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More than 40 percent of Saudis are obese

Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1555359830865788800Mon, 2019-04-15 23:23 JEDDAH: More than 40 percent of Saudi citizens are obese, according to a health official, as two major health campaigns were launched in the Kingdom around diabetes and high blo
Saudi Arabia

More than 40 percent of Saudis are obese

Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1555359830865788800Mon, 2019-04-15 23:23 JEDDAH: More than 40 percent of Saudi citizens are obese, according to a health official, as two major health campaigns were launched in the Kingdom around diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes and endocrinology consultant and chairman of the Saudi Society for Diabetes, Abdulrahman Al-Sheikh, said the campaigns reflected the principles of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 reform plan which emphasizes the provision of preventive medicine and the fight against chronic diseases. He said there were 3.8 million diabetics in the Kingdom, representing almost 19 percent of the adult population, and that obesity was a major issue in Saudi society. “Diabetes drains big sums of any country’s budget allocated for health ministries,” he told Arab News. “More than 40 percent of Saudi citizens are suffering from obesity. When we add overweight cases to this ratio, the number hits 70 percent and these are some of the reasons that have led to the spread of diabetes in Saudi Arabia.” The high numbers were caused by unhealthy eating habits and low participation in sports, he said, adding: “It is the role of physicians and educators to advise people to practice sports so that we may have fewer diabetes cases in the future. The problem with diabetes is in its dangerous complications such as cardiovascular disease and damage of kidney and many more.” Around 50 percent of dialysis patients were diabetics, he explained, and the same ratio was found in patients with cardiovascular problems. “A similar number is found with eye patients. That is why such complications are draining 40 percent of the health budget in Saudi Arabia.” Al-Sheik said that 45 percent of deaths were a result of heart diseases. “A hundred years ago people died of contagious diseases, especially tuberculosis. With lifestyles improving, heart diseases, which are mainly caused by high blood pressure and diabetes, have become one of the main causes of death, in addition to smoking and cholesterol.” Diabetics were more vulnerable to hypertension than others, he added, and hypertension was known as a “silent killer” because a patient may die of the disease without prior knowledge of it. “So, a person should always check his or her blood pressure and take necessary medications in case one is diagnosed with hypertension.” Al-Sheikh said prices for hypertension and diabetes medication were high because manufacturers said their research was costly, but that the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) got its pricing from more than 30 countries of any drug and discussed what was best for the local market. “That’s why we have the lowest prices among neighboring countries. I agree that the prices are globally high, but manufacturers claim that their research is costly, too. However, there are some countries where drug prices are cheaper than they are here, but I am hopeful that the SFDA will have another look at this issue.” The two campaigns aim to alleviate the pain of patients as well as achieve a safe and high quality of life, according to the reform plan's objectives for the health sector. The campaigns, sponsored by the French pharmaceutical company Servier, will provide free checks for citizens and residents in commercial centers, malls and communities in most cities and regions in the Kingdom. The first campaign, which has been approved by the SFDA, is organized in cooperation with the Jeddah-based Friends of Diabetic Patients Charitable Association. The other campaign is organized in cooperation with the Saudi Hypertension Management Society (SHMS) and is currently in the final stages of the SFDA approval process. Senior consultant and head of the Pediatric Kidney Unit at Al-Qatif Central Hospital, Saleh Al-Shurafa, said the hypertension campaign went beyond the free screening process. “The campaign aims primarily at raising awareness and shedding light on the importance of early detection and lifestyle modification, especially since the prevalence of high blood pressure is 15 percent in adults in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News. “Families can play their role in providing members with home care.” Al-Shurafa, who is also president of SHMS, said that 70 percent of diabetics around the world had high blood pressure and that was the reason for linking the two campaigns. “That is why the Ministry of Health and SFDA set controlling blood pressure and diabetes as a priority in their programs. The correlation between the two diseases makes it necessary to fight both diseases in parallel, as this will help to avoid many complications, as well as the need to stimulate society to live a healthy and sustainable life.” He said SHMS started in 2004 with health specialists from around the country. Their goal was to combine efforts in fighting the diseases and training physicians on how to diagnose and deal with hypertension. “In 2008, the society expanded its work and was approved internationally. Our main objective is to spread awareness about high blood pressure and its dangers. In addition, we hold courses for both health professionals and members of society.” SHMS, in coordination with the International Hypertension League and other health organization, will start checking people’s blood pressures from next month in locations such as malls, public places and health centers. “This move aims to spread awareness of dangers that high blood pressure can cause. In this campaign we also urge people to play sports and to follow balanced diets.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaFood & HealthTags: obeseobesitysaudi health and care 70% of Saudis are obese, says studySaudis going vegan, often to avoid obesity

Pakistan president receives Makkah Grand Mosque imam

Author: Tue, 2019-04-16 01:34 ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday received in Islamabad Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani, an imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. “Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Pakistan president receives Makkah Grand Mosque imam

Author: Tue, 2019-04-16 01:34 ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday received in Islamabad Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani, an imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. “Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia, which are fraternal relations based on religious and cultural commonalities,” Alvi said. Saudi-Pakistani relations are characterized by their shared visions on regional and international issues, as well as a shared desire to address the challenges facing the Muslim world, he added. Alvi hailed the Saudi leadership’s efforts to serve the Two Holy Mosques, and the services provided to pilgrims every year. He also hailed the Kingdom’s support of regional security and stability, as well as Muslim causes. Alvi thanked the Kingdom for supporting Pakistan and its people in difficult times, noting recent Saudi support for his country’s economy. He expressed good wishes on behalf of Pakistan’s government and people to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi people. Al-Juhani thanked Alvi for his kind sentiments and warm reception, as well as the hospitality he experienced during his visit to Pakistan. Al-Juhani conveyed the compliments of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and their wishes for Pakistan’s progress and prosperity. The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and senior Pakistani officials. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Pakistanarif alviSheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani Makkah Imam Al-Sudais highlights importance of education in IslamImam of grand mosque urges youth to stay strong in face of modern challenges

Saudi Vision 2030 forum to be held in Jordan

Author: Tue, 2019-04-16 01:50 AMMAN, Jordan: Under the guidance of Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Turki, the Saudi ambassador to Jordan, the embassy will organize the “Saudi Vision 2030, its Cultural and Social Effect” forum next Wednesday. This wil
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Vision 2030 forum to be held in Jordan

Author: Tue, 2019-04-16 01:50 AMMAN, Jordan: Under the guidance of Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Turki, the Saudi ambassador to Jordan, the embassy will organize the “Saudi Vision 2030, its Cultural and Social Effect” forum next Wednesday. This will be in cooperation with the Abdul Hameed Shoman Cultural Forum (AHSF). The speakers will be Dr. Mohammed Al-Haizan and Dr. Othman Al-Sini, and Dr. Badr Al-Madi will present the seminar and moderate the dialogue with the audience.   Valentina Qussisiya, CEO of AHSF, stressed the importance of the forum, which will aim to explore the cultural and social changes resulting from Vision 2030.  She said that Vision 2030 aims to improve the position of women and ensure their empowerment and participation in economic and social development.  It will also seek to address a number of areas such as education, health and culture, and establish a foundation to achieve sustainable development, she said. SPA Amman Abd Al-Salam bin Abdallah Al-’Anzi, a spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Jordan, said: “This forum is part of the embassy’s belief in the importance of community engagement to cooperate with pioneering cultural and information institutions in Jordan, and the embassy will organize this seminar in participation with the long-established Abdul Hameed Shoman institution, one of the most important Jordanian institutions working on spreading culture and awareness in Jordanian society and the Arab world.”  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Vision 2030 Bahri-SWCC agreement in line with Vision 2030Saudi Vision 2030 and CPEC: heralding regional prosperity 

‘Cities Destroyed by Terrorism’ expo to open in Riyadh

Tue, 2019-04-16 02:10 RIYADH: The impact of terrorism on heritage sites will be highlighted in an exhibition that opens on Wednesday in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported. “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” is a 30-day show organized by the Ministry
Saudi Arabia

