‘Roads of Arabia’ expo opens in Tokyo

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The Tokyo museum is the third Asian stop of the Roads of Arabia Exhibition and the 13th stop at the international level. (SPA)
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Roads of Arabia is a 466-piece archaeological exhibition that showcases the rich civilization, history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula.
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Roads of Arabia is a 466-piece archaeological exhibition that showcases the rich civilization, history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula.
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Roads of Arabia is a 466-piece archaeological exhibition that showcases the rich civilization, history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula.
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Roads of Arabia is a 466-piece archaeological exhibition that showcases the rich civilization, history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula.
Updated 01 February 2018
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‘Roads of Arabia’ expo opens in Tokyo

RIYADH: The Roads of Arabia exhibition was inaugurated at Tokyo National Museum on Monday by Saudi Ambassador to Japan Ahmed bin Younes Al-Barrak.
Roads of Arabia is a 466-piece archaeological exhibition that showcases the rich civilization, history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula in general and of Saudi Arabia in particular. The artifacts range from prehistoric and pre-Islamic periods to the reign of King Abdulaziz, and some are on display for the first time.
“The prestigious exhibition was opened on behalf of the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), Prince Sultan bin Salman, by the Saudi ambassador to Japan,” Majed Al-Sheddi, director general of media relations at SCTH told Arab News on Tuesday.
“Prince Sultan has sponsored the opening ceremony of this 13th edition of the exhibition on foreign soil, and it has been inaugurated in cooperation with the museum administration and the Saudi Embassy in Tokyo,” he added.
Saudi Aramco has contributed to the cost of the exhibition, which will enable visitors to enter free of charge, Al-Sheddi added. Roads of Arabia is a joint initiative of Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and the SCTH.
Tokyo is the third Asian stop for the exhibition. Since its launch on July 13, 2010 at the Louvre in Paris, the exhibition was hosted by 10 museums in Europe and the US, before moving on to its Asia tour, first in Beijing in 2016 and then in Seoul in mid-2017, from where it moved to the National Museum in Riyadh as part of the first Saudi Archaeology Forum in November last year.
Al-Sheddi claimed the expo has received considerable attention in Japan, where it is the largest exhibition of its kind to introduce the antiquities of Saudi Arabia and the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula.
After Japan, Roads of Arabia will be staged in Istanbul before moving on to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the latter part of the year.


Interior Ministry is a pioneer in smart services: Saudi minister

More than 350 experts attended the cybersecutiry meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 22 November 2018
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Interior Ministry is a pioneer in smart services: Saudi minister

  • The ministry “is part of the country’s work system of cybersecurity”

Millions of local internet users are making the most of the Ministry of Interior’s smart service portal every day. Its digital transformation program experience will be a global example to follow.

This was stressed by Assistant Minister of Interior for Technology Affairs Prince Dr. Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Mishari Al-Saud, the chief guest at a cybersecurity meeting organized by the Jeddah branch of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS International) at the Ritz-Carlton on Tuesday, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Higher Commission for Industrial Security.

The ministry “is part of the country’s work system of cybersecurity, which has recently become an independent government entity. It is responsible for planning and supervising cybersecurity. Therefore, we fully cooperate with it. Thus, the ministry is keen to support all national platforms, particularly the national cybersecurity authority,” the minister said in the meeting, in which specialists from the National Cyber Security Center and the Communications and Information Technology Commission participated.

In a 30-minute speech, the prince addressed an audience of more than 350, stressing that the Ministry of Interior has been digitized from the start.

“The National Information Center (NIC) was established 40 years ago as the first information center in the Middle East. Digitization in the Ministry of Interior started at that time. The founding of the NIC synchronized with the establishment of King Saud University’s College of Computer and Information Sciences, as the first college of its kind in the region, as far as I know,” he said. The college was one of the few institutions in the world at that time, he said. The ministry and King Saud University collaborated to establish the College of Computer and Information Sciences.

Prince Bandar pointed out that data have become “a commodity, an industry, wealth. All forms of data, in fact, have become an integrated industry and a national treasure on all levels.” Data and information, if used properly, can make a big leap in our life. If neglected, he said, they will be a burden on societies.

He noted that the portal of the Saudi Ministry of Interior is a pioneer in the region in smart services and solutions, pointing out that the ministry’s platforms and initiatives are used by millions of users every day. “It has made outstanding achievements at all levels, including passports, traffic and other services,” he said. The prince stressed in his lecture that the Interior Ministry is a leader in adopting technology in nearly all the services it provides.

“The ministry started issuing entry/exit visas electronically in 2009. It also introduced the fingerprint system and the smart national ID cards in the same year. A year later, it introduced the Absher platform,” he said.

“Absher will soon launch a new service called ‘Absher Government’ which will provide governmental entities with the services they need. We will also add more services and technologies to the Absher platform to meet people’s needs and ease their lives,” the assistant minister said. They were thinking of making Absher a giant platform like Google, he said.

The use of electronic services and smart solutions is the backbone for future government, he said. “Any economic, developmental and social success will be through depending mainly on these elements. We, in Saudi Arabia, have made great advances in this regard, in a way that complies with the country’s Vision 2030. Our achievements in this field harmonize with the rapid increase in deploying technology and knowledge.” 

The leadership has a clear vision and ambitious goals that will put Saudi Arabia among the developed countries in the world.

Replying to an Arab News question about how we can successfully manage the unstoppable flow of applications that may damage our cultural identity or do harm to our social fabric, the assistant minister said clear legislation can help control information and preserve the right of information owners, and this what will soon happen after the national privacy system is issued.

The minister said the total population of Saudi Arabia exceeded 33.2 million. “More than 30.2 million use the internet and 25 million are active internet users, and 18 million of Saudis are active mobile users.”