Realizing Vision 2030
Protection of the Saudi Vision 2030 from any possible impediment or failure was one of the concerns expressed immediately after its announcement.
The answer came in the form of an integrated program of governance, which gave peace of mind to those who expressed those concerns. The Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) is entrusted to protect the Vision 2030 from impediment resting on two committees: The finance to provide funding and media to draw up and boost the image of the Vision.
The strategy committee of the CEDA has been assigned to remove obstacles and problems facing the implementation of strategies, programs and projects. In case of any impediments, an escalation (referral) mechanism will oblige the concerned parties to control the issue. The best part about this mechanism is that all efforts will be made to get matters resolved within two weeks. If the problem is not solved at this level, it will be referred to the Strategy Committee to ensure realization of the Vision 2030. If deem necessary, the Committee may submit the case to the CEDA for further action.
These tools represent some of safeguards that have been announced. All these measures are aimed at enhancing transparency.
— By Khalid Al-Suhail
Ramadan is a holy month, which helps us get closer to our Creator. It is a spiritual training program in which we fast during the days and spend nights focusing on the Holy Qur’an. This month trains us to live our lives according to Islam during the remaining part of the year. One of the impacts of fasting during Ramadan is that we start to feel the sufferings of the poor and we feel a change in our attitudes toward others. The empathy that we feel encourages us to help others.
Fasting is meant to refine the soul, teach patience, maintain health, good morality and control our carnal desires. Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to understand the true strength of Muslims in terms of their solidarity, mercy and equality when they meet in mosques to perform their prayers standing in straight rows. In Ramadan, the human digestive system is given a month-long resting period, which helps the body rid itself of toxins caused by metabolic disorders.
Additionally, Ramadan cures inflammation in joints and enhances the body’s ability to burn excess fat and, further, boosts one’s ability to bear hardships, and reminds a person of those suffering from poverty, famine and a lack of resources.
Furthermore, Ramadan is a splendid month for giving out charity and to initiate humanitarian works. In Ramadan, we should try to keep our hearts free of hatred and suspicion toward others so as to fully benefit from the holy month.
— By Bahira Mahmoud Al-Halabi
Iran has ruled that when somebody feels threatened, he or she is not obliged to perform Haj pilgrimage. According to Iranian authorities, Saudi Arabia has allegedly created “obstacles” in the performance of Haj due to which conditions are not suitable (for Iranians) to perform Haj this year.
An Iranian official said that dignity of Islam and security of Muslims should be protected otherwise Iran would not send its nationals to perform Haj.
“We cannot deal with a system that has a link with America, arrogant (elements) and the Zionists, and we will not accept their proposals,” he claimed.
It seems that the Iranian official is living in a fool’s paradise and he does not know anything happening on the ground. He perhaps deliberately tried to ignore or should I say underestimate the strength of US-European growing ties with Iran. Very soon, documents about Iranian-Zionist relations will be unveiled.
We will not allow Iran to speak about the dignity of Muslims because our dignity lies in our religion and following our Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah. Dignity does not come from occupying islands or spreading lies, creating chaos and seditions among Muslims.
It is not a secret that the Saudi government makes huge arrangements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free Haj. Therefore, what obstacles the Iranians are speaking about? Since when did the regulations and systems to regulate pilgrims’ movement become obstacles?
Every year, Saudi Arabia hosts millions of Muslims to perform Haj. The Kingdom leaves no stone unturned to ensure the convenience and comfort of the pilgrims.
Over years, Iran was behind many events in the Grand Mosque and here we want to ask: Are demonstrations part of Haj rituals? Or does call for sects come within the duties of Haj rituals? We do not want go into more details because Saudi Arabia has more information in this connection.
— By Hafiz Al-Otaibi
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently adopted a global decision on the “culture of respect.”
The proposal originally came from Dr. Ziyad Alderais, the Saudi envoy at UNESCO a year ago who managed to rally support of a considerable number of the UNESCO member countries to this end.
Alderais said the decision introduces a new concept at UNESCO where “respect” became a tool to reflect the cultural diversity of people, as the principle of “tolerance” has no longer been effective. Many intellectuals and academics believe that tolerance comes in an organized context between the strong and weak or between the winner and vanquished contrary to respect, which is based on parity between the various negotiating parties.
We hope the culture of respect will be applied locally and that we find more people like Dr. Ziyad.
There is a great need to spread this culture among our community members in a manner that will lead us to respect all irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. We also need to acknowledge equality between different cultures and abstain from insulting others even if they attack us.
The world failed to accept tolerance and dialogue but, after more than one year, accepted the “culture of respect” that will hopefully find a fair formula on how to deal with natural differences that exist between people.
— By Ibrahim Mohammed Badawood
Saudi women shining
The Saudi society is now reaping fruit of women’s education after enormous reluctance of some social groups who were earlier not fully satisfied with women’s education.
Now, the number of female students at the university level is more than their male counterparts, which means women’s contribution to the nation will be more than ever. In this context, the local media recently published a scientific work of a research team at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) in Riyadh, headed by Prof. Khawla Al-Khuraya, which managed to determine a gene responsible for thyroid cancer in the Kingdom.
Prof. Al-Khuraya, who is chief researcher at KFSHRC and member of the Shoura Council, has carried out many studies in her specialization and published them in well-known journals. She said the discovery of the gene was the result of enormous efforts made by her team, which led to decipher the genetic code and identify the genetic map of thyroid cancer among the Saudi patients.
She added that the discovery would determine the type of treatment to be provided to the patients of thyroid cancer. The Saudi research work has been published by the prestigious American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG), the official journal of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG).
The research work has been appreciated by the jury members of the magazine. One of them said, “It was a scientific landmark.”
We would like to congratulate the Saudi scientist Al-Khuraya, her team members and all Saudi women for this outstanding achievement.
— By Abdulwahid Al-Hamid
The proxy war being waged by Iran in more than one Arab country is no longer a conventional war but, thanks to technology, has been turned into electronic warfare.
The Iranian electronic warfare has surpassed the concept of disruption and destruction of systems to form an open theatre of operations and penetrate Saudi government sites and media.
In so doing, Iran seeks to pick information that can be exploited in the spread of false and fabricated reports about Saudi high-ranking officials.
Hacking of Saudi daily Al-Watan’s website was not the first incident of its kind. Earlier, Iran made an attempt to destroy the electronic systems of Saudi Aramco.
The hackers also managed to leak information from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and made attempts to penetrate the National Center of Information (NCI) and other official and media sites.
Despite the fact that the hacking operations are limited, but they will continue shifting from official sites, media and, even, personal accounts of think-tanks and opinion makers in the community.
The Council of Political and Security Affairs has discussed the issue of technical security following the repeated hacking operations from hostile entities, including Iran. The Council adopted recommendations and directives on the importance of vigilance and caution together with consulting technical expertise for the provision of the highest protection levels.
Additionally, in the presence of an early warning center we can minimize the hacking operations.
— By Ahmed Al-Jimaia