Saudi Arabia to launch world s first flying museum


RIYADH: 02, NOVEMBER, 2021: Saudi Arabia will launch the world's first "flying museum" on Thursday, would highlight the importance of archaeological work on a plane journey between the capital and the ancient city of AlUla.
The project will launch by the national flag carrier Saudia in collaboration with the Royal Commission for AlUla, will exhibit a replica collection of artifacts that have been discovered in AlUla through archaeological excavations.
As per the Saudi Press Agency, passengers will also be able to watch a Discovery Channel documentary called "Architects of Ancient Arabia" that was released this year.
During the trip, Rebecca Foote, director of archaeology and cultural heritage research at the commission, will provide an introduction to the documentary and explain about the artifacts featured in the museum.
She said "There is a major load of work ongoing in AlUla by local and international archeologists, and yet we are just beginning to understand the complicated nature of AlUla’s past. AlUla is a hidden gem in the Arabian Peninsula, and we are slowly discovering its secrets. I am looking forward to sharing more information about our work with passengers of the Museum in the Sky trip, operated by Saudia."
Philip Jones, the commission's chief destination marketing officer, said the "biggest archeological program" in the world at this time.
Earlier, on October 5, the 10-day event of Riyadh International Book Fair 2021 held, had attracted international publishers from France, Italy, India, Australia, and the US as local readers welcomed the influx of international literature never before seen in Saudia Arabia.
Brad Hebel, a director from the Associated Press said, "This is the first time we have been here as there were not a lot of English publishers exhibited at this fair."
"I think for people it comes as a surprise and a delight to see all of these English books," he added.
On October 1, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan inaugurated the long-awaited Riyadh International Book Fair 2021, with the theme of "New Destination, New Chapter." They welcomed writers, publishers and cultural figures and leaders from around the world, participating as many as 30 countries.
This year's edition sees the participation of Iraq as the guest of honor, Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Dr. Hassan Nazim, and Iraq's Ambassador to the Kingdom Dr. Abdul Sattar Hadi Al-Janabi were among the dignitaries attending the opening ceremony of the fair.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Iraq?s Minister of Culture Hassan Nadhem, and Egyptian Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem.
Cooking shows, cultural exhibitions, and guest lectures took place throughout the 10-day event while interactive games, children's booths, as well as reading stations are placed across the fair.
Hameed Younis, writer and representative of Iraq's Ministry of Culture, said: "Saudi culture is an extension of Iraqi culture and vice versa. This is why we are trying to introduce Iraqi books to Saudi Arabia and bring in Saudi books to Iraq. We are also trying to ensure coordination between the two ministries of culture in order to revive both and exchange expertise."
Dr. Ahmed Al-Zubaidy, editor in chief of Al-Adib Al-Iraqi magazine and professor of Arabic literature at Mustansiriyah University, said: "Herein lies the ?comeback? of the true Iraqi identity, the Arab identity. For Iraqi intellectuals to meet their Saudi counterparts, not only because of their cultural ties but also thanks to their common identity and social ties. This is a pioneer, daring step in renewing these ties."
Dr. Nadhem informed us that he has agreed with his Saudi counterpart to hold a Saudi Cultural Week in Iraq. This is a very good initiative that will be a continuation of what our ancestors have created," he added. (04)

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