The festival, which will stage about 150 cultural programs over the next two weeks, has been designed this year to showcase the achievements of the Kingdom, he added.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah formally inaugurated the event on Wednesday.
“The festival has also become a strong forum where a large number of politicians, writers, scholars and thinkers gather together every year regardless of their ideological backgrounds to express their views on matters of common concern,” said Prince Salman, referring to the interfaith dialogue promoted by King Abdullah.
He said that he was happy to see a replica of the heritage village again, as well as folklore shows, sword dances and poetry sessions at the festival this year.
The main poetry session of the 25th Janadriya will be held on Saturday evening, where a large number of Saudi and Gulf poets will recite their poems.
“Since poetry is the most important art in Arab culture, it holds an important place in the festival”, said Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, the National Guard’s deputy commander for executive affairs.
The poetry session will be hosted by the Riyadh Literary Club, he added.
“This year, poets’ participation in Janadriya has been more significant than in past years,” said a festival spokesman.
He said that the audience has shown more interest in popular poetry, known also as “nabati”, a genre of rhymed poems written in colloquial Arabic.
There are also 26 Saudi female poets participating in the festival from across the Kingdom this year. “We have also honored a prominent Saudi poet, Thuraia Qabil, alongside a number of poets from GCC countries recommended by their embassies in recognition of their compositions,” said the spokesman.
The poetry sessions will be accompanied by folk dances by troupes representing different Gulf states and regions of the Kingdom.
The spokesman said that while the festival will be open to Saudis and non-Saudis, there are days reserved exclusively for families. It will be open to male visitors and school trips between March 18 and March 22, while March 23 has been reserved for women. The festival will be open to families from March 24 to March 31 between 10 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.
He said that a folk market featuring Saudi artists had been built with a mixture of mud, tamarisk and palm leaves, depicting the varying construction styles of different regions in the Kingdom.
The pavilion of Najd is similar to that of Najran in its architectural designs, while souks and ancient markets also have their own distinct identities.
On the sidelines of the festival, a series of dialogues and symposia will be organized. The symposium will help correct the image of Islam, while it will also help correct different notions of Arab culture and values.
The Ministry of Health will also highlight its achievements at the festival.
“The Ministry of Health aims to highlight its achievements regarding the Kingdom’s health service and help the public learn about the government’s role in the development of the health sector,” said ministry spokesman Khaled Mirghalani on Thursday.
All visitors will be allowed into the Health Ministry’s pavilions, which will supply them with detailed information about general health problems and other diseases, he added.
Visitors can also participate in contests on topics related to health matters, with prizes on offer for the winners. They will also be given commemorative gifts, he said. “The pavilions will also highlight the role of the Amal hospitals in rehabilitating drug addicts and safeguarding the youth from unhealthy habits.”
The ministry will also focus on its National Project for Integrated Health Care, which aims to develop health services throughout the Kingdom and make them available to all citizens.

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