German consul general hails Saudi reforms

German Consul General Holger Ziegeler, center, with other diplomats and guests at the German Unity Day celebrations in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 15 November 2017
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German consul general hails Saudi reforms

JEDDAH: The German consul general on Sunday hailed recent steps toward female empowerment in Saudi Arabia, including lifting the ban on women driving.
Speaking at a German Unity Day celebration, Holger Ziegeler also praised Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “determined” reform efforts.
“It’s a very good time to be here and to be part… of that future movement,” the consul general said.
Ziegeler, who was appointed in 2016, added that he has witnessed ground-breaking changes in the Kingdom.
He described the crown prince’s announcement last month of plans to construct the Neom megacity as “breath-taking.”
Within a day, “thousands of (German) institutions and companies that want to, and can certainly contribute to, this huge project contacted us,” Ziegeler added.
More than 10,000 Muslims from Germany visited Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage season, and the German Consulate gave out 18,000 visas last year, he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was re-elected in September, visited the Kingdom in April, where she met with King Salman and the crown prince. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel visited in July.
Germany’s new foreign minister is expected to visit soon, “probably” Jeddah, said Ziegeler, who talked about Germany’s “love affair with the fledgling art scene” in the city.
He invited eight artists to a week-long contemporary art tour through Germany, and unveiled a large graffiti wall by Jeddah artists Frop & Muso under the title “Willkommen! Marhaba.”
He said: “Many ideas spring from encounters with other cultures. This is true for art as much as in industry and science.”
He added: “It has been a delight to see Frop & Muso climb up and down a huge scaffolding over the last week to complete their amazing mural as the backdrop to our National Day celebration.”
The large-scale graffiti artwork playfully amalgamates Saudi elements such as Red Sea dolphins with significant German icons such as the Brandenburg Gate.


Saudi communications minister receives youngest Saudi female journalist

Updated 19 July 2018
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Saudi communications minister receives youngest Saudi female journalist

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah Al-Sawah stressed the Kingdom's need to discover and support local talent.
He said that the ministry has paid increasing attention to technical talents, which has been represented through the organization of several events, the latest of which was the "Hackathon Digital Machines."
The event was aimed at creating a conducive environment to develop the capabilities of the digital youth and invest in their creative potential to maximize returns.
Al-Sawah noted that the event also aimed at "harnessing their abilities to develop the digital transformation process," calling for intensified and unified efforts in order to invest in Saudi talents for the benefit of the nation.
The minister was speaking during a meeting with Marian Taher Saleh, the youngest Saudi female journalist, alongside with her father.
Al-Sawah praised the role of her family, who have been supporting her from the beginning till she was able to enter the media field, expressing his appreciation for her media achievements.
For his part, Saleh's father expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the minister for his hospitality, appreciation and encouragement for his daughter.