‘Cities Destroyed by Terrorism’ expo to open in Riyadh

Tue, 2019-04-16 02:10 RIYADH: The impact of terrorism on heritage sites will be highlighted in an exhibition that opens on Wednesday in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported. “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” is a 30-day show organized by the Ministry of Culture under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al-Saud. It is the result of cooperation between the ministry and the Arab World Institute in Paris. The exhibition will feature ancient and archaeological sites such as Libya’s Leptis Magna, Aleppo and Palmyra in Syria, and Mosul in Iraq. “Through this exhibition we aim to help society realize the importance of heritage because it documents human history, which introduces us to the worlds of previous civilizations that were destroyed or neglected because of extremist and terrorist ideologies that found the areas of conflict an opportunity to threaten our history in the Middle East,” the prince said in February. The exhibition runs until May 17 at the capital’s National Museum.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaArt & CultureTags: terrorismRiyadhRiyadh National MuseumLeptis MagnaAleppoPalmyraMosul Daesh terror plots targeting Europe and Middle East exposedIn Aleppo, the fate of a legendary hotel hangs in balance

‘Watan 89’: Saudi security forces’ explosive display of firepower

Author: Tue, 2019-04-16 02:20 AL-AHSA: Saudi Arabia’s elite security forces put on an explosive display of firepower during an adrenaline-charged show of military might. Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif watched the no-holds-barr
Saudi Arabia

‘Watan 89’: Saudi security forces’ explosive display of firepower

Author: Tue, 2019-04-16 02:20 AL-AHSA: Saudi Arabia’s elite security forces put on an explosive display of firepower during an adrenaline-charged show of military might. Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif watched the no-holds-barred closing ceremony of the third joint training exercise for Watan 89, a special forces team composed of 13 different sectors from the Ministry of Interior and the Presidency of State Security. Crack teams took part in car chases, hand-to-hand combat and vehicle assault demonstrations, and used helicopters and explosives to show the Kingdom’s level of readiness for dealing with any serious internal security threats. Crack teams from 13 special forces units of the Saudi Ministry of Interior and the Presidency of State Security in formation at the start of the Watan 89 joint training exercise in Al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib) On arrival at the exercise Prince Abdul Aziz received Eastern Province Deputy Gov. Prince Ahmad bin Fahd bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Operations Affairs Lt. Gen. Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, who supervised the joint tactical exercise, and Maj. Gen. Muzli Hamed bin Al-Tuwairqi, in-charge of installations security forces. Speaking at the ceremony, Al-Qahtani said the Saudi Ministry of Interior gave its full backing to Watan 89 and the development of training in order to “maintain security and protect the capabilities and assets of the homeland.” He added: “Members of the internal security forces participated in this exercise for several weeks at this site, which was full of operational training in terms of command and control, as well as field tactical training by land, sea and air.” The exercises in the eastern region followed similar training along the Kingdom’s northern borders and around Madinah. Al-Qahtani thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for the defense sector. Heliborne troops participate in the anti-terrorism operation demonstration in al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AAN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)     Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Al-Ahsa Saudi security forces reveal details of operation against four attackers in Abu Hadria regionSaudi security forces rescue child and shoot dead suspect using her as ‘human shield’

Saudi Arabia implements environmental projects in Jazan worth over $200m

Mon, 2019-04-15 10:41 Saudi Arabia’s governor of Jazan, Prince Mohammed bin Nasser, inaugurated on Sunday 27 water and environmental projects across Jazan worth $213 million, SPA reported. The governor launched the projects in the presence of the Ministe
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia implements environmental projects in Jazan worth over $200m

Mon, 2019-04-15 10:41 Saudi Arabia’s governor of Jazan, Prince Mohammed bin Nasser, inaugurated on Sunday 27 water and environmental projects across Jazan worth $213 million, SPA reported. The governor launched the projects in the presence of the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdulrahman al-Fadli. The 13 projects include executing a line for the main sewage treatment plant in Sebya, installing networks for sewage in Abu Arish, implementing household sewage connections in Jazan, and implementing the main pumping station and the expulsion line in Damad. They also involve the re-implementation of water transport lines linked to wells and pumping units affected by recent flooding in the area. Other projects include a sewage treatment plant, the main pumping station and drinking water systems. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaJazanEye on the VisionVision 2030 Saudi Arabia’s support vital for legitimate Yemeni government: Yemen PMSaudi Arabia reveals Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion plans

Yemen's Houthi militia storing aircraft near neighborhoods in Sanaa: Arab coalition

Mon, 2019-04-15 16:16 RIYADH: The Iran-backed Houthi militia are storing aircraft near populated neighborhoods in the militant-held capital, Sanaa, according to the Arab coalition fighting to support the government in Yemen. Speaking at a weekly press confe
Saudi Arabia

Yemen's Houthi militia storing aircraft near neighborhoods in Sanaa: Arab coalition

Mon, 2019-04-15 16:16 RIYADH: The Iran-backed Houthi militia are storing aircraft near populated neighborhoods in the militant-held capital, Sanaa, according to the Arab coalition fighting to support the government in Yemen. Speaking at a weekly press conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the Coalition’s Spokesperson Col Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthis are also obstructing the movement of merchant ships and threatening navigation of boats in the Red Sea. He also presented photographs documenting the continued use of civilians as human shields by the Houthis. Col. Al-Maliki said the group have overturned the Stockholm agreement and have committed 3,364 violations since the cease-fire was implemented in December. He also said the coalition facilitates the entry of vital goods through Yemeni ports “quickly and without any exception” but the Houthi militia is hampering efforts to deliver humanitarian aid. “We welcome the convening of the Yemeni Parliament in the city of Sayoun, which represents the isolation of the Houthi militia,” Al-Maliki said. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: YemenHouthis militia Saudi Arabia’s support vital for legitimate Yemeni government: Yemen PMEnd your crimes, Hadi tells Houthis as Yemen holds first parliamentary session since coup

Saudi border guards rescue US passenger from Red Sea cruise ship

Author: Mon, 2019-04-15 19:36 JEDDAH: Saudi border guards rescued an American tourist on Sunday after he became dangerously ill on board a cruise ship in the Red Sea. The 77-year-old was aboard the Seven Seas Navigator off the coast of south-west Saud
Saudi Arabia

Saudi border guards rescue US passenger from Red Sea cruise ship

Author: Mon, 2019-04-15 19:36 JEDDAH: Saudi border guards rescued an American tourist on Sunday after he became dangerously ill on board a cruise ship in the Red Sea. The 77-year-old was aboard the Seven Seas Navigator off the coast of south-west Saudi Arabia when he suffered intestinal bleeding and chest palpitations. The ship contacted the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Jeddah, which passed the details to the Saudi Arabia Border Guards. The border guard’s vessel Fursan was sent to meet the cruise ship south of Jazan. “Immediately, the information was analyzed, the vessel was located, and Border Guards were assigned to provide necessary assistance and evacuate the patient,” Lt Col. Misfer Bin Ghanam Al-Qarni, a border guards spokesman, said. The ship’s doctor was given medical advice and instructions until the guards arrived. The patient was evacuated with his wife and transferred to Jazan, where he was then taken to Prince Mohammed Bin Nasser Hospital by ambulance. The Seven Seas Navigator, which was traveling from Salalah in Oman toward Aqaba in Jordan, continued on its voyage. Main category: Saudi Arabia Dakar Rally moves to ‘mysterious deserts’ of Saudi Arabia for 2020Saudi civil aviation authority starts issuing drone permits

38 awards for students of King Abdulaziz University at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

Author: SPAID: 1555290648482028500Mon, 2019-04-15 04:08 RIYADH: King Abdulaziz University (KAU) students accomplished a new international achievement at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2019, which concluded on Sunday, with 38 i
Saudi Arabia

38 awards for students of King Abdulaziz University at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

