Jeddah flood 2009: ‘Khan’s bravery inspires us all’

Farman Ali Khan. (Supplied)
Updated 18 February 2019
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Jeddah flood 2009: ‘Khan’s bravery inspires us all’

  • “It’s a nice gesture that a Jeddah street was named after him as a reminder to all of us and the next generations of his selflessness and heroism”

JEDDAH: Almost 10 years after the floodwaters that claimed the lives of more than 120 people, the heroic, lifesaving actions of Farman Ali Khan remain fresh in the memories of the people of Jeddah.
Khan saved 14 people from the raging waters before losing his life while attempting to rescue others. He was posthumously awarded the highest Saudi and Pakistani civilian honors in recognition of his selfless act, and a street in Jeddah was named after him.
“What this man displayed is a rare act of heroism,” said Rania Khaled, an account executive in Jeddah. “He didn’t pause to think of where these people came from or their nationality — all he cared about was that everyone survived the terrible flood. As a result, he lost his life and that’s what makes his tale so heroic. He cared for humanity, not just his own well-being and safety.
“He set a very high example of what a human should aspire to be. Your background, race and nationality shouldn’t matter; what matters is that we all stand together and help each other. I think if people lived with a similar mindset to that of Khan, the world would be a better place.”
Razan Sijjeeni, a photography instructor in Jeddah, said: “I think what Khan did was not only heroic but also human. It says a lot about the kind of person he was in that moment when he chose to risk his life to save others. He gives us a lot to reflect on — who we are today and how much we should value human lives that are not necessarily related to us.”
Nora Al-Rifai, who is training to be a life coach, said that she hopes Khan’s widow and three daughters continue to receive the help and support they deserve.
“It’s a nice gesture that a Jeddah street was named after him as a reminder to all of us and the next generations of his selflessness and heroism.”


Strong sports industry key to boosting Saudi economy

Updated 42 sec ago
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Strong sports industry key to boosting Saudi economy

  • GSA chief stresses public-private collaboration
JEDDAH: The chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA), Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, addressed a special session at the second day of the Makkah Region Economic Forum on Monday, to discuss investment opportunities to improve sport across the country.
The forum is currently in its second year and is being held in Makkah, after Jeddah hosted the first edition last year.
At the session, the prince stated that opening up new avenues for investment in the sector, in cooperation with private companies, to create a competitive and strong sporting culture in the Kingdom was essential to increase revenues in the wider entertainment industry, and that the GSA would focus efforts on securing more funding in accordance with the Vision 2030 program.
Meanwhile, the governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar, said foreign investment would be key to the expansion of Makkah, but that local businesses would need to continue to make the region attractive.
He cited statistics suggesting 40 percent of foreign investors only did so with local partners in tow, and highlighted the competitive advantages of the region, as well as its heritage and infrastructure.
The governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Salem Al-Ruwais, highlighted the commission’s success in improving internet provision across Makkah region, offering greater telecom coverage in both the public and private spheres.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Shehri, the governor of the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority, explained how his organization was substantially reducing costs in providing renewable energy. He said his authority was also working with the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy to make non-fossil fuel-based power even more accessible.
The minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin, meanwhile, presented the ministry’s latest set of initiatives for upcoming pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, which, he claimed, would require coordination with up to 40 other government bodies.