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Art in Riyadh and innocent entertainment

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

King Fahd Cultural Center was packed with thousands of people who were there for the love of art. They gathered to attend the concerts of Mohammed Abdu, the artist of the Arabs, and Rashid al-Majid.

The two singers have left an indelible mark in the minds of the Saudis. With elegant words and polished tunes, they sang for happiness, for the country and for love and peace.

Truth be told, concerts have been full of surprises. When Abdu began to sing Magmuat Ensan, the audience sang along and acted like a choir. This does not usually happen unless amid exceptional happy moments. People expressed their joy via their extraordinary welcoming of this great artist.

When Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided to promote art in Saudi Arabia as part of the Vision 2030, he voiced surprise over the large amounts of money being spent outside the kingdom on simple modes of entertainment

Turki Aldakhil

Longing for entertainment

The concerts’ tickets sold out fast, which shows the people’s longing for art and entertainment.

When Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided to promote art in Saudi Arabia as part of the Vision 2030, he voiced surprise over the large amounts of money being spent outside the kingdom on simple modes of entertainment.

Saudi Arabia can utilize the money spent by Saudis 99 percent of whom travel outside the kingdom for basic and innocent entertainment that we can provide in our cities. This is what Prince Badr bin Abdul Muhsin said dispelling allegations that entertainment is a window to immorality.

Saudis are natural artists and the country’s rich history is a testimony to that.

This article was first published in Okaz on March 13.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.