New courses in Jeddah aim to counter extremism

In 2017, King Salman and US President Donald Trump inaugurated the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, which aims to promote moderation and counter the spread of extremism. (SPA)
Updated 30 August 2018
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New courses in Jeddah aim to counter extremism

  • The two-week courses, to begin on Sunday, will focus mainly on ways to improve intellectual security, promote moderation and fight the money laundering that helps to finance the spread of extremism

JEDDAH: Hundreds of journalists, educationalists, bankers, entrepreneurs and other professionals from 57 Islamic countries are expected to benefit from new training courses on intellectual security that aim to prevent the spread of extremist ideology.

The two-week courses, to begin on Sunday, will focus mainly on ways to improve intellectual security, promote moderation and fight the money laundering that helps to finance the spread of extremism. 

They will be held throughout the year at the Jeddah headquarters of the Union of News Agencies (UNA) of the member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in partnership with Distance Learning and Training Company Group (DLT), a specialist international training company. It is the first project of its kind between UNA and a private company.

DLT CEO Zuhair Azhar said intellectual security is an important issue that is key to quality of life and stability. His company, he added, has developed training courses in which experts from inside and outside the Kingdom will educate people on the issue, along with related concepts such as moderation and money-laundering crimes.

“We have set up a work plan for the UNA training center, taking into consideration its role in fighting intellectual terrorism and its financing sources, as well as its supporters,” Azhar said, adding that Muslim nations in particular need to protect their culture and identity against cultural invasions.

“Thus, we have worked on preparing courses to protect our identity,” he said. “We have also selected our audience on the basis of their effectiveness to help us spread moderate, peaceful ideologies.”

Azhar said the courses would focus on practical ways to help protect individuals and families from intellectual deviation.

“This course will also shed light on the role of families, schools, and media to keep Muslim societies safe from aberrant thoughts,” he added. “The courses will also provide practical measures that can be taken to achieve such a goal.”

The Kingdom has, he said, been successful in promoting moderation, fighting extremism and battling against money laundering. “Saudi Arabia has become a global model to follow in combating deviant ideologies and preventing all sorts of illegal money activities,” he added.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”