‘Vive la Saudi Arabia!’ — French hail Kingdom’s global humanitarian operations

Some of the projects in Yemen related to food, water, sanitation and hygiene, along with education and medical assistance. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2019
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‘Vive la Saudi Arabia!’ — French hail Kingdom’s global humanitarian operations

  • The French visitors were briefed about the Kingdom’s crucial humanitarian work in war-torn Yemen over the last four years
  • Al-Rabeeah highlighted major KSRelief initiatives such as its rehabilitation program for child soldiers and the MASAM land mine clearance scheme

RIYADH: A high-profile delegation from France has said a big “vive la Saudi Arabia!” to the Kingdom’s vital humanitarian aid work throughout the world.

The visiting group of French parliamentarians, business leaders and scientific researchers expressed their admiration for the multi-billion-dollar relief projects being carried out by the Kingdom in 44 different countries.

The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, met the delegates on Thursday to discuss various relief programs currently taking place.

During the meeting, Al-Rabeeah gave a presentation on KSRelief’s global operations, which total 996 projects worth $3.25 billion carried out in conjunction with 141 UN, international and regional partners.

The French visitors were briefed about the Kingdom’s crucial humanitarian work in war-torn Yemen over the last four years, which has amounted to $11.88 billion.

Al-Rabeeah highlighted major KSRelief initiatives such as its rehabilitation program for child soldiers and the MASAM land mine clearance scheme.

Other important projects in Yemen related to food, water, sanitation and hygiene, along with education and medical assistance, and help with the control of cholera.  He noted that other efforts specifically targeted aid for women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Despite the illegal actions of Houthi militias operating in Yemen — including their destruction and looting of aid stores and shipments, and the withholding of aid from needy Yemenis — Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had still managed to distribute large amounts of supplies throughout the western Asian country.

“These violations will not stop our aid from reaching all parts of Yemen, including areas controlled by the militias,” he said.

Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief offered valuable assistance to Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh.

The official told the French delegation of KSRelief’s support for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and for people suffering in other countries including Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Iraq.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed matters of common interest in the humanitarian and relief field, and ways to increase cooperation to help even more people in need around the globe.


Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

Syrian artist Osama Esid’s painting explores personal identity. (Supplied)
Updated 14 min 58 sec ago
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Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

JEDDAH: The Hafez Gallery has organized the Shara Art Fair at the Saudi Art Council’s headquarters, bringing together five galleries from around Jeddah.
“I’ve been exhibiting with the Hafez Gallery for the past four years, ever since it started,” Osama Esid, from Damascus, told Arab News.
His painting at the art fair, “Zamakan,” is “about refugees sinking as they try to cross vast stretches of water,” he said.
He created the painting “in the dark to show the final resting place of these refugees,” he added. “I’d use brushes, sticks, and sometimes even my fingers.”
Artist Bashair Hawsawi told Arab News that his piece, showing a couple of broom heads attached back to back, “reflects the experiences I went through this year, because I want to clean my thoughts and ideas from negative things.” He added: “When I was young, people would comment on my shyness and weakness, so I started to be aware of this, and that helped me work out who I really wanted to be.”

FASTFACT

• Five galleries from around Jeddah participated in the Shara Art Fair organized by Hafez Gallery.

• Artist Osama Esid, from Damascus, has been exhibiting his works at Hafez Gallery for the past four years.

• Bashair Hawsawi and Khalid Zahid were the other artists who had their works exhibited at the art fair.

Khalid Zahid, known for his Islamic-themed modern art, exhibited balloons shaped like mosques in different colors. “The concept is called ‘Joyful.’ What I wanted to show was how balloons bring joy whether you’re young or old,” he told Arab News.
“As for the shape, I wanted to show how Islam brings joy to people. That’s why they (the balloons) look like mosques.”