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Saudi Minister of State Prince Mansour attends Maldives presidential inauguration

Sun, 2018-11-18 00:21 On behalf of King Salman, Saudi Minister of State Prince Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdul Aziz attended the inauguration on Saturday of new Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the capital Male. Prince Mansour, who is a member of th
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Minister of State Prince Mansour attends Maldives presidential inauguration

Sun, 2018-11-18 00:21 On behalf of King Salman, Saudi Minister of State Prince Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdul Aziz attended the inauguration on Saturday of new Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the capital Male. Prince Mansour, who is a member of the Council of Ministers, conveyed to Solih the greetings of the king and crown prince, and conveyed their wishes to the people of the Maldives for their country’s progress and prosperity. Prince Mansour, who is an adviser to the king, led the Saudi delegation to the inauguration ceremony.  The delegation included Ahmed Al-Khatib, adviser in the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, and the Saudi ambassador to the Maldives, Badr bin Ali Al-Kihail. Solih was inaugurated after the opposition united to defeat Abdulla Yameen in elections that took place in September. Solih was sworn in at a special session of Parliament held at the National Football Stadium in Male. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the attendees. The Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago known for its luxury resorts, became a multiparty democracy in 2008. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia Solih sworn in as Maldives president, replacing pro-China leaderMaldives’ top court dismisses outgoing president’s petition

FaceOf: Princess Lamia bint Majid, secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies

Author: Sun, 2018-11-18 00:28 Saudi Princess Lamia bint Majid has been secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies since April 2016, and is a member of its board of trustees. The Riyadh-based charitable foundation supports and initiates projects worl
Saudi Arabia

FaceOf: Princess Lamia bint Majid, secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies

Author: Sun, 2018-11-18 00:28 Saudi Princess Lamia bint Majid has been secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies since April 2016, and is a member of its board of trustees. The Riyadh-based charitable foundation supports and initiates projects worldwide to empower women and the youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education. It has donated $4 billion to humanitarian causes in more than 60 countries. Before becoming secretary-general, Princess Lamia was executive manager of media and communication at Alwaleed Philanthropies between 2014 and 2016.  She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing and advertising from Misr International University in Cairo, Egypt. In 2003, the princess founded Sada Al-Arab, a publishing company operating from Cairo, Beirut and Dubai.  She also co-founded Media Codes Ltd. in Egypt, and the Fortune Media Group in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.  She was editor in chief of Rotana magazine between 2004 and 2006, and of Mada magazine between 2002 and 2008.  In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Arab Women’s Award for her compassion and charitable efforts.  “Our aim is to ensure gender equity,” the princess said during her speech at the first World Tolerance Summit in Dubai. It is “a message of tolerance when you highlight the strength of women,” she added. Princess Lamia highlighted the need to bridge gaps between Islam and the West, and the lack of research into the “gaps or shortcomings” that prevent more tolerance in society. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaFaceOf FaceOf: Rayed Al-Ajaji, CEO of KSA's Universal Metal Coating CompanyFaceOf: John Phillip Abizaid, US ambassador nominee to Saudi Arabia

Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Author: sarah glubbID: 1542492118490711200Sun, 2018-11-18 00:57 JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attendin
Saudi Arabia

Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Author: sarah glubbID: 1542492118490711200Sun, 2018-11-18 00:57 JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attending the annual event. The delegation was headed by Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who posted a selfie with Putin on his Twitter account. “We responded to the invitation from our friends in Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg cultural forum, and it was an opportunity to meet with officials to promote cultural cooperation,” the post said. استجبنا لدعوة الأصدقاء في #روسيا للمشاركة في منتدى بطرسبرغ الثقافي.. كانت فرصة لعقد لقاءات مع المسؤولين لتعزيز أوجه التعاون الثقافي وتوجت بلقاء فخامة الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين. @KremlinRussia @KremlinRussia_E @Culture_RF#SPBICF2018 pic.twitter.com/4A7jfypyae — بدر بن عبدالله بن فرحان آل سعود (@BadrFAlSaud) November 16, 2018 The forum, which ran from Nov. 15-17, was held under the theme “Culture as a Strategic Potential of the Country,” was attended by visitors from 101 countries. Opening the forum, the Russian president expressed hope that the event would develop fruitful dialogue between society and the state. Putin said the forum gives others a chance to get to know Russia more closely, stressed that “what distinguishes his country is the diversity of languages and traditions.” During the visit the Saudi minister held talks with the Russian president on the sidelines of the event. He also met his Italian counterpart, Alberto Bonisoli, on the sidelines of the forum to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the two countries and means of enhancing Saudi-Italian cultural relations. “I was delighted to meet with the Italian Minister of Culture and we have many opportunities for a future of strong cooperation between the two countries,” Prince Badr tweeted. سعدت بلقاء @BonisoliAlberto، وزير الثقافة الإيطالي، ونملك العديد من الفرص لمستقبل تعاون قوي بين البلدين.@_MiBAC @ItalyinKSA #SPBICF2018 pic.twitter.com/FEasvrvtYy — بدر بن عبدالله بن فرحان آل سعود (@BadrFAlSaud) November 16, 2018 Bonisoli said that culture is “a means of communication” for politics, even when serious international crises occur. “If there are problems between two or more countries, according to their positions, culture is still a way to convey the messages of partnerships, communities, politicians, and sometimes to promote fundamental values,” he added. The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum annually attracts thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world. Stars of theater, opera and ballet, renowned directors and musicians, public figures, representatives of and academic communities, all attend the event. The year’s program includes 14 pavilions, including museums, circuses, theaters, cinema, literature, tourism, folklore and popular culture. Main category: Saudi Arabia Saudi Minister of State Prince Mansour attends Maldives presidential inaugurationSaudi Arabia grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

Taking a bite out of diabetes: How Saudi Arabia and neighbors are fighting back against the disease

Sun, 2018-11-18 03:27 Countries across the Gulf need to implement strict protocols to restrict access to junk food, encourage healthier lifestyles and ensure diabetics are diagnosed in the early stages of the disease or the number of people in the region liv
Saudi Arabia

Taking a bite out of diabetes: How Saudi Arabia and neighbors are fighting back against the disease

Sun, 2018-11-18 03:27 Countries across the Gulf need to implement strict protocols to restrict access to junk food, encourage healthier lifestyles and ensure diabetics are diagnosed in the early stages of the disease or the number of people in the region living with the condition could more than double by 2045, experts say. Almost 4 million people in Saudi Arabia are living with diabetes while countries in the Middle East and North Africa top worldwide charts when it comes to allocating health care budgets to treat the soaring number of people suffering from the chronic disease. Global experts have hailed measures in the Kingdom — including taxing sugary drinks, fitness initiatives and focusing on preventative care — to stem the rising epidemic. However, Prof. Adel El-Sayed of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said that “there is a lack of urgency to reverse the trend” across the wider region. “They absolutely need to improve diabetes prevention programs if they are to avoid a future health crisis,” said El-Sayed, adding that “diabetes estimates have been on the rise for several decades.” The latest IDF estimates indicate that 39 million adults (20-79 years) are living with diabetes in the MENA region. Specifically in Saudi Arabia, 3.8 million adults are estimated by the IDF to be living with diabetes, while 1.2 million adults are estimated to have diabetes in the UAE. El-Sayed said that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Saudi Arabia (17.7 percent) and the UAE (17.3 percent) have significantly higher diabetes prevalence rates than global (8.8 percent) and regional (10.8 percent) rates. Last year there were 14,665 diabetes-related deaths in Saudi Arabia. El-Sayed praised work done by the Kingdom but stressed the need for further work both in the country and across the wider region. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is focusing on strengthening health care by improving the access to care at the primary health-care centers. Screening for non-communicable diseases including diabetes management is a must. “It is a big task and more needs to be done very aggressively. The target is to have a zero percent rise in deaths due to diabetes by 2025.” According to the IDF, about 425 million people worldwide have diabetes and more than 39 million of those live in the MENA region. By 2045, this number will rise to 82 million. About 90 percent of cases are Type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity and a healthy and balanced diet. In 2014, worldwide governments committed to attempt to reduce the rise in diabetes to zero percent following recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO). As yet, just five countries are on track to achieve this goal. “Not enough is being done to implement cost-effective programs and policies to prevent Type 2 diabetes,” said El-Sayed. “Improving awareness, investing in education to promote prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, and ensuring affordable access to medication and care are critical to controlling the epidemic.” Diabetes can cause heart and kidney disease, strokes, leg amputation, blindness and mental diseases such as depression.  “Over the past decade, the evolution in global health-care expenditure on diabetes in adults (20-79 years) has been tremendous, growing from $232 billion in 2007 to $727 billion in 2017,” said El-Sayed. This economic burden is projected to grow by 7 percent by 2045. “This is a very conservative estimate as it assumes that the average expenditure per person will remain constant,” said El- Sayed. The IDF MENA region has the highest percentage (17 percent) of health-care budget allocated to diabetes of all the IDF regions.” El-Sayed praised initiatives in the Kingdom such as measures introduced last June when Saudi Arabia became the first GCC country to impose an excise tax at 100 percent on tobacco products and energy drinks, and 50 percent on soft drinks. Kamil M. Salamah, secretary- general of the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrine Association (SDEA), said that the GCC, as well as Saudi Arabia, are among the worst globally in terms of prevalence of diabetes. “Prevalence is on the rise — at an average approximating 24 percent and rising with the exception of Oman. Unless strict measures are enacted, the prevalence is expected to reach 35 percent, if not higher.” Despite the figures, there are many GCC residents in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC who have “hidden diabetes” and are failing to be diagnosed or treated, said Salamah. “Early diagnosis is very important because either it can be reversed to normal by adopting healthy lifestyles or managed properly to prevent complications, which are very costly.” Salamah said that steps have already been taken in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC to encourage personal responsibility for health care to stem the rising epidemic. Measures include implementing front-of-pack food labelling and wide-ranging fitness initiatives. “In addition, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has officially kicked off various female sports initiatives, while the General Sports Authority has been created to help both genders in their physical activities needs and initiatives.” About 90 percent of cases are Type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity and a healthy and balanced diet. (Shutterstock) Salamah said that the Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) will also impose strict criteria on the healthy content of foods and beverages with clear labelling of sugar, salt, fats, fiber etc and penalties for violation will be enforced. “Additionally, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health has committed to, and started, the transformation of health care by focusing on primary health-care centers to be the real ‘access to care’ — where the focus is the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which includes diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. These centers will ensure continuity of care and management of disease to prevent complications. This is a very core part of the transformation.” Soaring rates of diabetes come with a high price tag. “Economically, diabetes costs no less than 35 percent of the annual budget of the Ministry of Health (in Saudi Arabia); and this is just the cost of management, not including the complications,” said Salamah. He said initiatives that could curb the prevalence of diabetes include introducing zero tolerance to sugar-sweetened drinks in schools, colleges and universities; heavily taxing food with a high sugar content; better integration of physical activity in schoolcurriculums; holding sports championships in schools and universities; developing “exercise-friendly cities” where families can exercise and walk; and encouraging companies to develop green environments for their employees. More controversial tactics, he said, could include banning fast-food chains and late-night takeaway deliveries after 7pm to prevent unhealthy late-night eating and banning media advertisements of unhealthy foods and beverages. “The Kingdom’s goal is to halt the rise of diabetes by 2030 to level the curve,” he said. “That would be a remarkable achievement.” Dr. Shaimaa Mashal, a specialist in internal medicine at the UAE’s Bareen International Hospital, said that the prevalence of diabetes is on a “rapid upsurge” in the region. “It is extremely worrying that the MENA region contains five of the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes worldwide. There is an urgent need for epidemiological initiatives to address this problem,” she said. “Diabetes is placing huge economic strain on health providers, governments and insurers — but with early detection and disease management, as well as strong prevention programs, that cost can be reduced. In some cases, with careful and often drastic lifestyle alterations, Type 2 diabetes can even be reversed.” Dr. Fathi Yousef Al-Giurani, a consultant in internal medicine at the UAE’s Medeor 24x7, said that diabetes has risen about tenfold in the past three decades in Saudi Arabia. “The health burden due to diabetes in Saudi Arabia is predicted to rise to very high levels unless a wide-ranging epidemic control program begins, with a great emphasis on advocating a healthy diet, including exercise and active lifestyles, and weight control,” warned Al-Giurani. “However, both increasing population and a greater understanding of the condition among the communities have also contributed to the increase in patients diagnosed with diabetes.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: diabetesDIABETES AWARENESS MONTHEditor’s Choice A ‘paradigm shift’ in the diagnosis of diabetes: study

