Family, friends mourn young Saudi student killed in Florida apartment

Yasser Abualfaraj, second from left, with his classmates in Miami, Florida. (Facebook)
Updated 11 October 2018

Family, friends mourn young Saudi student killed in Florida apartment

  • The body of Yasser Abualfaraj, 23, was discovered by his roommate on Sunday in a building opposite the University of Miami
  • Police announced a reward of $3,000 for anyone who can provide information that helps in the investigation

LONDON/JEDDAH: Family and friends of a young Saudi student were in mourning on Wednesday after he was found murdered in his apartment in Miami, Florida. 

The body of Yasser Abualfaraj, 23, was discovered by his roommate on Sunday in a building opposite the University of Miami, where he was studying architecture.

Police have issued a photofit image of a young man seen in the area in the early hours of Sunday, who is wanted for “questioning only.”

“It’s an open investigation and we are working to find any witnesses who may have heard or seen anything at the time,” Det. Chris Thomas of Miami-Dade Police Department told Arab News.

He said the cause of death was unknown and the motive for the murder was unclear. The “investigation is still in the early stages,” Thomas added. 

The police announced a reward of $3,000 for anyone who can provide information that helps in the investigation.

The young man’s fellow students held a vigil in his memory on Monday, and architecture classes were cancelled as a mark of respect.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington said it was aware of the incident and was following the investigation, while providing all necessary support to the family.

Zainab Alsaihati, president of the Saudi Student Association at the University of Miami, said Abualfaraj was “always friendly to new students and helped them with joining clubs and activities. He got involved in volunteering campaigns like cleaning public spaces after Hurricane Irma.”

Abualfaraj’s friend, Mohammed Al-Shawa, told Arab News: “He was a kind, funny and loyal friend. If you knew him well, you would know how much of a good friend he is… I see him as my brother.”


185 disabled Saudi children ready for new academic year

Updated 22 August 2019

185 disabled Saudi children ready for new academic year

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia’s Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) finished its preparations for the new academic year with the completion of its educational programs aimed at developing children’s mental, cognitive and motor skills.

The DCA’s centers are getting ready to welcome around 185 new students, who will be enrolled in the preparatory and elementary stages. The association is also housing early intervention children in 11 centers throughout the Kingdom.

“The DCA’s centers finished their preparations early in line with the directives of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, chairman of the association’s board of directors,” said Awadh Al-Ghamdi, the DCA’s secretary-general.

He added: “The association is keeping pace with new technologies by developing the educational care system every year. It continuously adopts new methods for children with special needs by providing the centers with what is necessary for the development of linguistic, social and psychological skills.

“The DCA held consultative meetings to approve an implementation mechanism by consulting experts from the educational committee at King Saud University about the importance of establishing an innovative resources room in all of the DCA centers.

Al-Ghamdi said: “The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education after it is judged by specialists from Saudi universities and adopted as part of the association’s initiatives. This comes as a continuation of the DCA’s role in caring for children with special needs for more than 35 years.”

The director of the DCA’s center in Al-Rass governorate presented the project’s original idea, which included reviewing the centers’ educational care programs according to modern educational trends.

A working group, which included a number of specialists, was assigned to the investigation. It presented a final vision to the DCA’s secretariat with a guide to the project’s implementation.