Four million Burmese entitled to get iqama

Updated 16 March 2015
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Four million Burmese entitled to get iqama

Four million Burmese residents in the Kingdom are now entitled to obtain an ‘iqama,’ turning many of their dreams of long-term residence and stability in the Kingdom into a reality.
Sheikh of the Burmese community in Makkah, Abu Alshamaa Abdulmajeed, said a large number of Burmese citizens have been living in the Kingdom for more than 70 years, arriving here as a result of injustice and torture against Muslims at the hands of their former governments and various extremist groups.
The sheikh praised the role of the Saudi government in assisting the Burmese community and supporting them as they resettled in the Kingdom. He said that the recent status correction decision issued by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, which calls for the granting of free Iqamas to members of the Burmese community, has now solved a plethora of logistical problems for many members of the community, and will serve to facilitate their freedom of movement and permanent residence.
“Additionally, due to this new government move, students who are studying in schools run by charitable organizations will now have the opportunity to study in public schools from the primary to secondary stages,” he added.
Abdulmajeed said, “The dream of returning to Burma has faded from the hearts of members of the community due to a lack of passports, especially as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi embassies have refused to grant them passports. The fear of prosecution and torture against Muslims also makes this dream impossible at this time.”
So far, 170,000 iqamas have been granted to Burmese.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.