Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

The viral photoshopped photo of King Faisal, Star Wars character Yoda signing UN charter in 1945. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 26 September 2017
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Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

JEDDAH: Saud Arabia’s education minister has sacked an undersecretary in the ministry after the discovery of a photo in school text books showing the late King Faisal at the United Nations with the “Star Wars” character “Yoda” superimposed next to him.
Minister of Education Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa announced the termination on Tuesday of Mohammed bin Attia Al-Harthi, undersecretary for educational curricula and programs, along with the team of supervisors that reviewed and approved textbooks in the government agency.
Despite the teams of staff tasked with checking educational material, the spoof photo went unnoticed. It was only spotted in the text books by social studies students during a lesson on the United Nations,
The historic photo showing the late King Faisal signing the UN charter in 1945 has become iconic, so the addition of the little green “Jedi master” should have been easily spotted before the book went to print.
Al-Essa has assigned the printing and reviewing of school books to the Tatweer Company for Educational Services. A committee has also been formed headed by Deputy Minister of Education Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Asimi.
Other members of the committee will include the undersecretary of planning and information, the secretary-general of education departments, the CEO of Tatweer, and general aupervisor of human resources.
The committee will be in charge of the restructuring of the Agency for Educational Curriculum and Programs.
Meanwhile Rashid bin Ghayyadh Al-Ghayyad has been appointed as undersecretary of educational curricula and programs.
There has been much controversy over mistakes in Saudi textbooks. The photo with the former king and “Yoda” – one of the most prominent heroes of the Star Wars series – went viral on Twitter, sparking a wave of sarcastic comments, as well as anger.


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.