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RIYADH: A local entrepreneur has come up with the bright idea of providing an online store for the increasingly popular work of artists showcasing Saudi culture.
With many Saudis proudly wearing or displaying culturally embedded prints and logos on clothing, cellphone covers, bags and wall art, Bahaa Gazzaz, the owner of the website Spark, saw an opportunity to market and sell these artistic creations.


Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. It’s a marketplace for trailblazers as well as a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives. (Supplied)

Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. It’s a marketplace for trailblazers and a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives, he said.
“It came about in 2013 during a business trip I took to China. Let’s just say, I got sparked. Three years down the line, with many trials and errors, Spark made its debut in 2016,” Gazzaz told Arab News.
• With many Saudis proudly wearing or displaying culturally embedded prints and logos on clothing, cellphone covers, bags and wall art, Bahaa Gazzaz, the owner of the website Spark, saw an opportunity to market and sell these artistic creations.
• Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. It’s a marketplace for trailblazers and a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives.
Many talented designers are benefiting financially from their designs without the worry of printing, shipping and other logistics because Spark does the job for them.


All of Spark’s products are custom-made and printed on demand in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)

“Local designers are benefiting financially from Spark by enabling them to monetize their skills as … artist(s). Understanding how their creative expressions can relate to customers, thus makes a sale.” The site has over 50,000 registered users including artists from Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world, Gazzaz said.
He said the launch of Spark was the hardest part of getting the business off the ground.
 “As a business owner, you have to understand that your brand is up for a ride of constant change cultivated by your customers and fueled by your passion. And it starts when you hit the launch button. It will always linger in your head if your product/brand can be better? The answer is always going to be ‘yes.’ Don’t let that stop you, and just roll the ball.”


Spark is a smart web application that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. It’s a marketplace for trailblazers as well as a monetization portal for designers, photographers, and creatives. (Supplied)

All of Spark’s products are custom-made and printed on demand in the Kingdom. Customers buy products they can relate to, and they often return to make more purchases, he said.
He said an entrepreneur has to encounter and overcome setbacks; and encouraged artists to use his business to showcase their work. “Let the customers decide.”
For more information, visit his website at https://sparknow.com/
RIYADH: Princess Noura bint Mohammed bin Saud patronized the graduation ceremony of 900 female students at the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) in Riyadh on Tuesday.
There were 235 female graduates who received master’s degrees, 6 who received diplomas, 504 who received bachelor’s degrees, and 152 who received higher diploma levels.
Established in 1970 as Saudi Arabia’s first women’s college of education, PNU has now become the world’s largest women’s university, educating 600,000 students spread across 102 colleges — ranging from universities to intermediate and community colleges — in 72 Saudi cities.
Princess Noura delivered a speech at the ceremony, which emphasized the Kingdom’s interest in educating and empowering women, helping them to achieve their goals, advancing their leadership roles, and preparing them to be active members of society.
This was followed by a speech from the President of the University, Dr. Inas bint Suleiman Al-Eisa, during which she stated that a certificate was not merely a document, but a “key to the future.”
At the end of the ceremony, the graduates watched a recorded speech made by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Norway, Amal bint Yahya Al-Mouallimi, herself a PNU alumna, who emphasized the pivotal role of Saudi women, and noted the Kingdom was at an important stage in women’s history.
Women’s empowerment, a critical component of larger-scale socioeconomic reform in Saudi Arabia, has been a priority of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and women’s education has received a great deal of attention in Saudi Arabia.
RIYADH: Jadidat Arar land port in the Kingdom’s northern region welcomed a third group of Hajj pilgrims from neighbouring Iraq on Monday, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The pilgrims benefitted from flexible services and procedures provided by the relevant authorities.
The land port operates around the clock and has served over 4,000 Iraqi pilgrims so far.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers held a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). 
During the meeting, the cabinet confirmed that classifying eight individuals and 11 entities for their connection with the Iran-backed Houthi militia reflects the country’s commitment to continue to prosecute those who target Yemen and its people and attempt to destabilize the region, SPA reported. 
The cabinet also stressed the Kingdom’s firm position on Sudan and expressed solidarity to its people, as well as called on the international community to help establish peace and security in the country, SPA added.
 
 
JEDDAH: Members of the Women’s Association for Hearing Impairment in Jeddah (Emkan) triumphed in a Jeddah chess tournament recently, competing against those without hearing impairments to win the top four places.
Emkan president Princess Nouf bint Muqrin bin Abdulaziz on Friday honored Shadin Al-Amr for winning first place in the Jeddah chess refresher tournament for women.
She also honored Ibtisam Ba-Saeed, Sawsan Saleem, and Rania Al-Faham for coming in second, third, and fourth place.
The tournament, which was organized by the women’s committee at the Saudi Chess Federation, was attended by Saeed Al-Qahtani, president of the Saudi Deaf Sports Federation, Al-Jawhara Al-Hasan, head of the SDSF’s chess committee, and Ayman Al-Harbi, director of Jeddah’s social development center.
Emkan vice president Faiza Natto and Saudi Arabia’s first female chess referee Al-Anoud Isaac were also among the participants.

Natto told Arab News that the number of hearing-impaired women in the tournament reflected the state’s interest in developing the skills of Saudi women in general and those with impairments in particular.
She said their presence also proved the government’s keenness to enhance the participation of the hearing-impaired community in society, especially in sports and activities requiring a high level of intellectual skill.
“At the association, we provide our 200 members with social, cultural, and sports programs. Two months ago, we founded a team of chess players, whose ages range between 30 and 40,” she said.
She added that Emkan also offered programs that improved members’ skills, including photography and sewing.
“We also conduct seminars on social, religious, health, and psychological topics to enrich their knowledge. These programs and others are all meant to fit them in society.”
She said she valued the great support that Princess Nouf was providing to motivate women with hearing impairments and integrate them into the wider community. “This is one of the main objectives of Emkan in Jeddah.”
She said the association was working on expanding its partnership with all Saudi federations for women’s sports, especially the Saudi Chess Federation.
“As a result of this partnership, five of our hearing-impaired champions last week competed against seven chess players from the Makkah region. Despite the participation of ordinary players in the tournament, two of our team, Fatima Al-Amoudi, and Rasha Abu Zaid won third and fourth places, respectively,” Natto said.
Al-Hasan said the tournament was part of the social responsibilities that the SDSF was committed to, adding that Saudi women had left the spectators’ seats to become event makers in their own right through their active participation in the sports sector.
She said previous tournaments had uncovered a lot of chess talent among Jeddah women with hearing impairments.
RIYADH: A Saudi development program in Yemen has laid the foundation stone for a new educational institution in Taiz, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen said the twelve-classroom facility aims to provide access to quality education in the city.
The new school is now part of 207 projects or initiatives provided by the SDRPY in seven vital sectors across Yemen.
The program’s educational projects include the building and restoring of schools and universities. Work on Saba University is among the notable projects of the program, which has also built 23 schools and a center for gifted students.
Other initiatives include the provision of 26 buses and the distribution of 548,852 textbooks.

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