Focus on education to guide Arab youth: Prince Khaled

Updated 19 October 2014
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Focus on education to guide Arab youth: Prince Khaled

Education Minister Prince Khaled Al-Faisal stressed the role of the Arab Education Office in achieving educational awakening to protect youth from destructive ideologies in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
“It is the responsibility of the Arab Education Office to take steps for educational awakening in the GCC countries in addition to protecting the young generation from the extraneous destructive ideologies that the enemies of the Arab and Islamic ummah are striving to inject in the youth in the region,” the prince, who will lead the Saudi delegation to the 23rd conference of the GCC education ministers said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency on Saturday.
The prince said the two-day conference to be opened in Kuwait on Tuesday is a fresh opportunity to move toward formulating strategies to tackle the issues facing educational developments in the region. The conference will also highlight the importance of strengthening the ties of belonging, loyalty and patriotism of the Gulf youth in addition to integrating plans and programs that serve the interests of teachers, students and their families.
“Our countries in the region have no other way to achieve progress and catch up with the advanced countries except through education, cooperation and integration and coordination among ourselves and investing in our resources and potentials to secure the Gulf citizen and protect him from extremist ideologies,” the prince said.
He also called on other participants in the conference to closely cooperate to achieve the educational strategy for 2015-20 which aims at achieving the educational aspirations of every GCC citizen and also to be capable of countering the challenges posed by the massive inflow of satellite and electronic media.
The conference will discuss ways to encourage scientific research, adoption of advanced technology at the pre-university level of education, and cooperation with international, Arab and regional organizations for educational progress in the region in addition to finding ways to protect the young generation from destructive extraneous ideologies.


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.