EP beggars hauled up in hundreds

A woman sits and begs outside a supermarket on a main street in the Saudi capital Riyadh, in this June 20, 2016 photo. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2016

EP beggars hauled up in hundreds

RIYADH: At least 2,000 beggars, including women and children, were arrested in the Eastern Province, 80 percent of whom were found to be foreigners, according to Col. Ziad Al-Raqiti, police spokesman.
“The largest percentage of those arrested were women (54 percent), followed by children (29 percent) and men (17 percent),” Al-Raqiti said.
He said the arrests were carried out after field surveys to monitor the time and place of the beggars’ operations, with the participation of representatives from the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
“Aside from pursuing follow-up cases, police also visited road intersections, mosques and markets in various parts of the region to look for the beggars,” he said.
He said that police were also seeking the cooperation of citizens and residents regarding the places where the beggars can be found. He added that aside from apprehending beggars, the police are also involved in other cases in the region, such as the case involving a video that went viral.
“The video involved three young men riding motorcycles with only a helmet and underwear. It was a cause for public scandal,” he said.
He said the police were able to identify the young men within hours of the circulation of the video through public cooperation.
“They were arrested and scheduled to go on trial in a few days. All three were Saudis in their 30s. They were violating the national dress code which is based on Islamic law,” he said.
He added that police were also involved in the case of a Saudi teenager who jumped out of a moving taxi in Dammam to avoid harassment by its Asian driver.
“The girl emerged unhurt after opening the door and jumping out of the moving taxi on a busy road,” he said.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”