Saudi pavilion at Dubai expo shares history of Ardah dance

The performance started with a chant that was used in the past to rouse up warriors facing the enemy. The performers, dressed in traditional costumes, then performed a dance with swords to the beat of drums.

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DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai continues to enthrall visitors with its diverse set of activities, most recently the “16 Windows” cultural program that sheds light on the cultural renaissance in the Kingdom in various sectors.

The Kingdom’s pavilion presented a historical overview of its ancient heritage art, and introduced visitors to the Saudi Ardah, a tradition group dance that is featured on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The performance started with a chant that was used in the past to rouse up warriors facing the enemy. The performers, dressed in traditional costumes, then performed a dance with swords to the beat of drums.

The leader of the Ardah troupe then invited men and women from the audience — from Ireland, Tunisia, UAE, Russia, France and India — to join the performance.

The lead performer offered the visitors a quick introduction to the dance, amid cheers from the audience.

At the end of the show, the pavilion presented gifts to the best participants in the performance of this ancient heritage art. They expressed their happiness with this beautiful experience that allowed them to participate. The Saudi pavilion at Expo 2020 has screened a short film highlighting the plight of the Arabian leopard amid a growing campaign to raise awareness of the endangered big cat.

The Kingdom earlier this week declared Feb. 10 as “Arabian Leopard Day” as part of its ongoing efforts to save the country’s largest predator from extinction.

The film, which was broadcast in both Arabic and English, attracted hundreds of visitors to the pavilion. It details the threats posed to the leopard and its habitat and provides an insight into the conservation measures undertaken to protect them.

The Arabian leopard has long been under threat and it is thought there are now only about 200 left in the wild. Saudi Arabia said Sunday it has jailed a number of individuals on charges of money laundering worth $2.6 billion, according to state-run TV quoting a prosecution statement.

The statement said two Saudi citizens and nine ex-pats are involved in money laundering.

The defendants will be imprisoned for a total of 52 years, it added, noting that fines will be imposed, funds and assets from seized investment portfolios will be confiscated.

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