Schools in Makkah region closed Tuesday due to inclement weather

This photo taken in August shows heavy rain along a street in Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 20 November 2017
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Schools in Makkah region closed Tuesday due to inclement weather

JEDDAH: Schools and universities in Makkah region will be suspended on Tuesday because of expected severe weather condition, the General Directorate of Education in Makkah said Monday.
The decision to suspend classes in all school levels is for the safety of students, the directorate announced on Twitter.

A bulletin issued by the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection on Monday warned of inclement weather in various parts of the Kingdom, with sandstorms blowing all over Qassim and the western part of Riyadh region.
Education officials in Taif and Jeddah issued separate announcements suspending schools in all levels, also citing the weather authority's bulletin, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). It said rain and thunderstorms are expected in Madinah and Makkah regions, including the coastal areas as well as over the mountains of Jazan, Asir and Baha regions.
Heavy to moderate rain associated with dust and sand storms also prevailed over Tabuk, the Northern Border, Al Jouf and Hail regions, the weather agency said.
In view of the expected rains, the Directorate of Civil Defense urged everyone to move away from places that are usually flooded and to avoid going near riverbanks.
Rainshowers generally attract residents in the Kingdom to go outdoors to enjoy, but the flood disaster of late 2009 had been traumatic to many particularly in Jeddah, where dozens of people perished, including some who were trapped inside cars that were swept away by floods.


Saudi scholarships: An investment in the nation's future

Updated 6 min 39 sec ago
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Saudi scholarships: An investment in the nation's future

  • Kingdom provides financial assistance and fully paid tuition to all who qualify for scholarship
  • Many of the current recipients of scholarships are third-generation beneficiaries of the policy

JEDDAH: In an age when it is regarded as both essential and expensive, Saudi Arabia’s scholarship program provides a world-class education, ensuring financial assistance and paid tuition to all those who qualify. 

Beneficiaries of the program study abroad, returning with degrees and skills needed for the Kingdom’s development into a modern society.

In 1928, King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud ordered the first batch of students to be sent on scholarships to Egypt. A total of 14 went to complete their education in medicine, agriculture, engineering and law.

It was a crucial time for the young Kingdom, and the students contributed towards building the formative nation. Many became ministers, councillors, ambassadors and engineers in top positions, helping establish ministries and forming Saudi government entities.

The early Kingdom understood the importance of education as a vehicle for national development. Today, Saudi Arabia is among the leading countries measured by annual expenditure on education, with an impressive SR193 billion ($51.4 billion) allocated for Vision 2030 initiatives, as well as projects across the Kingdom, in 2019.

Success stories abound: Abdullah Tariki, the first Saudi oil minister appointed by King Saud and a co-founder of OPEC, graduated from Cairo University and later obtained his master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas.

The first Saudi woman to obtain a government scholarship was Dr. Thoraya Obaid in 1963, who served as executive director of the United Nations Population Fund and undersecretary-general of the UN from 2000-2010. Success stories like these paved the way for other Saudi women to pursue higher education in the US, UK, Egypt and Lebanon and become prominent names in their fields, both within the Kingdom and abroad.

Many of the latest recipients of Saudi scholarships are third-generation beneficiaries, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.

With the launch of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program in 2005, droves of Saudi students began to explore new avenues of education beyond just the West and Middle East. As of 2018, more than 90,000 Saudi students study abroad. Of these, 850 are at the world’s top 10 universities, and 1,600 are medical residents and fellows.