RIYADH: The National Culture Awards Ceremony kicked off with a bang in Riyadh, honoring 32 Saudi cultural figures in 14 categories.
A part of the Quality of Life program of Vision 2030 the Ministry of Culture announced the first annual National Cultural Awards winners in a ceremony on Monday evening in the Cultural Palace of the Diplomatic Quarter.
Sponsored by the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over 14 categories were awarded in cultural pioneering, youth cultural, cultural institutions, film, music, fashion, national heritage, literature, theater and performing arts, visual art, architecture and design, culinary arts, publishing, and translation.
In January 2020 the Ministry of Culture began the completion process and received over 15,000 submissions online and began deliberating the top submissions into October and chose the final winners in December.
The Vice Minister of Culture Hamed M. Fayez spoke on behalf of the Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud in a speech addressing the ceremony stating, “ Culture, with its civilizational value, its social weight, and its effective developmental role today occupies the place it deserves. Thanks to the inspiring and ambitious national vision, the Saudi Vision 2030, which restored culture as a basic pillar in building society. Anchored by the national identity and aspects of pride in the history and civilization of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Although the Minister of Culture was not in attendance he applauded the winners of the awards for their role in preserving and promoting the Kingdom’s Culture stating, “ These intellectuals and creative minds are our cultural capital. With whom we will reach, with them and with their help, a cultural renaissance fitting the stature of our country.”
Dana Awartani one of the winners of the visual arts award from Jeddah, brings to life traditional geometry and historical themes in her art pieces.
“For me it is a huge honor first of all finally being recognized for the creative industry as a whole and all of the work that we do you know the past few years since the ministry has formed it has been completely different for us in getting support and recognition.”
“This is the first ever awards ceremony recognizing different arts which for me is a an honor to be a part of and it’s everything we have been working for, for the past my whole career has been summed up in today’s award and it is also great to see its recognition from my own community, from my own country in a place where I grew up and where my art started,” Awartani shared with Arab News”.
Arwa Alammari a fashion pioneer of over 7 years and one of the winners of the fashion award shared her sentiments with Arab News stating,
“Being a part of such a cultural celebration of our heritage in such a way and it coming from my country means a lot to me, I have been working in this field for a very long time and I have been awarded internationally but when it comes from my country it means that we are all going toward the cultural changes that is going to be exported to the world.”
The awards ceremony concluded with a speech from the Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar in attendance on behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
“There is no doubt that it is a very excellent and wonderful step. That establishes a cultural approach for this country that affirms its high and sublime position in all forums.”
Prince Bandar thanked the Crown Prince for sponsoring the awards, the Ministry of Culture, and members of the ministry for organizing the event, “I hope that we will all succeed on other occasions to come, so that we will be at a high level in all our events, as much as tonight. I thank you and hope every year you are well. Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.”
14 cultural awards winners:
The Cultural Pioneer of the Year Award: H.E. Shaikh Mohammed Nasser Alaboudy Youth Cultural Award: Winning first place is Shahad Saeed Amin for her films including “Lady of the Sea” and “Scales” that Saudi Arabia’s film authority nominated for best international film in the Academy Awards. Cultural Institutions Award: First place in the private sector track is King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), First place in the Non-Profit sector track is Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, and winning first place in the Social responsibility track is the Ketabi Lak Application. Film Award: In first place is Shahad Saeed Amin Fashion Award: In first place Lomar, in second place Yousef Mohammed Akbar,and in third place Arwa Abdullah Alammari Music Award: In first place Zaina Emad Swelleh,in second place Akram Ibrahim Almattar, and in third place Reem Fahad Altamimi. National Heritage Award: In first place Abdulaziz Abdullah Aldakheel, in second place Dr. Hisham Ali Mortada ,and in third place Torathuna Social Responsibility Company. Literature Award: In first place is Abdulaziz Saleh Alsagabi, in second place Magbool Moussa Alalawi, and in third place Amal Saleh Alharbi. Theater and Performing Arts Award: In first place Sami Abdullatif Algamaan and in second place Yasser Yahya Madkhli. Visual Arts Award: in first place Lolowah Abdulrazzaq Alhomoud ,in second place Danah Abdulrahim Awratani, and in third place Ahmad Sami Angawi. Architecture and Design Award: A winner was not selected as the submissions did not meet the requirements. Culinary Arts Award: In first place Rakan Ibrahim Aloraifi, in second place ZADK Culinary Academy, and in third place Norah Abdulwahab Albadran Publishing Award: In first place was Obeikan Publishing and Translation, second place Kadi and Ramadi for Publishing and Distribution, and in third place Dar Athar for Publishing and Distribution. Translation Award: In first place Abdallah Mohammed Idris, in second place Sultan Nasser Almujaiwel, and in third place Bander Mohammed Alharbi.