40 Years & One Night

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A look into the future of Saudi cinema.


Directed by Mohammed Alholayil, “40 Years and One Night” takes a deep dive into the dysfunctionality of a Saudi family by portraying the different challenges faced by the siblings of the family. The film is centered around the aftermath of the whole family finding out about their father’s second marriage.

The film highlights the different personalities of each of the siblings through their reactions to the news whilst also navigating their own lives and relationships, showcasing the dysfunctionality of the family as a unit that affects each of them on a deeper personal level.still_02_00172769

The movie is set in the ancestral family house where they all grew up and built memories together, which according to the director, intensifies the emotions of the kids about the betrayal of their father. In an interview with two members of the cast, Zara Al Balouchi and Osama Salih, alongside the director and the screenwriter Mohammed Alholayil and Bashayer Abdelaziz, we were able to discuss the different aspects of the movie. The screenplay was written around 6 years ago and was shot in 2020, with the inspiration behind it being the need to represent the Saudi family in its authentic nature. “We tried to have real characters that people will be able to connect with,” said Bashayer.still_06_00147581

The movie touches on some sensitive topics that may have the potential to backfire, as viewers might feel that the representation is rather exaggerated. However, the topics that were covered are not limited to Saudi culture alone as such problems do occur in other parts of the Middle Eastern region. “When it comes to Arab cultures, they are mostly similar, especially that the portrayed family resembles the majority of Saudi families” Alholayil mentioned. A rather memorable aspect of this film is its ability to touch people from similar cultures all while revolving around Saudi characters. “… this is the feeling that the creators of the film are looking for, not limited to a specific class, but, internationally because it is a story of humanity for everyone to enjoy.” still_0100164423

The director is hoping for a positive reaction from the public and is pushing for this movie to start a discussion about the various issues that families in Saudi Arabia can face. The film encourages the critique of normalised cultural practices while also showing the consequences of what was thought to be just another issue that can happen within families.

Salih adds, “I think that the movie opens a discussion. The family that will watch this movie will definitely follow up with a discussion, one million percent”. Alholayil also mentions that the film does not need a specific agenda or goal, but rather it allows the audience to think and reflect about certain issues rather than offer a solution.dsc08039

Overall, the film provides the viewer with things to think about and discuss after watching, also while touching upon some crucial aspects of Saudi as well as Arab culture. The film also highlights the hidden pressures that each member of the family feels on a daily basis, without necessarily encouraging a different way of life, but rather motivating people to reflect on the reasons behind the presence of such issues in our culture. ‘40 Years and One Night’ can be a good starting point for different creatives to enhance their ideas further and portray issues that may not have been discussed in previous years.

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The Music Space: A New Hub for All Things Music

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If you are a lover of the local music scene and are looking for a place that gives you all-out access to the best musicians in town, then The Music Space is for you!


Co-Founded by Kaswara Alkhatib, The Music Space was created to be the home for Indie and Alternative musicians and music lovers. “We are trying to grow this genre in the Middle East by giving emerging musicians a place to play, evolve their skills, & grow their audience.” While traditional Arabic music is well served, the Indie genre remains limited to basements and tiny venues.dsc_5514-copy

Moreover, it helps with the exposure of bands to the various talent agents, event organizers, and record labels. Hosting bands from all genres and musical styles such as Jazz, Blues, R&B, Funk, Soul, Classical, and Progressive Rock. The Music Space opens its doors for genres from all over the world. It allows us to experience an array of musical cultures and pushes musicians to discover their unique sounds.dsc_5708-copy

Experiencing a show at TMS allows a unique opportunity for music lovers to experience a live performance in an intimate setting and meet the performers. During breaks, both the musicians and the audience head to the outdoor area to have a cigarette and conversate. The nights are concluded with an improv jam session afterparty, where the musicians have their own little fun before heading home. dsc_5627-copy

The place is a small space with all the seats positioned towards the stage, drawing the focus towards the musicians rather than anything else. Overall, The Music Space is a place many people in Jeddah have been waiting for without knowing they were.