Author: SPAID: 1555290648482028500Mon, 2019-04-15 04:08 RIYADH: King Abdulaziz University (KAU) students accomplished a new international achievement at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2019, which concluded on Sunday, with 38 international medals and awards, with 1,000 entries from 40 countries around the world. The KAU students participated in nine innovative projects, where they won two exclusive prizes and eight medals: three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals. They also received 28 special awards from international universities, associations and foundations from France, Russia, Thailand, Egypt, China, Romania, Malaysia, Taiwan and Poland. Abdulrahman Obaid AI-Youbi, KAU President, congratulated the students and winners of the exhibition and stressed that the KAU is reaping the benefits of the institutional work and the educational and academic development witnessed by the University in the past years. The KAU delegation to the Exhibition was led by Dr. Masoud Al Qahtani, Dean of Student Affairs, and it included Dr. Iqbal Ismail, Director of the Talent and Creativity Center, Dr. Ibrahim Alawi, Advisor to the Center, Dr. Mohamed Rashid, Director of the Center for Talent and Creativity, Dr. Mohammed Al-Qarni, supervisor of the Center at the University branch in Rabigh, Turki Al-Juhani, and Hossam Khalifa, Secretary of the Center. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: King Abdulaziz UniversityInternational Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2019 Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz competition for memorizing Quran kicks off in MadinahKing Abdulaziz Center for World Culture to make positive impact on human development

KSA’s six technical college trainees win awards at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

Author: spaID: 1555291416832054600Mon, 2019-04-15 04:20 RIYADH: Six trainees from the Technical Colleges won many awards at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Majid Al-Harbi, from Riyadh Technical College, won the gold meda
Saudi Arabia

KSA’s six technical college trainees win awards at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

Author: spaID: 1555291416832054600Mon, 2019-04-15 04:20 RIYADH: Six trainees from the Technical Colleges won many awards at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Majid Al-Harbi, from Riyadh Technical College, won the gold medal for creating an automatic opening and closing cup. Abdulaziz Khoja, from the College of Communications and Electronics in Jeddah, also won the gold medal for the invention of a smart waste container. Ali Al-Shehri, from Dammam Technical College, won the silver medal for his invention to generate electricity from the sand. Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, from the College of Communications and Electronics in Jeddah, won the silver medal for his economic Air Conditioner innovation. Ayed Saliban, from Riyadh Technical College, won the bronze medal for his invention of the intelligent waste bin. In addition, Waleed Abdul Qader, from Medina Technical College, won the bronze medal for inventing an easy-to-store table. The Technical College Foundation has a program to encourage innovation through talent clubs in technical colleges, and through the many competitions in the professional fields. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Riyadh Technical CollegeTechnical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) Saudi Technical and Vocational training program aims to empower youthSaudi Technical Institute to expand partnership with Japanese college

Saudi energy minister visits King Abdullah Economic City

Author: Mon, 2019-04-15 06:24 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid Al-Falih has visited on Sunday the Economic Cities Authority at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). Al-Falih reviewed during the visit the model of the Authority, and al
Saudi Arabia

Saudi energy minister visits King Abdullah Economic City

Author: Mon, 2019-04-15 06:24 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid Al-Falih has visited on Sunday the Economic Cities Authority at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). Al-Falih reviewed during the visit the model of the Authority, and also toured a number of vital projects supervised by the authority.  His Excellency was received by a number of officials, including the Secretary General of the Economic Cities Authority, Muhannad bin Abdul Mohsen Hilal. The Secretary General expressed his hopes that the visit will contribute to enhancing the cooperation between all parties interested in developing and supporting the contribution of economic cities in achieving the aspirations of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. He also aims the project would provide government support through strategic initiatives and projects to build effective partnerships between the kingdom and the private sector to attract specific investments. Al-Falih’s tour included the Industrial Valley at King Abdullah Economic City, Pfizer Factory, one of the largest pharmaceutical factories in the Industrial Valley, Mars Factory, the world’s leading chocolate company, and Fursan Ceramics company.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: King Abdullah Economic City Saudi International a landmark moment for KAECINTERVIEW: Ahmed Linjawy, the driving force behind Saudi Arabia's KAEC

Dr. Mohammed Al-Majed, senior adviser to the Saudi energy minister on research, development and industry

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 22:47 Dr. Mohammed Al-Majed is a senior adviser to the energy minister on research, development and industry. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1990. Subsequently, he joined the High Commission for
Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mohammed Al-Majed, senior adviser to the Saudi energy minister on research, development and industry

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 22:47 Dr. Mohammed Al-Majed is a senior adviser to the energy minister on research, development and industry. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1990. Subsequently, he joined the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh as a mechanical engineer. In 1992, Al-Majed left for the US, where he studied for a master’s degree at the University of California in Berkeley, majoring in mechanical engineering and went on to receive his Ph.D. in the same major from the same university in 1997.  While studying in the US, Al-Majed also worked as a teaching and research assistant at the university. He returned to Saudi Arabia and took up the position of assistant professor at King Saud University from 1997 until 2000, before joining the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), where he was director of the National Satellite Technology Center from 2000 to 2013. During that period, he also took on several other roles, including advanced manufacturing incubator supervisor from 2008 to 2012; and associate research professor from 2004 to 2013. In 2013, he also became a member of the external board of the mechanical engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley — a position he retains to this day. From 2017 to 2018, Al-Majed was CEO of Taqnia Digital Manufacturing in Riyadh. He returned to KACST in 2018 as the ICI4 director, before taking on his current role in 2019. He recently took part in the Saudi Arabia Energy Forum 2019 and spoke on the Saudi industrial revolution 4.0. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Who's WhoKing Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani, imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Salamah, general director at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies

Riyadh autism forum provides support to struggling families

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 23:24 RIYADH:  “I can learn. I can work. I have feelings. I’m normal, just like you,” said 23-year-old Hattan to the audience at the Forum for Autism Consultants in Riyadh on Sunday.  Hattan, who taught himself English
Saudi Arabia

Riyadh autism forum provides support to struggling families

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 23:24 RIYADH:  “I can learn. I can work. I have feelings. I’m normal, just like you,” said 23-year-old Hattan to the audience at the Forum for Autism Consultants in Riyadh on Sunday.  Hattan, who taught himself English through watching movies and playing video games, told the people assembled before him he had recently returned from a student exchange program in the US where he lived almost independently — an advert for the changing attitude toward learning disabilities in the Kingdom and across the world, and what can be achieved by autism sufferers with the right guidance and support. Organized by the King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Center for Autism Research, the Forum for Autism Consultants serves as a platform for experts to offer insight into the treatment and development of children with autism. Titled “Ask and We Shall Answer,” the free public event was made available to any parent or family member of a child with autism, to people interested in the field, and even to casual observers looking to learn more about the condition. Autistic children in Saudi Arabia have long faced difficulties in finding support, care and guidance, but that is now changing, as Hattan’s case proves. 10 panelists, from child psychologists to neurosurgeons and speech therapists to teachers took part in a lengthy discussion at the forum, and private consultations were also on offer afterwards for members of the audience. The panel included Dr. Ebitssam Murshid, a consultant pediatric dentist and founder of Saudi Arabia’s first special needs dental clinic, pediatric neurologist Dr. Hisham Dhalaan, and KSCDR CEO Dr. Ola Abu Sukkar. Among the topics discussed were the lack of resources available for children and their families, the issues families faced getting access to treatment, and the lack of assistance available to adults with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are still a mystery to most Saudis. Despite a growing number of studies on the topic, concrete numbers and statistics about the prevalence of autism in the Kingdom are hard to find. A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Academic Scientific Research by three students at King Saud University College of Medicine found that general knowledge of autism was poor, despite the fact that the majority of those studied knew about the existence of the disorder. “In Saudi Arabia, underdeveloped children’s psychiatric services hide the extent of ASDs in the country,” the study said. It is hoped that by providing more free public forums such as these, the little knowledge currently held by most citizens can grow into a more aware, understanding society. Main category: Saudi ArabiaFood & HealthTags: autismForum for Autism ConsultantsKing Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR)Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) In the Middle East, stigma surrounding autism persists Saudi dad of autistic child says autism not a disease

Sakani Expo Jeddah 2019 to kick off Monday

Author: SPAID: 1555274572747955200Sun, 2019-04-14 23:42 JEDDAH: Sakani Expo Jeddah 2019, the housing fair organized by the Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF), will open on Monday and run until April 24 opposite the Red
Saudi Arabia