US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Sun, 2018-11-18 07:10 JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case.  “Recent reports i
Saudi Arabia

US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Sun, 2018-11-18 07:10 JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case.  “Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said. “In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.” But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday. The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies. The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects.  On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.  Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said. Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed.  “I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post. He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Jamal KhashoggiSaudi Arabia Prayers performed for Jamal Khashoggi in Makkah and MadinahPrince Khalid bin Salman: I never told Khashoggi to travel to Turkey

Saudi Ground Services reveals plans to hire 5,000 women in five years

Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1542483463560117500Sat, 2018-11-17 22:37 JEDDAH: Saudi Ground Services, which provides services to airlines and passengers at airports, is planning to step up its recruitment of Saudi women by hiring almost 5,000 in th
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Ground Services reveals plans to hire 5,000 women in five years

Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1542483463560117500Sat, 2018-11-17 22:37 JEDDAH: Saudi Ground Services, which provides services to airlines and passengers at airports, is planning to step up its recruitment of Saudi women by hiring almost 5,000 in the next five years. The company hired its first Saudi woman in December 2017. Since then it has employed dozens and plans to recruit more, which it says reflects its awareness that empowerment of women is a key priority of the Kingdom’s’s Vision 2030. “Today we have about 170 female employees, and in the five years to come we will be hiring about 5,000 women,” said CEO Omar Najjar. He added that the company’s belief in equal employment opportunities for both genders is in keeping with Vision 2030’s aim to empower and encourage women to work in the government and private sectors. The company is following a well-prepared recruitment plan to maintain the quality of its services he said, and added that women could work for SGS in administrative, planning, marketing, communication, public relations, human resources, information technology and legal affairs jobs. “They can also be helpful at airport lounges as customer-services officers and they provide the necessary soft care to people with special needs,” he added. To meet the objectives of the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020, Najjar said SGS is working hard to implement its own transformation plan, which aims to make SGS the preferred choice of ground-handling company in the Kingdom and the region, by restructuring the company and enhancing its services to meet world-class standards. “The company sees the human element as one of the key success factors for the transformation plan,” he said. “We have recently, through the SGS Academy, introduced a range of new specialized training programs for both male and female employees.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi aviationSaudi ArabiaJeddah airportRiyadh airportVision 2030SaudiVision2030 Saudi Ground Services Co. serves almost 372,000 pilgrimsSaudi Ground Services Company posts solid revenue growth

Five historic mosques to be restored in Asir province

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542483925030142300Sat, 2018-11-17 22:44 JEDDAH: Five mosques in Asir have been added to the first phase of a SR50 million ($13 million) project to restore historic places of worship in the Kingdom. The mosques have been adde
Saudi Arabia

Five historic mosques to be restored in Asir province

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542483925030142300Sat, 2018-11-17 22:44 JEDDAH: Five mosques in Asir have been added to the first phase of a SR50 million ($13 million) project to restore historic places of worship in the Kingdom. The mosques have been added to the “Mohammed bin Salman project for Developing Historical Mosques” project, which includes 30 historic mosques in 10 of the Kingdom’s regions. The historic Asir mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshippers again. They have been abandoned in recent years as worshippers became used to visiting modern mosques in the light of urban development in the Kingdom. Some older mosques have been neglected and destroyed despite their historical value. The historic Al-Mudfat in Abha is one of the mosques included on the list of buildings to be restored. Abdullah bin Ali Al-Asmari, a 100-year-old resident, said that he had served and supervised the mosque’s services 40 years ago and ascertained that according to some books, the mosque was built 400 years ago. Al-Asmari said that the mosque consisted of a musalla that was six meters wide and 20 meters long, standing on five pillars of juniper trees; 92 branches of juniper trees were used to cover the ceilings. The musalla has an entrance on the southern side, and an outdoor guest room with an old minaret where the muezzin stands. The lake was removed during previous restoration works and replaced by a modern water tank, he said. Saudi resident Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Asmari said that the mosque is characterized by the ablution spaces, like the rest of the area’s historic mosques. The second mosque to be renovated is the archaeological Sadreid Mosque in the north of Al-Namas governorate. The mosque’s features are very similar to those of the rest of the mosques in the area, but it is characterized by historic inscriptions. Saudi resident Mansoor bin Saad Al-Aajlan said that these inscriptions show that it is one of the oldest mosques in the Arabian Peninsula, built in 728, according to credible historical sources. The Al-Sarou is the third mosque that will be renovated in Asir. Residents said that the history of the mosque remains unknown but that it is very old. The Aaqisa Mosque in the old village of Asir is also on the list. This mosque is situated near an old fortress and houses and is considered to be very old, according to information from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH). The mosque occupies an area of 72 square meters with an outdoor space and a lake for ablution. Al-Nusb Historic Mosque, the fifth on the list, is situated in the center of Abha city. A local resident, Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Moufarreh, said that the mosque was built in 1744 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Moufarreh and later restored in 1841 by his grandson Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Moufarreh, and again in 1897 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Moufarreh. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTravelTags: Saudi ArabiaSaudi mosquesSaudi masjids Saudi Arabia’s crown prince orders restoration and renovation of 130 historical mosquesTwo Holy Mosques appoint 41 women in leadership positions in Saudi Arabia

Chef couple wins many hearts by giving international dishes a Saudi twist

Author: Deema Al-KhudairID: 1542484119350153000Sat, 2018-11-17 22:48 JEDDAH: Budoor Al-Solami, 26, and Waleed Moathen, 28, started their YouTube channel “Saa’widha” (to turn it Saudi) under the cooking channel Atyab Tabkha just five months ag
Saudi Arabia

Chef couple wins many hearts by giving international dishes a Saudi twist

Author: Deema Al-KhudairID: 1542484119350153000Sat, 2018-11-17 22:48 JEDDAH: Budoor Al-Solami, 26, and Waleed Moathen, 28, started their YouTube channel “Saa’widha” (to turn it Saudi) under the cooking channel Atyab Tabkha just five months ago. Atyab Tabkha is sponsored by digital media company Diwanee. All the chef couple’s episodes have been made at Atyab Tabkha’s studio in Dubai. The couple takes any international dish and give it a Saudi spin. Their creativity and ideas are fun and broad. The couple have recreated many dishes and desserts such as muffins with dates and tahini. “Usually, it is the international kitchen that receives all the fame and spotlight, and rarely does the Arab or Saudi kitchen have a media presence,” Al-Solami told Arab News. “Which is why we decided to invent something new, merging international kitchens in a Saudi way. Especially because the Saudi kitchen is characterized by its various flavors and high taste,” she added. To recreate these international dishes with Saudi flavors, the couple use Saudi spices and agricultural products “produced by our country such as dates, local meat and the unique Taif flowers,” said Moathen. Al-Solami works at a five-star hotel and Moathen is an executive chef at a restaurant. Leading such busy lives, the couple still manage to find a balance between their jobs and their channel. “The nature of our job requires us to work for long hours, sometimes 12 hours in a day. For this reason we decided, with the agreement of the company, that we film our episodes during our vacation days.” The channel came to fruition when Diwanee was looking for Saudi chefs. “They contacted me. They wanted to create a regular cooking show just like any other cooking show, then Waleed and I thought of how we can change the idea of traditional cooking and shows, and we wanted to put the Saudi kitchen in our show. This is how ‘Saa’widha’ was created,” according to Al-Solami. “And this was how we came up with many ideas such as the Saudi sushi, and Waleed came up with vegan ice cream with Saudi ingredients such as almond coffee. We even made focaccia bread and muffins with a Saudi twist,” she explained. Working is fun Working together is fun and full of surprises, said Moathen. “When we cook, we really enjoy it and we share new ideas with each other.” “Saa’widha,” of course, is displayed in Arabic, but the couple are planning to add subtitles in different languages in their next season. “Especially because we have friends of different nationalities,” explained Moathen. Their show was warmly received by the Saudi audience, and the two are showered with positive comments under each episode.    “I am very happy to see the interaction of people in the comments, and their kind words and positive support,” said Al-Solami “I am overjoyed and this encourages me to continue what I love and what the viewers love,” said Moathen. Al-Solami and Moathen studied tourism and hospitality respectively and wish to open a restaurant chain and culinary school. Main category: Saudi ArabiaFood & HealthTags: Saudi Food Start-up of the Week: Saudi chef’s fusion cuisine aims to satisfy all culturesDinner date in Dubai? Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts shares exciting plans

Iran does not respect human rights: Saudi envoy

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542483355850108500Sat, 2018-11-17 22:35 JEDDAH: The Iranian people continue to suffer under an “unjust… system of darkness” that does not respect human rights, said the Saudi ambassador to the UN. Abdallah Al-Mouallimi
Saudi Arabia

Iran does not respect human rights: Saudi envoy

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542483355850108500Sat, 2018-11-17 22:35 JEDDAH: The Iranian people continue to suffer under an “unjust… system of darkness” that does not respect human rights, said the Saudi ambassador to the UN. Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the report of the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, submitted on Sept. 27, and the secretary-general’s report on Aug. 6, made clear that the country persecutes ethnic and religious minorities, including Sunni Muslim Balochis and Ahwazi Arabs. “The Kingdom affirms the sovereign right of states to determine their judicial systems and penal provisions, while believing in the need to limit the application of death sentences to cases of extreme necessity,” he added. He stressed the importance of a political solution to the Syrian conflict, establishing a transitional authority and drafting a new constitution guaranteeing justice for all Syrians. He also urged Myanmar’s civilian leadership to prove that it deserves the world’s respect and its people’s support by embracing all its citizens without discrimination or favoritism. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: IranHouthis Al-Mouallimi: We are all working to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni peopleIran and Israel top sponsors of terror in region: Al-Mouallimi