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It is already highlighting the hidden talents of the community and giving the people a chance to appreciate the beauty of live alternative music performances. AlKhatib concluded, “I believe many people will follow The Music Space’s idea, but that only means we did something right. We will feed off each other and help the music  community grow in Jeddah and the Kingdom.” To know more about the upcoming themes and events, visit @TMS.ksa on Instagram and get a taste of what The Music Space has to offer.dsc_5752-copy

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Evolution of Coffee Making in Saudi:

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In the last few years, we have seen an exponential growth in coffee culture in Saudi Arabia with plenty of new coffee shops opening up for the public. This boom does not come from nowhere, as it is the boom of the coffee making industry that triggered that change in Saudi culture.


Coffee farming has always been designated to specific regions of the world, specifically South America with the infamous Colombian coffee beans. However, today Saudi is taking it’s coffee making much more seriously.

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With investments into the coffee industry in Saudi by ARAMCO, farmers have developed new agricultural techniques in order to increase the yearly yield of coffee beans that are then processed into our favorite blends that are distributed throughout the country.

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The coffee making industry in Saudi Arabia still operates on a smaller scale in comparison to other countries. However, with a 9.6% annual growth in coffee making, Saudi is on its way to becoming a major producer of coffee beans with potential to begin exporting in the near future.

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The Coffee farms in Saudi are all located in the south due to the ideal weather conditions as the climate in the southern regions are different compared to the rest of the country. It is more humid and has mild temperatures with long summers.

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The booming coffee making industry in Saudi shows a great potential for strong competition in the global coffee industry. It also shows that the country is becoming more self-sufficient, where the demand for coffee can now be satisfied locally without the need for external imports.

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Say Yes to the Dress …Again!

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Are you looking for some vintage clothes without having to spend too much?


From cheap finds at the local thrift shops, to rummaging through your parent’s closets, the answers are all around you. The vintage fashion trend made its way into international brands, and we can’t get a good old jacket without having to spend a fortune. But there are many ways one can acquire truly vintage pre-owned clothes for a fraction of the prices.

dsc_2699 Rummage  through your  mom’s  trunks; Why settle for fashion remakes if  you can get original editions.

Have you ever opened your parent’s or grandparent’s closets and found an abundance of clothes they used to wear back in the day? I have. Raiding our family’s closets can serve as a way to revive fashion styles that our generations have not experienced. It can preserve the previous generation’s styles and merge them with our modern fashion. Try switching your outfits with your parents or grandparents one day. You’d be surprised how interesting that can look.

destination_second-hands-clothes-copyBe the belle of the ball – Make sure you stand out wherever you are.

If you plan to go clothes shopping, consider passing through the different thrift shops available across the country. You can find many clothing gems that cannot be found anywhere else. Swift through their selection, and you might find some of your favorite brands. It’s like it time traveled for you to wear them. Mawakeb Al Ajer in Jeddah provides you with pre-owned items for you to buy at a cheaper price, while giving all the proceeds to different charities or people in need.

Mawakeb Al Ajer:
Location: Al Arabi, Al Khalidiyyah, Jeddah
Mob: 0126062433
Mob: 0552412167
Instagram: mawakebalajer
Facebook: secondhandshopjeddah

Haraj Ibn Qasim
Location: Al Mansuriyah Road, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

dsc_1662-copyGrandma’s  Jalabiyas? Give a fresh take on traditional frocks by giving it a boho spin.

Finally, another way one can benefit from pre-owned clothes is to upcycle them. Hasanat is a charity that re-purposes donated clothes and sells them while giving all the proceeds to charities supporting and empowering local women. The way it works is, Hasanat receives unwanted clothes from people, washes and sorts them, then re-purposes them while teaching volunteering women how to sew and make a living.

Hasanat
Location: Al Mohamadiyah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Web: hasanatcharity.com
@  give@hasanatcharity.com
Instagram: hasanat_charitybrand

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A classic jacket you can get from dad too.

There are many things one can make fashion from. Whether it’s from thrift shops, your family’s closets, or charity organizations, don’t be afraid to try new things with your fashion styles. The next time you’re planning on going shopping, think of the alternatives first. You can find true clothing gems right in the depths of your storage closet.

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Rock and Roll in the East: Raif Bukhari

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As he tunes his guitar, Raif Bukhari knows the rhythm he wants to play at the back of his head. Like most musicians, he began playing the guitar at an early age, but it was only when he turned 17 that he decided to pursue music further.


