(MENAFN - Arab News) The non-governmental organization (NGO) Rekaaz is scheduled to hold a local cultural presentation at the Panorama Mall in Riyadh in September to encourage friendship among Saudi youth between the ages of 15 to 25 years.
"The members will invite Saudis to attend. The message of the presentation will be friendship which Rekaaz wants to engender among Saudi youth," Badr A. Al-Khanbassi, the group representative in the Saudi capital, told Arab News on Wednesday.
Over the past four years, Rekaaz also presented shows whose themes included respect for mother, self-esteem, desire to succeed in life and responsibility toward society. Rekaaz has also been holding cultural programs in other key cities like Jeddah, Dammam, Yanbu, Taif and Abha. It has some 500 volunteer members.
Al-Khanbassi told Arab News that Rekaaz will invite a well-known personality as guest who will talk about friendship, expressing hope that this will pay off in terms of goodwill and camaraderie among youngsters. Such an aim will also help in instilling sound values in Saudi youth who will take over the helm of leadership from their elders.
Al-Khanbassi said that Rekaaz's theme this year is timely because as the Kingdom's population grows, more and more Saudis end up not knowing each other.
"This is exacerbated
by materialism brought about by prosperity. As a result, alienation prevails," said Al-Khanbassi, who works for a computer company.
During the last presentation, Faisal Abut Thnain, a member of the Al-Hilal Club, was invited.
"He talked about friendship among those who attended and he was effective, probably because as a soccer player, he had shown sportsmanship which is inextricably linked with friendship," he said.
Al-Khanbassi, who attended the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, said that Rekaaz had also invited Dr. Mohammed Al-Alarifi who also spoke about friendship during a presentation at the Al-Othaim Mall near Exit 14 a few months back.
He said that Al-Alarifi talked about the good and bad that friendship can encompass, citing examples. "
In doing so, he discussed an important topic to youth," said Al-Khanbassi who works as a business support manager for a computer firm. He added that the crowd also watched a 90-minute presentation.
The Al-Othaim program was followed by a presentation at the Sprawling Sahara Mall along King Abdulaziz Street in Riyadh. Prominent Saudi singer Ibrahim Al-Naqeeb of Jeddah was invited to entertain the crowd by singing four of his popular songs.
Al-Khanbassi said that he was looking forward to the presentation next month "because it was one way for us to give something of our time and of ourselves for the country."
Asked how Rekaaz subsidizes its presentations considering the fact that it doesn't charge fees, Al-Khanbassi said that they raise funds through the sale of CDs of the campaign which Rekaaz had undertaken this year, in addition to books on friendship.
As to the members, he said, "We all work as volunteers, receiving nothing except the ineffable happiness we derive from doing something good for the youth and, by extension, for our country."
Rekaaz was formed five years ago by Ahmed Asiri, an administrator of the Al-Andalus High School in Jeddah.