Saudi Border Guards carry out ‘Grip Exercise’ in line with border security symposium

Border Guards General Director Gen. Awad Al-Balawi
Updated 18 October 2017
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Saudi Border Guards carry out ‘Grip Exercise’ in line with border security symposium

JEDDAH: The General Directorate of the Border Guards on Wednesday will carry out the “Grip Exercise” as part of the First International Symposium on Land and Maritime Borders (Challenges and Solutions) on the Red Sea coast of Jeddah.
Present at the exercise will be Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, general director of the Border Guards; Ali Koman, the secretary-general of the Arab Interior Ministers Council; Kiroja Michi Chini, representative of the secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, as well as experts from Gulf, Arab and other countries.
Al-Balawi said that carrying out these quality drills raises the preparedness of the Border Guards to protect land and maritime facilities, and embodies the size of the support which the General Directorate of the Border Guards receives from the King Salman, Crown Prince Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif.
He stressed that the exercise exemplifies the new maritime operational concept of the Border Guards; strengthens island reconnaissance and clearance operational capacities; identifies ways to address intrusion attempts; performs search and rescue operations; deals with targeting a land crossing border by enemy elements; and deals with terrorist attacks targeting vital maritime facilities on a Saudi island — all in order to secure all land and maritime borders of the Kingdom from any dangers.
Al-Balawi pointed that the drills, which will be executed by 45 officers and 294 soldiers from the special anti-maritime terrorism and land and maritime border protection units of the Border Guards, supported by Saudi Security Aviation, aims to enhance measures against land and maritime terrorism and counter any possible sources of threats, as well as to ensure the preparedness of participating forces.
The drills aim also to train participating commanders on mission planning, using military tactics, and carrying out command and control measures.


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.