Sakani Expo Jeddah 2019 to kick off Monday

Author: SPAID: 1555274572747955200Sun, 2019-04-14 23:42 JEDDAH: Sakani Expo Jeddah 2019, the housing fair organized by the Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF), will open on Monday and run until April 24 opposite the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah. The expo aims to help people buy their first homes by bringing together developers, real estate professionals, contractors, government agencies and financial institutions — providing all possible housing and financing services in one place. It will also allow attendees to meet real estate advisers, to broaden their knowledge of the processes involved in taking out loans and acquiring property. In addition, a specialized team will provide a comprehensive analysis of credit beneficiaries’ statuses to help them find suitable financing solutions Military personnel can benefit from the Military Home Loans (MHL) initiative, one of the initiatives of the 2020 Eskan (Housing) Program. The expo will also help beneficiaries approaching retirement age to use the Civilian Down Payment Support Program, which will let seniors own their own house by providing support similar to the MHL. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Sakani Expo Jeddah 2019Saudi real estate expo Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. issues $200m sukukSaudi real estate valuers to benefit from RICS’ stamp of approval

Saudi civil aviation authority starts issuing drone permits

Author: Essam Al-GhalibID: 1555273702387892900Sun, 2019-04-14 23:27 RIYADH: The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has begun handing out commercial and recreational drone operator permits in the Kingdom. People who applied for a permit dur
Saudi Arabia

Saudi civil aviation authority starts issuing drone permits

Author: Essam Al-GhalibID: 1555273702387892900Sun, 2019-04-14 23:27 RIYADH: The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has begun handing out commercial and recreational drone operator permits in the Kingdom. People who applied for a permit during the past four months started receiving their permits or scheduled examination dates this week. An Arab News journalist applied for a recreational permit in January, supplied the identification document and paid the SR250 ($67) fee for a two-year permit. It arrived earlier this week. A GACA licensing and examination agent explained that the delay was due to linking the GACA system with the Presidency of State Security in order to carry out background checks on applicants. “It takes up to a couple of months to get the security clearance,” the agent told Arab News. “More than 90 percent of applicants pass the security check.” The recreational permit states that the operator must not fly the drone within eight kilometers of an aerodrome, helipad, or any piloted manned aircraft, industrial sites, military bases, royal palaces or private properties, except if approved by GACA. Recreational operator permits are for personal recreational use and no examination is required. Such permits are for non-industrial and non-commercial drones. First-time applicants for commercial drone permits are required to submit a copy of their passport and identification card, pay a SR500 examination and licensing fee and take a 60-question test. The test requires familiarity with airport approach and air traffic control protocols, among other things. GACA also mandates the registration of any drone to be flown in the Kingdom. The process requires a copy of personal identification and the make, model, serial number and weight of the drone. People wishing to import drones into the country must have an operator’s permit and the drone’s serial number. They must register it through the GACA website and, through GACA, receive an import certificate. However, according to the GACA licensing agent who spoke to Arab News, drones will be on sale in the Kingdom “very, very soon.” “GACA is preparing itself for drones to become an industry here in the Kingdom. There are many uses for drones and we recognize that.” Later this month Riyadh will host a drone summit and expo. It will be divided into four sessions. The first deals with changing regulations and legislation to foster innovation. The second will focus on how to incorporate drone technology into national security strategies. The third is dedicated to the industry’s general global outlook and, finally, the fourth session will highlight progress in the local industry. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi DronesGeneral Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) First stage of Saudi drone factory complete: KACSTSaudi drones for wildlife protection under study

Nearly 2.95 million held for residency, labor violations across KSA

Author: SPAID: 1555274602767959700Sun, 2019-04-14 23:43 RIYADH: Nearly 2.95 million violators of residency, work and border security systems have been arrested in a year-long roundup, according to an official report. Since the campaign began in No
Saudi Arabia

Nearly 2.95 million held for residency, labor violations across KSA

Author: SPAID: 1555274602767959700Sun, 2019-04-14 23:43 RIYADH: Nearly 2.95 million violators of residency, work and border security systems have been arrested in a year-long roundup, according to an official report. Since the campaign began in November 2017, there have been 2,943,570 offenders, including 2,294,682 for violating residency regulations, 451,130 for labor violations and 197,758 for border violations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. The report said that 49,933 people were arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, 50 percent of whom were Yemeni citizens, 47 percent were Ethiopians and 3 percent were of other nationalities. 2,133 people were arrested for trying to cross the border into neighboring countries and 3,671 were arrested for involvement in transporting and harboring those violators. The total number of violators being subjected to procedures is 11,952, including 10,162 men and 1,790 women. Immediate penalties were imposed against 437,543 offenders; 400,212 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents; 500,102 were transferred to complete their travel reservations; and 740,785 were deported. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi expats levySaudi labor raidsaudi police raid 2.9 million arrested for residency, labor violations across KSAAround 2.82 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

Saudi Arabia's King Salman meets with Indonesian president

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 17:39 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met on Sunday with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at his palace in Riyadh. During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the bilateral relations and ways of strengthening them in all fie
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's King Salman meets with Indonesian president

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 17:39 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met on Sunday with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at his palace in Riyadh. During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the bilateral relations and ways of strengthening them in all fields. King Salman welcomed Widodo and his accompanying delegation to the Kingdom, while the president expressed his happiness to visit the Kingdom and meet with the king. Widodo was also greeted by emirs, ministers and leaders of the military sectors in the reception hall. King Salman also hosted a luncheon in honor of the president and his accompanying delegation. Main category: Saudi Arabia King Salman receives foreign ministers of Morocco and Eritrea Saudi Arabia’s King Salman discusses ‘regional developments’ in Bahrain

Saudi Arabia reveals Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion plans

Author: daniel fountainID: 1555264945186270000Sun, 2019-04-14 21:15 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia revealed the design of its pavilion for the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday. The pavilion will be second in size only to that of the UAE pavilion, coverin
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia reveals Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion plans

Author: daniel fountainID: 1555264945186270000Sun, 2019-04-14 21:15 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia revealed the design of its pavilion for the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday. The pavilion will be second in size only to that of the UAE pavilion, covering an area the size of two football pitches. The pavilion, which symbolizes Saudi Arabia’s “welcoming character, long heritage and unlimited drive,” adopts a design that is «distinctive and memorable,” according to a statement detailing the reveal. The facade opens like a large window into the future, soaring into the sky and reflecting a society deeply rooted in its culture with unlimited ambitions, the statement added. The pavilion will give visitors an immersive experience of the Kingdom’s transformation and its rich tradition, ambition and innovation. A path will lead visitors through exhibition displays which highlight the country’s openness to businesses and tourists, and its desire to build links and collaborate with countries to create a better future for everyone. »This extraordinary and innovative design perfectly captures the determination of the Kingdom to fulfill its promise of being an ambitious nation while conveying a message of dynamism and partnership with the world,« said Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi's Minister of Economy and Planning and Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Kingdom's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai. He added: »All Saudis can be proud of the vision that this ground-breaking pavilion will deliver to the world, and we look forward to inviting global citizens to share in the exciting story of our thriving and vibrant society.« Construction of the pavilion, designed by Boris Micka Associates, began in early February 2019. Commenting on the design reveal, Reem bint Ibrahim Al-Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 will offer visitors a chance to experience the country’s rich heritage and culture, while demonstrating how our region is working together to create a better future for everyone. We look forward to welcoming our brothers and sisters from the Kingdom as they join us for the first ever World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.» To date, 190 nations have confirmed their participation in Expo 2020. Organisers expect to record 25 million visits between 20th October 2020 and 10th April 2021, with 70 percent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the highest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaDubaiUAEDubai expo 2020Expo 2020 Expo 2020 Dubai invites world to ‘welcome the future’Expo 2020 Dubai committed to UAE companies

Pakistan awards Saudi crown prince with Global Influential Figure certificate

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 21:26 JEDDAH: Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi has handed over a certificate of “Global Influential Figure 2018” to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, based on a study implemented by the Foundation of Science, Peace an
Saudi Arabia

