140 Saudi bright young things shortlisted from 13,000 applicants

Saudi students sit for their final high school exams in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. (AFP)
Updated 02 May 2018
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140 Saudi bright young things shortlisted from 13,000 applicants

  • Qimam Fellowship to select around 50 students for mentorship program in May
  • Female students account for 59 percent of around 140 students shortlisted

LONDON: The Qimam Fellowship, a scholarship program for Saudi students backed by corporations including Al Tayyar Travel Group, Careem, McKinsey & Company and Cisco, has completed its inaugural round of shortlisted candidates.

The fellowship program, formally launched in February, interviewed more than 140 candidates, selected from over 13,000 applicants. Interviews were conducted by more than 50 leaders from the public and private sectors, Qimam said in a statement on Wednesday.

Interviewed candidates will be informed of the outcome of the interview process and next steps on May 10, the organisation said. Approximately 50 candidates will be chosen as “Fellows” in the first round.

“The level of candidates in the interview stage was outstanding,” said Qimam’s founder and CEO Annas Abedin.

“Although the Qimam Fellowship is still in its first year, the high number of applicants and the wide range of their impressive accomplishments underscores the outstanding academic and creative potential of youth in Saudi Arabia.”

Shortlisted students were selected from over 40 universities, and are enrolled in disciplines including medicine, engineering, business and management, and media. Female candidates made up 59 percent of those selected for the initial round.

Candidates participated in two in-person interviews in Riyadh, and were quizzed on their academic and non-academic accomplishments, initiatives, and social responsibility activities.

Those conducting the interviews came from organizations including Al Khaleejiah Advertising and Public Relations, Al Tayyar Travel Group, Careem, Cisco, Bab Rizk Jameel, General Electric, Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden, McKinsey & Company, STC, Rocket Internet, Pearson, OQAL, Aberkyn and Smaat.

“We look forward to playing a role in creating new opportunities for Saudi’s next generation of business leaders, especially as we stand at such a transformative moment in the social and economic evolution of the Kingdom,” said Tom Isherwood, a Dubai-based partner at McKinsey & Company.

The Qimam Fellowship was founded with the aim of empowering “the most promising and distinguished university students in the country to achieve their full potential,” providing selected students one-on-one mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders and leadership training by professionals from renowned companies.

“We were delighted to learn about the impressive accomplishments of Qimam applicants, including the filing of patents, the receipt of prestigious national and international awards, the launch of successful companies and initiatives, and others,” said Abdullah Al-Dawood, CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group.

“These achievements demonstrate the impressive innovative spirit of Saudi Arabia’s youth and promise a great future ahead.”


US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

Updated 20 April 2019
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US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

  • The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing
  • Huawei dismissed the allegations

US intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West.
The CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source.
Earlier this year, US intelligence shared its claims with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the report.
Huawei dismissed the allegations in a statement cited by the newspaper.
“Huawei does not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources,” a Huawei representative told The Times.
The company, the CIA and Chinese state security agencies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid concerns in the United States that Huawei’s equipment could be used for espionage. The company has said the concerns are unfounded.
Authorities in the United States are probing Huawei for alleged sanctions violations.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
She denies wrongdoing and her father has previously said the arrest was “politically motivated.”
Amid such charges, top educational institutions in the West have recently severed ties with Huawei to avoid losing federal funding.
Another Chinese technology company, ZTE Corp. , has also been at the center of similar controversies in the United States.
US sanctions forced ZTE to stop most business between April and July last year after Commerce Department officials said it broke a pact and was caught illegally shipping US-origin goods to Iran and North Korea. The sanctions were lifted after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks.