JEDDAH — Combining knowledge, science and culture in an educating and entertaining exhibition, Saudi Aramco’s iThra Knowledge Program opened on Tuesday at the International Convention and Exhibition Center in Riyadh.
It is the first time the program, inaugurated by Riyadh Emir Prince Turki Bin Abdullah, is held in the capital, following successful runs in Dhahran, Jeddah and Al-Hasa, which attracted over 1.6 million visitors. This number is expected to be exceeded in the current exhibition, with throngs of people taking advantage of the Eid holidays to take their families on a fun and educational outing that sparks the minds of the young and old.
Addressing the crowd, Prince Turki stressed that the iThra Knowledge Program will create a generation of pioneers and innovators who will have a leading role in giving the next generation the keys of knowledge in all its forms through various cognitive means.
The initiative by Saudi Aramco aims to promote knowledge, creativity and culture as well as to build a knowledge-based society in the Kingdom. Its goal is to reach more than 10 million people across the Kingdom by the year 2020.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco CEO and president, said the program is one of the most important ones offered by King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Saudi Aramco’s cultural arm that was established in 2008 and will be housed in Saudi Aramco’s 220,000-square meter “Knowledge Park,” which is scheduled to be opened next year. The park will include a library, archives, a learning center, youth enrichment and innovation programs, two museums, various exhibits, live events and multimedia venues, in addition to cafes and gift shops.
The Knowledge Enrichment program in Riyadh, which will run for a month until Aug. 29, offers new experiences to the public, including an “Intelligent Studio Tent” in cooperation with San Francisco Scientific Museum, and an “Inventors Studio Tent” in cooperation with YouTube.
The popular children’s art contest, this year under the theme “Watanona Amanah,” is part of the Riyadh program too, as is the award-winning international science and cultural heritage brand “1001 Inventions,” which reaches 60 million people globally.
Some 14,585 square meters have been dedicated to accommodate the event that employs over 500 volunteers to lend visitors a helping hand and guarantee a smooth visit for all.
The iThra Knowledge Program is open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. More information on the activities can be found on www.ithraknowledge.com.