Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes aid to displaced Yemenis and Syrian refugees

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The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed aid to civilians in Yemen. (SPA)
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The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed aid to civilians in Yemen. (SPA)
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The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed aid to civilians in Yemen. (SPA)
Updated 10 March 2018
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Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes aid to displaced Yemenis and Syrian refugees

JEDDAH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) on Thursday distributed aid to civilians in Yemen trapped by mines or targeted by missiles fired by Houthi militias.
The aid, which included help with shelter as well as 300 packets of dates, benefited 1,000 people in Ma’rib governorate, and falls within the framework of the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations (YCHO).
The center is helping to fight dengue fever by distributing food baskets to medical staff and needy families in the Mukalla region in Hadhramaut, whereas some 600 affected individuals and families have benefited from food rations.
The aid is the first stage of the campaign to fight dengue fever, which includes the distribution of 49,000 food baskets in the province.
Mobile clinics of KSRelief have also continued the provision of medical services to Syrian refugees in Zaatari camp, Jordan.
The number of Syrian refugees who received medical treatment provided by KSRelief clinics stood at 14,355 in February.
The KSRelief clinics treated cases that included pediatrics, heart disease, dentistry, general surgery, skin and allergies, ENT, general medicine, vaccines, internal diseases, nutrition, urinary tract, eyes, gynecology health care, laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”