October 7, 2022

JEDDAH: Fashion brands in Saudi Arabia have unveiled special collections in celebration of the Kingdom’s National Day on Friday.
Fashion is a key part of a nation’s culture, according to the bosses of Jeddah-based brand Kaafmeem, especially in Saudi Arabia, which has its own distinctive traditions when it comes to dress for special occasions and social gatherings.
“National Day is an opportunity to showcase our tradition and celebrate; what’s better than celebrating in pieces that make you feel proud and confident?” said Karima Saleh, originally from Syria, Kaafmeem’s co-founder and chief creative officer.
To that end, Saleh said, through its designs her company aims to support women in their ongoing journeys of development and progress and as they pursue their careers.
It is “empowering her to celebrate herself and her country in unique and elegant modest clothing, while staying practical, helping her to move toward a brilliant future for herself and the country,” she said.
Saleh added that the patterns and designs of the company’s National Day collection, ULOO, looked to the landscapes of AlUla for inspiration, along with the country’s natural resources.
“The layers of the earth from which petrol is extracted were undoubtedly the perfect sources of inspiration for the ULOO collection,” she added.
When it came to choosing colors, Kaafmeem’s designers chose to combine the classic with the trendy: Green and purple expresses boldness, while black and beige are traditionally neutral shades.
As for materials, Saleh said they used delicate, sheer fabrics for some of their coats, and more practical fabrics for other pieces “to cover both elegant and comfortable aspects with elegant hand-made embroidery on the pieces.”
She added: “This collection provides the bold look of the modern, strong woman who likes to show her personality in a unique way.”
Mona Al-Haddad is the head of the design department at Lomar, which specializes in thobes and abayas.
“In the world of fashion, at Lomar we always try to showcase the identity of our Saudi heritage from the first day by preserving the identity of the dress in an innovative way,” she told Arab News.
“We developed patterns and designs drawn from various regions of the Kingdom, converting them into pieces of art and using them in thobes, abayas and headscarfs especially for the Saudi National Day.”
Each year, Al-Haddad said, Lomar celebrates National Day by creating specially designed thobes and abayas using certain materials and colors, in particular green, white and black.
The company also creates metal accessories designed to compliment the distinctive green color of the Kingdom’s flag in an innovative and contemporary way that it describes as unique to Lomar. Its 2022 National Day collection is inspired by the Saudi emblem and the country’s rich heritage, from north to south, according to Al-Haddad.
“This year’s designs depend on the use of green in men’s clothing and innovative accessories specially made for this occasion,” she said. “The colors black and green were also used in women’s Abayas, which are adorned with some traditional accessories from well-known handicrafts.”
Wafaa Al-Jaffali, an abaya designer, said that in discussions of Saudi history and heritage there is no doubt that clothing and folklore are among the first things people consider.
“I am a designer whose work is creatively inspired by the diversity of my country and its glory among nations,” she told Arab News.
“Diversity is the basis for our designs, such as women’s abayas that are inlaid with beads and historical drawings.”
She said that some of her designs also feature Al-Marudun, a pattern mainly used in thobes with long open sleeves that are popular in all parts of the Kingdom but especially Riyadh.
“I used taffeta in my collection, as well as zari, chiffon and colored beads in an exquisite geometric design,” Al-Jaffali said. “The most prominent piece in my collection is Al-Qatt Al-Asiri (an art style specific to Asir) in unconventional colors.”
JEDDAH: The American Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia, or AmCham Saudi Arabia, launched a new committee on Monday to help companies meet their environmental and social responsibility goals.
The ESG, or Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance, committee was launched at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel.
Several leading diplomats, academics and business officials took part in a panel discussion to discuss ESG strategies, plans and reporting.
Julie LeBlanc, US commercial consul for the western region, said American businesses were committed to support the Kingdom’s plans on this front.
“Major US companies, which are leaders in ESG participated in the panel event including PepsiCo, UL, and AspenTech to discuss innovations and best practices in ESG. The United States is committed to supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal to diversify its economy,” she said.
