Saudi Arabia ‘feels the pain of’ displaced Syrians, says KSRelief chief

KSRelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah at the launching ceremony of UNESCO schools for Syrian refugees. (AN photo)
Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia ‘feels the pain of’ displaced Syrians, says KSRelief chief

  • Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom deploys all efforts to support countries in need

BEIRUT: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) is supporting displaced Syrians in their country as much as it is supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, its supervisor general told Arab News.

During his visit to Lebanon, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah took part in launching UNESCO schools for Syrian refugees. Syria is the second-biggest recipient of KSRelief aid after Yemen, he said.

KSRelief was founded in 2015 on King Salman’s orders to provide relief to the needy outside Saudi Arabia.

Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom deploys all efforts to support countries in need, especially Arab states, and will continue to do so in Syria as the war there enters its ninth year. He stressed the importance that KSRelief attaches to education projects, saying: “The Kingdom is fully committed to continuing to support the education of Syrian refugees, whether in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey or any other place.”

He added: “We are dedicated to supporting the needy, regardless of their religion or nationality, and our support isn’t limited to countries in conflict but to those suffering from natural disasters too.” Saudi Arabia hosts more than a million Syrian, Yemeni and Rohingya refugees, he said. Addressing Syrian refugees, Al-Rabeeah said: “We feel your pain and the suffering you went through, and this support is the least we can do to help you.”

Accompanied by Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Al-Bukhari, Al-Rabeeah toured a UNESCO school for Syrian refugees, talked to students and wished them a safe return to their country. Lebanon hosts some 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including 483,000 aged between 3 and 18. Wassim Chahine, director of the Kayany Foundation, a Lebanese NGO, said: “Thanks to UNESCO and KSRelief, we now have nine middle schools and more than 4,000 students.”

Noura Jumblatt, founder of the foundation, said only 3 percent of Syrians aged between 12 and 18 have access to secondary education.

“We are seeking, through middle schools, to support the most marginalized groups, thus saving a generation of Syrians and re-establishing their will to survive, to return to their country and rebuild it … as a democratic and free Syria,” she added.    

Lebanese Education Minister Akram Chehayeb said: “The Lebanese government wouldn’t have been able to bear the burden of the education of Syrian refugees without the generous support of donors and international organizations, KSRelief in particular.”

Dr. Hamed Al-Hammami, head of UNESCO’s regional office in Beirut, stressed the need for host states to focus on providing education for refugees so as to avoid a social and economic crisis, and to enable them to rebuild their country and prevent them from being radicalized.

Philippe Lazzarini, UN special coordinator for Lebanon, said: “Education is not a means to change humans only, but the whole society. The Syrian generation that lived the trauma of the war and fled to Lebanon didn’t get an education, and this isn’t acceptable given its repercussions in the long term.”

He stressed the need for Syrian youths “to escape poverty and destitution,” and urged KSRelief “to increase support now that the Syrian crisis has entered its ninth year, until there’s no one left without education.”


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

Updated 24 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

  • The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors

RIYADH: The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has inaugurated a podcast program, titled “Kingdom of Energy”, through which specialized researchers can talk about energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental issues.

The podcast is an opportunity for people interested in the field of energy to listen to the opinions of specialists in the field, including workers or partners of the center, whether local or international cadres.

The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors through a new platform on the center’s website, allowing visitors to listen to podcast episodes.

The program is working on producing “Kingdom of Energy” episodes on a regular basis. The first episode is now available on the website in English, and another series is to be produced in Arabic.

KAPSARC is a non-profit research center that conducts independent research into global energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental studies. The center seeks to find solutions for the most-effective and productive use of energy to promote economic and social growth locally, regionally and internationally.