He experiments with his music and discovers new ways to evolve the music scene of the country. He collaborates with the different bands of the city but also focuses on his musical identity solo. He recently quit his day job to pursue his professional career in music. With all his cards on the table, he puts all of his energy into his music, expressing his innermost feelings through the melodies and the strings of the guitar strum.

Stay tuned onto our social media for our video campaign Walk With Me exploring the beauty of the Kingdom through the eyes of local homegrown scouts.

Stay tuned onto our social media for our video campaign Walk With Me exploring the beauty of the Kingdom through the eyes of local homegrown scouts.

He aims to reach as many people through his music and allow the listeners to relate to the emotions he’s trying to express. He starts his day with a coffee on his balcony while playing with his little kitty, then gives fate control of how his day turns out. When writing his music, Raif listens to his emotions and lets the guitar do the rest.

balconyThree Happy Places

His Balcony
Being in the comfort of his home, Raif’s balcony has a beautiful sea view, perfect for sound inspiration and long conversations. He spends most of his days sitting on the balcony enjoying the sound of the waves crashing.

Land Bridge
He discovered it on one of his adventures where a piece of land paves its way into the sea. When you head there at the right time of the year, you can witness an abundance of birds migrating, creating surreal scenery.

Judah Rocks
Also known as the Grand Canyon of Saudi Arabia, the breathtaking view of the Judah rocks allow Raif to wind down and help him get inspiration for his music.

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Reviving Old Professions: Mohammed Saad

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Based in Makkah  but works in Jeddah, Mohammed Saad’s day starts with a daily one-hour drive to his work in Angawi house. Over time, he began taking advantage of this drive by listening to different podcasts about his work or interests.


Mohammed has been a woodworker since his early days. He learned the handcrafting skill from his brother and applied it to wood. He combined calligraphy and woodworking for his first-ever project, and the smell of timber got imprinted on him ever since.

When his shift is done, Mohammed heads back home to continue working in his home workstation, experimenting and learning more about wood. He buys his wood almost weekly from Hiraj Al Khashab, where he handpicks the timber himself. He learned to identify the different characteristics of woodby mere sight. Just one look and he can know everything needed.

Intricately hand crafted wooden spoon by Mohammed Saad

Intricately hand crafted wooden spoon by Mohammed Saad

When Mohammed is not working with wood, he is exploring the diverse Makkah desert. From mountains to valleys, Mohammed appreciates the different landscapes merged in one city. He proudly spends most of his day working with wood or thinking of wood, achieving the peace of mind he desired when he first started working with such a fine and delicate element.

Desert road in remote rural area of Tabuk in north western Saudi Arabia

Desert road in remote rural area of Tabuk in north western Saudi Arabia

Three Happy Places

Angawi House
Being his workplace, Mohammed views it as a place to explore his creativity and learn from the masters as much as he could.

Hiraj Al Khashab
Mohammed has a routine trip to the Hiraj to purchase the raw material. He carefully chooses the best wood to take back to his station. (He spends a good amount of time selecting the best of the best).

Makkah’s Desert
Makkah’s desert, one of the most diverse topographies in the Kingdom, offers a variety of experiences. You can visit mountains, caves, valleys, and sandy deserts all at once.

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Riyadh Through her Lense: Sarah Al Ansary

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As Sarah Al Ansary adjusts settings on her camera, she knows exactly what she will shoot and how she envisions narrating the story.


An architecture student that has recently discovered her passion for photography, Sarah is fascinated by Riyadh’s streets and took it as her responsibility to document it through her lens.

Her favorite place to head to is the bustling Souk Al Zal, where the smoke of the bakhoor fills the air with fragrant nostalgia, and you hear loud auctioneers entice you to take another look at the various traditional wears on sale. She grows more proud of her city as she sees tourists discover her culture and marvel at the prism of colors she has grown up with.

Stories of Falconry in the meandering streets of Ad Dirah, Riyadh

Stories of Falconry in the meandering streets of Ad Dirah, Riyadh

History paves the path for the future; well, that’s what our ancestors often say; each of the mud bricks of Ad Diriyah tells a story that Sarah tries carefully to hear she appreciates the city’s humble beginnings.

