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Syria’s Assad wins warm welcome at Arab summit after years of isolation

Syria’s Assad wins warm welcome at Arab summit after years of isolation

SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad was given a warm welcome at an Arab summit, winning a hug from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince at a meeting of leaders who had shunned him for years, in a policy shift opposed by the U.S. and other Western powers. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shook hands with a beaming Assad as the summit got underway in Jeddah, turning the page on enmity towards a leader who drew on support from Shi'ite Iran and Russia to beat back his foes in Syria's civil war. The summit showcased redoubled Saudi Arabia's efforts to exercise sway on the global stage, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in…
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Sudan ceasefire deal raises hopes for relief in Khartoum

Sudan ceasefire deal raises hopes for relief in Khartoum

KHALID ABDELAZIZ and MOHAMED NURELDIN AIR strikes and clashes between Sudan's warring factions could be heard in the capital Khartoum, residents said, after a Saudi and U.S.-brokered deal for a week-long ceasefire raised hopes of a pause in the five-week conflict. The deal, signed on Saturday by the army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) after talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, is due to come into effect on Monday evening with an internationally-supported monitoring mechanism. It also allows for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Repeated ceasefire announcements since the conflict started on April 15 have failed…
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The world’s first Islamic art biennale shines a light on African artists

The world’s first Islamic art biennale shines a light on African artists

THE inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale is underway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Biennales are large and prestigious international art exhibitions held every two years.) This important new event for the Muslim world features numerous African artists. And the biennale’s artistic director is Sumayya Vally, a South African architecture professor and principal of Counterspace design studio. A rising star in the art and architecture worlds, Vally was intent on creating the biennale to connect with the diverse experiences of being Muslim through ritual, practices and philosophies. The Conversation Africa asked her five questions about the biennale. Author SUMAYYA VALLY, Honorary Professor of…
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Hamilton speaks out on human rights in Saudi

Hamilton speaks out on human rights in Saudi

ALAN BALDWIN SEVEN-TIMES Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton expressed concern about human rights in Saudi Arabia and indicated he did not feel comfortable about having to race in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia is hosting a grand prix for the first time this weekend, a night race around a street circuit in Jeddah, with rights groups accusing the country of using the event to deflect scrutiny from abuses. Hamilton, the sport's most successful driver, said he had received a warm welcome on arrival but felt "duty-bound" to speak out. The Briton, who has used his platform to campaign for diversity…
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Saudi man arrested in Jeddah after knife attack on guard at French consulate

Saudi man arrested in Jeddah after knife attack on guard at French consulate

A Saudi man was arrested in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after attacking and wounding a security guard with a "sharp tool" at the French consulate, local police said. A statement from the Mecca region's police said the guard suffered "minor injuries" and that "legal action" was being taken against the perpetrator. The French Embassy said the consulate was subject to an "attack by knife which targeted a guard", adding the guard was taken to hospital and his life was not in danger. "The French Embassy strongly condemns this attack against a diplomatic outpost which nothing could justify," it…
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