2.5m Syrians hosted by KSA since uprising

Updated 12 September 2015

2.5m Syrians hosted by KSA since uprising

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has hosted around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the crisis in that country in 2011, the Foreign Ministry has said.
In a statement issued to SPA, the ministry said the Syrians have been leading a decent and normal life in the Kingdom like other expatriates. “The Kingdom does not deal with Syrian expats like refugees. They are living in a normal environment not in special camps.”
According to the ministry, the Syrians have been granted legal residence permits and full freedom to travel inside the country.
“Moreover, they are allowed to study in Saudi schools as per the royal order issued in 2012.
A total of 100,000 Syrians are registered in public schools,” the ministry clarified, reacting to wrong reports about the Kingdom’s role in tackling the Syrian refugees crisis. “All Syrians in the Kingdom receive free medical treatment. They are allowed to work in the private sector like other expatriates,” the ministry added.
Saudi Arabia has spent $700 million to help Syrian refugees, according to figures made available during the Third Intentional Conference of Donors in Kuwait in March this year, the ministry said.
The Kingdom played a vital role in helping Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon through humanitarian aid including food, medical treatment, medicines and clothes,” the ministry added.
An online publication quoted a source as saying that the Labor Ministry has excluded Syrians from labor inspections being carried out to correct expat status. “This will be a great help to my fellow Syrian visitors,” said a Riyadh-based Syrian expat. “We have lived here for many years and benefited not only financially from this country but also from free education for our children,” he observed.
The visitors residing with their families here feel that the gesture would help them put their skills to good use and benefit from their stay, he said, adding that it will be a win-win situation for them and the host country.
The directive by King Salman aims at letting the departments that face skills’ shortage to benefit from Syrian visitors, many of whom are experienced and highly qualified to make a qualitative change to the local market.
Western countries have realized the advantage of absorbing refugees with a wealth of talent and skills, which is a cost effective solution for them amid the global economic slump.
Similarly, these Arab refugees could be a blessing in disguise for the Kingdom in the face of declining oil prices. Their professional skills, along with knowledge of Arabic, will give them an edge over non-Arabic speaking expats.
This year, the king also ordered rectification of the residential status of Yemeni illegals to let them work in various sectors.

Saudi Shoura Council urges promotion of culture of productivity in families

The Shoura Council holds its first ordinary session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2018

Saudi Shoura Council urges promotion of culture of productivity in families

  • The council encouraged the Family Affairs Council to build partnerships with the nonprofit sector to implement its initiatives

The Shoura Council called upon the Family Affairs Council on Tuesday to build and promote the family’s culture of productivity and self-reliance as one of its strategic pillars, and accord top priority to preparing a draft strategy for the family in coordination with the relevant authorities.

The council adopted this resolution during its first ordinary session of the third year of the seventh session, held under the chairmanship of Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh.

The council encouraged the Family Affairs Council to build partnerships with the nonprofit sector to implement its initiatives, and formulate a scientific description of the characteristics to be instilled in the Saudi family and the enabling supportive environment. 

Assistant Speaker of Shoura Council Yahya Al-Samaan said the council has asked the Public Education Evaluation Commission to focus on leveraging national expertise and to reduce reliance on foreign expertise.

Al-Samaan pointed out that the council made its decision after listening to the views of the members of the Education and Scientific Research Committee on the report submitted by the Public Education Evaluation Commission for the current fiscal year.

On Monday, King Salman inaugurated the third year of the Shoura Council’s seventh session in which he highlighted the Kingdom’s priorities for the coming year and defined the contours of its domestic and foreign policies.

The king pledged to continue the Kingdom’s fight against extremism and all forms of terrorism. He also vowed to support the system of social services and sustainable growth for citizens. 

The speech focused on issues such as the war in Yemen, the Palestinian issue, stability in the oil market, countering Iranian interference in the region and job creation for Saudis.  “The Kingdom will maintain its effort to resolve regional crises,” the king said.

Al-Sheikh noted the council’s pride in the wise leadership’s efforts to unify Arab ranks and promote Islamic solidarity to achieve security and peace in the region and in the world.