Exploring the ancient architectures in Ad Diriyah, Riyadh

Exploring the ancient architectures in Ad Diriyah, Riyadh

Three Happy Places

Al Olaya
Surrounded by skyscrapers and commercial shops, Sarah enjoys Riyadh’s lively and diverse nature. She heads to the top of the Kingdom tower turns off her camera, and lets her eyes do the capturing. When the view is that beautiful, no camera comes close to the human eye.

Al Murabba
A mixture between apartment buildings, office spaces, and governmental ministries, Al Murabba is one of the melting pots of Riyadh, with people from all over the city heading there for work or even entertainment.

Ad Diriyah
As an architecture student, Sarah appreciates and understands the importance of preserving the past through buildings and monuments. She takes a stroll and gathers references that might help her in her studies in the near future.

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The Freediving Enthusiast: Ghadeer Al Nassier

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The sea changes tides so does Ghadeer Nassier as she dives deeper into the hidden crevices of the beautiful azure waters that ripple with every movement she discovers herself.


As one of the founders of the freediving community, she connects with people who love diving as much as she does. Although they are a reasonably small community, the conversation they have impact her profoundly.

Freediving consists of holding your breath for as long as you can and dive underwater wearing nothing but fins, a mask, and some weight to help you go down faster. The most crucial part of freediving is to perform some breathing exercises before plunging in to avoid accidents.

Georgios G. Shipwreck, Tabuk

Georgios G. Shipwreck, Tabuk

As the sun rises and the sky is ruled with orange hues, she plans her day, packing her bags with everything she needs because she knows it’s going to be a long day. As she heads to ride a boat, she feels energized just thinking about being under the water. As the clock hits nine, she is already home unwinding.

Her explorative nature is not limited to the sea. Although she has a special connection to the waters, Ghadeer deeply enjoys discovering hidden gems and spots around the city and kingdom. She engages with the city and its people. Sometimes she finds herself in random conversations with strangers. She is one with people, and it is the people that make her city.

Beautiful tropical coral reef with shoal or red coral fish Anthias. Wonderful underwater world with corals, tropical fish

Three Happy Places

Coral Gardens
One of the most prestigious features of the Red Sea, coral gardens is a natural underwater location filled with an abundance of colorful corals that characterize the essence of the Red Sea.

Asfan Eagle Rock
Renowned for its historical castles, Asfan Eagle Rock, is a popular hiking location with a breathtaking trail. Ghadeer heads there every now and then to either camp or hike with a group of her friends.

JumpowlaneJarir Mall
A family entertainment center offering various arcade games and activities, Ghadeer heads to their ten-lane bowling arena and enjoys a bowling game with her friends and family.

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Exploration Nation

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Discover local gems through the eyes of Faisal Al Nassar.


Faisal Al Nassar is a young explorer

that likes to get in his car and drive to different destinations all around the kingdom. When he decides on traveling, he picks the destinations according to the regions he’s familiar with. What he discovers there is not part of his plan. When deciding on the location, Faisal makes sure to head there in the right seasons “Timing is crucial as there are places where I was forbidden from entering because I did not choose the correct time.”

In a conversation with Faisal, he revealed to Destination KSA his favorite local adventures so far:

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Rijal AlmAa in Abha

Rijal Almaa, also known as the governorate of the men of Almaa is a historical site that takes us back in time and gives us a taste of how Southern Saudi Arabia’s culture used to be. It’s embedded within a mountain sierra and consists of diverse environments. “It will leave you breathless for most of the time.”

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

The coast of Neom

Faisal believes it is the epitome of natural beauty, and it shows the rawness of nature. Moving away from the futuristic city being built, “the beauty of the landscape of Neom is beyond this world.” Situated north of Tabuk, Neom offers us a good climate that accommodates anyone throughout all the seasons.

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Faisal’s Camping Must-Haves

  • Tent
  • Flashlight
  • Chargers
  • LED Lights
  • Umbrella
  • Wire
  • Leaf Blower
  • Personal Belongings
  • Coffee making Kit
  • First Aid Kit
Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Dhee Ayn

During his visit to Al Baha, Faisal met a colleague who is a local of the city, and told him about a village called Dhee Ayn. So he headed there, and he was shocked. “My eyes could not believe that this type of beauty exists in Saudi Arabia. I knew nothing about it.” The village is a living piece of history, older than 400 years old. Faisal informed us that the village is known for its harvest of bananas, lemons, and basil, as well as for its ancient architecture and buildings that are visually pleasing.

