MENAA Awards recognize Arab News’ new direction

Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, center, receives the MENAA Award in the presence of Daniel Seelhorf from ZHAW, left, and Dr. Maurice Dimmock from ASIC, right.
Updated 23 December 2016
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MENAA Awards recognize Arab News’ new direction

JEDDAH: Arab News has been honored at this year’s MENAA Awards for its transformation over the last three months and creating “momentum and buzz” in the media industry. 
Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas was presented with the prestigious Best Business Leaders Award at an event held last week at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
The MENAA Awards ceremony included a show-reel illustrating the rapid changes and achievements Arab News has made over the past three months, since the newspaper announced it was restoring its original tagline and positioning as “The Middle East’s Leading English Language Daily.”
One highlight of the newspaper’s coverage over the last few months was its exclusive poll on Arab public opinion toward the candidates in the recent US election. Results of the poll, which was carried out in conjunction with YouGov, attracted global attention and were carried in prominent news outlets such as CNN and The Observer newspaper.
The fourth edition of the MENAA Awards comprised two categories, the Best Business Leader Award and Customer Delight Award. A number of top executives from across the Middle East who were presented with trophies and certificates of achievement at the award ceremony, to mark their strong leadership of organizations in what is a turbulent business environment.
Allan Pease, the well-known Australian body language expert, presented the honors at the event, and paid tribute to the changes made at Arab News.
“In less than three months on the job, (Abbas) managed create enough momentum and buzz around the changes he has brought to his organization that his organization is literately now generating headlines worldwide,” Pease said.
In a statement, Dr. Sepehr Tarverdian, chief executive of the MENAA Organization, praised Arab News for being a “pioneer” and “a leading media outlet.”
“As the CEO of MENAA Awards Organization, it was a real pleasure, and honor to select the editor-in-chief of Arab News as the recipient of the Best Business Leaders Award in 2016 in the region,” he added.
For his part, Abbas thanked the award organizers. 
“On behalf of Arab News, we wish to thank the judges and the organizers of the fourth annual MENAA Awards on this recognition of the efforts of our newspaper as it prepares for a more global, more digital approach.”
“This recognition is dedicated to our Arab News team worldwide; however, the biggest prize we will always continue to aspire for daily is our readers’ continued trust,” said Abbas.
The Middle East, North Africa & Asia Award (MENAA) Organization says it aims to promote and improve the industries by acknowledging good corporate culture and leadership skills.

The honors list
Some of the most prominent winners of the MENAA Awards have included: Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of Dubai Duty Free; Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, chief executive of Mashreq Bank; and Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, chief executive of Union National Bank.
The Middle East, North Africa & Asia Award Organization, which has branches across the globe, has been at the forefront of running awards and forums over several years, with the aim of promoting and improving the industries by acknowledging good corporate culture and leadership.
Over 50 top business leaders were honored at the recent MENAA Awards in Dubai. Previous recipients of the awards have included the chief executives of Dubai Duty Free, Bahrain Duty Free, Arab National Bank, Union National Bank, Danube, Paris Gallery, Kempinski Hotels and the Ritz-Carlton.
Increasing revenues, market shares, improvement of customer satisfaction, and employee engagement and satisfaction are some of the criteria evaluated by the jury.
The jury members are chosen to “ensure a fair and balanced evaluation of all nominees,” the organizer said. “Each of the members is selected for his global expert opinion, valuable practical experience (in their) local and international business.”
The jury that evaluated this year’s MENAA Awards winners included Dr. Daniel Seelhoffer of ZHAW University, Dr. Joseph Sherren from the York University of Canada, Dr. Maurice Dimmock, the chief executive of ASIC in the UK, and other experienced executives.


