Community

Designing The Library Of The Future

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Dar Al-Uloum initiative launches an international competition to repurpose library space as a cultural destination. 


On the occasion of the Dar Al Uloum’s public library’s golden jubilee, the Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Cultural Center (AACC), with input from academic partners – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), AlFaisal University, Dar Al Hekma University, and Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, started the The Dar Al Uloum Initiative (DAUI). This initiative was taken to transform the library from a traditional one to the digital one that is open and acts as a multifunctional social hub for cultural flow and activity.

The redevelopment of the library unfolds in three phases: the preliminary research phase – conducted by DAUI’s academic partners – focusing on design functionality and cultural cohesiveness; benchmarks’ phase, acquired from industry experts and elaborated in a 3-day conference during which the architecture competition will be launched; lastly, the project bidding and award phase for the library redesign.

The architectural brief for the redesign competition is compiled by partnering faculty and students. The themes of ‘connectivity’ and ‘efficiency’ will be integral in evaluating design proposals, with energy conservation and cultural sensitivity playing large roles in winning designs.

The competition launched earlier this February and marked the first day of the conference, Architecture for the Future: Education, Research, and Practice, at Al Faisal University. The conference program was developed with program partner Banafsajeel – a platform for creative collaboration. It launched the architecture exhibition by RIBA Gulf that consisted of multiple panel discussions from leading architecture experts from the region, a workshop led by Minhaaj + Bakerloos, a film screening, and a visit to the district of Diriya arranged by Phonart.

The attendees were exposed to a variety of theories and practices like new trends in sustainable design and the future prospects of architectural design. The conference acted as a platform to promote the library competition and generate interest from participants to submit proposals.

The redesign competition aims to pay homage to the original library design, preserving old elements, while seamlessly incorporating new functions and uses to modernize the space, making it a lively community center. Winning designs will be awarded valuable cash prizes, with first place securing USD $50,000, in addition to the contract for the Al Jouf Library redevelopment.

As Saudi Arabia continues to advance and develop its architectural landscape, initiatives such as the DAUI will serve to place KSA on the map for collaborative, forward-thinking, and sustainable structures of the future.

For more information on the initiative, conference, competition and contributing partners, please visit www.daui.org

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Historic Saudi, Offbeat

TEM, a poetry collection of pre-Islamic Mythology

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Tem is part history, part make-believe. Every culture has creation myths that explain how the world emerged. 


The nuanced meaning of tem” in Arabic is to finish; to complete. This massive project was undertaken by Wided Khadraoui that was about pre-Islamic mythology and history in the region. In Khadraoui’s collection, stories dart in and out of the narrative, demonstrating how unable it is to ever truly be done with your past.

Here’s an interview with Wided as she shares more about her interesting project:

1. Why did you decide to start this project? 

This project was complicated. I spent several years in Saudi Arabia and took this project on initially as a creative endeavor after coming across Najmah Sayuti’s work on the concept of Allah (God) in pre-Islamic Arabia which led me to start researching Arabian polytheism and its relationship with the region’s monotheistic traditions, as well as myths and storytelling techniques in Bedouin culture.

I’ve always been curious about old stories but this collection is a bit different than other mythological works; there were no myths to retell or restructure – rather stories of these pre-Islamic gods and goddesses do not exist. This whole project has mostly been fueled by footnotes, endnotes, and small obscure mentions.

I was interested in creating a narrative exploring the development of Bedouin religion and highlighting its’ conflict between pre-Islamic religion and the region as a whole. The collection ended up being an archive of figures and mythological figures from Arabian polytheism. The gods and goddesses of the pre-Islamic Arabs were tribal deities, ancestors, jinn, physical manifestations of natural phenomena -rain and thunder, for example. The collection takes these deities and creates a progressive narrative of them reacting to a combination of actual historical events, my fantasy, and contemporary society

2. How have people in Saudi reacted to this project?

People mostly have given a positive response, and are mostly intrigued by the content. There have been some raised eyebrows with highlighting the region’s polytheistic past but that is fact – it happened. There were actual deities that existed and were prayed to in the region. This collection is based on the period of time where idols reigned supreme in the region – the period where modern Islam was being created and codified. The old gods had to be destroyed in order to make space for the new religion – this is a fictional version of that story.

3.  What was the most important finding you made in the pre-Islamic mythology and history in the region?

I was surprised of the extent of erasure of fact and history. I was shocked at the extent of what I didn’t know. There is a whole legacy of stories and ideas that have completely been shuttered away.

