'Sugar City', 'Little Merchant' highlights of Makkah spring festival


Saudi Gazette

SPRING festivals and activities have been launched in Makkah, specifically in Al-Dhiafah Mall and Al-Hejaz Mall.

Coinciding with the Umrah Season this year, the festivals target all segments of society including families and children. Umm Al-Qura Women Charity Organization has organized (UWCO) its annual “Sugar City” activities for children at Al-Hejaz Mall. This time the organization collaborated with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to organize this event, which focuses on nurturing and developing children’s skills.

“Little Merchant” is another program, which teaches productive families marketing skills and how to use their children's help in marketing homemade products.

A mini cinema theater screened animated cartoons with educational content for children.

Khloud Al-Dawsary, the leader of one of the volunteer teams, said they helped the UWCO organize 13 events for children and families. The total number of volunteers, both male and female, is around 3,000 and they provide free services in Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Yanbu and the Eastern Province.

Aseel Afeef, a 13-year-old boy, said he benefited a lot of benefits from these events, which show students how to make the best of their spring break and learn new skills.

“They show how to manage your spare time well doing constructive things and not waste it staying up late hours watching TV or playing games on the smart phone. Actually, I’m helping a productive family sell some of their products to the visitors. I have so far enjoyed this experience, which really enhanced my self-esteem and self-confidence,” he said.

Ameen Akbar, a six-year-old boy, says he also enjoyed the events. He helps his sister sell some of her homemade products and convinced visitors to buy the goods from him.

Several bazaars are being organized at Al-Dhiafah Mall focusing on food, women’s accessories and miscellaneous goods.

Moreover, educational events focusing on the dangers of obesity were organized visitors, with a greater emphasis on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.