Saudi National Handicraft Development Program organizes training program to develop capacity of female artisans

The trainees learn the methods of product designing and product pricing with regard to quotations for a handicraft product. (SPA)
Updated 26 December 2017
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Saudi National Handicraft Development Program organizes training program to develop capacity of female artisans

RIYADH: The National Handicraft Development Program “Bari” has organized a training program for female artisans in Riyadh to learn more about designing and pricing their craft products.
Bari, a flagship program of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) with the mandate to promote handicrafts in the Kingdom by supporting local artisans, organized a skill-based training program for developing the capacity of female artisans in Riyadh in partnership with the Turquoise Mountain Foundation (TMF), a non-profit, non-governmental organization run under the patronage of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.
Majed Al-Sheddi, director general of media relations at the SCTH, told Arab News on Monday that the art and craft training mainly focused on the development of Al-Kharazah craft techniques and the trainees got the opportunity to learn some new techniques in this area. The trainees also learned the methods of product designing and product pricing with regard to quotations for a handicraft product.
The training program was executed by the TMF, he said. Notably, the Bari and the TMF had earlier signed an agreement to promote handicrafts in the Kingdom by supporting local artisans through the skill-based training to be provided by trainers from the foundation.
The cooperation agreement aimed at producing more handicrafts to be sold inside and outside the Kingdom, was signed at Al Ula during Prince Charles’ visit to the Kingdom in 2015.
The agreement aims to spur professional and scientific exchange for students, teachers and artisans between the TMF and Bari, as well as promoting mutual cooperation for the development of some of the heritage villages in the Kingdom.
As per the agreement, the two sides can select the targeted crafts for development in the Kingdom, providing required technical and professional support to a selected group of artisans, developing a number of profitable craft products for the retail market as souvenirs for hotels as well as establishing an exhibition to display live models of Islamic art, traditions and crafts.
TMF was founded in 2006 at the initiative of Prince Charles with the aim of preserving and regenerating historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage as well as reviving traditional arts and crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride.


Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

A choking cloud of sand covers the Saudi capital. (AP)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

  • People should take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, says scientist
  • Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo: The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles

JEDDAH: An eminent scientist has advised people to take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, which can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory complications.

Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo, professor at the College of Medicine at King Saud University, Riyadh, said that sandstorms are the main cause of bacterial and viral infections, especially among elderly people.

Meo, referring to a series of sandstorms that hit various regions of the Kingdom in the past six weeks, said that “a large number of people, exposed to sandstorms, have complaints of allergic rhinitis, runny nose, wheeze, cough, chest tightness, acute asthmatic attack, eye irritation, redness of the eyes, headache, sleep disturbance and psychological disturbances.”

These are in addition to the respiratory symptoms more common in children and elderly people, he said.

“The most vulnerable part of the body to sandstorms is the respiratory system,” Meo said. “People who are exposed to them are more vulnerable to the air pollutants, as the dust particles enter the respiratory system and cause various health problems.” 

The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles, he said.

He pointed out that the environmental protection agencies must make use of the print and electronic media to provide information about the exact date and time of sandstorms to minimize unnecessary exposure.

 He advised people to wear masks, which are designed to filter out small particulates, and also airtight goggles to protect the eyes. 

He also suggested that in the desert areas, people might “cultivate the land and adopt a fallow system” as the cultivation and fallow system minimizes the frequency of sandstorms. 

Meo said that the choking dust in sandstorms contains “a large number of bacteria, fungi and viruses.”