The King Abdulaziz Public Library is organizing an equestrian exhibit on the fringes of the 16th Jenadriyah National Culture and Heritage Festival, to mark the publication of the book 'Furusiah' [horsemanship]. In a speech at the opening ceremony yesterday, Undersecretary of the National Guard for the Western Sector Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz referred to the Arabian horse as the kingpin of the equestrian sport, and cited as a model for horsemanship the late King Abdulaziz. The Kingdom, he said, became a member of the International Equestrian Federation in 1992. Prince Faisal is Chairman of that federation. The encyclopedic book being honored has been in preparation for seven years, and is published in English as well as Arabic.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz held a reception for organizers of the exhibit and their guests, who include a number of museum directors from Europe and America and people interested in Arab and Islamic antiquities in the Arab as well as those concerned with horses and equestrian affairs. In his address to the gathering, Crown Prince Abdullah referred to Saudi Arabia as "the Islamic country that fully appreciates and is interested in the humanities, the sciences, antiquities and literature, and that welcomes whatever enriches human knowledge and contributes to the discovery of historical finds".
Meanwhile, preparations for the Jenadriyah Festival are complete, with the inaugural ceremonies scheduled for Wednesday, January 17, beginning at 4 p.m. with the traditional grand camel race. The regular events of the festival will be open to the public on Thursday, January 18, at 3 p.m. On display will be exhibits from all thirteen provinces, highlighting their traditions in handicrafts and their development in industry and agriculture. Participating this year, as it has since 1985, will be the State of Qatar, offering traditional and popular handicrafts that reflect the ties between Man and his marine and desert environment, and contributing both to the book fair, and to the arts exhibit. In addition, there will be a Qur'anic contest, a number of symposia, and lectures, such as that on Friday, January 19 on dialogue among Arab nations. Other lectures over the coming week include topics such as the intellectual movement in southern Saudi Arabia, the Islamic perspective on man and society in the light of new ideas of globalization, and shura (consultation) in Islamic as compared to western systems.