Root of maritime crime ‘must be addressed,’ says Saudi Border Guards chief

Gen. Awad bin Eid Al-Balwi, director general of the Saudi Border Guards, speaks during the workshop at the Mohammed bin Naif Institute for Maritime Science and Security Studies in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 25 April 2019

Root of maritime crime ‘must be addressed,’ says Saudi Border Guards chief

  • Al-Balwi stressed the Kingdom’s support to fight piracy, armed robbery and maritime terrorism

JEDDAH: The head of the Saudi Border Guards has warned that maritime security in the Red Sea and elsewhere can only be achieved if the root of piracy and maritime crime are addressed.

Gen. Awad bin Eid Al-Balwi, director general of the Saudi Border Guards, was speaking at the opening of an international workshop on Tuesday on dealing with piracy and other crimes at the Mohammed bin Naif Institute for Maritime Science and Security Studies in Jeddah.

The three-day workshop will focus on the Jeddah Amendments to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, which were designed to enhance the response of the international community to criminal activity at sea, and were adopted in 2017. 

The Djibouti Code of 2009 was designed to improve regional capacity to respond to piracy off the coasts of Africa and Arabia.

The workshop was organized by the Directorate General of the Border Guards in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), under the guidance of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif.




The workshop was organized in Jeddah by the Directorate General of the Border Guards in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization. (SPA)

Al-Balwi stressed Saudi Arabia’s support for regional and international efforts to fight piracy, armed robbery and maritime terrorism.

He said the threat of piracy to shipping had been contained by a combination of actions by regional states, international organizations, international naval forces and self-protection measures by merchant shipping. 

But he warned that despite the gains made, maritime security threats continue to evolve and require a concerted effort to address them.

Al-Balwi said by adopting the Jeddah Amendments in 2017, the region sought a long-term comprehensive solution. 

He warned that if the workshop’s participants focused only on addressing symptoms such as the criminal acts, the region would not succeed in its goal of a well-developed maritime economy free from violent extremism. 

Chris Trelawny, the representative of the IMO secretary-general, said the workshop will take stock of what is needed to address the full range of maritime crimes referred to in the Jeddah Amendments.


Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

Updated 23 August 2019

Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

  • The museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture

MADINAH: Dar Al-Madinah Museum offers visitors the opportunity to view historical pieces associated with the Prophet’s life. It features artifacts that capture the history, heritage, social life and culture of Madinah.

The museum’s executive director, Hassan Taher, said that it aims to promote the noble values of the Prophet Muhammad, encourage a sense of belonging and capture the history, culture and heritage of Madinah. The exhibits start with the Prophet’s life and end with the Saudi era.

Taher said: “The museum carries out specialized research in Madinah’s architectural heritage. It contains a library of relevant books, research and magazines, all of which are accessible to researchers.”

He said that the museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture.

Taher explained that when preparing the museum’s narrative, it was necessary to reconcile temporal and spatial contexts so they created an added moral and intellectual value for the visitor.

He added: “There are around 2,000 artifacts in the museum’s exhibition halls. These include antiquities, extremely accurate models, handicrafts, manuscripts, documents, correspondence, old publications, postage stamps, photographs and artworks.”

One of the museum’s most valuable exhibits is a large collection of rare pieces associated with important moments in the Prophet’s life and the history of Madinah. 

These include various parts of the Kaaba, rare coins used in Madinah during different eras, ancient pottery, Islamic manuscripts, jewelry and collectibles from the pre-Islamic era.

Taher said that the museum has a professional team of guides who speak several languages, including English, Turkish, Urdu and Malay.