The panel was moderated by Nizar Kammourie, CEO of SAWACO Water Desalination, who said the ESG committee would help raise awareness in the business sector on the need for firms to operate in a socially responsible manner.
“By doing so, the AmCham ESG Committee aims to pave the way for US businesses to explore new venues for opportunities in the Saudi market,” he said.
The panelists shared various sustainability measures adopted by their companies which they described as innovative and pioneering.
Tala Alem, sustainability lead at PepsiCo spoke about the responsibility of his company toward ESG based on its business model, operating systems and products.
“At PepsiCo, we look at everything we are engaged in including our entire value chain and creating a sustainability framework to be applied in each country. As every country has its own objectives, in Saudi Arabia, we take into consideration several areas which include agriculture and climate impact, plastics usage and its packaging as well as social and community responsibilities.”
“While every company on its own has a bigger responsibility to the community and the environment, it is valuable for companies to come together with or without the government and share best practices and present case studies as there is a lot of value in it. Such events should be organized more frequently in order to build awareness and encourage everyone to adopt ESG strategies in their company,” Alem added.
Dareen Ayyad, country manager at Underwriters Laboratories, discussed the benefits and the specifics of ESG reporting.
“We look forward to assisting the companies looking for solutions with ESG reporting. UL is providing solutions when it comes to ESG reporting with the help of a software called UL 360 that will help customers in the Kingdom to gather all the ESG data that compile all the information and manage the data.
“We are also offering reporting software for identifying the ESG risks and opportunities. UL offers third party certification and third party advisory services to address the ESG means. We are hoping to create more awareness amongst corporations on the importance of ESG reporting and look forward to engaging with more stakeholders in the Kingdom.”
Echoing these sentiments, David McKenna, sustainability performance director of The Red Sea Development Co., said: “It is important to raise the topic of ESG reporting as more the companies adopt it, the more transparency can be acquired.
“Some companies will take a step forward whereas some backward as it’s not easy to accept ESG strategies, but it is important to disclose the performance across metrics, which could, for various factors, macro and micro, may go up and down but at least the ESG will set a baseline and that will showcase it to the consumers.”
Saif Sheikh, MENA director of solution consulting at Aspen Technology, and Johnny Obeid, vice president of the Middle East at Veolia, opined that ESG is no longer an option and has to be built into business strategy.
Rola Osta, the engagement manager of the chamber’s Jeddah chapter, said that governments and companies have started to take an increased interest in ESG, gaining it an elevated status of relevance.
“A lot of companies are striving to deliver sustainable solutions and outcomes from their operations while aligning the committee’s goals with the Saudi Green Initiative. The AmCham ESG launched this event to present the effort and strategy of companies and government agencies in adopting ESG principles to provide sustainable solutions for their operations.”
Mohammad Tafesh, vice president of the Jeddah chapter, said: “The ESG committee aims to create bridges between US businesses and their counterparts in the Kingdom to provide environmental and sustainability solutions. This will be the first of many upcoming events related to ESG.”
The event was attended by representatives from the US and Italian consulates, Saudi and international companies, and educators from top Saudi universities.
The event concluded with a round of questions and answers.
JEDDAH: Acting Media Minister Majid Al-Qasabi said the Cabinet addressed reports on regional and international events hosted by Saudi Arabia this week, in the context of keeping up with developments and contributing to facing challenges.
The Cabinet commended the signing of 40 agreements between the public and private sectors during the second Global AI Summit, and the announcement of eight local and international initiatives to enhance cooperation.
It reviewed talks and meetings between the Kingdom and several states in recent days, including the two letters sent by the emir of Kuwait and the president of Nigeria to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Cabinet discussed the reception of Kuwait’s prime minister and the president of the European Council by the crown prince. The session praised relations between Saudi Arabia and those states and their peoples.
The meeting discussed the latest regional and international developments, and reiterated the Kingdom’s support of global efforts to combat extremism, and its active contribution to promoting communication between civilizations and cultures through Islam’s message that is based on justice, tolerance and forgiveness.
