Sri Lankan Embassy sets up 24-hour toll free phone-in service for expats

Updated 08 February 2014
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Sri Lankan Embassy sets up 24-hour toll free phone-in service for expats

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh has set up a 24 hour phone-in service to help its distressed expatriates workers in the Kingdom providing assistance to their matters.
“This is a new service set to be introduced from next week to help our countrymen who need our services,” Sri Lankan Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy told Arab News on Friday.
The toll free number 8001180050 is a 24-hour helpline.
In addition to strengthening bilateral ties with the Kingdom, the envoy said, the embassy is interested in serving its workers community that brings in revenues to the national coffers.
Krishnamoorthy said its nationals working in the Middle East sent home $2.5 billion in 2010, a "significant portion of which comes from the 350,000 Sri Lankans working in the Kingdom.”
Around one-third of Sri Lanka’s 1.5 million overseas workers live in the Kingdom, he said.
“In another major development, I have made arrangements to permit my countrymen to meet me on Wednesday every week without prior appointment,” he said adding that those with unresolved issues could personally see him during office hours. He said that he was also available on other days but by appointment only.
The envoy said that Saudi Arabia is the favorite destination for Sri Lankans seeking employment. “I am happy to note that there are more than 350,000 Sri Lankan expatriates living in the Kingdom which promotes our bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia.”
He said that the Sri Lankans had earned a name for discipline, sincerity, being talented, hardworking and law-abiding residents in the Kingdom.
Krishnamoorthy expressed his deep appreciation for the generous amnesty granted by the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah which gave undocumented expatriates the opportunity to respectfully exit the country and return to Sri Lanka or to rectify their status.
He said, “Over 100,000 expatriates had changed their professions and that approximately 15,000 Sri Lankans had left the Kingdom without facing any penalties.
It also enabled those who returned to Sri Lanka to reapply for jobs and return to the Kingdom in the future, benefiting both the Sri Lankan and Saudi Arabian labor markets.”
“It has been the constant endeavor of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh to provide consular and other services to the Sri Lankan expatriates both at the mission and through its monthly mobile services in the Eastern Province. This mission will also expand its services to Al-Hail from this year onwards.”
The embassy has been consistently trying to improve its quality of services to the Sri Lankan community in Saudi Arabia he said, pointing out that in addition to the provision of daily consular services at the embassy, a senior consular official can always be met without appointment.


Saudi Movie ‘Joud’ to screen at Ithra during National Day celebrations

The film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom. (Social media)
Updated 41 min 20 sec ago
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Saudi Movie ‘Joud’ to screen at Ithra during National Day celebrations

  • Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the Saudi lifestyle.

JEDDAH: The Saudi film “Joud,” produced by the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), which is now screening in local and international cinemas in the Kingdom, will also be shown at Ithra’s own cinema from September 20 to 23, 2018, as part of the center’s National Day events.

The film, which dispenses with dialogue to make it more accessible to a global audience, features visuals inspired by classical Arabic poems that reflect the natural heritage and diversity of Saudi Arabia, the discovery of oil and the resultant social change. Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the Saudi lifestyle.

The film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom, “and we believe that its uniqueness opens the door to discovering more stories preserved in the hearts of our people and our land.”

He added that Ithra was keen for Saudi filmmakers to work alongside an international crew during production of the film. For example, assistant director Osama Al-Kharji directed scenes set in Makkah, with director of photography Abdullah Al-Shuraidah and cameraman Fahad al-Dajani, while Hussam Al-Hilweh helped to write the script. Composer Diaa Azouni contributed to the soundtrack, and co-director Osamah Saleh was responsible for behind-the-scenes photography for almost a year.

Andrew Lancaster, the film’s director, said that “Joud” “shows how music and natural landscape play a big role in communicating the soul of the movie.” He added that it "talks about a deep experience through culture, music and natural landscape. It was a great adventure for me to transfer this to the screen.”

Ithra, in Dhahran, aims to set new standards for excellence in the Saudi film industry, and create innovative projects through its relationships with partners and visitors by stimulating the sustainability of creative and cultural communities. Through its diverse programs, the center helps to develop new ways to foster creativity, supporting and promoting national talent by providing an environment for the production and exchange of knowledge, in a manner that respects diversity and promotes different concepts in science and the arts.