Abdullah To Open Heritage Festival At Janadriah Today

RIYADH, 8 January 2003 — On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd, Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, will inaugurate the annual National Culture and Heritage Festival at Janadriah, 45 kilometers north of Riyadh, today.

The opening ceremony will be attended by members of the royal family, high-ranking Saudi and foreign officials and diplomats.

“The 18th Janadriah Festival, to be opened by Prince Abdullah, signifies the great importance the Kingdom and its people attach to their heritage and culture,” said Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Subait, head of the festival’s executive committee, at the National Guard headquarters here yesterday.

He said the festival seeks to promote the glory of Arab heritage and preserve cultural values based on the noble principles of Islam.

The National Guard, which organizes the annual event, has invited a large number of dignitaries, senior officials, men of letters and scholars from many countries, including the Gulf states, to participate in the festival. Folklore dances by well-attired troupes representing different Gulf countries and various cultural regions of the Kingdom will be the main attraction of the festival.

On the sidelines of the two-weeklong festival, a symposium on Islam will be organized. The symposium is expected to help correct misunderstandings about Islam, said Al-Subait. A separate symposium will be organized exclusively for women at King Abdul Aziz Library auditorium. “The picture of Muslim woman in Western media” will be the symposium’s topic.

Al-Subait said the traditional camel race will be the highlight of the inaugural ceremony. Over 1,000 camels of different breeds are likely to participate in the race, which will be held on a 19-km long stretch at the Janadriah village.

An animal show organized by the festival committee at the Janadriah grounds will feature the diversity and richness of the Kingdom’s wildlife.

Asked about other highlights of the festival, the National Guard official said recitation of poems by famous poets will be yet another attraction.

Minister of Water Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, Najdat Anjour, singers Mohammad Abdou and Sabah Fakhri, Abdur Rahman Al-Ashmawi, author Ahmed Mubarak, and composer Abdur Rab Idrees will be among the notable participants.

A number of Saudi businessmen will be honored during the festival in appreciation of their contribution to the nation’s development.

There will also be a large collection of arts and handicrafts on show. Pavilions representing different Saudi regions, such as Jouf, Qassim, Hail and Taif will reflect the diverse cultural heritage of the country.

All Gulf states, in yet another move to unify their efforts to promote Arab culture and heritage, have set up own pavilions.

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