Sri Lankan envoy to Saudi Arabia vows to stand firm against terrorism

Catholic nuns and others light candles during a prayer meeting in Kolkata for victims of Sunday's bombings in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 24 April 2019

Sri Lankan envoy to Saudi Arabia vows to stand firm against terrorism

  • Sri Lankan community has never supported radical ideologies of any extremist group: Ambassador Thassim

RIYADH: Sri Lankans will continue to unite against terrorism, the country’s envoy to Saudi Arabia vowed during a national day of mourning for the victims of Sunday’s deadly bomb blasts. Speaking to Arab News as Sri Lanka held its first mass funeral following the Easter attacks on churches and hotels, ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Azmi Thassim, said his country would stand firm against hate and that communities would unite and rebuild.
“I am confident that we will be able to congregate the communities. I am confident that as Sri Lankans, we will put our country and human values first and we will be together to work through it and we will become a more powerful country,” the envoy said.
As the death toll from the bombings continued to rise, a state of emergency was declared in a bid to prevent further attacks.
Thassim said that the Sri Lankan community has never supported the radical ideologies of any extremist group, and he commended Muslims, Christians and Buddhists in the country for their unity. Sri Lanka will this year commemorate 10 years of peace since the end of its civil war which spanned almost three decades.
“Hate speech in our country has been there for some time, from different communities. Our government is very strict and people that incited hate were taken into custody. Our government will continue to take serious action regarding hate speech,” he said.
The ambassador expressed his appreciation for all the messages of condolences that have come from citizens, expats and official representatives of Saudi Arabia.
“Our country has received messages from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the minister of foreign affairs, the secretary-general of the OIC, the secretary-general of the Muslim League and the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in condolences in support to our country, to our people and the families of the victims,” Thassim added.
There are approximately 175,000 Sri Lankan nationals living and working in Saudi Arabia. Thassim said the embassy was working closely with Sri Lankan authorities to ensure support for any national in Saudi Arabia who has been affected by the attacks.
“We’ve received calls from up to two dozen Sri Lankans who claimed their loved ones were hurt or killed. Our embassy has informed our authorities to send us confirmed information about such requests so that the embassy can responsibly inform the sponsors and our nationals.”

TheFace: Aghareed Abduljawad, supply chain director at Globe Group

Updated 21 min 52 sec ago

TheFace: Aghareed Abduljawad, supply chain director at Globe Group

  • Aghareed Abduljawad is also the finance director at Abduljawad Holding Co.

It is a great honor for me to be featured in this space, not only to be representing the young women of society but also to be able to share my personal background story.

I am privileged to have been brought up in a home where both my parents did not discriminate between genders but rather promoted equality and equal opportunity and education among me and my siblings.

This shaped me into becoming the eager, persistent, determined, and some would even say competitive, person that I am.

My father has always been a role model for me in business. A well-rounded global engineer by education, a successful businessman by virtue, but more importantly he is my father.

He taught me always to remain strong, fearless, and brave but gave me all the opportunities to be successful by earning it rather than receiving it. This somehow constitutes the core of our business values at Globe Group.

Similar to every family business, boardroom discussions always somehow find themselves at the center of the dinner table, but this is where we can count on my wonderful mother to intervene.

As a graduate in English literature, she brings the arts and cultural side to our family which is always a nice break when we’re constantly thinking of how to grow a successful third-generation business. She is the motivation behind the enhancement of my language skills (truly capturing Arabic, French and English languages) and the hobbies we enjoy (such as playing the piano).

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University in 2014 and currently hold the position of supply chain director at Globe Group, as well as finance director at Abduljawad Holding Co.

Abduljawad Holding is the investment arm of our business conglomerate, Globe Group. Globe is one of the most established logistics and transportation companies in the region and was founded by my late grandfather Fareed Abduljawad in 1976.

My journey at Globe started very early in my teens, when I enjoyed spending time with my father at the office and learning the trade. I realized with age that no matter how much corporate governance we tried to follow in the company, our code of ethics was very similar to values we were taught at home.

Nothing is given to you on a plate; you need to work hard and earn every merit. Globe is a company that was here before I was born, and we want to ensure it is around for the next generation, stronger and more successful than ever.

Because of our family nature, we tend also to treat our employees as family and end up being one big family running an operation. This goes back to how I was brought up with my siblings; we are much stronger as a team than as one.

Who do I aspire to be? An established, global and successful businesswoman leading the family name and business for the next generation to come, hopefully one day as the CFO.