Bahrain ‘rejects’ attacks targeting Saudi’s reputation

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is received by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Manama, Bahrain, Nov. 26, 2018. (File/Bandar Algaloud)
Updated 26 November 2018

Bahrain ‘rejects’ attacks targeting Saudi’s reputation

  • Bahrain king praises ties with Saudi Arabia
  • King Hamad says Saudi Arabia is a 'nation of security, safety, justice and rights'

DUBAI: Bahrain has said it “completely rejects” attempts to tarnish the reputation of Saudi Arabia after scrutiny since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in Manama Sunday night for talks with Bahrain’s King Hamad as part of a regional tour, the state-run Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
“The king reiterated Bahrain’s complete rejection of attempts targeting Saudi Arabia,” said a statement carried by BNA on Monday.
“Saudi Arabia is a nation of security, safety, justice and rights.”
Prince Mohammed visited Abu Dhabi Thursday as he began his first tour abroad since the murder of the Saudi journalist in October.
He was killed and reportedly dismembered in what Saudi Arabia said was a “rogue” operation AFP reported.
Prince Mohammed began his regional tour at the request of his father, King Salman, according to the Saudi Press Agency, which said he would visit “brotherly” Arab countries.
The Egyptian presidency said the prince is due to arrive in Cairo for talks with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Prince Mohammed is expected to attend the G20 summit in Argentina next week.

Middle East's love affair with the moon and space

Updated 28 min 30 sec ago

Middle East's love affair with the moon and space

  • The UAE and Saudi Arabia are inaugurating a new era of Arab space exploration
  • Saudi Prince Sultan entered the history books when he journeyed into space on Discovery in 1985

RIYADH: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before schools were due to start after summer vacation. 

Fifty years ago today, Saudis joined the world in gathering around TV sets to watch a live broadcast of what was once thought impossible: American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took man’s first steps on the moon. 

Armstrong famously said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” True to his words, advancement in space has skyrocketed since the Apollo 11 mission, opening up doors for space scientists to reach for the stars.

It was only 16 years later that Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Arab, Muslim — and royal — astronaut to travel into space. Before traveling to Houston for the Apollo mission anniversary, he sat down with Arab News in an exclusive interview to talk about his NASA mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in June 1985.

Prince Sultan, recently appointed chairman of the Saudi Space Commission, was only 13 when he watched the historic moon landing on TV. The picture quality might have been poor and the sound garbled, but footage of the landing captured his imagination.

“Humans made airplanes and made advances in industry, but for humans to leave their own planet, that’s really something else,” Prince Sultan told Arab News. 

Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old. “It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

It has been more than 30 years since space last had an Arab visitor (Syria’s Muhammed Faris became the second Arab in space on board USSR’s Soyuz spacecraft in 1987). But this September, the first Emirati will become the latest Arab visitor when he joins a team of astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS).

Hazza Al-Mansoori will travel to space on board a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft that is due to take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 25.