he helped create had lost its soul. Gone are the days when friends and family shared photos with earnest and eager passion. Now, influencers reign supreme. No one is real. It’s “terrifying,” Systrom said on the journalist Kara Swisher’s podcast. “It’s this race to the bottom of who can be the most perfect.”

Maia, the sharp-tongued protagonist of Irene Graziosi’s debut novel, “The Other Profile,” already knows this. She thinks of Instagram profiles like vision boards — evidence of aspiration, not reflections of reality. Her own page counters the trend with an ascetic banality. She prefers not to be perceived.

Maia’s a depressed graduate school dropout living in Milan with her boyfriend, Filippo. He was a professor at the university where she was enrolled, and their courtship was a sweaty encounter of grief (Maia’s, after the death of her sister) and desperation (his). Now, their relationship is sustained by mutual ambivalence. Filippo wishes Maia would do more than eat gummy bears and watch Olivia Benson solve crimes on TV. Maia hates that Filippo dragged her away from Paris and into a city where he is respected and she is unknown.

Maia eventually gets a job — first as a bartender and then as an assistant to an influencer named Gloria, a teenager with millions of Instagram followers. “I’ll need someone who can help me in the public transition from being a high schooler to being ... something else,” Gloria tells her. As part of the job, Maia not only recommends books, writes speeches and composes social media captions, she is also expected to be Gloria’s soul.

Graziosi, the founder of a cultural YouTube channel and magazine, is particularly attuned to the language of the chronically online. Her novel, which is translated from the Italian by Lucy Rand, is at its most nimble when Maia observes influencer culture. The sponsored events, brand meetings and vague clichés about self-love are fodder for her acerbic judgments and acid humor. Gloria’s world is filled with frauds and Maia loves to call them out.

The pair’s relationship enters dangerous territory when Maia finds herself first obsessed with, and then consumed by, Gloria. A mandate issued by Gloria’s manager about her client still haunts me: “You have to give her a personality,” she tells Maia. “That’s how she works; she’s an empty vessel.” As Gloria extracts more and more from Maia, I kept waiting for the novel to make good on the suggestion of psychological thrill. But the stakes of Maia and Gloria’s increased mutual dependence hardly simmer. Graziosi divides attention between this parasitic bond, Maia’s failing relationship with Filippo and how Maia mourns her sister Eva.

Graziosi tries to knit these threads together to add layers of suspense and mystery, but her language struggles to keep up with the demands of the story. There’s an overreliance on direct exposition to carry us through scenes, which undercuts the charm and acuity of Maia’s wry voice in the novel’s early pages. It also softens any tension. Impatience creeps in as nervy prose is replaced with colorless revelations like: “I’m sometimes caught out by how much I’ve changed, even since the previous week. I can’t say precisely what these changes are.”

“The Other Profile” lumbers around, depriving us of specificity as it submits to cliché. By the end, I wondered what Maia, with her lacerating opinions, would think of this fate. How she might feel to know that the intensity of her relationship with Gloria had been tempered by the same hazy sentiments she once mocked. Maybe she’d shrug or, considering the way Systrom now feels about Instagram, maybe she’d find it kind of terrifying.

The New York Times


Eiffel Tower Operator Says Strike by Staff Has Ended, Site to Reopen on Sunday

 This photograph taken on February 23, 2024, shows the Eiffel Tower on a cloudy day in Paris. (AFP)
This photograph taken on February 23, 2024, shows the Eiffel Tower on a cloudy day in Paris. (AFP)
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Eiffel Tower Operator Says Strike by Staff Has Ended, Site to Reopen on Sunday

 This photograph taken on February 23, 2024, shows the Eiffel Tower on a cloudy day in Paris. (AFP)
This photograph taken on February 23, 2024, shows the Eiffel Tower on a cloudy day in Paris. (AFP)

A strike by staff at the Eiffel Tower has ended, the company that runs one of the most visited tourist sites in the world said in a statement on Saturday.

The tower will reopen on Sunday, the Societe d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), which is owned by Paris City Hall, added.

Workers at the Eiffel Tower went on strike on Feb. 19 in protest over the way the Paris monument is managed.

It came as Paris prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, which begin on July 26 and will feature metal from the tower in the winners' medals.

SETE and trade unions "reached an end-of-strike agreement stipulating that the parties will regularly review the company's business model, maintenance costs and sales through a body that will meet every six months", the company said.

SETE said visitors who bought tickets between Feb. 19-24 will get refunds.

Unions claim Paris City Hall, which owns 99% of SETE, is underestimating the cost of planned maintenance and repairs to the monument ahead of the Olympics.


