The list of people who have obtained Saudi citizenship includes calligrapher Kiswa, historians and a pioneer of the theatrical movement

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Asharq Al-Awsat has learned that the list of people who obtained Saudi citizenship as a result of Thursday’s royal decree includes several prominent names in the cultural and intellectual fields. These personalities have played an important role in supporting the local cultural movement through their important contributions. They include: the chief calligrapher of the Kiswa factory of the Holy Kaaba in Mecca and historian Dr Amin Sido, researcher Dr Mohammed Alboukai, historian Dr Abd al-Karim Ibrahim al-Samak, and Samaan Al Ani , one of the pioneering theater directors.

The list also included several personalities from the religious, historical, medical, educational, investment, digital and sports fields.

Asharq Al-Awsat offers below a biography of some of the prominent names included in the royal decree:

Dr Amin Sido

Sido has made significant scientific and research efforts which have contributed to the local cultural movement. He has over 30 publications to his credit which have enriched culture and literature in Saudi Arabia.

Sido is an expert in bibliographic studies and has numerous publications in the field.

He worked at the King Fahad National Library and was editor-in-chief of its magazine. He presented a bibliographic study on “The Saudis and Libraries and Information Science”.

Dr Mohammed Alboukai

Alboukai is a researcher and translator, with around forty publications on various arts to his credit. They include studies in history, criticism and translation. He has worked as a professor of linguistics and literary criticism in several academic institutions, including King Saud University in Riyadh.

He is currently working at the King Salman Center for Historical and Civilization Studies of the Arabian Peninsula, drawing on a rich heritage in researching publications related to the history of the Arabian Peninsula and the Saudi state. In 2018, he received the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Prize for translation in the category “individual efforts”.

Dr Abd al-Karim Ibrahim al-Samak

Historian Dr Abd al-Karim Ibrahim al-Samak holds a doctorate in modern and contemporary history. He lived about fifty years of his life in Saudi Arabia where he published biographies of several heads of state at the time of the founding of the kingdom, in particular the Arabs who worked with King Abdulaziz.

He was interested in the work of journalist and historian Amin Said. He has published several of his books devoted to Saudi Arabia. He was also interested in the archives of his magazine, “The Middle East”, which is a major reference on the history of the kingdoms of Hijaz and Najad as it was published around the time of the unification of the Saudi Arabia. Al-Samak compiled the archives into a two-volume book, in a major contribution to Saudi history.

Samaan Al Ani

Al Ani is a pioneer of directing in Saudi Arabia. Shortly after graduating in theater arts in Baghdad, he became one of the first people to join Saudi theater as a director in the 1970s.

He directs “Qitar al-Haz”, which is one of the first Saudi stage productions. His career began shortly after with many other productions. He participates in several international theater festivals and trains many Saudi actors.

Mokhtar Alim

Chief Calligrapher of the Kiswa of the Holy Kaaba in Mecca, Alim now works as a calligrapher at the Kiswa Factory of the Holy Kaaba. His works have been presented in international exhibitions and he has given classes and offered training in calligraphy. One of its courses is taught at the Masjid al-Haram Academy. He also worked for two and a half years in the mid-1990s as a calligrapher of diplomas, masters and doctoral certificates at Umm All Qura University.

His works have been acquired by several political leaders and exhibited in the halls of several public institutions. He has won several awards in recognition of his work.



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