Janadriya festivities lined up

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah inaugurated this two-week cultural extravaganza at Janadriya village, 45 km north-east of the capital, on Tuesday.
“The focus will also be the presence of about 400 scholars, writers and men of letters including litterateurs and artists, who will start performing from Wednesday and carry on until March 30,” said Abdul Mohsin Al-Tuwaijri, assistant deputy commander of the National Guard.
Al-Tuwaijri, who was speaking on the opening of the 25th National Culture and Heritage Festival of Saudi Arabia, said that several guests, including King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, will arrive in the Kingdom on Wednesday to attend the opening.
Al-Tuwaijri said the festival serves to “reinforce our Arab and Islamic identity, while inspiring our present and future generations” to learn from our glorious heritage.
About 250 artists, including Saudi carpenters, blacksmiths, cobblers, weavers and other craftsmen, will show off their handmade products.
“Stationed in front of shops constructed side-by-side inside a mud-walled fort — built specially for the festival — these artisans will demonstrate how things were made and fixed during the Kingdom’s ancient times,” said Al-Tuwaijri.
He said that participants will also discuss and focus on the vision of King Abdullah with special reference to inter-faith dialogue, peace and obstacles.
He said that about 12 female Gulf leaders with outstanding contributions to the social and literary fields will also be honored on the sidelines of the festival.
Princess Adelah bint Abdullah, who has devoted herself to social causes, especially rendering support to women, children and the disabled will also be honored.
King Abdullah will also give away prizes to the winners of the camel race.
The famous “Aradah Sword Dance” — one of many traditions that Saudis refer to collectively as Al-Funun Al-Sha‘abiyyah — will be staged on the inaugural day and again on March 23. Those who participate in this dance will wear regional costumes and dance with props such as swords or bamboo canes.
France is the guest country this year. The festival is being organized by the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), a military establishment with a mandate to promote the glorious culture and heritage of the Kingdom.
The camel race, the festival’s main attraction since 1995 following a royal decree, will be organized on a stretch of 19 km at Janadriya village this year.

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