‘Sorceress’ principal demoted to teacher

Updated 16 October 2014

‘Sorceress’ principal demoted to teacher

The principal of an elementary school has accused colleagues of leveling false charges against her, which resulted in her demotion to a teacher's position.
Majida Al-Shaffie, who was the principal at the fourth elementary school in Al-Kaaki district, was quoted as saying in local media that she suffered a nervous breakdown and collapsed when the education department sent her a letter stating that she would be demoted.
Al-Shaffie's husband, Ibrahim Alnmir, said teachers accused his wife of sorcery, spying on teachers and raising the grades of students to improve the school's standing.
He said that his wife was the victim of a conspiracy to oust her, involving some female teachers and supervisors in the department. “They intend to destroy her honorable history as a teacher, and the efforts she made to turn the school into an exemplary model of learning,” he said.
“My wife was the subject of malicious complaints from teachers and anonymous persons. The complaints were probed and found groundless. When my wife decided to file a case in the courts against these plots, she was dismissed from her position.”
The teacher said she had 25 years of service in the education field, with 14 of those years in the administrative department, and more than 60 certificates of recognition from her supervisors, parents and government agencies.
Abdulaziz bin Saad Al-Thaqafi, media spokesperson of the education department, said the former headmaster had violated regulations and was sanctioned. He said a committee of headmasters and deputies had studied the actions of Al-Shaffie and concluded she had committed too many violations and should be demoted.
He said there was now an investigation under way to know how she managed to get so many commendations for good performance.

Misk forum connects global youth

High-tech passes allow participants to connect and swap contact details at the touch of a button.
Updated 11 min 26 sec ago

Misk forum connects global youth

  • It was the old-fashioned, face-to-face connections that many delegates said they valued the most
  • More than 3,500 delegates received insights from more than 50 speakers from around the world

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.

IN PICTURES: View the Third annual Misk Global Forum in Riyadh photo gallery

“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.