The entire region has a tendency to destroy the past – especially things that might be contentious within an Islamic context. I think this fear is counterproductive to both creative and societal advancement. There doesn’t have to be such a battle between ancient stories and modern-day beliefs. This pattern is seen throughout our history – this attempt at complete eradication and it is to our detriment.

5. What do you want others to learn from this?

My biggest wish is that the projects work as a conversation and an entryway into not only how religious practice shaped human interaction and experience in the region but also to show how amazing the indigenous inspiration is for creative opportunities in the region. Beyond the usual penchant for traditional calligraphy, there is a whole stock of alternative inspirational material in the region. The region has it’s the potential to make their own stories – not everything has to revolve around the Western canon and Greek and Roman myths. The world is massive and we can be part of creating a more inclusive global narrative. Our stories matter too.

6. Is there anything more you would like to share?

The poem’s narrative structure is inspired by the hakawati; the traditional style of oral storytelling from in the Middle East and North Africa. It’s a bit of a convoluted plot. Stories dart in and out of the narrative; like Scheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights.

The nuanced meaning of the title in Arabic is to finish; to complete. The intention of this collection is to give readers a sense of where separate but intertwined paths start and end in history. The idea behind the title is to illustrate how unable to ever truly be done with your past.

About Wided Khadraoui

I am writer and curator. I regularly write on art, culture, and politics in the MENA region. My interests lie at the intersection of cultural representation, arts, and politics.

I was born in Algeria and raised in the Washington D.C. area, and am temporarily based in Australia after spending four years in Saudi Arabia. I am currently pursuing my second masters in Arts and Cultural Enterprise at Central Saint Martin- UAL to further my research interest in increasing access for traditionally marginalized groups in the creative sector.

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Art, Online Magazine

Conversations with an Artist – Abstract Art in the Cosmos

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A journey among the cosmos.


Artist: Mariam Bukhamsin
Form of Expression: Abstract Art

Tell us about yourself.
I’m an abstract artist and Master’s student in Teaching Methodologies of Art at King Saud University. My passion in art helped me teach it in Al Ahsa to elementary students for six years.

When did you realize you had to create something of your own?
To be honest, I never felt like I was chasing art, but rather that it found me. I began developing my vision almost three years ago. Through art, I was able to carry this vision of sharing my unique work with people.mariam-bukhamseen-_khobar_2017_aa-2

Do you have any special rituals before or during the creation of your art?
Total isolation from everything but my art.

Would you like to recommend one of the books that inspires you?
Scientist Carl Sagan’s book Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is one that influenced me personally. I admire how he wanted to enlighten people about the spirituality of science and his explorations of the aesthetic. I try to do the same with my artwork.mariam-bukhamseen-_khobar_2017_aa-3

What is your favorite art piece?
My painting of the body and universe is my personal favorite as I painted it without any preparation, which is unusual for me. I felt as if some magical powers of the universe were guiding me. I felt a deep connection with it, which is why it’s closest to my heart.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by philosophy, spirituality, religion, and most importantly, science. Science tries to dissect or study the physical structure of the universe, while art, the moral structure of it. mariam-bukhamseen-_khobar_2017_aa-5

What kind of dialogue does your art create?
During my previous exhibitions in Bahrain, I noticed people indulging in philosophical conversations because of my art. They observed the pieces in depth and even created theories about it. This is the kind of conversation that I‘d want my art to stimulate.

Who’s your favorite artist?
Since I do not want to be confined to just art itself, I would have to pick Carl Sagan, again. As I said earlier, I draw inspiration most and usually from scientists.mariam-bukhamseen-_khobar_2017_aa-4

How would people describe you?
In a few words: quiet, spiritual, calm, and unique – similar to my work.

You’re at a restaurant to meet with people. Who are you meeting for dinner?
Firstly, Omar Khayyam. An extraordinary philosopher, poet, and mathematician as well as a man of peaceful nature. The other two would be Stephen Hawking and of course, Carl Sagan.

Do you have any final words for our readers?
One word: passion. The fire burning inside you is what will keep you going. Keep it alive.

Instagrammariambu50

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Events & Happenings

5 Reasons to Attend ArabNet Riyadh 2017

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ArabNet Riyadh kicks off in a few days at Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski from Dec 11-13th.


The exclusive event will bring together over 1800 leaders and decision makers from around the world to discuss the latest in digital trends in the region and across the world.