KSA grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542483639550120000Sat, 2018-11-17 22:40 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has given $84.7 billion in foreign aid to 79 countries between 1996-2018, according to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Ai
Saudi Arabia

KSA grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542483639550120000Sat, 2018-11-17 22:40 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has given $84.7 billion in foreign aid to 79 countries between 1996-2018, according to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief). Al-Rabeeah highlighted Saudi Arabia’s contributions to international humanitarian and relief work, and said that the Kingdom had saved millions of people from conflicts and crises, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Al-Rabeeah was speaking during a seminar on the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts at the University of Warsaw on Saturday, in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Mohammed Madani, Ambassador of Yemen to Poland Mervat Majali, and officials of the Foreign Ministry of Poland. The royal decree establishing KSRelief was issued on May 13, 2015. Since then, it has carried out 482 projects in 42 countries worth $924,553,000. About 86 percent of the projects have been allocated to Yemen with a value of $659,271,000. Al-Rabeeah said that the center implemented 206 projects for women worth $341,481,000, as well as 171 projects for children worth $504,962,000. He added that the Kingdom had taken in 561,911 Yemeni refugees, 283,449 Syrian refugees and 249,669 refugees from Myanmar, the equivalent of 5.36 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia, putting it in second place internationally in terms of the number of refugees accepted. Al-Rabeeah said that total Saudi assistance to Yemen since 2015 had reached $11.18 billion, noting that KSRelief has carried out 294 projects in Yemen in partnership with 80 UN and international and local NGOs. Al-Rabeeah said that the response of KSRelief to the appeal by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for $66.7 million to combat the cholera epidemic in Yemen, as well as the projects allocated by KSRelief for women in Yemen from 2015 to date, amounted to 132 projects valued at $281,457,000. There have been 136 projects for children worth $469,867,000. He highlighted that the Saudi project for mine clearance in Yemen, “Masam,” had been conducted by more than 400 people working in 32 teams within Yemeni territory during the preparation phase, and five specialized teams for rapid intervention, benefiting 9 million beneficiaries. The costs of the project amounted to $40 million in the governorates of Marib, Aden, Taiz and Sanaa. More than 1 million land mines had been planted in Yemen, more than the number planted in World War II, he said. Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief was running a program to rehabilitate Yemeni children recruited by the Houthi militias, who use them as human shields. KSRelief is rehabilitating and providing care for 2,000 children through social, psychological, cultural and sports programs. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief)YemenSyria KSrelief chief discusses humanitarian work in Yemen with Polish parliamentariansKSRelief opens village for Yemeni refugees in Djibouti

Mexican delegation visits Saudi Arabia to promote trade and discuss investment

Author: RASHID HASSANID: 1542400452392668100Fri, 2018-11-16 23:33 RIYADH: A trade delegation from Mexico called on the Saudi business community to strengthen trade partnerships with their counterparts in Mexico and participate in promising opportun
Saudi Arabia

Mexican delegation visits Saudi Arabia to promote trade and discuss investment

Author: RASHID HASSANID: 1542400452392668100Fri, 2018-11-16 23:33 RIYADH: A trade delegation from Mexico called on the Saudi business community to strengthen trade partnerships with their counterparts in Mexico and participate in promising opportunities and investment projects in various areas, especially in the construction and infrastructure sectors. “A delegation from the National Bank for Services and Public Works (BANOBRAS), the most important development bank in Mexico, visited Saudi Arabia to promote investment opportunities that will bring the countries closer together,” Mexican Ambassador Alfredo Miranda told Arab News on Friday. Miranda accompanied Alejandro Blasco, head of investor relations at BANOBRAS, and Luis Ampudia, deputy head of investor relations, during the meeting at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC). The Saudi delegation was made up of CSC Secretary-General Saud Al-Meshari; Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development Khalid S. Alkhudairy; and head of stakeholder management of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) Saad A. Alkroud. During the meetings, the Mexican delegation shared the opportunities available in Mexico for identifying possible public-private partnerships and financing social infrastructure projects, and they discussed the potential of investment opportunities in Mexico as part of the PIF’s international diversified pool, said the envoy. The visiting team expressed their desire to benefit from and contribute to the projects presented by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The Mexican ambassador further declared that his country, like Saudi Arabia, is one of the top 20 economies in the world and is eager to strengthen mechanisms of collaboration in different areas, taking into account that Mexico’s GDP is $1.1 trillion, has a population of 129 million inhabitants, an inflation rate of 4 percent and very low unemployment of just 4 percent. “I am sure both countries will continue to work together in order to have more Mexicans in Saudi Arabia and more Saudis in Mexico,” said Ambassador Miranda. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: MexicoSaudi Arabia Saudi-Mauritanian joint committee begins meetingsSFDA approves Saudi-made medicine for Hepatitis C virus

Formula E brings racing-themed roadshow to Jeddah

Sat, 2018-11-17 16:06 DUBAI: After a successful run in Khobar last week, Road to Ad Diriyah, a racing-themed entertainment event, is set to visit Jeddah as the country gears up for all-electric street car-racing activities in December. More than 6,000 moto
Saudi Arabia

Formula E brings racing-themed roadshow to Jeddah

Sat, 2018-11-17 16:06 DUBAI: After a successful run in Khobar last week, Road to Ad Diriyah, a racing-themed entertainment event, is set to visit Jeddah as the country gears up for all-electric street car-racing activities in December. More than 6,000 motorsport fans stormed to Khobar last week for the road show, which featured racing-themed activities heralding the upcoming 2018 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Dec. 13 to 15, a first-of-its-kind sporting event in the Middle East. The Jeddah edition opens on Nov. 22, with most of the activities from the previous one, as well as an e-sports competition whose winner will take home SAR 1,000,000. The ABB FIA Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah e-sports championship allows fans to command a SAR 250,000 professional racing simulator. The 16 best participants will then be invited to Ad Diriyah in December for the grand finals. The Road to Ad Diriyah will give Jeddah a taste of what the historical three-day festival of racing, live music, culture and entertainment that is set to take place in Ad Diriyah will be like. Bavaria Zaman, who visited the Khobar show with husband Rashid Khan and kids Nawal, Daiin and Nashin, said: «I think it's fantastic. The kids are running around and having fun.» The upcoming E-Prix is the first in a 10-year partnership between ABB FIA Formula E and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA) and the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaFormula EAd DiriyahE PrixMotorsportCulture and Entertainment Motorsport fans soak up Formula E atmosphere on Khobar CornicheHigh-voltage thrills as roadshow sets stage for Formula E debut in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Armed Forces hone combat skills during Arab Shield 1 military exercise

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542400360482661500Fri, 2018-11-16 23:32 JEDDAH: The Saudi Armed Forces have concluded their participation in the Arab Shield 1 maneuvers that began on Nov. 5. The three-week exercise, which also included forces from host nati
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Armed Forces hone combat skills during Arab Shield 1 military exercise

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542400360482661500Fri, 2018-11-16 23:32 JEDDAH: The Saudi Armed Forces have concluded their participation in the Arab Shield 1 maneuvers that began on Nov. 5. The three-week exercise, which also included forces from host nation Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan, is one of a series undertaken by the Saudi military to strengthen military relations between Arab countries and improve the combat skills and readiness of their fighting forces. Saudi troops, led by Commander of the Saudi Royal Land Forces Lt. Gen. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Mutair, took part in a number of key activities, including a seminar for senior officers at which Brig. Saeed Al-Qahtani gave a lecture about the challenges facing the Arab world from a military perspective. A variety of joint field operations were carried out to simulate the elimination of armed terrorist positions in border villages, the securing of international borders and strategic communications using Land Forces, Special Forces and Marines, and to plan future operations and logistics support. Saudi air and naval forces, and a number of tanks, also took part in a number of specialized maneuvers. “The participation of our armed forces in Arab Shield 1, along with some other brotherly Arab countries, comes in accordance to the directives of our wise leadership to continue and improve the military cooperation ... in order to unify the concepts and exchange experiences, which enhances our capabilities and combat readiness,” said Al-Mutair. “The accuracy in the live shooting we saw at the end of the training reflects the good preparation in all areas of the exercise and of those in the participating forces.” Al-Mutair thanked the Egyptian authorities for their work and the excellent preparation for the exercise and congratulated them for its success, and said he hoped to see similar collaborations in the future. Brig. Abdullah bin Yousuf Al-Jaser, the military attache at the Kingdom’s embassy in Egypt, said that the participation of the Saudi forces in Arab Shield 1 had been effective in supporting and developing their armed capabilities and preparing military leaders to deal with challenges and fight terrorism. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi armed forcesArab Shield 1 The second phase of ‘Gulf Shield 1’ concluded in the east of Saudi Arabia on Saturday‘Gulf Shield 1’ aims to upgrade coordination between the armed forces of 23 countries — Saudi Chief of Staff

Manganiyar musical experience connects Saudi Arabia with ancient India

Author: Farah Al-SharifID: 1542400511902671300Fri, 2018-11-16 23:34 DHAHRAN: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran has been transporting its visitors to the magical world of the Manganiyar from Nov. 14-17. The Manganiyar i
Saudi Arabia

Manganiyar musical experience connects Saudi Arabia with ancient India

Author: Farah Al-SharifID: 1542400511902671300Fri, 2018-11-16 23:34 DHAHRAN: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran has been transporting its visitors to the magical world of the Manganiyar from Nov. 14-17. The Manganiyar is a timeless Indian orchestra originally born in the region of Rajasthan in north India, which has continued over many generations. The basic song on which the show is based comes from a poem by the 17th-century Sufi poet, Bulleh Shah. The resulting folk music is an audio-visual feast that mixes light and voice and features more than 40 musicians in one performance. The first Manganiyar show in Ithra was sold out. “It was the first time in my life that inspiration dawned on me; it was like a heavenly gift,” Roysten Abel, the director of the musical show, told Arab News when he was asked how the band started their touring and performance journey. “I was in Spain working as a street performer. One day I was resting and I heard wonderful music, which I thought was a dream. Then I realized that there were two musicians outside my room singing to wake me up. I then proposed the idea of forming this Manganiyar band,” Abel said. Abel went to the Manganiyar’s hometown to create the band. “I went to Rajasthan, auditioned almost 200 musicians and finally selected 50 to have our first show in 2006. Since then, if I ever listen to an old Manganiyar musician or a new one, I still weep because they haunt me with their singing.” There were challenges, Abel said. “As an ‘intruder’ going to the Manganiyar not knowing fully what this kind of art is, in the beginning I had to learn so many things and try to understand the musicians and help them to understand me.” Creating the performance and the harmony between the band members and the director took time. “The musicians needed to know what this guy who is coming from outside wants? What is he going to make us do? Building the relationship took around a year and a half, and so it took us year and a half to build up the show.”“I always say the Manganiyar selection was God’s gift to us because it was actually given to us and it runs on its own.” Abel said that the Manganiyar show always sells out anywhere it goes due the experience it offers. “There has not been one show where we have not received a standing ovation.” “We even performed in Hyde Park, Sydney, where nobody knew what to expect,” Abel said. “There were a good 10,000 people in the park, and when the show was over these 10,000 started clapping and even stayed for the second performance!” Abel shared the band’s insights about their first visit to Saudi Arabia: “We were very curious to see how it was going to be received, but it turned out to be one of the best performances and the audience was thrilled. So, there’s always a lot of surprises and I tend to never expect. I just love to see what happens.” Abel urged everyone to turn up and have their own experience of the Manganiyar. “People should all come and tell their friends to come, and live the show, because at the end of the day the show is not like any other music concert; it’s an experience of its own.” Abel said that people’s responses to the show varied; some left in tears while others “jumped with joy.” What matters to him, he said, is that people get the essence behind the show, which is love. Main category: Saudi ArabiaArt & CultureTags: ManganiyarIndian music Louvre Abu Dhabi celebrates ‘Roads of Arabia’ with live ‘music and motion’ showDirector hits the right note with film on folk music