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

The Fog Walkway

“I honestly cannot find the words to describe this walkway. Walking through it is almost like flying through the clouds.” Faisal believes that London is not the only city of fog, and Abha is a worthy competitor.

Instagram: faln9

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Photos by Faisal AlNassar

Popular Camping Gear Stores

AlRimaya
Web
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Advsto
Instagram: advsto
Mob: +966-556755878

AlSanidi
Webalsanidi.com.sa

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Breaking Bad… Habits: Ramadan Edition

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We’re all in this together.


Have you already failed to keep your New Year’s resolutions? Don’t worry about it, we have our Ramadan resolutions to disappoint us all over again. Or maybe not! Ramadan is the Holy Month of giving and helping people in need. It is also a perfect time for introspection, to create good habits we can kick off during the season. Sometimes all you need is a pep talk and a few tips to get you back on track.

If we’re being honest, not all our bad habits can be stopped at once in this short period of time. Whatever one’s resolutions are, there will always be factors beyond our control that will deter us from our goals. It’s difficult to uphold our resolutions when we set our expectations very high. Start small, and give yourself a break from harsh expectations.

For the sake of the article, we will be sharing with you some of our own Ramadan resolutions this year, which is probably the same as most of you— good luck to us!

1. Keeping a good sleep schedule

When Ramadan comes, we all forget the true meaning of “good sleep”. But after all, how can we sleep early when all the good Ramadan TV shows start late at night. Oh and of course, the city lights up after Iftar time. One way to keep a good sleep schedule is to abstain from staying up till suhoor but rather sleep and wake up before fajr prayer to eat and pray. dksa_illustrations_v1-2-copy

2. Be more active

A lot of times, we associate Ramadan with a sprinkle of laziness. We almost always find ourselves in a food coma that glues us to our couches thinking of our post-iftar nap. Try starting your workouts an hour before Iftar time so that you finish right before sundown.

You also don’t need to commit to a gym membership just yet, you can start with easy 20 minute walks around your neighborhood. If you’ve gone to a mall before maghrib on Ramadan, you might’ve come across a herd of people circling round. It’s wogging and a good alternative if you want to gain your step count while avoiding the heat. dks_illustrations_v1-3-copy

3. Eat cleaner food

We can all agree that the food we usually eat during Ramadan is both oily and heavy. It doesn’t make sense if it’s anything other than that. However, it is important to find your own balance between “unhealthy” food and cleaner food. If you feel like your Iftar was rather heavy, try eating something light for suhoor, and vice versa. It makes a difference in the long run.dksa_illustrations_v1-1-copy

4. Watch less TV

Tell me Ramadan started without telling me Ramadan started, I’ll go first. When Ramadan advertisements play on MBC, that’s when we truly feel like the Season has started. Nothing takes our mind off food better than TV, at least, up until I get bombarded with the mouthwatering kabsa, oat soup, and Vimto ads. We can always substitute it with any other activity that doesn’t require much effort like drawing, reading, or even writing.

Now in a lot of households, Ramadan TV soap time is considered a family affair. And kudos to you for sitting with your aunts, grannies, and the whole lot. But how ‘bout setting up other family bonding activities just to break the pattern. Set up game night or do storytelling, no need to crack open a book, just have grandma, your uncles tell their own tales of yore.

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5. Be more patient

This one is rather difficult. During Ramadan, the hunger, mixed with a dash of dehydration, makes our buttons much easier to be pressed. The smallest inconveniences leaves us filled with anger. But you can’t fight fire with fire. Leave it till after you’ve eaten, it might not bother you anymore by then. dksa_illustrations_v1-6-copy

6. Spread the Kindness, Share your blessings

If you’re reading this from the comfort of your home, and know that you can head to the Kitchen and eat whatever you want; then you have plenty to be thankful for. Pass it on, be the reason for the joy of others. dksa_illustrations_v1-3-copy

Charity is a major part of Ramadan and we should all engage in it as much as we can. For this year, I am hoping to provide at least one person in need with a three course home cooked meal for Iftar. Want to give yourself a push to commit? Get others involved. Ask the family if you all can cook extra and buddy up with your friends to hand them out.

Illustrated by Farida Kamel

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