Ithra celebrates and reflects on a busy and award-winning year 2021

RIYAD: The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Saudi Arabia, also known as Ithra, this year presented more than 7,000 programs and initiatives in the fields of art, knowledge, culture, creativity and society, and welcomed more than 500,000 local and international visitors, the organization said.

In addition, approximately 4,000 male and female volunteers participated in the centre’s local, regional and international events and activities, contributing 13,000 hours of work.

Ithra has won five local and international awards in the past 12 months, including the National Award for Volunteer Work in the Private Sector and the Path of Large and Emerging Cultural Institutions of the Private Sector Award. It also won the MarCom Award, a prestigious honor in recognition of excellent work in the field of marketing and communications, despite competition from 6,000 institutions around the world.

In addition, the center gained accreditation as the first voluntary organization to implement the Saudi Standard for Volunteering, introduced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, as it provides services and support to people with disabilities. .

Ithra also launched a digital wellness program in 2021 which aims to raise awareness and influence society to adopt healthy digital practices.

The center participated in the Saudi pavilion at the 74th Cannes Film Festival and announced the production of two new films: “The Fugitive”, by acclaimed Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohammed Hefzy, and “The Valley Road”, by award-winning Saudi director Khaled. Fahd. Their release is scheduled for 2023.

This year also included the fourth edition of the Tanween Creativity Season. Under the slogan “Shaping Creativity”, it featured local and international creators, innovators and eminent experts who gave 30 lectures, 20 professional courses, seven workshops and four experiences in various creative fields.

As a first step, Ithra also organized the Tanween Moment, which allowed more than 4,600 visitors to perform collective works using their smartphones to control the flight of 300 drones.

The center celebrated the launch of the second edition of Sharqiyah Innovate, which focused on the Eastern region as the main destination for creativity in the Kingdom. More than 100 entities and 150 teachers participated in the event.

At the beginning of December, during the first Biennial of Contemporary Art in Diriyah, Ithra unveiled the winning work of the fourth edition of the Ithra Art Prize: “E Pluribus Unum – Modern Rock” by Nadia Kaabi-Linke, which explores the effects of COVID-19 pandemic through its effects on the global aviation industry.

During this time, 484 visitors attended the Learning Without Borders conference, which included workshops and discussions presented by 40 speakers from around the world.

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