Saudi Ministry Launches 1st National Cultural Metaverse Platform in the World

The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Ministry Launches 1st National Cultural Metaverse Platform in the World

The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Ministry of Culture announced Friday the launch of the first national initiative in the world of the Metaverse supported by the artificial intelligence system for Generative Media Intelligence (GMI), SPA said on Saturday.
The initiative is launched in partnership with droppGroup and its World's First 'Phygital' Metaverse using Hyper ledger Fabric 2.5 block chain technology, which is represented by the Saudi Heritage Metaverse platform.
The platform offers a mix of cultural shows, performances and digital innovation powered by GMI technology, and hosts a dynamic digital environment that allows users to experience many activities and attractions "in real life".
This includes engaging cultural attractions such as the History Walk, sectors dedicated to music, art, history, culinary arts, and crafts, as well as mini-video games. The Performance Center will also stream live events including the Founding Day Commencement Symphony Concert on the ministry's Metaverse platform.
The Ministry of Culture's Metaverse platform is a fully immersive, and web-based experience ready for Mobile XR, ensuring accessibility across a wide range of devices, whether through mobile phones, VR headsets, desktops and other digital devices, as the users are guaranteed a seamless entry into the Metaverse to embody the Ministry of Culture’s commitment to inclusivity, enabling a diverse global audience to explore and participate in the rich history of Saudi culture.
This experience enables millions from the Kingdom, and from all over the world, to experience Saudi events in the Metaverse, which represents a turning point in cultural participation, and this initiative represents a major leap in the future of cultural expression and participation.


Culture Ministry Launches ‘1727’ Competition to Mark Saudi Founding Day

The Ministry of Culture
The Ministry of Culture
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Culture Ministry Launches ‘1727’ Competition to Mark Saudi Founding Day

The Ministry of Culture
The Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture has announced the launch of the ‘1727’ competition, featuring a prize pool of 100,000 Saudi riyals on the occasion of Saudi Founding Day.

The competition, open to the general public, started Thursday and will run through Saturday. It entails a series of questions related to the establishment of the Saudi state by Imam Muhammad bin Saud in 1727 AD.

Participants will encounter eight diverse questions divided into four phases, with two questions per phase, focusing on the cultural and historical aspects of Founding Day.

Participants who correctly answer all questions, progressing through all phases, will qualify for a prize draw. Randomly, 100 winners will be chosen, each receiving 1,000 Saudi Riyals.

The competition is part of numerous activities and events presented by the Ministry of Culture to commemorate Founding Day, a source of immense pride for all Saudis. These events aim to engage all segments of society throughout the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia Unveils Exhibition Exploring Diriyah’s Natural and Built Landscapes

The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects to offer a wider lens into Diriyah and At-Turaif. SPA
The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects to offer a wider lens into Diriyah and At-Turaif. SPA
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Saudi Arabia Unveils Exhibition Exploring Diriyah’s Natural and Built Landscapes

The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects to offer a wider lens into Diriyah and At-Turaif. SPA
The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects to offer a wider lens into Diriyah and At-Turaif. SPA

“The Earthen Testaments,” a multidisciplinary exhibition exploring Diriyah’s natural and built landscapes through imagery, film, artifacts, and contemporary artworks commissioned from Saudi artists, has opened at Ségur Hall, UNESCO House, in Paris.

The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects to offer a wider lens into Diriyah and the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, the center of government of the First Saudi State and the ancestral home of the Saudi Royal family. Presented by the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, the exhibition will be on view February 22 to 29.

“We are thrilled to host this exhibition on the rich heritage of Diriyah and At-Turaif, its UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our collaboration is vital to our mission to protect cultural heritage sites and to bring their archaeological significance to life—not only for the Saudi people but also for the international community,” said Fahad bin Maayouf Al Ruwaily, the Saudi ambassador to France and Monaco and interim permanent delegate of the Kingdom to UNESCO.

“The Earthen Testaments presents, through the visionary work of contemporary Saudi artists, a window into the world of Diriyah and At-Turaif. For this enriching cultural exchange, we extend our sincere gratitude.”

According to Diriyah Gate Development Authority CEO Jerry Inzerillo, “As a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Kingdom, At-Turaif represents the birthplace and gateway to Saudi Arabia, and it is a privilege and great responsibility to share Diriyah’s stories, values, culture, art, and heritage with the world through this exhibition.”

The historical city of Diriyah, birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia situated along Wadi Hanifah, has been redefined as a thriving, vibrant center of culture, history, heritage, and knowledge that celebrates its storied landscape, history, heritage, and symbolic monuments.

The unique characteristics of the site have contributed to its status as a natural, cultural, and national landmark, with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif at its heart. The earthen structures of At-Turaif, a UNESCO site since 2010, stand today as a symbol of the heritage, traditions, values, and material forms that define Najdi culture and heritage.

The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects with contemporary responses from various Saudi artists, offering a wider lens into Diriyah’s heritage and values through material traces. Artwork and film are juxtaposed with a selection of material excerpts, archival images, historical maps, poetry, and an interview with a descendent of the master builder of At-Turaif.