FaceOf: Rayed Al-Ajaji, CEO of KSA's Universal Metal Coating Company

Sat, 2018-11-17 00:38 Rayed Al-Ajaji is the CEO of the Universal Metal Coating Company Ltd. (UNICOIL) and chairman for the National Committee for Steel Industry (NCSI). He recently spoke at the 13th annual Arab Steel Summit in Amman about how the government
Saudi Arabia

FaceOf: Rayed Al-Ajaji, CEO of KSA's Universal Metal Coating Company

Sat, 2018-11-17 00:38 Rayed Al-Ajaji is the CEO of the Universal Metal Coating Company Ltd. (UNICOIL) and chairman for the National Committee for Steel Industry (NCSI). He recently spoke at the 13th annual Arab Steel Summit in Amman about how the government and the private sector can work together to ensure future market competitiveness.  “Despite the fact that so many of our manufacturers are producing at less than 50 percent capacity due to unfair competition, as a country we are a net importer of steel,” he said. “We are leaving billions of economic value on the table. “We have an opportunity today to work together to stop that and keep this revenue in the country to help achieve our ambitious national growth plans. Our country has invested billions over the years in world-class facilities that manufacture the highest-quality steel products and we must work together to ensure it remains competitive and thriving.” Al-Ajaji earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering management and a master’s degree in industrial management from the University of Miami between 1992 and 1997.  He subsequently gained a diverse range of experience in various steel-manufacturing processes, including the commercial steel trade, building materials, and business process re-engineering.  His professional experience spans more than 20 years and includes the markets of Saudi Arabia, the GCC, and other Arab countries. NCSI is a not-for-profit organization set up by the Council of Saudi Chambers with a mandate to meet challenges, engage with industry members, and develop a culture of industrial and communal responsibility and commitment toward the realization of Saudi Vision 2030. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaFaceOf FaceOf: John Phillip Abizaid, US ambassador nominee to Saudi ArabiaFaceOf: Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global ForumFaceOf: Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to GermanyFaceOf: Al-Hassan Al-Manakhara, executive director of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Center for Moderation

Prince Khalid bin Salman: I never told Khashoggi to travel to Turkey

Sat, 2018-11-17 03:47 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, has said he did not tell Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to go to Turkey, and has requested the US government release information related to the claim, which was m
Saudi Arabia

Prince Khalid bin Salman: I never told Khashoggi to travel to Turkey

Sat, 2018-11-17 03:47 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, has said he did not tell Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to go to Turkey, and has requested the US government release information related to the claim, which was made by a US newspaper. “I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khaled said in a tweet early Saturday morning. As we told the Washington Post the last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on Oct 26 2017. I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim. — Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) November 16, 2018 “As we told the Washington Post the last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on Oct 26 2017.” Prince Khalid said that it was unfortunate that the Washington Post failed to publish the full Saudi response. “This is a serious accusation and should not be left to anonymous sources,” said the envoy, and provided a copy of the statement. Unfortunately the @washingtonpost did not print our full response. This is a serious accusation and should not be left to anonymous sources. Our full response was the following: pic.twitter.com/vo1JcNAswx — Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) November 17, 2018 Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaJamal Khashoggi Prayers performed for Jamal Khashoggi in Makkah and MadinahUS welcomes Saudi Arabia’s Khashoggi investigation as ‘step in the right direction’

‘Do not judge:’ Princess Lamia bint Majid at first World Tolerance Summit

Author: Jennifer BellID: 1542418948026373300Sat, 2018-11-17 04:41 DUBAI: World peace leaders highlighted the importance of gender equality and promoting the role of women in society as key cornerstones of achieving prosperity in a country, as the f
Saudi Arabia

‘Do not judge:’ Princess Lamia bint Majid at first World Tolerance Summit

Author: Jennifer BellID: 1542418948026373300Sat, 2018-11-17 04:41 DUBAI: World peace leaders highlighted the importance of gender equality and promoting the role of women in society as key cornerstones of achieving prosperity in a country, as the first World Tolerance Summit (WTS) took centre-stage in Dubai. Princess Lamia bint Majid was among those who led the discussions and highlighted initiatives in the Kingdom to further women in leadership roles. «Our aim is to ensure gender equity and this is a message of tolerance when you highlight the strength of women – when you are a Saudi woman or any woman internationally,” said Princess Lamia, secretary general of Riyadh-based Alwaleed Philanthropies, a charitable foundation working to help and empower women, as she opened the ‘Tolerance Leaders Debate’ at the summit on Thursday. »We work on women and youth empowerment. «We – especially Saudi females – have an issue because there is an idea in the West that we are persecuted.” This, elaborated Princess Lamia, could not be further from reality, and she urged the West not to judge or make assumptions about women in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia does not “differentiate or discriminate between race, ethnicity, religion, gender or geography.» Princess Lamia said Alwaleed Philanthropies to date has donated $4 billion (SAR15billion) to humanitarian causes in more than 60 countries. «We are in dire need for the dissemination of the spirit of tolerance. Allah was very perceptive: He gave people one mouth and two ears to listen more and to be more receptive. “Do not judge. Tolerance is all about accepting others and refraining from judging others. We are not just focusing on tolerance for the sake of tolerance. There are certain acts you can do. It is not just about lectures or conferences… it is maybe a hug, a word, a smile – these acts can be worth a thousand lectures.” Princess Lamia spoke of the need to bridge gaps between Islam and the West and also highlighted a lack of research into the “gaps or shortcomings” that prevent more tolerance in society. The two-day WTS, held on Thursday and Friday in conjunction with the International Day for Tolerance on Friday, gathered government leaders, key figures from the public and private sectors, peacekeeping ambassadors and change-makers from around the world to discuss the importance of tolerance, peace and equality. Adama Dieng, special advisor of the UN secretary general on the prevention of genocide, also addressed the issue of gender equality. “Women have the talent, the heart, the heart to spread tolerance. The more we have women leaders, the better the world will be.” Saudi Arabia’s Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said tolerance is a motto everyone should live by. “It is very important to be tolerant and forgiving, and government leaders need to aim for equality, justice and learning to accept others and co-exist.» Al-Zayani praised GCC initiatives such as the UAE’s Anti-Discrimination Law, which criminalizes all forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin .He said other countries across the Gulf should follow suit. Further programs and education centers which stamp out discrimination are also needed, said Al-Zayani, especially in the region “which has many risks and threats that are not static.” The conference heard how the GCC is a “success story” in promoting tolerance and should be used by other world governments as a model to promote equality and peace. The UAE, for example, has adopted a National Tolerance Program, anti-discrimination and anti-hate laws and centers to counter extremism have been established. The country has its own Minister of Tolerance and is home to the International Tolerance Institute. Saudi Arabia also extolls tolerance as a virtue. Al-Zayani highlighted how, in 2005, Saudi Arabia hosted the historic Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh, which called for challenging extremism with moderation and tolerance. Al-Zayani said countries in the GCC also have religious tolerance, with hundreds of different nationalities and churches of different Christian denominations, Sikh temples and Hindu temples. Last June, the Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Mosque in Al-Mushrif was renamed Mariam, Umm Eisa (Mary, the Mother of Jesus), while the mission of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue is to promote peace, tolerance and understanding among people of different faiths and cultures. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, the UAE's Minister of Tolerance, delivered the keynote speech at the opening ceremony and announced the launch of two new initiatives. The first is the establishment of the National Research Project on Tolerance, which will “promote the creativity and innovation of researchers, inside the UAE and throughout the world, in examining factors, conditions and work plans that help strengthen tolerance among individuals, families, local communities and the entire world and include proposals and plans for speeding tolerance, co-existence and happiness in human societies.” The second initiative is the establishment of the Global Tolerance Alliance, which will focus on “promoting tolerance throughout the world by involving individuals, organizations, research centers, private enterprises and other interested institutions…to help spread peace and tolerance in the world.” “Tolerance thrives on education and knowledge, all forms of communication and the creation of local and global partnerships,” said Sheikh Nahyan. Dr Amal Abdullah Al-Qubaisi, president of the UAE’s Federal National Council, said “respect is the important basis of tolerance.” She said countries across the region need to embrace this to fight extremism and ideologues who threaten the security of the Arab world. Ohood bint Khalfan Al-Roumi, UAE Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing and director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, addressed the role of laws in promoting social cohesion and harmony, and government policies to prevent extremism to promote citizenship for diversity, economic benefits to governments and their peoples. «Tolerance is an international human right and a human value that ensures the prosperity of people and improves the quality of life,” she said. Saudi Arabia’s Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar, secretary general of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, praised both King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their work in setting up KAICIID as a form of dialogue to combat violence in the name of religion, while Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of Saudi Arabia’s government advisory Shoura Council and former vice-chairperson of King Saud University in the Kingdom, spoke to Arab News about the importance of society accepting everyone, regardless of their background, race or religion. “Acceptance of others is something that is fundamental to a more peaceful world. I think it is something to do with awareness, laws are already put in place – whether we are talking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the ones in Saudi Arabia – but worldwide, unfortunately, many human beings do not take into consideration others. There is a wonderful quote in the Quran that says, basically, we have created you from one man, from one woman...which basically says we are all different but from the same family.” Al-Helaissi praised initiatives introduced by the late King Abdullah to send students to international scholarship programs around the world; allowing Saudi nationals to learn from different cultures and traditions and bring those broadened world perspectives back to the Kingdom. “We have been very lucky to have this program; at any one time we have 250,000 students abroad, and it is about opening the horizons of our youth and they are coming back with fresh ideas, they are coming back with knowledge of other cultures, which is very enriching for our society. I think that young people are wanting more from Saudi Arabia than previous generations, and I think we are going to see even more tolerance in our country. »It is a question of time, but we are getting there.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: World Tolerance Summit (WTS)DubaiUAE Respecting diversity is key to world peace: Muslim World League chiefSaudi Arabia and Sweden to promote scout programs for world peace

