Saudi national missing in Lebanon; embassy in touch with authorities

Lebanese President Michel Aoun meets with Waleed Bukhari, Charge d' Affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, on Friday, November 10, 2017. The Embassy is in touch with Lebanese security authorities to determine the whereabouts of a missing Saudi citizen. (Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Saudi national missing in Lebanon; embassy in touch with authorities

JEDDAH: The Saudi Embassy in Lebanon is in touch with the Lebanese security authorities to determine the whereabouts of a missing Saudi citizen.

In a statement issued on Friday via the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the embassy said it "is in contact with the Lebanese security authorities at the highest levels in order to release unconditionally the kidnapped Saudi citizen as soon as possible."

The Associated Press quoted Lebanese police officials as saying that search operations are ongoing to find him.

The officials say that Syrian citizen, Ivine Hassan, informed police that her Saudi husband, Ali Shamrawi, had been missing since Thursday night, adding that he went missing north of Beirut. The Saudi man lives in Lebanon.

It was not immediately clear if the kidnapping was related to rising tensions between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia because of last week's resignation of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri.

Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk was quoted as saying by local media outlets on Friday that the safety of all foreigners was a priority for authorities, adding that the stability of Lebanon was a "red line."

Some local TV stations said Shamrawi's family had received a call from unknown persons demanding a ransom of $1 million in exchange for Shamrawi's release.


FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Updated 22 August 2018
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FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi has been the president of the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) since his appointment to the post in May 2016.

On Monday GASTAT announced this year’s Hajj statistics, revealing detailed information on the number of pilgrims (which amounted to 2,371,675) performing Hajj this year, their genders, nationalities and whether they arrived through air, land or seaports.

The president conveyed his gratitude to all government and security entities that helped the authority to collect data, and praised the 450 GASTAT researchers who worked to compile the information and deliver it to the public.

He said that the collected data would help facilitate better experiences and easier pilgrimages for future programs, and better services for pilgrims — from social to health, and transportation to security and food.

Altekhaifi received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from King Saud University in 1992, a master’s degree in statistics from Colorado State University in 1996, and his applied statistics and research methodology Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in 2001.

He worked as a manager of a financial program at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh from 1993 to 2005. For two years after that, he was a project director at the EIS department in Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants.

In 2007, Altekhaifi was appointed a manager of the research department at the Capital Market Authority, before becoming assistant deputy minister for development in November 2011. 

In June 2015, he was the director general of the Central Department of Statistics and Information. He served as the acting president of GASTAT in February 2016, before being appointed president on May 2016.