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Souk Okaz to Kick off under Patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Taif-Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Prince Khalid al-Faisal, who is adviser to the King and governor of Mecca, will open the tenth edition of Souk Okaz.

The opening, which will take place at the site of the historical market in al-Arfa, Taif, will be attended by a number of officials, cultural and intellectual figures from Saudi Arabia and abroad.

According to the organizing committee of Souk Okaz, around 3,000 people will participate in the souk’s ten-day activities, which will allocate a big share to define the Saudi Vision 2030 through work papers and exhibitions of participating entities.

Thirty prominent Arab intellectuals and authors will participate in seven cultural seminars over three days. The seminars will focus on critical studies on pre-Islamic poetry of Urwat Bin Al-Ward and Abdullah Bin Khamees, translation movement in France, migrated manuscripts, cultural identity in the digital world, writing and art experiments, and protection of privacy on social media.

The festival will also include a main event, “Youth Dialogue”, where Prince Khaled al Faysal will meet the youth of Souk Okaz, in an open dialogue over two hours, in which also participates the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel Al Toraifi at Taif University on Wednesday.

The Souk’s media committee noted that the activities’ program of this year will be inclusive and diverse and will comprise knowledge gatherings, dialogues, cultural symposiums, poetry evenings, and arts. They will also include specialized exhibitions on innovation, knowledge leadership, art crafts, and universities in addition to theatre shows, touristic visits, and training workshops.

This edition of the Souk will feature the inauguration of a number of cultural and service projects including: Okaz Academy for Arabic Poetry, Arab Poetry Studies Center, and Okaz Publishing House along with a number of knowledge, commercial and entertainment facilities.

The Souk’s program will be opened by the Knowledge Leadership Gathering at the Intercontinental-Taif Hotel on Wednesday, to discuss the future of entrepreneurship in light of the Saudi Vision 2030 in the presence of ministers and officials from the public and private sector, and many figures interested in the subject.

This gathering will feature Dr. Turki Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Saud, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Dr. Ahmad al-Issa, minister of Education, Dr. Mohammad Bentin, minister of Haj and Umra, and many other figures and representatives of many companies like Sabic.

The festival’s program also comprises cultural symposiums, poetry evenings, and Okaz Poet program, in which many figures and intellectuals from around the world will participate.