Princess Reema: Let's give young Saudis a sporting chance

Fri, 2018-11-16 16:36 A new initiative between the General Sports Authority (GSA) and the Misk Foundation is setting up a program to promote sporting activities across the Kingdom and further the careers of future Saudi champions. Princess Reema bint Bandar
Saudi Arabia

Princess Reema: Let's give young Saudis a sporting chance

Fri, 2018-11-16 16:36 A new initiative between the General Sports Authority (GSA) and the Misk Foundation is setting up a program to promote sporting activities across the Kingdom and further the careers of future Saudi champions. Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy of planning and development for the GSA, sat down with Arab News on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum this week to speak about the new collaboration. “We are honored to work with Misk for the future of our children,” said Princess Reema, president of the GSA’s Mass Participation Federation (MPF), after signing the deal with the Misk Foundation on Wednesday. While the details have yet to be worked out, she said it will involve athletic internships and scholarships to develop Saudi Arabia’s future champions. The initiative is in keeping with Vision 2030’s Quality of Life program, which pledges to get Saudis moving by promoting active lifestyles and to achieve excellence in sports both regionally and globally. “Part of our mandate is to grow the amateur to elite pathway,” the princess explained. “What that means is how can we have more young people active in the community sports groups and the grassroots activations to allow them to cultivate their skills. Hopefully they then will be scouted into the more professional sports pathway.” The collaboration with Misk will enable that to happen. “With Misk, we are so proud to say that we’ve collaborated with their actual internship program and scholarship program to expand it to the avenue of sports,” Princess Reema said. “The exciting part about it is that many sports are vocational: They’re on-the-ground training. It is not something that you learn at school. It is the passion that you have, and then the correct team and the environment help you to cultivate it.” The agreement will also cover scholarships for athletes. As Princess Reema explained: “What’s really critical for people to understand is that an athlete’s career does have an age limitation and sometimes a physical limitation, depending on injury. One of the mandates of the sports authority is to make sure that each of these young individuals has a second career. “Education is critical. We obviously have partnerships with the Ministry of Education, but adding Misk to our portfolio truly is a gem. As an NGO they are able to execute faster and deliver faster than government bodies.” The deal with Misk will enable a sports track for Saudi students studying abroad. “Misk has relationships with some of the best universities across the globe, and they have got seats in each of these universities for Saudi students, both male and female. Where we wanted to collaborate with them, and we are honored that they accepted, is to allow for a sports track.” Princess Reema moderated a panel called the Future of Sport at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday, a day that saw two other high-profile guests, Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho and British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan, express interest in opening training academies in Saudi Arabia. “This is the beauty of this world,” said Princess Reema. “Amir Khan is a boxer. He has specific skills set, but he’s willing to teach the next generation. So, our partnership with Misk, which we were discussing this last night, is how we can send young people in the Kingdom to where Amir Khan is and learn from him: not just the skills of boxing, but everything that goes around the ecosystem of boxing. And also for him to help us to find the correct coaches and trainers who will come and train young people here. That is the kind of example of what this relationship with Misk can do and what it can offer this nation.” Amir Khan said last week he planned to set up a boxing gym in Saudi Arabia. (Getty) There is a lot to be learned from high-caliber athletes, she said. “International athletes dedicate 100 percent of their time to their chosen sport. Today, while we don’t have the full ecosystem that can support them, we are developing it.” Princess Reema also spoke of developments in the school system, particularly the introduction of physical education in girls’ schools this year, under a law passed in 2017. With an increased need for PE teachers, the GSA collaborated with the Ministry of Education on their training. “The Ministry of Education has been proactive in the training of male and female PE teachers with new curriculums that they developed, and we were very honored to be a collaborative partner with them.” The nature of that collaboration involves Olympic school days organized by the GSA, with 30 girls’ schools participating and a larger number expected in the future. Princess Reema said the agreement will also cover scholarships for athletes. (Ziyad Alfaraj) “As the sports authority and the Olympic committee we go in and do the training for the PE teachers, create the programming, and they come and compete inter-scholastically.” Under Vision 2030, schools will see improvements in their facilities as well, Princess Reema said. “We have to remember that many of the schools are not equipped to have the kind of programs that the Minister of Education would like to implement. The plan is to invest in new facilities and new infrastructure. That’s going to change profoundly not only the quality of education, but also the PE that’s offered.” As for the next Saudi female champion, Princess Reema said it’s a question everyone asks, and it deserves some patience. “A champion is not made overnight. A champion isn’t made in a year. A champion perseveres in their sport. A champion perseveres in the career of their sport.” Her advice for young female athletes? “Whatever we can’t offer you, don’t stop and wait for someone to give it to you. The runner can run anywhere. The swimmer can swim. Focus on your sport and find your way. Call us for. help, because that is what we are here for. Even though the full structure may not be there yet, we are working in parallel with the athlete working on themselves. “Your success is going to be a collaborative spirit, but you lead your success. We’re an enabler, but you have to lead it.” The princess had a final word of advice for the parents of those budding athletes. “Pursue athletic activities with your children. You are the gateway to their success and you are the gateway to their exposure. Expose them to sports, expose them to physical activity, but also provide the holistic healthy lifestyle around them. The way they eat and sleep, and the way they engage with their community: You are in control of that. So allow them to have the correct foundation so when their dream truly becomes to be an athlete in sports, you have given them a foundation.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Princess Reema bint BandarMISK FoundationGeneral Sports Authority (GSA)Saudi Vision 2030 Princess Reema: Investment will take Saudi eSports to next levelNo turning back on a more inclusive Saudi Arabia, says Princess Reema

Muslim World League head meets French ministry adviser

Author: Fri, 2018-11-16 00:53 Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), met in Riyadh on Thursday with Jean Christophe Bussel, adviser of religious affairs in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and hi
Saudi Arabia

Muslim World League head meets French ministry adviser

Author: Fri, 2018-11-16 00:53 Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), met in Riyadh on Thursday with Jean Christophe Bussel, adviser of religious affairs in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and his accompanying delegation, in the presence of the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Francois Goite. During the meeting, both sides reviewed the MWL’s initiative about shared citizenship in countries of diversity and the road map for positive national integration, based on respect of the constitutions and laws of the countries where it is applied. They stressed that the demand for religious privacy should be according to legal procedures and within respect of the final decision regarding this demand, whatever the results were. Both sides emphasized that love, tranquility, cooperation and coexistence must prevail among all national components, and that everyone must fulfil the requirements of accepting the other’s national identity and respecting the official reference of each national or religious component. Speaking at the Wilton Park Inclusive Citizenship Dialogues forum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Al-Issa said: “It’s wrong to accept from individuals or institutions any justifications that threaten national unity. It’s also essential to protect legitimate freedoms, especially ones that promote and support citizenship. “We appreciate the concept of national integration ministries in countries of religious and ethnic diversity, but… some of them suffer gaps due to the lack of participation of all national segments in the formulation of their programs,” he added. Al-Issa said: “Followers of religious and ethnic minorities have sacrificed a lot to show their loyalty to the countries that welcomed them and their parents.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia MWL, Uffizi Gallery sign agreement to promote intercultural dialogueSaudi grand mufti praises MWL’s control of halal meat imports

Ancient sport of tent-pegging returns to Saudi Arabia

Author: Rawan RadwanID: 1542319500704572400Fri, 2018-11-16 01:01 JEDDAH: Tent-pegging, an ancient cavalry equestrian sport, is making a return in the Kingdom with the establishment of tent-pegging teams and supporting competitions across the penins
Saudi Arabia

Ancient sport of tent-pegging returns to Saudi Arabia

Author: Rawan RadwanID: 1542319500704572400Fri, 2018-11-16 01:01 JEDDAH: Tent-pegging, an ancient cavalry equestrian sport, is making a return in the Kingdom with the establishment of tent-pegging teams and supporting competitions across the peninsula. Many believe the sport originated in Central Asia and the Middle East, with top teams such as Egypt, Oman, Iraq, Jordan and Sudan competing in international championships, and Saudi Arabia’s recent participation drawing close attention. For centuries, Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula and beyond were known for their equestrian skills, which were passed down through generations and recognized on a global scale. Historically renowned, Arabs and horses have shared a bond that helped shape many of today’s equestrian disciplines. A mounted horseman and a team of four horsemen ride at a gallop and use swords and lances to pierce, pick up and carry away small targets inserted into or placed on the ground. Saudi enthusiasts For the past five years, Saudi equestrian enthusiasts have looked to tent-pegging as a rising sport in the region. With proper training and discipline, Saudis — both those with professional equestrian training and those without — have found added value in the sport with many taking part in international championships and tournaments. Capt. Khalid Al-Suwaiket, founder of the Nomas tent-pegging team and an international judge, became interested in the sport in 2013 and became one of the first Saudis to go through formal intensive training in South Africa, a leader in the sport. Since the introduction of tent-pegging recently, more people were turning to the sport than anticipated, he said. “Tent-pegging is a sporting discipline that is one of the oldest in the region. Although show-jumping and polo are more common, it is making its way into the field slowly and professionally,” said Al-Suwaiket.“There are about 15 teams across the Kingdom, and the numbers are rising. In 2015, tent-pegging teams turned from enthusiasts to professionals by participating in a championship in Oman. Various competitions took place in Al-Ula, Bgaig, Al-Qassim and other areas in Saudi Arabia, and points were gathered on equestrians to find the most qualified to participate in international competitions.” Lances, swords and revolvers are used in tent-pegging. Each weapon has its own characteristics regulated by the international equestrian tent-pegging association, an international body that oversees competitions and all regulations related to the sport. The equipment used are standardized pegs with specific thickness, color, size and even angle. “With proper training, many of our riders were able to compete and find themselves in the top five, at least in some competitions. In my equestrian club, Al-Jawhara Stables, we train everyone and anyone willing to take up the sport. There is no age limit in tent-pegging, no weight limit and not even gender segregation,” said Al-Suwaiket. Set of rules “Unlike other equestrian disciplines, the rider takes command of the horse. Each host country provides the horses, unlike other disciplines, and the efficiency of each segment in the tournaments depends on the rider’s performance. Any points deducted or added are due to the performance.” The sport depends on a specific set of rules that must be considered; the speed of a horse needs to be in a specific timeframe, a precise 60-degree angle of the peg, ring height, the length of a lance and sword as well as smooth finishing. Each event consists of eight competitions, with a minimum of two runs. Riders must perform each event as meticulously as possible to gather points. Overall, the four riders’ individual points in all competitions are added together to determine the winning team. Points are deducted if riders do not comply with the speed, the mount, the piercing of the target or other sets of regulations. A number of young male and female equestrian enthusiasts are participating in various equestrian disciplines offered at the many stables around the Kingdom. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaSaudi sportsSaudi sports authority Saudi team wins first prize at eSports world championshipPrincess Reema: Investment will take Saudi eSports to next level

US welcomes Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi investigation as 'step in the right direction'

Author: Fri, 2018-11-16 00:56 JEDDAH: The United States welcomed the details of Saudi Arabia’s investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a “good first step” on Thursday. The comments came as a host of countries responded positively to
Saudi Arabia