Pakistan awards Saudi crown prince with Global Influential Figure certificate

Author: Sun, 2019-04-14 21:26 JEDDAH: Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi has handed over a certificate of “Global Influential Figure 2018” to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, based on a study implemented by the Foundation of Science, Peace and Public Opinion which is affiliated to Pakistani Scholars Council. This honor is granted to the crown prince in recognition of his great efforts in supporting Islam and preserving the two holy mosques, pilgrims, Umrah performers, the Holy Qur’an and the Sunna, in addition to supporting the Islamic issues, including the Palestinian cause, Yemen, the Syrian Golan Heights and Muslim minorities. The honor was also in recognition of the crown prince’s efforts to provide aid to the Pakistani government and people, supporting the peace process between India and Pakistan, combating violence, extremism and terrorism, and promoting moderation in the world. The certificate was handed over to Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki, Saudi ambassador to Pakistan. During the opening ceremony of the World Conference “Message of Islam,” the Pakistani President affirmed the Saudi-Pakistani strong relations in all fields, affirming that these relations contribute in supporting stability and security in the region. Main category: Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia's King Salman meets with Indonesian presidentSaudi global forum in US to highlight significance of female participation in all aspects of Saudi society

Saudi Arabia to lay first building blocks of NEOM project in a few months

Sun, 2019-04-14 00:12 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will soon begin construction work at NEOM, one of the flagship projects of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, NEOM city's chief executive officer said on Saturday. «In the coming few months the team will start the c
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia to lay first building blocks of NEOM project in a few months

Sun, 2019-04-14 00:12 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will soon begin construction work at NEOM, one of the flagship projects of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, NEOM city's chief executive officer said on Saturday. «In the coming few months the team will start the construction process, which will be followed by important and sensitive stages,» Nadhmi Al-Nasr said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Al-Nasr spoke after the «DREAM NEOM» competition, which was carried out in collaboration between NEOM and MISK Foundation on Friday. He pointed out that the NEON and MISK initiative was the first of many to attract Saudis who are capable of being an integral part of the construction process of this dream city. He said the partnership between NEOM and MISK will not be the last, but will be carried on a long-term because they have the same goal, where there will be major initiatives that will surprise the citizens in the coming days. Al-Nasr expressed his happiness with the achievements of the DREAM NEOM competition, pointing out that all the submitted projects will be counted and employed in the right environment.  He added that the project is not looking for ideas outside the box, but for creative and unique ones. Three Saudi youth teams have won the first awards from the Fellowship and Traineeship in DEAM NEOM competition, where the three teams presented smart solutions to meet the challenges that may face future cities in the fields of renewable energy, sea transportation and special needs services. The winners of the first place received SR 250,000, the second place received SR 100,000 and the third SR 50,000, in addition to adopting their projects in NEOM city in the future. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: NEOMVision 2030MISK Foundation Submerged floating bridge wins ‘Dream NEOM’ contest in KSAMisk Foundation, NEOM helps youths to build the future

Generous support from Saudi Arabia begins to implement large-scale maintenance projects: UNRWA

Author: Sat, 2019-04-13 23:39 JEDDAH: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), with the support of Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Fund for Development, has embarked on a number of extensive maintenance projects, involvi
Saudi Arabia

Generous support from Saudi Arabia begins to implement large-scale maintenance projects: UNRWA

Author: Sat, 2019-04-13 23:39 JEDDAH: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), with the support of Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Fund for Development, has embarked on a number of extensive maintenance projects, involving 268 schools and health centers in Syria, Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In a statement, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl praised the support from the Kingdom, noting that many of the agency’s buildings needed maintenance. “Saudi Arabia is currently the third largest donor to UNRWA. It has donated $800 million since 1994, which is a clear signal of support for Palestinian refugees and their dignity and well-being,” he said. Regular maintenance and upgrading of UNRWA facilities are key to the health and safety of children, men and women attending schools and health centers, he added. Main category: Saudi Arabia UNRWA concerned over plan to shut its East Jerusalem operationPalestinian president Mahmoud Abbas swears in new government

Saudi Arabia at UN: Reform plan supports young entrepreneurs

Author: SPAID: 1555188452068273100Sat, 2019-04-13 23:45 NEW YORK: Young Saudis are interested in coexistence, cooperation and gender equality, a UN forum was told in New York. The two-day Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, held at U
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia at UN: Reform plan supports young entrepreneurs

Author: SPAID: 1555188452068273100Sat, 2019-04-13 23:45 NEW YORK: Young Saudis are interested in coexistence, cooperation and gender equality, a UN forum was told in New York. The two-day Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, held at UN headquarters, brought together young leaders from around the world. They engaged in dialogue among themselves and with UN member states, and shared ideas for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Climate Agreement. Noura Nasser Abanmi was a member of the Saudi youth delegation and told the forum that young people in the Kingdom were interested in leadership and development opportunities. “The King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue has worked on spreading the culture of dialogue, promoting tolerance and moderate values through its programs,” she said. Abanmi said that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan had been instrumental in creating a culture that supported young entrepreneurs, and that the country ranked sixth in the Arab world and in the top 50 internationally for entrepreneurship. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum Young Saudis help families with ‘winter warmth’ campaignProgram launched to empower young Saudis

Registration opens for Saudi cybercamp

Author: spaID: 1555188343048266400Sat, 2019-04-13 23:43 RIYADH: The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) announced on Saturday the opening of registration for Tuwaiq Cybercamp, the largest event of its kind in the Mid
Saudi Arabia

Registration opens for Saudi cybercamp

Author: spaID: 1555188343048266400Sat, 2019-04-13 23:43 RIYADH: The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) announced on Saturday the opening of registration for Tuwaiq Cybercamp, the largest event of its kind in the Middle East. The camp will be held in Riyadh and more than 100 trainees will participate, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The three-month camp aims at providing trainees with full knowledge of cybersecurity basics such as networks, web applications, and programming languages, as well as intensive practical training in these areas. There are five main stages to the camp: The integration course (foundation level), the integration course (advanced level), the digital criminal investigation course, the advanced memory analysis course, and the malware analysis course. At the end of each week, a technical meeting will bring students together with the world’s leading experts in various areas of cybersecurity and there will be opportunities for participants to speak at these meetings. Applicants can register for the event here: https://cybersecurity.sa/tuwaiq Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi CybersecurityHajj Hackathon Saudi Arabia signs cybersecurity cooperation agreementSaudi Arabia ranked among top global players in tackling cybersecurity

Civil defense teams rescue residents and animals trapped in Riyadh floods

Sun, 2019-04-14 00:18 RIYADH: Inclement weather affecting parts of Saudi Arabia have caused flooding in some areas, prompting rescue operations by the Directorate for Civil Defense, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Saturday. In Riyadh province, several
Saudi Arabia

Civil defense teams rescue residents and animals trapped in Riyadh floods

Sun, 2019-04-14 00:18 RIYADH: Inclement weather affecting parts of Saudi Arabia have caused flooding in some areas, prompting rescue operations by the Directorate for Civil Defense, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Saturday. In Riyadh province, several roads were rendered inaccessible to vehicular traffic and authorities were working around the clock to get them cleared. Rain showers with hail led to flooding in some valleys, roads and neighborhoods, particularly in the governorates of Qawaiya, Al-Kharj, Al-Dulm and Shaqra. Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Al-Hammadi, Riyadh Civil Defense media spokesman, said a number of people trapped in several areas had to be rescued. A Civil Defense amphibious team comes to the rescue of two men trapped atop their vehicle that got stuck in flood in Riyadh province on April 13, 2019. (SPA) He urged the public to remain careful and to observe instructions and safety guidelines that had been issued. He also called upon people to stay away from water-logged areas, electricity sources, valleys and flood waters, as well as to avoid open spaces near trees during lightning. Objects moving during strong winds also posed a risk, he added. Civil Defense in Riyadh had taken all precautions and was ready to deal with heavy rains and floods, the SPA reported him as saying. Heavy rain also fell in the western mountain region of Asir region, the General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection said on Saturday. The weather agency warned of thunderstorms actively associated with dust storms in Najran region, particularly in the governorates of Sharurah and Habuna and nearby places.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: RiyadhfloodsrainSaudi Directorate of Civil Defense Saudi Arabia, UAE launch drive to support flood-hit IraniansHeavy rain expected in Yanbu until Thursday, Civil Defense warns

Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani, imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah

Author: Sat, 2019-04-13 21:51 Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani has been an imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah since July 2007. Al-Juhani was born in Madinah, and completed memorizing the Qur’an under the supervision of Sheikh Mohammed Ayub, former ima
Saudi Arabia

Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani, imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah

Author: Sat, 2019-04-13 21:51 Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani has been an imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah since July 2007. Al-Juhani was born in Madinah, and completed memorizing the Qur’an under the supervision of Sheikh Mohammed Ayub, former imam of the Prophet’s Mosque. At the age of 16, he participated in a competition for the memorization and recitation of the Qur’an and came first in his category. Al-Juhani holds a bachelor’s degree in Qur’anic studies from the Islamic University of Madinah, and a master’s and doctorate in Shariah and Qur’anic recitations from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah. He has led the Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan in Makkah since 2008. Speaking at the Friday sermon at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Al-Juhani said that Pakistan is working tirelessly to eliminate terrorism and extremism. “Pakistan was a cornerstone in maintaining moderation through its involvement in the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.” The sermon was attended by more than 50,000 worshippers and was part of Al-Juhani’s visit to Pakistan to participate as a guest of honor in the Fourth International Message of Islam Conference, to be held in Islamabad on Sunday. Al-Juhani said: “We thank God for the progress we see in the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in all fields of interest to both countries.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Who's WhoGrand Mosque in Makkah Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Salamah, general director at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic StudiesYousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

True Muslims seek harmony with everyone, regardless of religion or nationality: Muslim World League chief

Author: Sat, 2019-04-13 21:55 JEDDAH: Extremist groups are active only in stagnant cultural and social environments, the head of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, said. In a Friday sermon, delivered at the Grand Mosque i
Saudi Arabia

True Muslims seek harmony with everyone, regardless of religion or nationality: Muslim World League chief

Author: Sat, 2019-04-13 21:55 JEDDAH: Extremist groups are active only in stagnant cultural and social environments, the head of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, said. In a Friday sermon, delivered at the Grand Mosque in Kazan, Tatarstan, Al-Issa said vigilant Muslims can defeat extremist propaganda. Peace and harmony are the most important guarantors of stability and prosperity, he said. Al-Issa said that true Muslims respect unity and the laws of the countries in which they live, seeking harmony with everyone, regardless of their religion or nationality. The MWL chief, who has been on a visit to Russia, warned against recalling historical events and drawing analogies to a current situation. The responsibility of each historical era rests only with the people who lived in it, he said. Al-Issa stressed the need to improve understanding for the benefit of all, saying that “extremism can only win with a lack of awareness.” He cautioned worshippers against conflict and division, pointing out that Islamic law called for learning from others and from the lessons of history.     Main category: Saudi Arabia MWL chief, Tatar grand mufti sign dealRussian official praises MWL chief’s humanitarian role

Saudi officials distribute meat to needy in Lebanon

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 23:34 BEIRUT: Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari supervised the distribution to beneficiaries in the country of the first sacrificial offerings sent this year from Saudi Arabia. Lebanese Minister of Informat
Saudi Arabia

Saudi officials distribute meat to needy in Lebanon

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 23:34 BEIRUT: Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari supervised the distribution to beneficiaries in the country of the first sacrificial offerings sent this year from Saudi Arabia. Lebanese Minister of Information Jamal Al-Jarrah also attended the launch of the initiative, which is part of a Saudi project administered by the Islamic Development Bank. This year, the Kingdom is sending 15,000 slaughtered animals to Lebanon, which will be handed out to needy Lebanese families and refugees from Syria and Palestine. “It is not the first initiative from Saudi Arabia, because the Kingdom has always offered goods to the Lebanese people, the Syrians and Palestinian refugees,” said Al-Jarrah.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaLebanon Saudi-based interfaith center chief meets Lebanese religious leadersHow Saudi Arabia helps refugees

Top Arab vocal coach gives future Saudi stars a voice

Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1555100840069807900Fri, 2019-04-12 23:26 JEDDAH: Wide-ranging reforms in Saudi Arabia are paving the way for a new generation of Saudi artistic talents, according to a renowned vocal trainer who has worked with some o
Saudi Arabia

Top Arab vocal coach gives future Saudi stars a voice

Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1555100840069807900Fri, 2019-04-12 23:26 JEDDAH: Wide-ranging reforms in Saudi Arabia are paving the way for a new generation of Saudi artistic talents, according to a renowned vocal trainer who has worked with some of the Arab world’s top stars. “Saudi talents are coming to the surface in all areas of the arts,” Toni Bayeh told Arab News. Bayeh, who is holding a vocal workshop at Jeddah Global Village, said that young Saudi men and women are no less capable than leading Arab performers, and proper training will allow them to fully realize their potential. “I would like to extend my congratulations to the Kingdom for the changes being made on all levels, particularly in the arts,” he said. The Lebanese voice coach’s training course tackles vocal techniques suitable for performers ranging from singers to actors and even news anchors. The four-day workshop focuses largely on breathing as a basis for improving performance skills. “We shed light on phonetics and highlight better performance techniques. We help participants to use their articulatory system to produce the right vocal sound at the right time,” Bayeh said. More than 70 performers with a variety of performance levels are taking part in the course. “This is quite normal and we find it everywhere — some are talented, others are less proficient, while some others just need some help to improve,” he said. Bayeh, who has worked with famous Arab singers such as Assala Nasri, Nancy Ajram and Carole Samaha, said the voice of Mohammed Abdu will remain one of his favorites. “I love to hear Abdu’s voice. We have also Wadih El-Safi and Nasri Shamsuddin. They are wonderful performers,” he said. The vocal coach said that modern technologies that allowed studios to correct out-of-tune vocal performance had their place, but “no matter how efficient these devices or computer programs are, we can distinguish between a man’s pure sound and a refined one.” A young Saudi participant in the course, Anas Al-Mokhtar, told Arab News that he was thrilled to be taking part in the Jeddah workshop. “Learning is a never-ending process and we will always be learners. In this course, we have learned so many things,” the law graduate said. Al-Mokhtar described Bayeh as “one of the most skilful Arab vocal trainers.” “We need more of these courses. We need courses by famous players of all musical instruments. We have musicians whose talents need to be improved by expert musicians,” he said. However, Saudi singer Haitham Al-Shawli believes that it is too early to introduce music in the Saudi school curricula since many people still believe that singing is impermissible in Islam. “We need more training courses like the one we have today. Music education is more important than holding music concerts,” said Al-Shawli, who owns a music-training center. “Our music talents need to learn at home instead of traveling abroad.” “We had a problem getting visas to bring trainers from outside the country, but we hope we can help promote musical culture,” he added. Al-Shawli said that it is difficult to introduce music in schools, like PE and art. “Many people are not ideologically ready to accept that music is permitted in Islam. I suggest there should be low-cost private centers and institutes to provide such courses. As a start, the education ministry can financially support students who would like to join such centers.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaArt & CultureTags: Saudi artsSaudi singers World-renowned Saudi artist returns to Hijazi roots for exhibition project Saudi Art Council to launch 3-month event

Aspiring Saudi video game developers hope to make it big in Japan

Author: Abdulaziz AlaquilID: 1555100543719787400Fri, 2019-04-12 23:21 RIYADH: Saudi video game developers are taking part in a newly launched two-week training program in Japan to learn the latest tricks of the trade. The special workshop was set
Saudi Arabia

