Distressed Pakistani driver spared indefinite jail term

Updated 02 May 2013
0

Distressed Pakistani driver spared indefinite jail term

The Pakistani community in the Kingdom has displayed its philanthropy and generosity by lending a helping hand to a fellow countryman whose plight was highlighted by Arab News.
Even beyond the Kingdom, several Pakistani community members have expressed their interest to assist the driver.
The house driver, Aziz Mohammed Jaan, who accidentally killed a two-year old child in a road accident, managed to pay SR 150,000 in blood money to the child’s Egyptian family.
Jaan, a father of five, who lives in wretched conditions in the valley outskirts of Jeddah, has been spared an indefinite prison term with the aid of the community.
The Pakistan Consulate in Jeddah has been overwhelmed the past few days with inquires on how help can be dispensed to Jaan. As a result, Aftab Ahmed Khokher, the Pakistani consul general, held a meeting in his office on Tuesday to explore possible means of extending support to the driver, within lawful parameters and in a transparent manner.
Speaking to Arab News, Khokher indicated that the Arab News report generated an overwhelming response from the community and Saudi citizens. He also pointed out that the consulate staff are following Jaan’s case and rendering all the help required.
Jaan expressed gratitude to the Arab News editorial team, saying: “This is not only a huge relief, but I also feel like I’ve been given another chance to live. My family and I have been saved; there are no words to describe my feelings. Thank God many times over.”
Jaan also extended his appreciation to the Pakistani consul general and Vice Consul Syed Tahseem Ahmed for the help they extended to him and his family.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
0

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

  • Qiddiya Project is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom
  • The first phase will be completed by 2022

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman will launch the construction of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh Wednesday, authorities said, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects as the Kingdom seeks to diversity its oil-reliant economy.
The 334-square kilometer project in Qiddiya, southwest of Riyadh, would rival Walt Disney and include high-end theme parks, motor sport facilities and a safari park, officials say.
The facility highlights a “relentless effort to develop giga-projects that will help achieve many direct and indirect economic returns,” project official Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi was quoted as saying in a government statement on Monday.
Qiddiya chief executive Michael Reininger said he expects the project will draw foreign investors in entertainment and other sectors, but did not specify the total cost of construction.
Such projects are the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled liberal change agent who is the chief architect of the sweeping “Vision 2030” reform program.
Saudi Arabia has dazzled investors with several plans for hi-tech “giga projects,” funded in part by its sovereign wealth fund, but some skeptics question their viability in an era of cheap oil.
The Kingdom has unveiled blueprints to build NEOM, a mega project billed as a regional Silicon Valley, in addition to the Red Sea project, a reef-fringed resort destination — both worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Analysts say the projects could create funding pressures at a time when the government faces a yawning budget deficit and growth in the Kingdom’s non-oil economy is only slowly gathering pace.
The reform stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on entertainment as the Kingdom has been reeling from an oil slump since 2014.
Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighboring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector in the coming decade.