MiSK ‘Hackathon’ propels creativity

Updated 28 November 2016

MiSK ‘Hackathon’ propels creativity

RIYADH: A 48-hour MiSK “Hackathon” kicked off here Friday. The event aims to mine the talent of the youth of Saudi Arabia and Britain in developing new ways to improve medical services and enhancing the level of health care.
During the event, 200 young men and women from Saudi Arabia and an equal number from the United Kingdom are linked together via live satellite broadcast. The two groups from the two kingdoms are competing to develop technical innovations to improve medical services.
At the opening on Friday, the director of business development for the MiSK Foundation, Shaimaa Hamiddadin, said the foundation seeks through these bilateral international exchanges to achieve technical progress in the development of IT solutions in the health field and the tackle the challenges facing medical services, improving public health care, and also to contribute to the creation of a new a generation of innovative projects in the areas that will serve millions of people around the world.
She added that this initiative comes as part of the institution’s efforts in its various initiatives to nurture knowledge and create an appropriate atmosphere for the youth in the Arab world to contribute with their innovations in order to improve the development of services.
British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Simon Collis, who attended the launch of the challenge, said: “We are proud that our country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia began its second century, and today we are supporting young people, including our accumulated experiences.”
The British ambassador praised Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the role of the Saudi youth in realizing this vision. He stressed the importance of what is being done and the efforts to maintain and find initiatives toward the achieving this vision.
Ambassador Collis added that this challenge brings together the youth of the two kingdoms in an effort to find innovative contributions to improve the health service sector in particular and humanitarian efforts in general.
He said the hackathon provides an opportunity for 400 young men and women of the two kingdoms to find and develop great ideas working day and night in direct connectivity.
During the event all competing teams have access to experts in various fields. Three teams will be declared winners of the competition with each team awarded $35,000 to change their innovative ideas into marketable commodities.


Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

Updated 12 min 44 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

  • Al-Jubeir's statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gul and installations within the Kingdom
  • He accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is doing its best to avoid war in the region but stands ready to respond with "all strength and determination" to defend itself from any threat, the Kingdom's top diplomat said on Sunday.

In a news conference, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region. He urged the international community to take responsibility to stop the Islamic republic from doing so.

"Our security and religion are a red line," Al-Jubeir said. His statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf and installations within the Kingdom.

Iran’s foreign minister was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency on Saturday as saying his country is “not seeking war” even as the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Tehran was in a “full-fledged intelligence war with the US.“

The US has ordered bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Gulf over an unexplained threat they perceive from Iran, raising tensions a year after Trump pulled America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Al-Jubeir said Iranian regime can spare the region the dangers of war by adhering to international laws and covenants, by stopping its interference in the internal affairs of other countries of the region, by stopping its support for terrorist groups and militias, and immediately halting its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

"Saudi Arabia stresses that its hand is always extended to peace and seeks to achieve it, and believes that the peoples of the region, including the Iranian people, have the right to live in security and stability and to move towards development," he said.

"We want peace and stability and we want to focus on the Kingdom's Vision 2030 which will enrich Saudi people’s lives," he added.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have repeatedly accused Iran of bankrolling the activities of its proxy Shiite militias such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and various groups in Iraq.

Houthi militias had repeatedly launched ballistic missiles and rockets into civilian targets in Saudi Arabia since a Saudi-led Arab Coalition threw its support behind the government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Iran-backed power-grabbers. Last week, they owned responsibility for the drone attacks on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jubeir also urged Qatar, an estranged member of the GCC to stop supporting extremists and terrorists and return to the fold. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, charging Doha of siding with terror groups that have been destabilizing the region. 

Instead of making amends with its GCC brothers, Qatar sought help from Turkey and Iran in bid to alleviate the impact of the boycott action of the group known as the anti-terror quarter (ATQ).