The Cabinet welcomed the establishment of the Digital Cooperation Organization’s headquarters in Riyadh, and expressed the Kingdom’s readiness to support all initiatives in this area, and to support innovation, youth, women and entrepreneurs, as well as promote investment in the digital economy in line with national plans.
Al-Qasabi said the meeting highlighted credit-rating agencies’ positive assessments of the Saudi economy, which reflect the efficiency of the state’s reforms.  
BURAIDAH: Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal witnessed on Tuesday the signing of an agreement between the General Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques and Qassim’s youth councils.
The agreement was signed by head of the presidency Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais and the Qassim region’s Undersecretary Abdul Rahman Al-Wazzan, who signed on behalf of the Qassim youth councils.
Prince Faisal praised the agreement, which aims to improve programs and events, and stressed that such agreements allow young Saudi men and women to have an active role in realizing the aspirations of the groups targeted therein.
For his part, Al-Sudais praised Prince Faisal for sponsoring such cooperative agreements, which serve the country’s youths and help in achieving its goals for the future.
Meanwhile, the presidency is focusing on boosting its services in the two holy cities. In August, the presidency launched its “Mosque’s Servants: Ambassadors of Humanity” program to mark the UN’s World Humanitarian Day.
The program is aimed at honoring those who help the elderly and people with disabilities to perform their rituals at the two holy mosques and other sites in Makkah and Madinah.
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s top talents are gathering on Wednesday at the Red Sea Mall in commemoration of the 92nd Saudi National Day, as part of a three-day exhibit, organized by the King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, also known as Mawhiba.
The event, titled “It’s our home, and home to talent,” will be sponsored by Jeddah Gov. Prince Saud bin Jalawi, who will be attending on behalf of Deputy Gov. of the Makkah Region Prince Badr bin Sultan. Among the attendees will be some of the students who won prizes during the last edition of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held May 7-13 in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to Majed Al-Kinani, director of Mawhiba’s media department, the foundation will offer 2,000 students the opportunity to join Mawhiba’s programs for talent and creativity.
Three-day exhibit will feature photo gallery documenting journey of talented youths, interactive theater and more.
“One thousand awards will give the selected students of both genders the chance to become eligible to attend the National Project for Gifted Identification. The other 1,000 awards will be offered to the talented students to enable them to join various national talent and creativity contests. Winners in these contests can take part in international competitions,” Al-Kinani told Arab News.
He added that Mawhiba is eager to highlight the importance of discovering talents, wherever they are in the Kingdom.
“Mawhiba also seeks to stress the role families and teachers can play in discovering talented youths before enrolling them in the National Project for Gifted Identification, which Mawhiba holds annually in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Education and Training Evaluation Commission and the National Center for Assessment,” he said.
Al-Kinani said that the exhibit will include a 92-photo gallery documenting the story of Saudi talents, from the time their talents were discovered and nurtured to the moment they won international awards.
“There will also be an interactive theater and an information corner where attendants can learn more about Mawhiba and its programs. Children can also enjoy a number of activities and events, specially designed for the national occasion,” he said.
RIYADH: The Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Foundation steering committee has met to review the strategy of its program to strengthen the use of Arabic at UNESCO.
The virtual meeting was attended by the foundation’s Director General Saleh Al-Khulaifi as well as UNESCO Assistant Director General for the Social and Human Sciences Sector Gabriel Ramos, and UNESCO Permanent Representative Princess Haifa Al-Muqrin. 
UNESCO officials praised the foundation’s efforts to develop new businesses and projects that serve the Arabic language, thereby contributing to the program’s goals of promoting dialogue between different cultures, consolidating cultural communication, and implementing projects that serve the language and heritage. 
They also praised international organizations for providing more programs and activities related to the Arabic language, such as translating research, literature, session minutes, meetings and field reports.
They added that spreading Arabic around the world was the quickest way to strengthen global dialogue and cohesion. 
Many initiatives have been implemented in the past, most notably UNESCO’s celebration of World Arabic Language Day on Dec. 18 each year, as well as the launch of “Arab Latinos!”
That event, which was held in August in Sao Paulo, promoted intercultural dialogue for social inclusion and built on the Arabic cultural imprint in Latin America.


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