If you haven’t registered yet, here are 5 reasons why you should attend this year’s ArabNet Riyadh conference:

1. Embrace Digital Transformation
Dive into the digitization of government, smart cities, and education with experts in the field as well as government, the private sector, and startup stakeholders, who will share insights, best practices, and upcoming plans for building an innovation and knowledge economy in KSA.

2. Network with the Largest Gathering of Investors
The most active international and regional investors such as HOF Capital and Alrajhi Investment will be at ArabNet Riyadh where you will have the opportunity to connect and network with them. Moreover, the Innovation and Investment Forum will feature a dedicated track focusing on the investment landscape and improving the ecosystem as well as access to LPs and growth capital.

3. Learn How Digital Brands Are Evolving
Find out how big brands, such as GM and Mayar Food, as well as media platforms, such as Twitter, and publishers and agencies are adapting to the new platforms that are transforming consumer habits on mobile and web; what are the key trends that define the region; how media distribution is changing and how data is driving advertising technology in the Adtech Forum.

4. Keep Up with the Latest Banking & Innovation Trends
Keep up with the latest trends in banking with regional and international digital banking experts and get insight on mobile payments, big data, the future of payments and more. Moreover, request an invitation to attend the Banking Innovation Workshop which will feature two hands-on workshops covering blockchain, as well as the best practices in lead generation and CRM.

5. Biggest players in e-commerce
This year’s Digital Commerce Forum at ArabNet Riyadh will host some of MENA’s latest and leading e-commerce platforms and players, such as Noon and Souq.com, who will highlight the latest trends in online and mobile commerce in the Kingdom and the region.

Website: arabnet.me/conference/riyadh/

Facebook/Twitter: arabnetme

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Events & Happenings, Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Shoot For a Cause

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By Basma Baarma

One small step for women, one giant leap for mankind.


Oct. 11 marked a proud day in the history of Saudi women. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and the General Sports Authority and under the sponsorship of Princess Reema bint Bandar, The Mazda Cup, an all-women sporting event, was held for the first time at the King Abdullah Sports City (Al Jawhara Stadium). “It was a great success thanks to all the collaborative efforts of our partners and sponsors” commented Diena Aref, founder of Shoot For a Cause. ssak9674

Three teams faced off in a basketball game with participants from different schools and universities with intervals of sport segments that included the audience’s participation.

The purpose of the event was to spread awareness on breast cancer and general health for women. Health booths were spread around the stadium halls endorsing health and check-ups.ssak0977

“Female sports clubs, medical institutions, and companies came together to raise awareness, showing the eagerness of Saudi women to speak up about women’s health.” – Marriam Mossalli, owner of Niche Arabia

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Events & Happenings, Online Magazine

Huawei Takes KSA By Storm

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An interview with the Vice President Pablo Ning.


Destination Jeddah’s recent conversation with Pablo Ning, Vice President of Tech Investment Saudi Arabia at leading electronics brand Huawei, was enlightening to say the least.

The Huawei brand arrived in the Kingdom 16 years ago, but it was around three years ago that they entered the consumer electronics market. Ning talked to us about the major findings of their research. “We discovered that Saudis tend to spend 5 to 6 hours a day on their mobile devices. The Saudi youth are particularly active on the Internet. The latest Mate Series was incredibly popular here, especially because of its long battery life.”classic-mate-series-look

Huawei managed to enter a market that was new and different compared to what they were used to, but they did extensive market research to learn about the Saudi culture and consumer behavior and demands.

Their studies show, for instance, that Saudis are more active during nighttime (from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.) than during the day, with high consumption rates on Instagram and Twitter, an indication that we likely take pictures without much natural light. This is where the Huawei Nova comes in, equipped as it is with Leica lens, known to be among the best.

Instead of imposing all their products on the market, Huawei supplies what the customer needs. Ning explains it’s part of their corporate culture – to add value to the customer’s consumption of technology. Or as their slogan says, Building A Better Connected World.

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Foodie Corner

Sip Sip Hooray!

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By Fizzah Khan

Exhausted from a staggering week and not sure how to fix up that mood? Fret not! We’ve got the perfect selection of bubbly, blissful beverages you’ll need to kick-start your weekend!


Sometimes the routine gets too hectic and you’re left wondering when the weekend arrives. This is when all you seek is a relaxing spot with nice refreshments, something to charge you up. Or simply a chilled drink while you cruise away for a long drive. Let’s face it, we all need a break from our busy lives just to relax, enjoy the weather and slurp our favorites! Here’s why we’ve taken a little trip around town and uncovered the best cocktail picks the city has to offer to sip your worries away!

