Saudi research center launches app for students with learning difficulties

Updated 06 May 2019
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Saudi research center launches app for students with learning difficulties

  • The program is supported by the aerospace giant Boeing under a memorandum of understanding signed with the center

RIYADH: The King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR) announced the launch of an interactive smartphone application for learning difficulties on Sunday — an updated version of an app used by KSCDR since 2013.
The announcement came during a speech by Ola Sukkar, KSCDR general executive director and director of research and training, at a panel discussion titled “Road map Towards the Hoped-For,” organized with the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education to celebrate the Gulf Day of Learning Disabilities, “We Can,” held annually on May 3.
The panel discussion aimed to unify efforts to improve and develop services for students with learning disabilities and their families.
Representatives of KSCDR presented a brief introduction on their research and training programs, which have been provided through the National Program for Learning Disabilities since its inception in 2012.
The program is supported by the aerospace giant Boeing under a memorandum of understanding signed with the center.
The original version of the app was the first Arabic-language awareness-raising app for learning disabilities, and a vital source of information for families and teachers, providing a database of various information.
The new version offers effective counselling and teaching strategies through evidence-based practices illustrated in videos, in addition to a number of measurement tools and primary indicators to identify learning difficulties in early stages of development.
The panel discussion identified the research and training priorities needed by people with learning disabilities, teachers, and specialists to launch an action plan to achieve maximum benefit.
Attendees stressed the need to coordinate and combine the efforts of relevant bodies to address learning disorders, and highlighted the importance of specialized educational research to improve teaching standards.

 


Saudi entrepreneur aims to revive Al-Balad

Saudi entrepreneur Abdullah Al-Hodaif has been passionate about art all his life. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 23 min 4 sec ago
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Saudi entrepreneur aims to revive Al-Balad

  • Abdullah Al-Hodaif’s passion for art has led him to invest in a wide range of cultural projects

JEDDAH: Thirty-two-year-old Saudi entrepreneur Abdullah Al-Hodaif has been passionate about art all his life. He started collecting paintings in his warehouse when he was only six years old. By the time he was 16, his warehouse was filled with vintage art pieces.
After attaining his master’s degree from abroad, he was inspired by Saudi Vision 2030 upon his return to the Kingdom.
Today, Al-Hodaif has redecorated four buildings in Jeddah’s popular tourist attraction, Al-Balad.
They house Bait Al-Hodaif, a non-profit art organization, and include a small museum that consists of 14 rooms and displays items from the 1910s to the 1980s: artwork, photographs, newspapers and magazines, and nostalgic games such as Carrom, currencies from different Arab countries and more.
“It displays old Hejazi interiors, visitors can see how kitchens used to be, an old Majlis and games, televisions, newspapers. People can even host events there,” Al-Hodaif told Arab News.
Bait Al-Hodaif creates annual campaigns to redecorate the streets of Jeddah with graffiti and different artwork. Last Ramadan, they created eight projects in districts such as Al-Karantina, Al-Petromin and Al-Aziziyah.

BACKGROUND

• Bait Al-Hodaif’s mission is to promote Saudi art culture.

• The buildings of his projects are over 200 years old.

• Values: beauty, peace, kindness, giving, persistence and love.

• Bait Ziryab was named after Iraqi composer Ziryab.

• 90% of Bait Ziryab’s students are female.

“In the poorer areas, we created artwork in different districts and held recycling workshops for children. The aim of the artworks on the wall is to create a cheerful image for the children, for them to see one of their favorite cartoon characters on the wall,” Al-Hodaif told Arab News.
“We worked under seven values: Beauty, peace, kindness, giving, persistence and love. We paint the language of love and peace on the walls.
“This year, we created a project called Arbab Al-Jamal to beautify areas in Al-Balad — as seen on the roof of Al-Hodaif Museum — for all of Ramadan. The goal is to complete 11 artworks by the end of Ramadan.”
Al-Hodaif Museum consists of six floors and is one of the tallest buildings in Al-Balad.
“It offers weekly art workshops and classes for pottery, sketching and other forms of art. It also hosts events on a monthly basis, be they cultural, poetic, cinematic or musical.”
The museum also houses contemporary art. “I want the youth to come to historic Jeddah, not to see something old. Visitors have seen plenty of that. What I want to do is bring them through modern art and something new. The youth don’t want to see an old car or an old radio, they want to see art, but I want to show them art in a historic site.”
Al-Hodaif’s goal is not to bring back the past.

HIGHLIGHtS

• Provide a service that supports the thriving art scene in Saudi Arabia.

• Discover and support local artists and showcase their work locally and internationally.

• Provide the space and equip the artists with the appropriate resources to work.

• Instill values of peace through art.

• Offer educational workshops and courses to develop the skills of young talents.

“We combined the modern with the old. We are very much with the present times,” said Al-Hodaif.
Bait Ziryab is a music school that teaches Arabic music and promotes Arabic music culture. It offers lessons in Arabic instruments such as the oud, qanun and ney, and also offers lessons in Western instruments such as the piano.
“It was named after the most famous musician in Andalusia, Iraqi composer Ziryab, who migrated to Andalusia and was the first to open a music school that teaches the oud in Andalusia, and he taught the daughters of kings,” he told Arab News
Al-Hodaif established Arbab Al-Heraf, a platform that promotes the art and culture of Saudi Arabia, with a branch in Al-Balad and another in Al-Basateen district.