US welcomes Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi investigation as 'step in the right direction'

Author: Fri, 2018-11-16 00:56 JEDDAH: The United States welcomed the details of Saudi Arabia’s investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a “good first step” on Thursday. The comments came as a host of countries responded positively to a briefing from the Kingdom’s public prosecution that said it had identified 21 suspects in the killing of the Saudi journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month. The prosecution on Thursday called for five people to receive the death penalty as it revealed the details of the investigation so far. “We regard the announcement that they made as a good first step, it's a step in the right direction,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “It is an initial investigation finding. It is important that those steps continue to be taken toward full accountability.” ------ READ MORE: Full text: Saudi Arabia public prosecution briefing on the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation Saudi Arabia FM: Khashoggi murder investigations will continue until all questions are answered Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor seeks death penalty for 5 Khashoggi suspects ------   Both Arab and Western countries welcomed the steps taken by the investigation outlined in the briefing. The Arab League expressed support for the measures taken by the Kingdom. “The measures are seen as reflecting the great interest of the Kingdom to reach those responsible for committing the murder and take the firm and decisive action against them,” the League’s  Secretariat General said. The statement also urged Turkey to reciprocate the Kingdom’s approach by providing the evidence in the case and meet Saudi demands to form a joint mechanism for cooperation on the investigation. The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani said the details of the investigation released on Thursday “confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to completing the necessary procedures in order to continue the investigation away from the politicization sought by some malicious parties.” The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) praised the statement from the Public Prosecution. “The Saudi prosecution has clearly answered the outstanding questions, charged the responsible parties, identified the roles of those involved in this crime and announced all that with transparency,” OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said. Countries in the region were also quick to back the progress made in the case. The UAE welcomed the findings and the measures taken to hold accountable those behind the murder. “The measures taken corroborate the fact that Saudi Arabia will remain a state of values, and justice that respects the principles of law and justice,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said. Egypt also praised Saudi measures and called on countries to avoid politicizing the case. The progress in the investigation “highlighted the seriousness of the Kingdom and its transparency in clarifying the truth,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said. The Jordanian government stressed the importance of the public prosecution's announcement to charge a number of detainees in the case. «This announcement is an important step towards achieving justice through the investigations' results,» Amman said. Other governments to issue statements welcoming the Kingdom’s steps included Djibouti and Palestine. Meanwhile, France's foreign ministry said the investigation was a “step in the right direction.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Jamal KhashoggiSaudi ArabiaSaudi Public Prosecutors’ OfficeUnited States Saudi Arabia FM: Khashoggi murder investigations will continue until all questions are answeredSaudi Arabia’s public prosecutor seeks death penalty for 5 Khashoggi suspects

Al-Jubeir:  Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

Author: Fri, 2018-11-16 01:13 RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni na
Saudi Arabia

Al-Jubeir:  Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

Author: Fri, 2018-11-16 01:13 RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday.  “Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, and the solution should lead to the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen,” said Adel Al-Jubeir. “We support a peaceful solution in Yemen. We support the efforts of the UN envoy for the Yemeni cause,” he added. “We are committed to providing all humanitarian support to our brothers there. We are also working on the post-war reconstruction of Yemen.” The Kingdom supports the envoy’s efforts to hold negotiations at the end of November, added Al-Jubeir. Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict, he said. In contrast, Houthi militias are imposing restrictions on Yemeni cities and villages, leading to starvation, he added.  They are also seizing humanitarian aid and preventing Yemenis from getting cholera vaccinations, Al-Jubeir said.  The Houthis fire ballistic missiles indiscriminately at Saudi Arabia, use children as fighters and plant mines across Yemen, he added.  The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, he said. Saudi Arabia did not want the conflict in Yemen; it was imposed on the Kingdom, Al-Jubeir added.  Saudi Arabia worked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to develop the Gulf Initiative.  This led to a transition from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the internationally recognized government headed by current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Kingdom also worked to develop Yemeni national dialogue that led to a Yemeni vision regarding the country’s future. A new Yemeni constitution was about to be drafted when the Houthis seized much of the country, including the capital.  Yemen’s legitimate government requested support, and the Saudi-led coalition responded under Article 51 of the UN Charter.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Yemen Key officials meet in Riyadh to discuss economic crisis in YemenUAE welcomes ‘early convening’ of UN-led Yemen talks in Sweden

Misk forum connects global youth

Fri, 2018-11-16 04:16 Young leaders, entrepreneurs, students and inventors mingled in innovative ways at the Misk Global Forum, with name tags that sent delegates’ connections to an app at the press of a flashing button.  But at the end of the day it wa
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Misk forum connects global youth

Fri, 2018-11-16 04:16 Young leaders, entrepreneurs, students and inventors mingled in innovative ways at the Misk Global Forum, with name tags that sent delegates’ connections to an app at the press of a flashing button.  But at the end of the day it was the old-fashioned, face-to-face connections that many delegates said they valued the most. “I’m seeing people from all over the world gathered here in Riyadh, which has become the center of opportunities,” said Jomana Khoj, a 26-year-old animator from Makkah, before the forum wrapped up on Thursday.  “Thanks, Misk, for helping us, the youth, gather here and connect with other youth from around the world.” The forum included “Skills Garages,” workshop spaces with whiteboard tables that could be written on during group brainstorms, with sessions on “The Art of Persuasion” and “Landing Your Dream Tech Job.” Top left: Paintings displayed in a 360-degree fashion. Bottom left: Participants had a chance to learn about every aspect of the Misk Foundation’s work. Right: Young people exploring their skills, potential and passions during workshops. The workshop spaces served as a hub for visitors from North America, Africa, Asia and Europe, with many attendees commending the amount of innovation the forum provided.  “I feel this year’s content is well chosen,” said Faisal Al-Sudairy, a 24-year-old participant. “We really need to prepare ourselves for the future, especially in this fast-changing era, and to know more about what skills we should acquire.” The workshops catered to developing youths’ skills for the future economy. More than 3,500 delegates received insights from more than 50 speakers from around the world.  It was the third annual forum organized by the Misk Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 2011 by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.   In the main hall, called the “Skills Factory,” Thursday’s opening session included a speech by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al-Falasi, the UAE’s minister of state for higher education and advanced skills. “Misk Majlis,” another designated area, provided a relaxed and informal setting that focused on helping delegates build their personal brands. Traditional floor cushions and couches represented traditional Arab social gatherings.  In the majlis, Misk Innovation held a talk to publicize its new brand and partnership with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups.  The accelerator program for tech startups in the Middle East and North Africa will last 16 weeks starting from Jan. 27, 2019. Applications close on Dec. 15. The Misk Art area introduced visitors to works by many renowned Saudi artists, such as Taha Sabban and Safia bin Zager.  The vibrant hall displayed a large image of a sophisticated woman from Hijaz wearing the traditional Hijazi headdress and sitting on a beautiful ornamental wooden chair well known in the Saudi region. The image provided a transcendence between the past and present. The Misk Art Institute had a unique section at the forum that was divided into two rooms. One was to showcase paintings and drawings of four pioneering Saudi artists.  The other room had huge LED screens that gave people a 360-degree experience. The screens displayed paintings in an interactive way and synchronized with tailored music. The halls were lined with inspirational quotes and the faces of well-known figures. It should come as no surprise that the most popular one was of Misk’s founder, with delegates taking selfies alongside the crown prince’s smiling face. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: mgf2018MISK GLOBAL FORUMSaudi ArabiaEditor’s Choice Misk Global Forum: UAE Higher Education Minister aces ‘job interview’Misk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skills

Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

Thu, 2018-11-15 12:15 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after
Saudi Arabia

Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

Thu, 2018-11-15 12:15 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after a struggle by a lethal injection and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, Shalaan Al-Shalaan, deputy public prosecutor and spokesman, told reporters in Riyadh on Thursday. Khashoggi’s body parts were then handed over to a local Turkish agent outside the consulate grounds, the spokesman said, adding that a sketch of the agent has been prepared and will be handed over to the Turkish authorities. He said that the head of Khashoggi’s repatriation team was the one who ordered the killing of the victim, adding that the investigations into the whereabouts of the victim’s body are still ongoing. Jamal Khashoggi was killed in Turkey’s Istanbul consulate on October 2. (Reuters) He noted that the mission of the team was to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom. The prosecutor said a former adviser had been due to meet the team that was ordered to repatriate journalist Khashoggi, who was killed after efforts to negotiate his return failed. He added that the ex-advisor had been banned from travelling and remained under investigation, and that the case has been transferred to court while investigations continue. Al-Shalaan said Saudi Arabia has requested Turkey to sign a cooperation deal on a probe into the murder of Khashoggi. “We have requested the brotherly Turkish authorities to sign a special cooperation mechanism specific to this case in order to provide them with the results of the investigation,” he said, adding that “the public prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia France denies receiving Khashoggi tapes from Turkey and accuses Erdogan of playing gamesSaudi envoy: Khashoggi murder ‘a tragedy,’ but justice will be done

Investigations into Khashoggi’s murder will continue until all questions are answered

Author: Zaynab KhojjiID: 1542292298482032900Thu, 2018-11-15 17:31 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is still seeking answers to a number of questions in the investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's death, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Ade
Saudi Arabia

Investigations into Khashoggi’s murder will continue until all questions are answered

Author: Zaynab KhojjiID: 1542292298482032900Thu, 2018-11-15 17:31 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is still seeking answers to a number of questions in the investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's death, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said at a press conference Thursday. Saudi Arabia is committed to holding those involved in Khashoggi's murder accountable through the judiciary, and investigations into Khashoggi’s murder will continue until all questions are answered, Al-Jubeir said. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Jamal Khashoggimurderinvestigations Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing France denies receiving Khashoggi tapes from Turkey and accuses Erdogan of playing games

Misk Global Forum: UAE Higher Education Minister aces ‘job interview’

Thu, 2018-11-15 09:16 RIYADH: The opening session on the second day of the Misk Global Forum began with a brain teaser – how many golf balls can you fit in a school bus? – as part of a job interview, but not just with any applicant. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul A
Saudi Arabia

Misk Global Forum: UAE Higher Education Minister aces ‘job interview’

Thu, 2018-11-15 09:16 RIYADH: The opening session on the second day of the Misk Global Forum began with a brain teaser – how many golf balls can you fit in a school bus? – as part of a job interview, but not just with any applicant. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al-Falasi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, talked about higher learning and his career in the format of a job interview, conducted by moderator Razan Alayed, an advisor to the Education and Human Resources Council in the UAE. Al-Falasi said he was surprised that even though he went to very good schools and had a PhD in engineering, he got rejected when applying to many companies because they said he was overqualified. He realized he was underqualified in consulting, so he started to work on that. His learning? “People appreciated the skills I had, not my education.”   Still, Al-Falasi said it’s important to have a specialization in higher education. “You need a core major. Academic background is still important.”   To be successful, he said a person needs to be confident and passionate, and that it’s important to have skills of negotiation and articulation. “I’m not the smartest person,” he said, rather modestly. “If I have to pick one skill, it will be my capacity to adapt.” Al-Falasi said technology is helping education evolve: “Today with technology, you can have access to the best classes in the world. Data is also important, many say. A lot of technology is built on understanding.”   At the end of his interview, when Al-Falasi was asked about his salary expectation. Without pause, he said if it’s for a job at Misk, the figure doesn’t matter. “We all feel very passionate and positive today, especially with what’s happening in Misk,” he said. “All eyes are on Saudi Arabia today.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: mgf2018MISKMISK GLOBAL FORUMSaudi ArabiaRiyadh Misk Global Forum: Panelists spoke about future skills, AI and social intelligence on the first day Misk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skills

