By Arwa Almohanna
RIYADH – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will inaugurate the 31st national heritage and culture festival in Janadriya, near Riyadh, on Wednesday.
The festivities will include cultural seminars, poem recitations and women’s activities. Egypt will be the guest of honor.
Previous festivals were instrumental in highlighting the Kingdom’s rich heritage and culture. Pavilions have been established in the village to highlight educational and agricultural activities and crafts of the past.
Products from women’s cottage industries will be on display.
This year’s seminars will focus on topics such as Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s future, the new US policy in the Middle East, challenges facing the Arab order, Arab political and intellectual developments, Saudi-Egyptian relations, future of Saudi media and modern Arab novels.
Poetic sessions will be organized with the support of literary clubs in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and the participation of well known poets from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
The first Janadriya festival was held in 1985 under the auspices of the National Guard to revive the Kingdom’s rich culture, deepen its religious and social values, promote creativity and cultural progress, and to protect national heritage.
As usual, the festival will start with a camel race with the participation of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. “By holding the camel race, Saudi Arabia seeks to promote and highlight the role of camels in the lives of Saudi people,” said one of the organizers.
A musical operetta is one of the festival’s major attractions as prominent Saudi singers and folklore artists will take part. “The operetta is an annual fiesta expressing the art of poetry through melodies and dances that represent all regions of the Kingdom,” the official said.
The traditional Ardah or sword dance is another important event. King Salman will participate in the Ardah, which reflects the unity of the nation and its people and leadership. “It creates an atmosphere of joy and gaiety,” the official pointed out.
All the Kingdom’s regions will be present at the festival to showcase their heritage and crafts, authentic foods, and genuine heritage reflecting regional traditions and culture.
Many governmental institutions will participate in the festival with own pavilions showcasing their achievements through pictographs, models and collectibles. Visitors will receive gifts and prizes offered by public and private organizations.
In addition to a large number of Saudis, expatriate workers in the Kingdom as well as foreign tourists are expected to visit the festival, one of the largest annual cultural events in the Arab world.