NYPD denies releasing information on slain Saudi sisters seeking asylum in US

Rotana Farea, left, and her younger sister Tala Farea, (NYPD photo)
Updated 02 November 2018
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NYPD denies releasing information on slain Saudi sisters seeking asylum in US

  • Saudi Embassy official tells Arab News alleged asylum claim was never discussed with mother 

JEDDAH: In the latest update on the case of the two Saudi sisters found on the shores of the Hudson River on October 24th last week; the NYPD released two passport photos of Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16 requesting the public for any information on the two Saudis.  

NYPD said the reason they released the images was because they were not getting any leads that would help the investigation based on the sketches released earlier last week. 

Meanwhile, both the NYPD and an official at the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC refuted an Associated Press (AP) claim the mother of the two sisters had said that she received a call from the Saudi Embassy requesting the family to leave the US because the daughters had requested asylum. 

AP had previously reported that “The mother told detectives the day before the bodies were discovered, she received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian Embassy, ordering the family to leave the US because her daughters had applied for political asylum, New York police said Tuesday.”

However, when Arab News contacted the NYPD DCPI to confirm AP’s story, the officer handling the case denied releasing any information regarding an alleged asylum claim. 

Furthermore, a Saudi official at the kingdom’s embassy in Washington DC categorically denied to Arab News that the embassy had made any calls to the mother with regards to her alleged daughters’ political asylum claim. 

‘Any/All communication with the mother had nothing to do with a supposed asylum claim,’ the official added. 

Arab News tried reaching the mother of Tala and Rotana for comment but couldn’t reach her, and understands that she is in no condition to talk to the media. However, a cousin of the two slain sisters told Arab News that it is ‘ highly unlikely that their mother would have made such a statement to the police’. 

Meanwhile, the office of Chief Medical Examiner has not yet determined cause of death. The investigation continues. 


MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 25 March 2019
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MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.