Manila asked to spare OFWs from extrajudicial killings

Philippine police inspect the bodies of two unidentified men after being killed in a police drug "buy-bust" operation before dawn on Sept. 23, 2016 in Pasig city, east of Manila. More than 3,000 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed since July in the Philippines’ drug war. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Updated 25 September 2016

Manila asked to spare OFWs from extrajudicial killings

RIYADH: Filipinos in the Kingdom have called on the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to spare Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from extrajudicial killing in connection with its drug campaign.
They were reacting to a report aired by TV Patrol on ABS-CBN on Sept. 23, regarding the killing of 27-year-old Mark Culata, an OFW who was working in the Kingdom and was just taking his vacation.
Culata was arrested by operatives of government at a checkpoint in Cavite Province, south of Manila, but was found dead later on.
“Being an OFW, Culata could not be ‘a pusher.’ He had just come from the Kingdom which is very strict when it comes to illegal drugs,” said Arnold G. Pineda, a Filipino community worker in Buraidah.
He said: “Culata’s death was a total disregard of OFWs’ contributions to our country, particularly its economy.”
Eduardo R. Rodriguez, spare parts manager of Arab Equipment Est. in Dammam, said that government operatives in Philippines should exercise restraint in identifying drug suspects.
“They should have conducted a thorough investigation before arresting Culata,” he said.
What’s worse, he added, Culata was found lifeless after his arrest.
In Riyadh, John Leonard Monterona, a human rights advocate, also called on the Philippine government to spare vacationing OFWs from what it called a “senseless and inhuman extrajudicial killing in the name of the government’s war on illegal drugs.”
“We were shocked and alarmed upon hearing the report about the alleged torture and killing of Culata,” he said.

Misk forum connects global youth

High-tech passes allow participants to connect and swap contact details at the touch of a button.
Updated 16 November 2018

Misk forum connects global youth

  • It was the old-fashioned, face-to-face connections that many delegates said they valued the most
  • More than 3,500 delegates received insights from more than 50 speakers from around the world

Young leaders, entrepreneurs, students and inventors mingled in innovative ways at the Misk Global Forum, with name tags that sent delegates’ connections to an app at the press of a flashing button. 

But at the end of the day it was the old-fashioned, face-to-face connections that many delegates said they valued the most.

“I’m seeing people from all over the world gathered here in Riyadh, which has become the center of opportunities,” said Jomana Khoj, a 26-year-old animator from Makkah, before the forum wrapped up on Thursday. 

“Thanks, Misk, for helping us, the youth, gather here and connect with other youth from around the world.”

The forum included “Skills Garages,” workshop spaces with whiteboard tables that could be written on during group brainstorms, with sessions on “The Art of Persuasion” and “Landing Your Dream Tech Job.”

Top left: Paintings displayed in a 360-degree fashion. Bottom left: Participants had a chance to learn about every aspect of the Misk Foundation’s work. Right: Young people exploring their skills, potential and passions during workshops.

The workshop spaces served as a hub for visitors from North America, Africa, Asia and Europe, with many attendees commending the amount of innovation the forum provided. 

“I feel this year’s content is well chosen,” said Faisal Al-Sudairy, a 24-year-old participant. “We really need to prepare ourselves for the future, especially in this fast-changing era, and to know more about what skills we should acquire.”

The workshops catered to developing youths’ skills for the future economy. More than 3,500 delegates received insights from more than 50 speakers from around the world. 

It was the third annual forum organized by the Misk Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 2011 by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  

In the main hall, called the “Skills Factory,” Thursday’s opening session included a speech by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al-Falasi, the UAE’s minister of state for higher education and advanced skills.

“Misk Majlis,” another designated area, provided a relaxed and informal setting that focused on helping delegates build their personal brands. Traditional floor cushions and couches represented traditional Arab social gatherings. 

In the majlis, Misk Innovation held a talk to publicize its new brand and partnership with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups. 

The accelerator program for tech startups in the Middle East and North Africa will last 16 weeks starting from Jan. 27, 2019. Applications close on Dec. 15.

The Misk Art area introduced visitors to works by many renowned Saudi artists, such as Taha Sabban and Safia bin Zager. 

The vibrant hall displayed a large image of a sophisticated woman from Hijaz wearing the traditional Hijazi headdress and sitting on a beautiful ornamental wooden chair well known in the Saudi region. The image provided a transcendence between the past and present.

The Misk Art Institute had a unique section at the forum that was divided into two rooms. One was to showcase paintings and drawings of four pioneering Saudi artists. 

The other room had huge LED screens that gave people a 360-degree experience. The screens displayed paintings in an interactive way and synchronized with tailored music.

The halls were lined with inspirational quotes and the faces of well-known figures. It should come as no surprise that the most popular one was of Misk’s founder, with delegates taking selfies alongside the crown prince’s smiling face.