KSA, Philippines explore ways to boost relations

Author: Ellie AbenID: 1542225462285268400Wed, 2018-11-14 22:57 MANILA: In line with the efforts to further bolster bilateral ties between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Abdullah bin Nas
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KSA, Philippines explore ways to boost relations

Author: Ellie AbenID: 1542225462285268400Wed, 2018-11-14 22:57 MANILA: In line with the efforts to further bolster bilateral ties between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Bussairy, has met with former president and now Speaker of the House of Representatives Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The House Speaker received the Saudi envoy at her office Tuesday afternoon where the meeting lasted about half an hour, according to Arroyo’s office. Among the initiatives discussed by Arroyo and Al-Bussairy to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries was the establishment of a Philippine-Saudi Arabian inter-parliamentary friendship association especially in the light of the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to increase trade and other cooperation. The proposal of establishing an inter-parliamentary friendship association between the two countries was among the issues discussed in the meeting. “They want to push this initiative because of the BOL. Basically it will center on the development of Mindanao with the help of lawmakers from the Bangsamoro area,” Arroyo’s office told Arab News. During the meeting, Al-Bussairy also recalled the state visit made by Arroyo during her presidency to Saudi Arabia back in 2006, in which she sought clemency of hundreds of distressed Filipino workers (OFWs). Then-King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz granted Arroyo’s requests and pardoned them. Diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines were established in 1969. But the two countries’ bilateral relations were reinforced further by then-President Arroyo’s state visit to the Kingdom on May 7-9, 2006. The Saudi Embassy in Manila also posted on Twitter a statement about the meeting between Arroyo and Al-Bussairy. “During the meeting, the close relationship between the two friendly countries had been discussed and how to develop it in all fields,” read part of the embassy’s statement. “Her Excellency the Speaker expressed her sincere appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to the Crown Prince (May Almighty Allah protect them) on their keen concern for the bilateral relations between the two countries,” it added. Last week, the two countries held their 5th Joint Commission Meeting in Manila to explore possible cooperation in in various areas, including security, trade, investment, energy, education, and tourism. The two countries reaffirm their commitment to advance bilateral relations. Philippines Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo and Saudi Arabia’s Vice Labor Minister Abdullah Nasser Abouthnain led their delegations in the meeting. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), aside from trade and investment and labor and health services, other possible areas of cooperation discussed by both sides are in security, agriculture, energy, finance, education, cultural, tourism, youth and sports, technical training, and technology. Early this year, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif met with President Rodrigo Duterte during the former’s official visit to the Manila early this year, when they reiterated both countries’ commitment to fighting terrorism. In the said meeting, which Malacanang described as “very warm and cordial,” Duterte and Prince Abdul Aziz discussed strengthening bilateral ties and issues of mutual importance, particularly law enforcement, peace, security, and promoting the welfare of Filipino migrant workers. Saudi Arabia is host to close to a million Filipino workers. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi-Philippines Saudi-Philippine labor pact gets Cabinet's nodSaudi-Philippine labor pact soon

Saudi Arabia rises in English proficiency ranking

Author: Rashid HassanID: 1542225356035257700Wed, 2018-11-14 22:55 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has improved its ranking on the English proficiency index, a conference in the Kingdom heard on Wednesday. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) holds the highest rank
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia rises in English proficiency ranking

Author: Rashid HassanID: 1542225356035257700Wed, 2018-11-14 22:55 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has improved its ranking on the English proficiency index, a conference in the Kingdom heard on Wednesday. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) holds the highest ranking among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, ranking 71 globally and scoring 47.27. EF Education First, a global education company focusing on language, academic, cultural exchange and educational travel programs, held its eighth edition of the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) Conference for the first time in the Kingdom here on Wednesday. EF Education First released its annual global ranking of English proficiency, the EF EPI 2018, drawing on data from 1.3 million non-native English speakers in 88 countries and regions, at the conference. Sweden topped the EF EPI, scoring 70.72 and knocking last year’s top-scorer the Netherlands into second place with a score of 70.31. Speaking at the conference, David Bish, director of academic management, EF Education First, said that this year’s report was the biggest league table to date; the process included 1.3 million test-takers, recording a 30 percent increase over the past year. There are 13 new entrants in the index this year: Afghanistan, Albania, Belarus, Bolivia, Croatia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Senegal and Uzbekistan. Lebanon has been added to the index for the first time, and is the top performer in the Middle East, ranking 33 globally with its score of 55.79, which has helped to lift the overall average of the region slightly. Scoring 43.65, Saudi Arabia is ranked 83rd in the world, ahead of Afghanistan, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Iraq and Libya. Bish said that the English language is predicted to play a bigger role in the region with initiatives that aim to diversify the economy, investment in jobs and the education system. Of Saudi Arabia, he said: “We have seen it improving over the last four years and making progress in the region’s index.” Sharing some of the key findings, he said that Europe remains the global leader in English proficiency, with eight of the top 10 spots in the ranking. Africa had shown strong gains in English proficiency, with South Africa ranking sixth globally. Other rankings were: Nigeria (29), Senegal (39), Ethiopia (54), Egypt (62), Morocco (67), Tunisia (68), Algeria (81) and Libya (88). Women continued to outsmart men in English skills worldwide, the index showed. Bish told Arab News that the EF EPI was based on three tests. These are online tests using an EF scale of 1 to 80 in line with a common European frame of reference, and scores are put together to give an average score for each country. “We need more than 3,000 people to take the tests before we prepare the index,” he said. The EF EPI is based on test scores from the EF Standard English Test (EF SET), the world’s first free standardized English test. Thousands of schools, companies, and governments worldwide use the EF SET for large-scale testing. EF EPI research finds that countries and individuals continue to invest in English education, recognizing the importance of the language as a lever for competitiveness. Speaking at the conference, Jan Knutsson, the Swedish ambassador, expressed happiness about his country returning to the top spot. For a country wishing to do the best in education, economy, trade and commerce, proficiency in English is key, he said. Abdulrahman S. Alfuraih, general supervisor of English language at the Ministry of Education, said knowing the methodology and how it is prepared was important in building better results. “We are improving and working continuously to further improve,” he said, adding that English is linked with the job market and so it is important to gain proficiency in it. The ministry is working on an “English for All” program, he said. There is also “Khebrat,” a teacher professional development program provided by the ministry for teachers of all subjects that aims to qualify Saudi cadres to take leadership in public education through training abroad at the best learning centers. The teachers are sent to the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand to join the academic program and improve their proficiency. When they return they share their experiences with students to help in teaching and assessment. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia Saudi ministry delivers justice in EnglishStranger than fiction: 15-year-old girl is youngest English-language Saudi author

FaceOf: Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum

Author: Thu, 2018-11-15 00:44 Shaima Hamidaddin has been the executive manager of the Misk Global Forum since its inception in 2016.  Hamidaddin is the first woman to work at the Misk Foundation, where she served as the business development manager b
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FaceOf: Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum

Author: Thu, 2018-11-15 00:44 Shaima Hamidaddin has been the executive manager of the Misk Global Forum since its inception in 2016.  Hamidaddin is the first woman to work at the Misk Foundation, where she served as the business development manager between 2012 and 2016 before becoming the executive manager of the global unit. She joined the foundation in 2011.  Before joining Misk, Hamidaddin worked as the business development manager at King Salman Youth Center between 2012 and 2015.  She also worked as an assistant brand manager for two years at Al Safi Danone, a market leader in dairy products in Saudi Arabia and across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. She was also a business development executive at Bin Hendi Enterprises.  Hamidaddin holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Sharjah. She also attended the management acceleration program in business administration and management at INSEAD graduate business school.  The third annual Misk Global Forum, a two-day event, opened on Wednesday in Riyadh, with opening remarks by Hamidaddin. “We want you to be inspired, not just by our speakers, but by your fellow guests,” Hamidaddin said. She said that people were already more globally connected than ever before through technology, but urged collaboration and interaction between speakers and guests from different cultures at the forum. “We must seize the opportunity for uniquely human collaboration,” she said. Hamidaddin said that the Misk foundation plays a complementary role by bridging gaps and working with partners to help equip young people with skills.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia Faceof: Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli,  Saudi minister of environment, water and agricultureFaceOf: Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to Germany

Misk Global Forum: Panelists spoke about future skills, AI and social intelligence on the first day

Thu, 2018-11-15 01:25 “What does the future look like, in a world where everything is changing?” This question rang out as a video montage played at the “Skills for Our Tomorrow” Misk Global Forum on Wednesday. From the vantage point of  the thir
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Misk Global Forum: Panelists spoke about future skills, AI and social intelligence on the first day

