The ninth edition of Souq Okaz festival kicks off on Thursday and will continue till Sunday. The official inauguration ceremony, however, will take place a day before, at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
Abdul Elah Banajah, head of the committee supervising the cultural program of Souq Okaz, said that this edition will feature intellectual and cultural activities, including workshops on literature, poetry and social events in addition to theatrical plays.
Banajah said that the cultural committee worked under the direction of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and head of the supervising committee of Souk Okaz.
Prince Khaled has stressed the need to develop the cultural content to match the aspirations of the intellectuals of the Kingdom and the Arab world, Banajah said.
The prince added that Souq Okaz’s cultural, scientific, literary and heritage programs come in line with the objectives of the 10-year plan for the development of Makkah region, specifically with the objectives of building human resources as well as developing the place so the region achieves a developed status in entrepreneurship locally, regionally and globally.
On Thursday, cultural programs will be launched at Intercontinental hotel for a knowledge-entrepreneurship lecture. The lecture starts at 10 a.m. with an hour-long dialogue with Adel Fakeih, minister of economy and planning, on ways to support knowledge-based business entrepreneurs. The dialogue will then be held between youth and officials as part of Souq Okaz’s approach of supporting interaction between the youth and the people in power.
This will be followed by a presentation by Prince Turki bin Saud, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, on increasing the effectiveness of technology transfer and commercial transformation of the Saudi output of knowledge.
The cognitive entrepreneurship lecture stresses that a knowledge-based economy is one of the main development pillars of the economy in the world.
Saudi Arabia seeks to be a leader in developing knowledge-based economy through the national strategic plans adopted by the Kingdom. This means that there is a need to establish a culture of innovation and leadership in the community to support a sophisticated knowledge-based economy, without which an integration in development won’t be achieved.
Other activities scheduled include poetry and Okaz Boulevard. Visitors can enjoy theatrical shows and folk competitions, and buy handicrafts from a dedicated corner.
The event wil conclude with a session about the experiences of writers in addition to a poetry session.