Numerous elements immerse visitors in the unique properties of At-Turaif and its intimate link between landscape, natural resources, and the history of place. The Earthen Testaments presents a glimpse into the story of this historical city and its people through an exploration of its materials.
The exhibition combines archeological fragments, archival photographs, film, poetry, and artwork by Saudi artists Rasha AlRashed (b.1985), Omar Abduljawad (b.1989), Ali AlSumayin and the collective Bricklab (Est. 2015).

In addition, the artisan Abdullah AlSayegh and the perfumer Bader AlHarqan have crafted a Diriyah-inspired giveaway. Visitors will be able to trace the material as witness to the stories of the Wadi and the archeological structures of the sites and experience the tangible and intangible heritage of the area, stepping into a site that stands today as the gateway to the establishment of the story of Saudi Arabia today.


Cultural Events Celebrate Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day

The events recall the story of the Kingdom's founding by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1727. (Saudi Ministry of Culture)
The events recall the story of the Kingdom's founding by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1727. (Saudi Ministry of Culture)
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Cultural Events Celebrate Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day

The events recall the story of the Kingdom's founding by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1727. (Saudi Ministry of Culture)
The events recall the story of the Kingdom's founding by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1727. (Saudi Ministry of Culture)

The Saudi Ministry of Culture inaugurated on Thursday several events to commemorate the Kingdom's Founding Day, including music concerts that celebrate Saudi Arabia and the early days of its founding.

The events recall the story of the Kingdom's founding by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1727 and the heroics that helped build a stable and prosperous country on unified political foundations.

"Founding Nights", which concludes on Friday, features music and poetry that transport the audience on a journey through time to celebrate the Kingdom’s history. It brings together several poets and artists, who will sing popular songs that have resonated with the people for years.

The event was kicked off by artists Fuad Abelwahed and Abdullah al-Mana, who sang a number of national songs. The event also featured poetry readings by Saeed bin Mane and Fahad al-Shahrani.

The second night featured concerts by Majid al-Muhandis and Dalia Mubarak, who sang national songs that captivated the audience. It also included more poetry readings, featuring Suleiman al-Maneh and Abdullah Abyan.

The Ministry of Culture also opened an exhibit, "Path of History", that features several scenes and sculptures that reflect the values embodied in the founding.

The exhibit features 19 "scenes" that highlight significant events that have taken place since the founding in 1727 and until this day.

The Ministry is also organizing a musical concert, "The Symphony of the Beginning", which will be held on Sunday and Monday.

An orchestra will escort the audience on a journey through time to recount how Saudi Arabia was founded. Several celebrated Saudi poets and composers will take part in the event.


KAUST Launches 1st Initiative to Enhance Scientific, Sustainability Literacy for Children

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first educational initiative designed to enhance scientific and sustainability literacy for children. SPA
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first educational initiative designed to enhance scientific and sustainability literacy for children. SPA
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KAUST Launches 1st Initiative to Enhance Scientific, Sustainability Literacy for Children

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first educational initiative designed to enhance scientific and sustainability literacy for children. SPA
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first educational initiative designed to enhance scientific and sustainability literacy for children. SPA

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first educational initiative designed to enhance scientific and sustainability literacy for children, underscoring the critical role of science in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The initiative was launched in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in the Kingdom and "Frontiers for Young Minds," an open-access scientific journal dedicated to children.

The initiative, titled "The SDG Collection: How Science Can Help Us to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," includes a series of articles on each of the 17 SDGs and will be published in Frontiers for Young Minds.

The initiative builds upon previous partnership efforts between KAUST and the journal, which included a collection of scientific articles tailored for children and translated into Arabic. It made complex scientific concepts easily accessible and appealing to Arabic-speaking children worldwide.

The project aligns with Saudi Vision 2030, which emphasizes the role of sustainable research in stimulating social and economic development, and inspiring future generations to achieve sustainable development.

KAUST Professor of Practice of Sustainability and Head of Sustainability Ana Margarida Costa indicated that the initiative reflects the university's utilization of science and educational programs to address global challenges.

Through these scientific articles about SDGs collection, the aim is not only to educate young minds but also to inspire them to take concrete actions for a sustainable world, said Costa.

“The collection, edited by KAUST experts, will feature contributions from KAUST's diverse pool of researchers and will leverage an in-person, interactive, peer-review process involving students from local schools, including the KAUST School (TKS),” Costa added.

KAUST Enrichment for Youth Director Nicki Talbot, currently leading the engagement with TKS, emphasized that the initiative allows children to participate in reviewing research papers authored by KAUST researchers, which is a wonderful example of the university's commitment to empowering and educating youth.

Talbot also pointed out that it would involve the inclusion of new audiovisual materials, such as talk shows and interviews with authors led by students, to bridge the gap between researchers and children.

Talbot noted that the initiative’s translation into Arabic would improve its accessibility, ensuring that children throughout the Kingdom and the Arab region can fully benefit from this educational resource aimed at raising awareness about the global sustainable development agenda.