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Culture & Art

MECCA IN THE 1880’S

More than two million pilgrims gathered last month in Mecca for the Hajj – the annual pilgrimage. The advent of photography in the mid-19th century is of crucial importance to the history of the Hajj. Two photographers – Muhammad Sadiq Bey and Al Sayyid Abd al Ghaffar–were able to capture…

A CREATIVE CITY

Following a meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee held in Bahrain last July, the Al-Ahsa oasis in Saudi Arabia which covers 8,544 hectares making it the largest oasis in the world, was one of nineteen sites around the world to be awarded world heritage status (see the August 2018 issue…

THE HUMAN FACE OF RAMADAN

For many of the world’s 1.8 billion muslims, the month of Ramadan represents an opportunity to try to partially detach themselves from the world and devote themselves to fasting, reciting the Koran, prayer and acts of charity. Each year, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) holds a photography contest around…

THE ISLAMIC WORLD THROUGH ART

The British Museum has announced that the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will open to the public on the 18th of October, 2018. Conceived as a major re-display of the Museum’s world-class Islamic collection, the new gallery will be a comprehensive presentation of the Islamic world through art…

THE 70th ANNIVERSARY OF NAKBA

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian exodus known as the “nakba” which means catastrophe. @70: Celebration of Contemporary Palestinian Culture which took place last month in London, was a week-long festival of theatre, dance, films and talks. Every year on May 15, Palestinians around the world, who…

4DX DEBUTS IN RIYADH

In an agreement announced last month, South Korea’s CJ 4DPLEX will partner with Cinemacity, one of the Middle East’s leading cinema developers and operators, to open three 4DX locations in Saudi Arabia by the end of this year. Al Qasr Mall, featuring 19 screens, will be the first multiplex in the Saudi capital, Riyadh and…

WHOLE-ISTIC

It’s often the case that a different, arguably deeper, understanding of a country can come from its arts and culture, not least the contemporary art that is being produced. At a time of such momentous political, economic and cultural change, “Saudi Cultural Days” was very much about struggles to reconcile…