Saudi health minister visits medical projects in Qassim

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah visited several health care institutions and development projects in Qassim on Thursday. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah visited several health care institutions and development projects in Qassim on Thursday. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah visited several health care institutions and development projects in Qassim on Thursday. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah visited several health care institutions and development projects in Qassim on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 12 July 2018

Saudi health minister visits medical projects in Qassim

  • Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah visited several health care institutions and development projects in Qassim on Thursday.
  • He stressed that his ministry is keen to learn about and address the challenges facing health care and medical services in the province.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah visited several health care institutions and development projects in Qassim on Thursday.
He stressed that his ministry is keen to learn about and address the challenges facing health care and medical services in the province and commended the health affairs team for their efforts to improve health and medical services there.
The minister visited the Prince Faisal bin Bandar Cancer Center project, accompanied by Qassim’s director-general of health affairs Mutlaq Al-Khamaly, and witnessed a presentation on the components of the project’s third stage, which cost more than SR 49 million and includes construction, architectural, mechanical, and electrical works.
Al-Rabiah also visited King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Buraydah, where he went over the details of the outpatient environment project and plans to expand and advance the external pharmacy, in addition to inspecting the soon-to-be-launched catheterization and interventional radiology unit, which employs cutting-edge medical diagnosis technology to perform diagnostic and medical procedures without anesthesia. It is widely regarded as a huge step forward for medical services.
The health minister went on to visit the SR 10-million lab automation project — which serves the hormons, chemistry, and blood disease departments — and caught up on the expansion of the recently-launched department of gastroenterology and endoscopy; inaugurated the new office of the health affairs department; inspected the new emergency “ambulance bus,” which is equipped with five beds, and from which medical staff can support emergency services on site; inspected the mobile blood bank; and launched the Qassim Medical Commission’s electronic project, “Inayati,” which has been designed to serve patients wherever they are without them needing to visit the commission’s office.


Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

Updated 18 August 2019

Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

  • The Arabic word “jamarat" was inaccurately translated to “anthrax",  a dangerous infectious disease
  • Citing possible repercussions of the mistranslation, scholars want a probe to pinpoint responsibility

RIYADH: The Hajj and Umrah Ministry is investigating the inaccurate translation of the word “jamarat” into “anthrax,” which led to Sheikh Yusuf Estes making a video warning pilgrims of the mistake and its possible repercussions.

The translation concerned a bag that was a gift to pilgrims, containing small pebbles to use for the “stoning of the devil” upon their return from Muzdalifah. The bag had the correct original Arabic description, which roughly translates as “jamarat pebble bag,” whereas the English version of “jamarat” was translated into “anthrax,” a dangerous infectious disease.

According to SPA, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah was notified and opened an investigation with the contractor and translator on August 10, before handing them to authorities to take the necessary disciplinary action.

“Anthrax, where did they get that? They get it from Google, it’s not Google’s fault. Google allows people to tell the meaning of the different languages of words,” Sheikh Yusuf said in the video.

Google Translate, the free multilingual machine translator, relies on comparing large quantities of content between pairs of languages to establish patterns and, in most cases, determine the probability that certain words in one language will correspond with a set of words in another. 

Putting Google Translate to the test, Arab News used the platform to translate a name of a type of fish known in the region as “sha’oor” from Arabic to English. The scientific term for the fish is Lethrinus nebulosus, a type of emperor fish most commonly known as the green snapper or sand snapper.  

Google Translate’s translation was “thickness of feeling.”

Though it yields imperfect results, the service can be used at a pinch, though real human translators rather than artificial intelligence are far more likely to lead to more accurate translations.  

Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Gisele Riachy, director of the Center for Languages and Translation at the Lebanese University in Beirut, explained how the mistranslation of “jamarat” could have happened.

“We have two possibilities, it was either translated by Google Translate or the translator was provided with a single sentence and therefore didn’t understand the meaning of “jamarat,” she said.

“The translator may have not taken into consideration the general context of the word, which has certain religious connotations, therefore it should have been borrowed, translated by the “Stoning of the Devil” or even left as it is.”

Dr. Riachy said that the word anthrax cannot be translated without an accompanying adjective for a better explanation of the term.

“What surprised me is that when translating the word “jamarat” from Arabic to English, the word should have been accompanied with the adjective “khabitha,” or malignant in Arabic, for it to be translated to “anthrax” in English. That is why I am confused and I do not think Google Translate would have translated it into “anthrax” if the Arabic version didn’t include the word “khabitha.”

Sheikh Yusuf Estes’ video was intended for those who would like to take the small bags home as a souvenir or gift, sending a message that the mistranslation could cause the traveler trouble with customs in their own countries.