The role of social media in solving — and committing — crimes

Many things are forbidden when using social media in Saudi Arabia, including stirring up tensions and causing division among citizens, encouraging criminality, or publishing anything might harm public affairs in the country. (AFP)
Updated 19 December 2018
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The role of social media in solving — and committing — crimes

  • The battle against cybercrime in the Kingdom is likely to escalate as technology becomes more sophisticated, and there are already heavy penalties for crimes such hacking, identity theft, hate speech and pornography
  • The obvious first step is to contact the police and hand over the devices containing the digital evidence. Specialist officers will copy the data, analyze it and evaluate it

JEDDAH: Many Saudi citizens are increasingly using social media as an alternative source of news, rather than local media organizations, which are subject to strict censorship and controls regarding content.
There is no doubt that as the use of social networks has increased, so too has the number of people subjected to abuse, threats, discrimination and defamation online. In some cases people, groups or organizations are deliberately and systematically targeted to achieve a specific goal.
Dealing with such abuse on social media is an organizational matter that often requires some form of censorship. There is a fine line between the right of an individual to create and publish a video on social media in which they can express their personal opinions and, for example, the right to publish recorded footage of a crime taking place.
Many questions were raised, for example, by a recent incident involving the kidnapping of a Saudi teenage girl in Riyadh, footage of which was posted on an Instagram live stream. The video quickly went viral, though it was soon deleted.
The posting of such footage of criminal acts is considered a crime and exploitation in the Kingdom. Many other things are forbidden when using social media in Saudi Arabia, including stirring up tensions and causing division among citizens, encouraging criminality, or publishing anything might harm public affairs in the country.
If any person, group or organization feels that they have been subjected to online abuse they can report it to the authorities who will examine the digital evidence, including any video footage.
Abdulrazzak Murjan, an expert in digital evidence and a member of the American Academy of Forensic Medicine, said that rulings by the Supreme Court set out the procedures for dealing with such allegations, and how digital evidence can be used.
“Videos are one type of digital evidence and can be taken as a pretext, when they are free of editing, to prove the charge in the...courts,” he said.
The laws governing information crimes, which involve use of electronic devices to commit a crime, prohibit “producing material that violates public order, religious values, public morals or the inviolability of private life, preparing it, sending it or storing it through a network or a computer.”
While electronic devices and social media can legitimately be used as sources of digital evidence to prove criminal activity, the misuse of such content by publishing it online is itself considered a cybercrime. It is, therefore important to know what to do should you come into possession of such sensitive material.
The obvious first step is to contact the police and hand over the devices containing the digital evidence. Specialist officers will copy the data, analyze it and evaluate it. If appropriate, the evidence will be submitted to the attorney general for further assessment, and then to the court during a trial.
While the misuse of social media in the ways described above can be a criminal act, cybercrime is a more general description for any crime committed using a computer and network, such as hacking, blackmail and cyberbullying. The victims can range from individuals and organizations all the way up to governments. In Saudi Arabia many measures are being taken and constant work is being done to protect people from such attacks.
“In terms of the nature of crimes committed through social media, they fall under the laws related to cybercrimes,” said Budur Al-Sharif, a lawyer. “They are associated with the criminal law, under which fall the cybercrime laws issued by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.
“Saudi criminal law includes many regulations related to addressing cybercrimes in terms of the type of crime, its meticulous peculiarity, its methods and the extent of the punishment imposed according to that law. The punishment for the perpetrators of these crimes can be as high as 10 years in jail or a fine of SR5 million ($1.3 million).”
Lawyer Dimah Al-Sharif called for action to make social media safer for everyone, and to raise awareness of other people’s rights and the consequences of misuse.
“I believe that establishing official and verified accounts controlled by the Ministry of Interior would help to make reports more credible and trustworthy, and reduce false reports. Moreover, awareness is needed among teenagers and minors to make it easier for them to differentiate between their freedoms and other people’s privacy.”
The battle against cybercrime in the Kingdom is likely to escalate as technology becomes more sophisticated, and there are already heavy penalties for crimes such hacking, identity theft, hate speech and pornography.
“We are facing increased hate speech and discrimination and measures have been taken to curb it,” said Muna Abu Sulaiman, a social media personality and expert. “However, enforcement lags behind and involves too many different ministries and authorities. My suggestion is that we develop a law enforcement unit that deals only with cybercrimes relating to hate speech.
“When crimes go beyond social media into the real world, and social media is used only to document them, law enforcement is fast to respond. We have seen several cases where within hours crimes were solved and criminals apprehended.”