Kids fathered by Saudis toil with mothers in Syria camps

Updated 26 February 2014
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Kids fathered by Saudis toil with mothers in Syria camps

Local human rights organizations are demanding that government agencies track down the Saudi biological fathers of children born to Syrian women who have since become refugees in Jordan and Turkey in the wake of the Syrian civil war.
These citizens-turned-refugees have no documents to prove that they are Saudi nationals.
“Many Saudis visited Syria before the Syrian revolution and married Syrian women, with whom they had children. These children were abandoned by their fathers and now face uncertain future after the war in Syria,” said Mohammed Al-Turkawi, a member of the Syrian opposition living in Jeddah. “These families should contact the Saudi embassies in Jordan and Turkey to find solutions.”
“There are no accurate figures on the number of undocumented Saudis living in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey,” Al-Turkawi told Arab News. A local newspaper reported that the Saudi Embassy in Amman confirmed that it was taking care of local Saudi refugees.
According to the report, the embassy pays monthly sums to 26 Saudi families in Jordan and ensures that they are sheltered. The report also states that they are looking for their fathers with the cooperation of several Kingdom-based organizations.
Yet many of these men deny ever having been married.
“It is a shame to know that there are Saudis out there who have been abandoned by their fathers and who have no choice but to live with their mothers at these refugee camps,” said Suhaila Zain Al-Abdeen, a female Saudi member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR).
Local governmental bodies must look for their fathers and help this category of citizens return home.”
“This issue has still not come up in NSHR meetings. However, we know of local societies who have adopted the cause,” she told Arab News.
Kahlid Al-Fakheri, a member of the Human Rights Commission, told Arab News, “The commission follows up on Saudi families living in Jordan and coordinates with the Saudi Charitable Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad (Awaser).”
Jordan is home to more than 1.5 million Syrians, less than half of whom are registered as UN refugees living in several refugee camps subsidized by United Nations agencies and donor countries in the country’s northern provinces.
Other refugees are living off their own resources and are contributing to the national economy.
While some view the Syrian refugee crisis as a burden on the country’s infrastructure and scarce natural resources, such as water, many Jordanian commercial and industrial representatives regard the refugee phenomenon as the driving force behind new local economic opportunities.


Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

Umm Al-Qura was the first newspaper to be published during the time of Saudi Arabia's founder.
Updated 21 May 2018
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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

  • It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz
  • Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924

MAKKAH: It is considered one of the most important and prestigious Saudi Arabian newspapers. 

It has witnessed crucial decisions in the country, observed the history of the region throughout a century, recording details of life in the Kingdom becoming a reference for historical decisions and events.

Umm Al-Qura’s Editor in Chief Abdullah Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has the support and supervision of Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, who has harnessed all the resources for its modern launch. Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924.

It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz. The headline in the first issue of the newspaper was “The Makkah Declaration,” and this story was accompanied by news and official statements.

Al-Ahmadi said that the paper continued its coverage during World War II, although its presses did stop for a period of up to eight weeks in 1924 before King Abdul Aziz ordered paper to be imported and printing to resume.

Umm Al-Qura’s first editor in chief was Sheikh Yusuf Yassin, who was followed by Rushdi Malhas. Both figures held diplomatic positions during King Abdul Aziz’s reign, along with Mohammed Saeed Abdul Maksoud, Fouad Shaker and Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari.

Al-Ahmadi added that the newspaper has monitored the personal stories of the Kingdom’s kings, giving precise details of the historical and political events of the last century. He added that it has the full Saudi archive and it has become a historical reference for history, the economy and politics.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper was a combination of news, sports and social events during 30 years of its foundation. It had adverts on some pages, reflecting the region’s identity and local, economic and cognitive dimensions.

Al-Ahmadi said that with its launch, the newspaper formed the memory, aspirations and ambitions of Saudi Arabia. It was the only media platform in which the world explored the local news, along with the cultural, educational and economic news. 

It covered their advocacy of the crucial decisions — notably the Palestinian cause that Saudi Arabia has defended since the time of its founder.

Umm Al-Qura’s editor in chief said his main concern, along with his former colleagues in the newspaper’s management, was its development and relaunch, pointing out that a number of challenges have been overcome. 

The newspaper has been developed across the board — from layout and content to its brand logo and colors, he said.

Al-Ahmadi added that new and modern printers have been provided, and the newspaper has improved in line with technical and modern changes. 

He said the government also helped restore the back issues damaged by moths.

The operation was carried out by specialized experts who supervised the whole operation to protect the issues from getting lost. All issues were archived online and missing issues are being updated, he added.

Al-Ahmadi said that the newspaper’s website will provide a digital media platform for the documentation process, giving integrated information about the newspaper.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has a website archive for researchers and academics. 

He added that a large number of master’s and doctorate degrees as well as surveys took place with the help of the newspaper that has become a historic reference for scholars and researchers.