TheFace: Shaima Almofadhi, an advocate for awareness of disabilities

AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj
Updated 09 December 2018
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TheFace: Shaima Almofadhi, an advocate for awareness of disabilities

  • She is a passionate advocate for peace, and for awareness of disabilities, and was selected as Saudi Arabia’s speaker at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in June this year

Shaima Almofadhi is a 28-year-old woman who has Down syndrome. Almofadhi and her family — she has one sister and four brothers — spent many years in the US, moving to Washington, DC, in 1997, when she was seven years old.
In Washington, Almofadhi attended school in Fairfax County and, at home, her mother dedicated herself to her daughter’s education and self-development.
After graduating high school in 2009, Almofadhi attended the S. John Davis Career Center, a school focused on vocational and independent living skills for students with disabilities. Through the center, she landed several jobs, among them working in an IT company and as a chef’s assistant in an Italian restaurant.
After she and her family returned to Riyadh in 2012, Almofadhi attended Saut Society’s School for Down Syndrome. It proved a mutually beneficial move, as Almofadhi thrived — often chosen to be a student speaker at events — and eventually ended up landing a job as assistant secretary. Almofadhi said she enjoys spending time with the children at the school and that she gets great joy from helping them.
In her spare time, Almofadhi said she enjoys cooking, baking, exercising and writing.
She is a passionate advocate for peace, and for awareness of disabilities, and was selected as Saudi Arabia’s speaker at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in June this year. Almofadhi hopes to build on this experience to become an ambassador for the Down Syndrome Society one day.
 


Crown Prince: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big

Updated 7 min 12 sec ago
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Crown Prince: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big

RIYADH: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Friday during his visit to China.

Citing a 33 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, the crown prince added that high-level contacts were paying off in areas from commerce to security and defense.
"Saudi Arabia's relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told President Xi Jinping at their meeting in the Great Hall of the People in the heart of the Chinese capital.

Meanwhile, the Chinese president stressed his country's keenness on joint efforts with Saudi Arabia to support strategic relations between the two countries. He added that there has been coordination with Saudi Arabia on international and regional issues in recent years. 

The crown prince earlier Friday presided at a China-Saudi cooperation forum that concluded with agreements on cooperation in fields ranging from petroleum and the chemical industry to investment, renewable energy and counter-terrorism. Saudi Arabia is one of China's top crude oil suppliers and an important market for its exports.

Saudi Arabia and China also signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum. 35 agreements had been signed at the forum, held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA. Four licenses for Chinese companies were awarded at the forum.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also pledged Saudi Arabia's backing for China's gargantuan "belt and road" infrastructure project, saying he was willing to link it with the kingdom's Vision 2030 plans— a blueprint put forth by the crown prince to wean the kingdom off its reliance on oil, particularly as sustainable sources of energy become cheaper and more popular.
The Crown Prince's visit follows trips to India and Pakistan, which send millions of laborers to Saudi Arabia and are seeking closer economic ties.