Aramco kicks off 2014 iThra Knowledge Program in Jeddah

Updated 19 January 2014

Aramco kicks off 2014 iThra Knowledge Program in Jeddah

Saudi Aramco’s iThra (richness) Knowledge Program has recently launched a number of cultural and educational activities in Jeddah at Aramco’s training center in Briman.
Makkah Gov. Prince Misha’al bin Abdullah inaugurated the four-week cultural and educational event in the presence of Khalid A. Al-Falih, CEO and president of Saudi Aramco.
The program, which aims to transform the Kingdom into a knowledge society, was launched under the slogan “You’ve never seen it before.”
Yousef Khori, communication manger of the event, said the event is a major component of the company’s social responsibility strategy (CSR), which is based on the four pillars of economy, knowledge, society and the environment and is an initiative of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.
Aramco decided to launch the educational program in Jeddah after a successful run in Dhahran, which witnessed the participation of nearly 300,000 visitors.
The cultural and educational programs in Jeddah include the traffic safety village, the energy efficiency pavilion, Aramco 32nd children’s art contest, the 101 inventions scientists from the Islamic civilization that changed the world and live performances.
Khori explained that the creative studio is a competition that aims to encourage the participation of local high school and university students to develop high-end media material and production.
“The program will be uploaded on YouTube and should create a positive buzz through the various YouTube celebrities in the Kingdom,” he added.
iThra Knowledge Program showcases talents from across the Kingdom and around the globe. The energy efficiency pavilion, for instance, has four corners that present an interactive awareness experience about high-energy consumption levels and growth. The pavilion also highlights the implications of saving energy in an engaging manner.
Meanwhile, the traffic safety village offers children a unique opportunity to understand and apply traffic safety rules. Children are faced with multiple traffic situations and if they pass, they are awarded a traffic safety village driving license.
The art café is another avenue for children to unleash their creativity with various art workshops, an art contest and an exhibition of Saudi artists’ artwork on display.
The children’s theater for entertainment and ‘Khawater Al-Thalam’ (A Saudi talent show that won the Arabs got talent in 2012) and various other educational shows are also available.
During the opening ceremony Al Falih praised the quality of iThra Knowledge’s events, highlighting that the program provides an ideal platform for Saudi youth to express their creativity. He added that the program stands as a testament to the efforts of Saudi Aramco and King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.
“The real treasure we are seeking to invest in is the creative potential of our Saudi youth and the formation of teams that can perform with high quality. The culture of volunteerism was represented at its best in iThra Knowledge, which is why we are anxious to spread and instill it in our society,” Al-Falih said.

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

Updated 1 min 40 sec ago

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has established six driving schools for women in different regions of Saudi Arabia, according to an interior ministry spokesperson.

Mansour Al-Turki said on Sunday that the ministry has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far and demand is still very high.

Saudi women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades on Sunday as the Kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists, a historic reform expected to usher in a new era of social mobility.

At a press conference to mark the occasion, Al-Turki said there are 9 districts where female driving schools have not yet been established and there is evidence to suggest women in these areas want to learn.

The interior ministry spokesperson urged motorists not to violate regulations and infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Saudi Traffic Directorate, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Bassami said the directorate has developed a device to identify and verify driving licenses through a fingerprinting system.

He acknowledged there is great awareness among women in dealing with traffic rules and regulations, adding there are no traffic exemptions for women, only for people with special needs.

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plan to modernize and reform Saudi Arabia.