RIYADH: Despite significant improvement internationally in the study and treatment of diabetes over the past five years due to the development of new drugs that control blood sugar levels, endocrinologists have revealed that the Kingdom ranks seventh worldwide and the first in the Gulf in terms of diabetes rates. Director of the diabetes program at the National Guard, Dr. Saleh Al-Jasser, said the American Diabetes Association stressed that new medicines must be studied to prove their effectiveness and to confirm their degree of safety, following a review of the results of a scientific study conducted over four years about the side effects of some diabetes treatments. He said that diabetes rates have exceed 23 percent among 60 to 73-year-olds, while Arabs are more susceptible to diabetes due to the existence of particular genes not present in other races. Consultant physician and head of the Diabetes and Endocrine Unit at King Saudi Medical City in Riyadh, Dr. Morad Al-Morad, said that Type II diabetes affects 400 million people around the world, or 9 percent of the total population, and is expected to increase to 600 million people over the next 20 years. “After monitoring the side effects of some drugs on the heart, the US Food and Drug Administration decided to further study any new drugs in this field,” he said, noting that diabetes patients tend to suffer from other diseases such as cholesterol and heart disease. He warned against resorting to the use of herbal medicine because of the increased side effects and suffering in patients, which can be as extreme as kidney failure in some cases.
Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing
The TV images beamed from 320,000km away in space left viewers astounded but happy
The TV coverage influenced thinking and attitudes in the Kingdom just like everywhere else
Updated 20 July 2019
DUBAI: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before the end of the school vacation, and Saudis had their eyes glued to their TV sets as they waited for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Before July 20, 1969, the idea of a human walking on the moon was the stuff of science fiction. However, almost overnight, sci-fi had turned into reality with a live broadcast showing American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s dramatic descent onto the empty lunar landscape.
Between science fiction and science fact, the live coverage of the lunar landing amounted to an unusual fusion of news and entertainment.
The historic images — beamed back to Earth more than 320,000 km away — left Saudi viewers astounded and confused, but mostly elated to be witnessing such an epoch-making event.
The event was covered live on television and radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.
Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old.
“It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”
While most people were aware that going to the moon was risky, many Saudis believed that such a journey was impossible and all but unthinkable.
1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission control room in Houston has been restored to its 1969 condition and regular tours
will be conducted by the Johnson Space Center.
2. NASA ‘Science Live’ will have a special edition on July 23 on board the aircraft carrier that recovered the Apollo 11 capsule.
3. A summer moon festival and family street fair will be held in Wapakoneta, Ohio, from July 17-20.
4. Downtown Houston’s Discovery green will host a free public screening of the ‘Apollo 11’ documentary, with an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.
5. Amateur radio operators will host a series of events on July 20-21.
6. The US Space and Rocket Center is staging a special ‘Rockets on Parade’ exhibition.
The Apollo 11 mission prompted discussions across the Middle East over the reality of what people saw on their TV screens. Some Saudi scholars found it hard to believe their eyes.
“I watched it, and I clearly remember each and every detail of the coverage,” Hayat Al-Bokhari, 68, a retired school principal in Jeddah, said.
“My father, Abdul, was 56 at the time. He said the landing was faked. He couldn’t believe or accept that a human could go to the moon.”
Khaled Almasud, 70, a retired university lecturer, was a student in the US state of Oregon at the time of the mission. “Americans were stunned and over the moon, happy with their national achievement. But many Saudis like me were either in denial or insisting on more proof.”
Since the beginning of the 1960s, King Faisal had been rapidly transforming Saudi Arabia, inviting foreign-trained experts to help build a modern country with world-class infrastructure.
Billie Tanner, now 90, lived in the Kingdom for many years with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Laurie and Scott, aged six and four. The family had just arrived in Saudi Arabia and headed to the Aramco compound in Ras Tanura in the Eastern Province.
“We were going through a culture shock,” she told Arab News. “I wasn’t thinking of the moon landing, but we heard about it on the news from Dhahran.
“My kids tried to see the astronauts on the moon with their binoculars and said they could see them walking around.”
The Apollo 11 spaceflight has become a milestone in the annals of human history and science. Since 1969 space exploration has greatly expanded man’s knowledge of the universe, far beyond Earth’s limits.
The captivating live coverage of the moon landing inspired millions of people around the world, profoundly influencing their thinking and attitudes.