Thu, 2018-11-15 01:25 “What does the future look like, in a world where everything is changing?” This question rang out as a video montage played at the “Skills for Our Tomorrow” Misk Global Forum on Wednesday. From the vantage point of  the third annual forum in Riyadh, the future buzzed with possibilities as more than 3,500 delegates were treated to sessions with political ministers, princesses, inventors, entrepreneurs and athletes. They had all assembled to share their vision of what is needed to deliver the skills that will be needed in future. Weam Al-Dakheel, the first woman to anchor the main evening news on Saudi Arabian TV, introduced the forum’s executive manager Shaima Hamidaddin. “We want you to be inspired, not just by our speakers, but by your fellow guests,” said Hamidaddin, as she welcomed delegates.  Hamidaddin asked for a show of hands from different parts of the world, showing that there were delegates from every continent except Antarctica — the forum would work on that for next year, she promised. She then asked for a show of hands for those under the age of 35 to demonstrate that this was the youngest Misk Global Forum yet. She added that thanks to technology, we are already more connected than ever before, but urged people to interact with the speakers and guests from different cultures. “We must seize the opportunity for uniquely human collaboration,” she said. As the moderator of the first session, “It’s All About Skills,” Arab News’ editor in chief Faisal J. Abbas began by holding up the morning’s newspaper: “Two years ago people used to read the news like this,” he said. But as he pointed out, the news industry has changed drastically, with digitally connected audiences increasingly using online platforms such as Twitter. With media tweeting out his comments, Abbas introduced his guests: Ahmed bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi, the Kingdom’s minister of labor and social development; Shaima Hamidaddin; Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka, the UN Secretary-General’s envoy on youth and Sue Siegel, chief innovation officer for General Electric. Abbas asked Al-Rajhi how the government was tackling the challenge of finding jobs for young people. “With Vision 2030 programs ... we have a lot of initiatives and there is potential,” the minister said. “We all need to work together and collaborate with the education system, employers who create the jobs and the ministry to give a clear direction of where we are going today.” Arab News Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas hosted a panel on skills. (Ziyad Alarfaj/Arab News) Asked whether job creation is considered to be an issue worldwide, the UN youth envoy said: “It is not a national or regional issue but a global one: Our world is younger than it has ever been before.”  Wickramanayake said that by 2030, South Asia and Africa will supply 60 percent of the world’s workforce. “We have a large majority of young people who are working but still live in poverty,” she said, adding it is important to invest in them. “If we are serious then this is the time to make those investments to be productive citizens and employees and employers.” A group that has been making just this sort of investment in Saudi Arabia is the forum’s organizer, the Misk Foundation, which. was founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2011.  Abbas asked the question that is on everyone’s minds these days: Are machines going to take our jobs? Siegel answered that while everybody looks at artificial intelligence and has this fear, actually AI will create new jobs and be used for more mundane tasks.  AI was the topic of another session later in the day. Julia Glidden, general manager, global government industry for IBM Corporation in the US, said it is really important to know what AI is not. “It comes back to you and what you bring to your societies, which is your humanity, your passion, your vision and creativity, because machines will never replace that,” she said.  Another panel on the topic of social intelligence stressed that technology could sometimes hinder people from interacting with the world around them.  Adeeb Alblooshi, the UAE’s youngest inventor, said it is important to develop social intelligence.  He advised young people: “You have to start simple by understanding little things people do and that’s how you can gain experience. You don’t need to have the best equipment and the latest technology to develop. Just don’t give up ... always have faith.”  Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy of planning and development at the Saudi General Sport Authority. (Basher Saleh/Arab News) The day wasn’t just about skills and intelligence. Athletes led the afternoon sessions, including a panel on the Future of Sport moderated by Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy of planning and development at the Saudi General Sport Authority.  Lubna Al-Omair, the first Saudi female Olympic fencer, interviewed Amir Khan, the Olympic medalist and light-welterweight world champion, who appeared wearing traditional Saudi clothes. He said that he hoped to help the next generation of Saudi boxers to become Olympic champions, and the only way to do this is by opening academies here.  British boxing legend Amir Khan. (Ziyad Alarfaj/Arab News) Khan said he believes there is a reason Saudis are good boxers: “Maybe it is in their blood — they are warriors.” Winding up the day, Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho appeared on stage to a chorus of cheers and gave a talk entitled “The Discipline — and Fun — of Teamwork. ” His advice for the audience? “Prepare yourself and help your colleague or team member,” he said. “Humility is important. Try to stay humble.” He also said to train hard, read as much as you can and don’t fear failure. “I failed a lot of times,” he said. “Football is like that. You can’t always win. You have to seek lessons from the defeats and not lose hope.”  Now retired, Ronaldinho is more concerned with giving back. “After I stopped playing, I have soccer academies. That’s what I’m proud of, and it has given me pleasure. To give something back (as a) thanks to football and everything it has given me.” The forum was continuing at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on Thursday. Brazilian soccer great Ronaldinho. (Ziyad Alarfja/Arab News) Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabiamgf2018MISK GLOBAL FORUMVision 2030 Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in JeddahWorld boxing champ Amir Khan eyes Saudi Arabia for new academyMisk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skillsThird annual Misk Global Forum launches with its youngest event yet

Young Swedes top Global youth index

Thu, 2018-11-15 02:39  RIYADH: Sweden tops the Global Youth Index, released on Wednesday at the Misk Global Forum, along with research showing how prepared young people are for the future economy. The index was developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit a
Saudi Arabia

Young Swedes top Global youth index

Thu, 2018-11-15 02:39  RIYADH: Sweden tops the Global Youth Index, released on Wednesday at the Misk Global Forum, along with research showing how prepared young people are for the future economy. The index was developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and supported by the Misk Foundation to assess youth development. The Global Youth Index analyzes the extent to which young people in 25 countries are prepared for the future in five domains: Education and skills, employment, entrepreneurship, global citizenship and the knowledge economy ecosystem. Collectively, the countries comprise 70 percent of the world’s youth population and 80 per cent of global GDP.  The new research published by Misk Foundation shows that while young people around the world are optimistic about the future, they are concerned about a lack of suitable education and on-the-job training. About 45 percent of those wanting to start their own venture have not done so because they do not have support. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaMISK GLOBAL FORUMmgf2018 Misk Global Forum: Panelists spoke about future skills, AI and social intelligence on the first day Misk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skills

Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in Jeddah

Wed, 2018-11-14 18:59 RIYADH: Ronaldinho plans to open a football academy in Jeddah some time next year, the Brazilian football legend revealed to Arab News backstage in an exclusive interview after his appearance at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday. “
Saudi Arabia

Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in Jeddah

Wed, 2018-11-14 18:59 RIYADH: Ronaldinho plans to open a football academy in Jeddah some time next year, the Brazilian football legend revealed to Arab News backstage in an exclusive interview after his appearance at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday. “First of all, I want to say thank you for a warm reception and kindness which I have received from the Saudi people,” he told Arab News. “As for the kids, those who want to be a player some day, dedicate as much as you can and follow your dreams.” Earlier, Ronaldinho appeared on stage to a chorus of cheers at the end of the day’s sessions, where he gave a talk titled the Discipline – and Fun – of Teamwork.  ”I was lucky enough to be on a team with stars,” he said of his career with European clubs Paris St-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan, and a World Cup win in 2002 with the Brazilian national team. “We all respected each other. “For me it was wonderful, because my history with this team and players was a beautiful one: To idolize them and later play with them and later win titles again…” Ronaldinho said he feels grateful for his God-given talent. “Throughout my career we had a plan, and I always worked hard. God gave me the privilege to play football. It was fun, not a sacrifice.” “I’ve always liked to have a ball around me, to have contact with the ball.” His advice for the audience? “Prepare yourself and help your colleague or team member,” he said. “Humility is important. Try to stay humble.” He also said to train hard, read as much as you can and don’t fear failure. “I failed a lot of times,” he said. “Football is like that. You can’t always win. You have to seek lessons from the defeats and not lose hope.”  Now that he’s retired, Ronaldinho is more concerned with giving back. “After I stopped playing, I have soccer academies. That’s what I’m proud of, and it has given me pleasure. To give something back (as a)  thanks to football and everything it have given me.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaMISK FoundationMISK GLOBAL FORUMRonaldinhomgf2018 Misk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skillsThird annual Misk Global Forum launches with its youngest event yet

Polish marshal praises Saudi Arabia’s role in global relief, humanitarian work

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542224813705211800Wed, 2018-11-14 22:46JEDDAH: The marshal (speaker) of the Senate of Poland, Stanislaw Karchevsky, praised the work of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and the Kingdom’s Vision 20
Saudi Arabia

Polish marshal praises Saudi Arabia’s role in global relief, humanitarian work

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542224813705211800Wed, 2018-11-14 22:46JEDDAH: The marshal (speaker) of the Senate of Poland, Stanislaw Karchevsky, praised the work of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 when he met Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, KSRelief’s general supervisor, on Wednesday in the Polish capital of Warsaw.Al-Rabeeah highlighted in detail the Kingdom’s humanitarian and relief efforts, which are carried out by KSRelief and have benefited 42 countries in four continents.He also highlighted that KSRelief has implemented 294 humanitarian and relief projects in all Yemeni governorates.Karchevsky hailed the Kingdom’s international role on all political, economic and humanitarian levels and expressed his admiration for Vision 2030, which he described as an ambitious vision that would give the Kingdom an important role in the global economy.He pointed out that KSRelief, with its international role, has won the appreciation of the Polish government.Al-Rabeeah also met the deputy marshal of the Sejm (parliament) of Poland, Beata Mazurek, and presented the humanitarian efforts of KSRelief in Yemen and other countries.During the meeting, Al-Rabeeah and Mazurek discussed humanitarian and relief issues in Yemen and the main challenges that limit and restrict humanitarian action.Mazurek hailed Saudi Arabia’s efforts in Yemen and other countries to alleviate the suffering of those affected.She emphasized that the Kingdom is a strategic partner of Poland on all levels and in all fields and that the relationship between the two countries is friendly and a lasting partnership. Main category: Saudi Arabia

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia and Latvia poised to take official ties to next level, envoy says

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542224969475226200Wed, 2018-11-14 22:48RIYADH: Latvia intends to develop its commercial and cultural relations with Saudi Arabia, with a particular focus on a number of cooperative areas including education, the economy, inform
Saudi Arabia

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia and Latvia poised to take official ties to next level, envoy says

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542224969475226200Wed, 2018-11-14 22:48RIYADH: Latvia intends to develop its commercial and cultural relations with Saudi Arabia, with a particular focus on a number of cooperative areas including education, the economy, information technology, culture, food and food processing, Astra Kurme, Latvia’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said on Tuesday. The countries are also discussing plans to hold their maiden round of political talks in near future, she added.“The Kingdom and Latvia will hold political consultations following the ratification of their memorandum of understanding by the Shoura Council,” said Kurme, who is the first envoy of a Baltic state in Saudi Arabia. “We are also talking about setting up a legal framework and endorsing agreements such as the avoidance of double taxation.”The ambassador said that she discussed with Saudi officials possible areas of cooperation during several meetings last week at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Princess Nourah University, King Saud University and at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.“One of the potential projects can be establishing an Arabic language and culture center in Latvia,” she said, adding that there are also many opportunities to work together in the fields of information technology and cybersecurity. Some Latvian companies already have a direct or indirect presence in the Gulf region, Kurme said. She also pointed out that Latvia has some of the fastest internet connections in the world, having taken major step to develop high-speed internet, and that there are plenty of commercial opportunities for both countries. She noted that Air Baltic already flies to Abu Dhabi four times a week and that Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa also serve the Gulf-Latvia sector.Latvia welcomed a large number of Saudi tourists this summer, said Kurme, adding that Latvia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence this year. Main category: Saudi Arabia

Experts to discuss Saudi steel industry at Riyadh forum

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542225263505253400Wed, 2018-11-14 22:53JEDDAH: The Saudi International Iron and Steel Conference, organized by the National Committee for Steel Industry, will be held in Riyadh in March 2019 as part of efforts to develop and pr
Saudi Arabia

Experts to discuss Saudi steel industry at Riyadh forum

Author: ARAB NEWSID: 1542225263505253400Wed, 2018-11-14 22:53JEDDAH: The Saudi International Iron and Steel Conference, organized by the National Committee for Steel Industry, will be held in Riyadh in March 2019 as part of efforts to develop and promote growth in the Saudi steel industry. The event, the first international steel summit in the Kingdom, will bring together local, regional and global industry leaders to discuss critical issues affecting the future of the nation’s steel industry.“The steel industry is strategically important to the economic future of the country,” said Rayed Abdullah Al-Ajaji, the chairman of NCSI. “Our country has invested billions over the years in world-class facilities that manufacture the highest-quality steel products and we must work together to ensure it remains competitive and thriving.” Main category: Saudi Arabia