Video of Saudi Arabia’s Event Shared as Holi Celebrations in India

Sonal Gupta
·3-min read

A video of a colourful fireworks display has been shared on social media as Holi celebrations. Some users went on to claim that the celebrations took place at the Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh.

However, the video dates back to October 2018 and shows a daylight fireworks display for a ‘creativity event’, Tanween at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (KACWC), also known as Ithra, in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran city.

CLAIM

The video was shared by Vishva Hindu Parishad’s Spokesperson Vinod Bansal as a video of Holi celebrations, garnering over 32,400 views at the time of writing this article.

You can view an archived version <a href="https://archive.is/9n4y2" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
You can view an archived version here.

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Facebook user Yashpal Singh Advocate also shared the video for Holi, garnering over 45,000 views at the time of writing this article.

You can view an archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/3LAD-U2SR" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
You can view an archived version here.

A few users claimed that the video is of the newly constructed Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh.

You can view an archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/DVT2-P3JY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
You can view an archived version here.
You can view an archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/3KYP-C762" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
You can view an archived version here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We cropped the building out of the viral video and ran a reverse image search, which led us to a website for a building contracting and trading company, SINAR, based out of Lebanon.

The website states that the building is an art centre, KACWC in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran. It was built in October 2016 as a project by Saudi Arabian oil company, Aramco.

KACWC is also known as Ithra and holds a library, theatre, cinema hall and museums, according to its official website.

We then conducted a reverse image search of one of the keyframes of the viral video along with the keyword, ‘Ithra’, and found the same video on YouTube, dated 20 October 2018.

Further, we found a video on Ithra’s official YouTube channel, carrying visuals of the fireworks at Tanween 2018, an annual ‘creativity festival’ with workshops and expert-talks, held at the Centre.

A full video of the fireworks display can also be seen on its official Facebook page.

Yesterday at #Ithra, our audience looked up to see a colorful artistic sky with our daylight fireworks, and they looked around to see 18,000 visitors with one goal, to get inspired. #Ithra_Tanween تلوّنت سماء #إثراء نهارًا بالألعاب الناريّة، وتلوّنت أرضها ابتهاجًا بحضور ١٨ ألف زائر البارحة. في #تنوين_إثراء، لا يوجد للاختلاف حدود!

Posted by Ithra on Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Further, we compared the structure of the building in the viral video with a photo of Ithra in Google Maps, and found that the two match.

Evidently, a video of an event in Saudi Arabia has been falsely shared as Holi celebrations in India.

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