50 Fruits

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If you’re a fresh juice junkie like us, you surely need a fruity fix to get going through the day. 50 Fruits is best known for their extensive variety of fruits and blends. This little fruit shack is your perfect place for an early morning energy boost or a chunky smoothie to go with your evening walk. This place is known for the best blends of fruity cocktails full of absolutely delicious taste and freshness! It is one gem that definitely tops our recommendation list!

Facebook: 50fruitsksa

Location: Al Imam Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz Branch Rd (See map) and Dammam Branch Rd, Al Yarmuk (See map)

Mama Noura

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Nestled in almost every renowned area of Riyadh, this traditional smoothie bar provides all that is healthy and fresh. You will surely fall in love with this one!

Facebook: MaMa-Noura

Location: King Abdullah Rd (See map)

Signature

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Looking to try out something extraordinary? Luckily you won’t have to go too far, as Signature has the most delicious cocktails and juices in town. With a rich creamy texture and a slight hint of ice cream, the experts at Signature know very well how to tantalize your taste buds. Famous for their “Signature” and “Sunset” cocktail, these explosions of flavors are hands down a winner and definitely worth the hype.

Facebook: signaturebyjf

Location: King Abdul Aziz Branch Rd Al Masif (See map)

Juicoo Frutoo 

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This magical place is one of a kind with its captivating interiors and super delectable desserts and juices. Each of their slushy mixes has a fresh and unique twist. Not only are their mixes a tempting sight but extremely palatable. It is a great place to hang out with friends and family as it portrays a beautiful décor and more importantly a wide array of beverages that keep you coming for more!

Facebook: juicoofrutoo

Location: Northern Ring Branch Rd, Al Masif (See map)

Juice Time

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You really wouldn’t have missed this hidden treasure if you are one of those who likes exploring the city. Juice Time has been one of the most trending juice bars in Riyadh and its décor is all fresh fruits! You can make your own blend of smoothie or cocktail by picking your favorite ones. Best known for their amazingly rich and tasty smoothies, these guys come up with new flavors to keep your cravings well satisfied.

Facebook: Juicetime.ksa

Location: Prince Turki Bin Abdulaziz Althani St (See map)

Most of us are on the edge of our seats, looking for an excuse to enjoy the gust of winter coming soon in Riyadh. Grab this opportunity and head out today to these great places for a refreshingly mouth-watering cocktail. Thank us later! 😉

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Events & Happenings

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY: THE NITRO CIRCUS

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By Katie Kyle

As my family and I glimpsed King Fahd Stadium for the first time, we knew this was going to be a historic night – a night of firsts.  


We were on our way to see the first family sporting event ever to be held in a stadium in Riyadh.  It would also be the first performance by the Nitro Circus in the city, showcasing its daring, high-octane stunts.

The stadium had a contagious celebratory vibe. We wended our way past the men, women, and children, queuing at brightly-lit, sweet-smelling vans laden with treats. The soulful notes of James Brown and Bill Withers filled the stadium, that was soon replaced with the deafening volume of the circus as the performance got underway. This was fingers-in-your-ears-fun!

As the performers were introduced, the multi-national character of this act became apparent. There were stuntmen from California, New Zealand, Australia, and there was one in a traditional Saudi thobe.  In a poignant tribute, they dedicated the show to their friend and colleague, Eric Roner, who died in a sky-diving act, in 2015.

Before they started the stunts, we were shown footage of acts that had gone wrong.  The hardest to watch was a tumble taken by Aaron Fotheringham, a stuntman defying the odds in a wheelchair.  As he prepared to do a front-flip, the presenter explained his message: ‘Never give up’; Fotheringham didn’t, and performed a perfect turn.

The mood lightened as the performers scaled the 40-foot ‘Giganta’ ramp.  Launching themselves from the top, they gave us somersaults, 360-degree upright turns, and backflips on bikes, skates, and skis.  Then came the throaty sound of ten motorbikes.  Flying through the air, they performed handstands, side turns, and back flips and front flips to a huge backdrop of flames.

Then some of the acts appeared to go wrong, either by design or because, as my 10-year-old daughter speculated, ‘They’re getting too showy-offy.’ Whichever was true, we were suitably nervous as we waited to see one of the biggest tricks in the world of BMX- a triple backflip.

‘I think something bad’s going to happen,’ whispered my daughter, but her nerves were misplaced as we counted three flips and a safe landing.