Aspiring Saudi video game developers hope to make it big in Japan

Author: Abdulaziz AlaquilID: 1555100543719787400Fri, 2019-04-12 23:21 RIYADH: Saudi video game developers are taking part in a newly launched two-week training program in Japan to learn the latest tricks of the trade. The special workshop was set up in the wake of the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Kingdom’s General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM) and the Japanese Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) to broaden the relationship between the two countries. The agreement aims to boost the exchange of gaming technologies and artistic knowledge, while enhancing the training and development of human resources. The training program has been organized by the GCAM in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as Manga Productions, a Saudi digital animation and video game company and subsidiary of the Misk Foundation. Manga Productions produces creative and positive content through video games, animations, and comics and plans to launch several animation and video game projects in the near future promoting innovative Saudi messages internationally. The company has also been working on producing globally competitive creative animation movies and short series. It is currently preparing the launch of 2-D and 3-D animation movies, in partnership with established studios, which are expected to be screened on international TV channels and at cinemas in the next few years. In collaboration with leading gaming developer, SNK, Manga Productions is making its mark in the growing gaming development sector. The Japanese training workshop includes lectures on game planning and design skills delivered by a group of expert game makers, and presentations on the practical application of skills. The Saudi trainees will also visit gaming companies to learn about Japanese games and the creative processes behind them. A statement by Manga Productions said: “Since 2017 we have been supporting the development of creative talents, animation programs, video games, and other programs. “The programs that have been most popular among the aspiring game developers included a training workshop with Toei Animation, one of the most famous and oldest animation companies in the world, in which 11 Saudi students were sent to its studios in Japan, as well as our own Manga Art Lab that was launched earlier in 2019 for two months in Riyadh, where Manga Productions gathered experts in animation and comics (Manga) in collaboration with Misk Academy.” A GCAM spokesperson said the training program would “teach Saudi innovators how to develop the skills needed to plan and create video games, while learning how to design and ultimately develop games. “The aspiring Saudi game developers will work with fellow Japanese gaming students to collaborate in creating games using software engines.” Along with being guided by some of Japan’s most established game developers, the training program will feature lecturers from Tokyo’s Nippon University. Trainees will visit a number of gaming companies to get an insight into the practical application skills they learn, as well as acquiring techniques into how Japanese games are being developed. Trainees will also visit television station, TV Tokyo, and the Bandai Namco Amusement VR Zone to learn about the latest virtual reality technology that is being developed in Japan. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Kingdom’s General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM)Japanese Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) Saudi gamer crowned Ad Diriyah eSport championSaudi video gets one million hits in 10 days

Diabetes: Saudi Arabia’s growing health problem

Fri, 2019-04-12 23:54 DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is aiming to defuse its diabetes time bomb by reducing the prevalence of the disease by 10 percent over the next decade, with a new report warning of the crippling economic and social burdens the illness is placing
Saudi Arabia

Diabetes: Saudi Arabia’s growing health problem

Fri, 2019-04-12 23:54 DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is aiming to defuse its diabetes time bomb by reducing the prevalence of the disease by 10 percent over the next decade, with a new report warning of the crippling economic and social burdens the illness is placing on the region. While several Middle East countries have a roadmap to stem a crisis that threatens to overwhelm health-care systems — with Saudi Arabia highlighted as a key example — the region is experiencing what is “potentially the greatest epidemic in human history,” according to an in-depth report on diabetes in MENA by advisory firm Colliers International. According to the report, “Diabesity — Impact on the MENA Region,” an estimated 39 million people suffer from diabetes in the region. However, this figure will soar to 82 million by 2045 — an increase of 110 percent —  unless governments work to create a U-turn on prevalence rates by embracing revolutionary technology, improving prevention programs and implementing new measures to control lifestyle diseases.  “Aside from the genetic basis of diabetes, changing lifestyles — often a result of rising disposable income and urbanization — are considered as one of the major contributing factors for diabetes,” said Mansoor Ahmed, the Middle East and North Africa director of real estate, health care, education and PPP for Colliers International. “A drop in activity and unhealthy dietary habits have combined to form a variety of lifestyle diseases, and health professionals and researchers now consider diabetes as potentially the greatest epidemic in human history.” According to the World Health Organization, 425 million adults globally suffer from diabetes. One in three adults over the age of 18 years is overweight and one in 10 is medically obese, causing 1.6 million deaths directly attributable to diabetes each year. Complications of the disease include blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and lower limb amputation. Based on estimates by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of diabetic patients worldwide is expected to increase from 425 million in 2017 to 629 million in 2045; an increase of 48 percent. However, the biggest increase is expected to be in MENA (110 percent) and Africa (156 percent), affecting mortality, loss of productivity and increased health-care spending.  According to the Colliers report, 17.9 percent of the Saudi adult population has diabetes, and many more are likely to be either undiagnosed or pre-diabetic, a condition that leaves many on the edge of the chronic disease. More than a third (35.4 percent) of the Kingdom’s adult population is obese.  In 2017, health-care spending on diabetes in MENA reached $21.3 billion and is expected to rise by 67 percent, or $35.5 billion, by 2045.  Saudi Arabia spends the largest proportion of its health-care budget (24 percent) on diabetes, according to the report, which also revealed that in the MENA region, the prevalence of diabetes and obesity is one of the highest in the world.  Eight Middle Eastern countries — Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and Lebanon — have the highest ratio of obesity among adults globally, with 27 to 40 percent of the total population being chronically overweight.  The Colliers report notes that many governments in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are taking steps to control lifestyle diseases that lead to diabetes and obesity. The Kingdom plans to reduce diabetes prevalence and “aspires to be at par with the average of the top 5 most livable countries (where diabetes prevalence ranged from 3 to 8 percent) from its current 17.9 percent,” said Ahmed. “The 2020 target is to achieve a 3 percent reduction in obesity and to decrease diabetes prevalence by 10 percent by 2030.” A recent survey by the Saudi Scientific Diabetes Society said that “more than 52 percent of patients with Type 2 diabetes die of cardiovascular causes,” and the Kingdom is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest prevalence of diabetes. Saudi Arabia, said Ahmed, should be praised for introducing measures to create a healthier nation and, in turn, reduce prevalence rates. “Many governments in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have taken steps to control lifestyle diseases that lead to diabetes and obesity,” said Ahmed. “For example, the Saudi government’s ‘Quality of Life Program 2020’ is one of the Vision Realization Programs of Saudi Arabia 2030, which aims to enhance the quality of life in the Kingdom through lifestyle improvement by increasing individuals’ participation in entertainment, sport and cultural activities.” As part of its Quality of Life Program, Saudi Arabia aims to boost student participation in sports by 25 percent and to lift the numbers of fitness coaches across the Kingdom to 4,500. Other measures, including taxing sugary drinks, fitness initiatives and focusing on preventative care, have already been rolled out to address the rising epidemic.  The report sets out a number of recommendations for MENA countries, including embracing key trends in science and technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), “wearables” in technology and telemedicine. “Advancement in mobile and communication technology is playing a critical role in the management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and obesity,” said Ahmed. “It is becoming increasingly possible to track a patient’s key parameters such as ECG (a recording of the electrical activity of the heart), temperature, blood pressure, glucose levels, physical activity and diet intake through mobile apps, wearable devices or implanted devices. “The data can then be transmitted to health-care providers for monitoring of a patient’s vital signs, adherence to treatment plans and to provide remote consultation/coaching when needed.” Ahmed said the “explosive growth” in telemedicine — the remote delivery of health-care services — and AI should also be utilized. “AI has immersive benefits to overweight/obese and pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals as they can actively monitor their health and take risk-litigating measures,” he said. “Data gathered from AI apps can provide deep insights on epidemiology and disease patterns.  “Environmental, regional, occupational and genealogical data layered into AI-based systems can provide early profiling, allowing physicians to diagnose problems more efficiently.” The report says regional health markets also need to plug current gaps, such as introducing specialized service centers, health-driven wellness retreats and dedicated rehabilitation centers, to drive down diabetes prevalence.  Ahmed said stem-cell therapy also offers a potential lifeline for major health challenges facing Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf, such as diabetes. “Saudi Arabia is one of the few, but growing, list of countries which sanctions the use of embryos for therapeutic and research purposes if obtained from a permissible source, which includes the placenta or umbilical cord and leftover embryos from in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The diabetes and obesity epidemic is mirrored across the region, said Ahmed, with Egypt and the UAE having similar prevalence rates to the Kingdom.  In Oman, Dr. Wasim Sheikh Hammoud, a specialist endocrinologist at Aster Al Raffah Hospitals & Clinics Oman, told Arab News that by 2050 there will be an estimated 350,000 people with Type 2 diabetes living in the Gulf country, a 174 percent increase compared with 2015. “Sedentary lifestyles and poor dietary choices are to blame for the rise in the prevalence of diabetes in Oman,” he said. The UAE has rolled out similar tactics to combat the epidemic, such as implementing an obesity task force, introducing a sugar tax and discussing policies such as a blanket ban on the marketing of unhealthy foods.  “Diabetes is a serious and increasing global epidemic, and accurate estimation of the burden is essential for efficient allocation of resources,” said Dr. Maneesha Pandey, a specialist endocrinologist at Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai. “The Dubai Health Authority is coming up with a diabetes registry, which will provide real-time statistics of diabetes in the emirate. It will be of great help to draw appropriate strategies and tailor our preventive campaign accordingly.  In addition, government and health authorities are making commendable efforts to increase awareness about healthy lifestyle and prevention of diabetes.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiadiabetesEditor’s Choice Taking a bite out of diabetes: How Saudi Arabia and neighbors are fighting back against the diseaseDiabetes: A ‘ticking time bomb’ for Saudi Arabia

