Shawarmer marks 20 years with food waste campaign

The campaign aims to educate and motivate their customers, employees and industry partners to make a real impact on reducing food waste.
Updated 25 March 2019
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Shawarmer marks 20 years with food waste campaign

BEIJING: Shawarmer is marking its 20th anniversary with the launch of a campaign designed to help tackle the growing food waste problem in Saudi Arabia.
The “Shawarmer for Social Responsibility Save It!” campaign from the fast growing Saudi-owned and operated restaurant chain is a year-long initiative designed to draw attention to and provide actionable solutions to Saudi Arabia’s food waste issue. The program will engage youth, families, the restaurant industry and stakeholders across the entire “farm to table to landfill” ecosystem to take responsibility for helping tackle a serious issue that has far-reaching impact on Saudi society.
According to a recent survey by the Saudi Grain Organization, it is estimated that 33 percent of all food in the country ends up in the trash can. That is more than 4 million tons annually worth SR12 billion ($3.2 billion).
“People don’t realize the serious impact of our food waste issue. The economic value of what goes into Saudi trash bins every day is staggering,” said Abdullah Zeid Alshabanat, head of the National Program for Food Lost and Waste. “But most importantly, our Islamic values urge against it.”
“As a homegrown Saudi restaurant group, we have both an opportunity and responsibility to help contribute to a real and lasting solution to our nation’s food waste issue,” said Abdulmohsin Al-Rabiah, CEO of Innovative Foods, Shawarmer’s parent company.
“We are launching a series of internal programs and investing heavily in new technology to minimize wasted food across our supply chain and 92 locations. But we also know with our national reach and 20-year history, we have an opportunity to help educate and motivate our customers, employees and industry partners to do something truly unique and special to make a real impact on reducing food waste,” added Iyad Al-Rasheed, Shawarmer director of operations.
The Save It! initiative will kick off with a competition among Saudi university students, which includes an intensive three-day marketing challenge. Aspiring participants can register their ideas for the campaign on Shawarmer’s website.
Shawarmer will work with university partners and marketing industry experts to select the top 15 teams to join the three-day competition where they will work closely with a range of experts in advertising, marketing, social responsibility and environmental issues to develop a final campaign. At the end of the competition, Shawarmer will fund the winning team’s national food waste education and awareness campaign.
“What better way to kick off our Save It! program than to harness the power, energy and creative inspiration of our Saudi youth. What makes this program special is that not only will we invest in a national education campaign targeting a very real social issue, but we are also investing in the future of our young people,” said Faisal Al-Rasheed, director of marketing, Shawarmer.


Robotic-assisted surgery at JHAH a first for Kingdom

Updated 23 June 2019
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Robotic-assisted surgery at JHAH a first for Kingdom

Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH) has become the first hospital in Saudi Arabia to perform a robotic-assisted hysterectomy using fluorescent dye.

“The precision achieved through the use of robotic-assisted surgery has multiple benefits for patients,” said Dr. Turky Al-Rujaib, JHAH gynecologic oncologist, who along with Dr. Fahad Al-Mulhim, gynecologist, performed the procedure for endometrial cancer. “Women whose hysterectomies are robotic-assisted surgeries have less pain and blood loss, shorter hospital stays, require fewer narcotics and recover more quickly.”

JHAH’s robotic surgery program began in December 2016 when Dr. Tareq M. Al-Tartir, JHAH sub-specialist surgeon, and his team collaborated with Dr. Mohamad Allaf, professor of urology, oncology and biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHSoM) and director of minimally invasive urology, and his team. They jointly conducted the first surgeries in the Kingdom using the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system. The program has since expanded and includes gynecological surgeries and bariatric surgery.

“This successful operation could not have been done without the support of the JHAH robotic team,” said Dr. Al-Mulhim. “We are pleased to report the patient is recovering well. This is a tremendous achievement that going forward will improve the outcomes for many of our patients here at JHAH.”

The robot’s “hands” have a high degree of dexterity, allowing surgeons the ability to operate in very tight spaces, for example the pelvis, that would otherwise only be accessible through open surgery with long incisions. Life after surgery is improved with this technique as there is minimal scarring, fewer postoperative complications and often a faster return to normal activities. 

JHAH is the result of a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, a world leader in energy, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic health systems. This health care organization is designed to drive and enhance the well-being of the community in an environment of growth and learning, by providing innovative, integrated and patient-centered care to Saudi Aramco’s employees and health care beneficiaries.