The grand finale: a continuous stream of wow-inducing stunts from all the motorbikes and bikes, simultaneously.  As they soared through the air, there was a sense that anything might be possible in Riyadh this night.

Instagram: TIME Entertainment

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Events & Happenings

Bringing The Best of Pop-Culture to Riyadh

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Riyadh’s first Comic Con arrives this month.


Panache Middle East and Events Oasis is bringing to Riyadh the first edition of popular culture convention, Comic Con Arabia from 23rd – 25th of November at the Riyadh International Exhibition and Convention Center. Sponsored by Rani, this three-day multi-genre celebration will provide spectators with the exclusive opportunity to meet Game of Thrones and Justice League star, Jason Momoa, as the headline act and regional rap legend Qusai and many more.

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Comic Con Arabia’s audience will be entertained with an eclectic selection of activities including two cosplay competitions, challenging e-sports tournaments, food from a delicious medley of food-trucks, and shop for some exclusive collectibles inspired by the exhilarating world of anime, manga, graphic novels, video games, toys, TV shows and films.

The region’s best cosplayers will have the chance to compete against each other in an exclusive male and female cosplay competition, judged by international celebrity cosplayers who are experts in costume creation and whose creations have been used in Hollywood movies.

The additional features of the event include stimulating discussion panels and make-up workshops for women from professional make-up artists. Talented regional artists will don the Artist Alley with authentic creations and avid gamers can display their skills at challenging eSports tournaments.

Apart from the cosplay competitions, Comic Con Arabia will have numerous occasions to win prizes such as a fully paid trip to Spain and many other giveaways from social media competitions. Providing the exciting opportunity to make history with art, Comic Con Arabia is offering the region’s top artists to create a mascot fit for the brand.

The crowd-sourced mascot competition will see one highly creative individual take home a cash prize of SAR 5,000, unlimited access to all of the coming Comic Con Arabia events and more. Additional prizes will be provided for the winners of the eSports tournaments and competitions.

Tickets are available exclusively through Virgin Megastores or at the door.


For more information on Comic-Con Arabia visit comicconarabia.live

Follow Comic-Con Arabia on social media:

FacebookInstagram, Twitter and Snapchat

About Panache Middle EastAbout Events Oasis

Founded in 2011, Panache Middle East is a brand management firm that integrates cutting edge technology, market insights and ingenuity into every project. Paving the way for a new era of events, the division Panache LIVE is the home of original event concepts and content, each one owned and operated by Panache Middle East.

With its headquarters in Dubai and a diverse team of creative, knowledgeable, and agile experts, the agency has been a driving force behind many memorable and successful events across the Gulf region.

Founded in 2015, Events Oasis, a part of the Al Hokair Group of companies, was set up to create and operate world class events in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Headquartered in Riyadh, with a team of specialists in project management, marketing and business development, Events Oasis aims to be the leader in event management in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Healthy Living

Gifts to Support the Breast Cancer Fighters

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AlBandary Khaled AlJohar

Gifts for a breast cancer patient or survivor can be hard to choose because it’s a touchy subject.


If you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer or is going through treatment for it, these gifts can help to uplift them. It’s a thoughtful way to offer your support and care for them.

1- Bandana Headband

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You can design and color a bandana that they can use for chemo’s side effects.

2- Bookmarks

Photo credits: Aga's box of miracles

Photo credits: Aga’s box of miracles

You can design a bookmark with inspirational quotes or with images to keep them going.

3- Flowers:

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Flowers decorations as breast cancer ribbon or with motivational words on gift cards.

4- Wall Decorations

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You can have inspirational quotes as wall art  or you can design stickers.

5- Baking a cake

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Make your support sweeter and edible by baking a cake.

6- Organizing a Party

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You can organize a pink themed party and invite all the cancer fighters and survivors to let them know that they are not alone in this journey.

*Early Checkups for Breast Cancer Means Early Cure, insha Allah

Check the Ministry of Health National Program for Citizens that offers a free check-up under these conditions:

1- Must have the Saudi National ID or married to a Saudi Citizen

2- Must be above 40 years old, 30 years old in case there was a family history of breast cancer

3- Must show the National ID

4- Must be not pregnant

5- Must be nonbreastfeeding for at least 3 months

Location: Hayat Mall, near dip n ‘ dip, 1st floor, Gate 7

For more information Check out their Social Media accounts

Instagram:@ccpmoh.ksa

Twitter: @ccpmoh_ksa

Website: www.bc-moh.com

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