Saudis urged to become stem cell donors

Author: SPAID: 1555101157729836500Fri, 2019-04-12 23:31 RIYADH: Saudis have been urged to join the stem cell register as there is a need for matching donors at home and abroad, the Saudi Press Agency reported. In Saudi Arabia, 30 percent of adult
Saudi Arabia

Saudis urged to become stem cell donors

Author: SPAID: 1555101157729836500Fri, 2019-04-12 23:31 RIYADH: Saudis have been urged to join the stem cell register as there is a need for matching donors at home and abroad, the Saudi Press Agency reported. In Saudi Arabia, 30 percent of adult patients and 60 percent of pediatrics’ patients cannot find a matching family donor, according to the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center. Stem cell transplantation is used to treat many life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dr. Firas Al-Freih, head of the stem cell donors’ register at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, said a young Saudi woman on the register had donated her cells to a patient in a US hospital. The doctor said it took two months to deliver the Saudi woman’s stem cells to the US patient. The hospital ran tests for safety and to ensure she was a match. The process of collecting her stem cells took 30 minutes. He stressed the importance of international cooperation in the field of stem cell exchange, as 24 Saudi patients had received donations from overseas thanks to a global bone marrow register. He called on everyone to join the national stem cell donors register, saying it had contributed to finding matching donors for 37 Saudi patients in the Kingdom since launching in 2016. Dr. Majed Al-Fayyad, executive supervisor general at the hospital, said that Saudi Arabia became part of the global bone marrow register at the start of 2019 and that there were 71,000 Saudis and residents on the Kingdom’s donors’ register. He said the register had been receiving letters from international centers in the US, UK and Italy that specialized in stem cell transplants. Al-Fayyad said the first instance of cooperation between the hospital and the American National Donor Marrow Program (NMDP) dated back to 2005. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Stem cell transplantation Riyadh conference to open new frontiers in stem cell researchKSA first in Arab world to have over 10,000 stem cell donors

Jeddah Municipality signs agreement to promote youth entrepreneurs

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 19:15 JEDDAH: Jeddah Municipality and the National Entrepreneurship Initiative signed an agreement on Thursday that includes investment, development and governance. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Saleh Al-Turki,
Saudi Arabia

Jeddah Municipality signs agreement to promote youth entrepreneurs

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 19:15 JEDDAH: Jeddah Municipality and the National Entrepreneurship Initiative signed an agreement on Thursday that includes investment, development and governance. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Saleh Al-Turki, Secretary of the Municipality of Jeddah, and Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Alam, CEO of the Initiative. The terms of the agreement focused on investment, community development, planning and urban development, as well as governance and informatics. The initiative is considered to be an important tool for building bridges of cooperation between the government and the private sector, within the economic aspects of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Jeddah MunicipalityNational Entrepreneurship Initiativeyouth Saudi minister talks of new education strategy to promote excellenceSaudi Arabia on right economic road — even according to ‘Dr. Doom’ Nouriel Roubini

Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Salamah

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 21:17 Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Salamah is the general director at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies. He is also the general supervisor for financial and administrative affairs at the Royal Commission for Ju
Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Salamah

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 21:17 Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Salamah is the general director at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies. He is also the general supervisor for financial and administrative affairs at the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, specializing in the comprehensive management of the major industrial cities, and general supervisor of colleges and institutes at the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. He got his bachelor’s degree in business administration from King Saud University in Riyadh in 1985, and his master’s degree in economics from Western Illinois University in 1990. He received a doctorate in economics from Durham University in 1994. The diplomatic studies institute, in cooperation with the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, recently held a workshop on modern trends in diplomatic training. The Riyadh-based event was organized as part of the responsibilities of foreign affairs ministries in the Kingdom and the UAE to improve and advance diplomatic practices. It was aimed at providing diplomats with the required knowledge and refining their skills for their field. It was attended by Al-Salamah as well as the undersecretary for political and economic affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Dr. Adel Merdad. The workshop was also attended by Egyptian, Jordanian and South Korean officials. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. Fahad Al-Sudairi, president and CEO of Saudi Electricity Co.

Saudi Arabia signs cybersecurity cooperation agreement

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 21:52 The Kingdom’s National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) signed an agreement on Friday with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore cybersecurity cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The memorandum of intent is aim
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia signs cybersecurity cooperation agreement

Author: Fri, 2019-04-12 21:52 The Kingdom’s National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) signed an agreement on Friday with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore cybersecurity cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The memorandum of intent is aimed at enhancing cybersecurity, protecting against threats, and identifying potential opportunities for collaboration in projects and initiatives. It was co-signed by the deputy governor for strategy and planning, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Freih, and managing director and head of compliance and institutional affairs at the WEF, Alois Zwinggi. The NCSC’s vision is to build a resilient and secure cyberspace that protects national and citizens’ interests, and foster the growth of Saudi Arabia’s economy. It provides defense systems, technology and guidance to protect communication systems against attacks to confidentiality, integrity, processes, and vulnerability in the nation’s communications infrastructure. The NCSC has previously issued basic cybersecurity guidelines to minimize the risk of threats to different government agencies. The guidelines were prepared to establish minimum standards to safeguard government networks and systems, and the Kingdom’s vital economic and national interests. Applying these guidelines is mandatory for all government agencies, including ministries, authorities, institutions, and others, in addition to private sector agencies that own, operate, or host sensitive national infrastructures. The WEF is an independent international organization committed to global development by involving business, politicians, academics and other community leaders, for formulation of global, regional and industrial agendas. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabiacybercrime Saudi cyber security body issues basic guidelines Saudi cyber security college signs MoU to promote technology

Saudi Arabia to host Sudanese pilgrims until resumption of flights

Fri, 2019-04-12 00:04 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will host pilgrims from Sudan until flights to the country are restored, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.  All flights in and out of the country were halted earlier in the day after President Omar Al-
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia to host Sudanese pilgrims until resumption of flights

Fri, 2019-04-12 00:04 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will host pilgrims from Sudan until flights to the country are restored, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.  All flights in and out of the country were halted earlier in the day after President Omar Al-Bashir was removed from power by the Sudanese military. King Salman ordered the Minister of Hajj and Umrah to provide for the pilgrims from Sudan until transport links are resumed. Airports in Khartoum and Port Sudan were closed, which prompted Saudi carriers Saudia and Flynas to announce on Twitter that they had suspended all flights to and from Sudan. Al-Bashir’s ouster follows months of escalating protests against his rule that have been met with a brutal response by the security forces. Dozens of people have been killed. In a televised address, Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, the first vice president and defense minister of Sudan, announced the suspension of the Sudanese constitution and creation of a transitional military council, which will lead the country for two years. Elections would be held after the transition period, Auf added. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaSudanSudan protests