Families coming to terms with tragic loss

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Updated 15 September 2015
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Families coming to terms with tragic loss

JEDDAH: The relatives and friends of those who died during the crane crash at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday are gradually coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones.
The parents and family members of 33-year-old Qasim Akram, a British national from Bolton, said they were devastated by the tragedy, according to reports.
Akram was the father of four little children. He was in Makkah with his parents to perform Haj this year. His father and mother were also in the Grand Mosque, but Akram was reportedly about 45 meters ahead of them. They escaped unhurt.
The three had arrived in Makkah on Friday, a couple of hours before the tragedy struck claiming 111 lives and injuring many others. There were strong winds blowing at the time.
“I knew Akram personally, he was the most pleasant, hard-working, smiling and helpful young man you could ever meet,” Akhtar Zaman, a local councilor for Halliwell in the United Kingdom was quoted as saying by British newspapers. “I saw him on Wednesday and he was really looking forward to it, smiling and asking me for tips because I went for Haj last year.”
Akram came from a big family. “They are devastated to the core. He has four children and the youngest may be one-and-a-half or two years old,” said Zaman.
“I don’t know how to describe this loss. He was a member of the mosque and very active. He was the son of one of the founding members. He helped with the affairs of the mosque and the running of the mosque. His father was the secretary. He was very close to his family,” said Zaman. “It is a huge loss to the family and a big loss for the wider community.”
Mohammad Altaf Arif, of Arif Haj and Umrah Services, the travel operator who flew the family out on Friday, confirmed that it was Akram’s first Haj. Yasmin Qureshi, member of Parliament for Bolton South East, tweeted: “Saddened to hear that a young man from Bolton was among those killed. Thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
The sentiment in the Turkish city of Trabzon was no different. Sixty-one-year-old Erol Karaagacli was among the eight Turkish victims. Hundreds of locals visited Karaagacli’s house to convey their condolences.
Karaagacli’s son, Bahadir, told Turkish newspapers that his father and mother had been chosen from a list of pilgrims after waiting for eight years. Bahadir said his mother was injured and is being treated at a Makkah hospital.
In the south Indian district of Pallakad in Kerala, many locals turned up at the home of Muameena Ismail, who was among the 11 Indian victims. A mother of three children, she was only 30 years old.
She had come to Saudi Arabia with a private tour operator to perform Haj along with Ismail, her businessman husband. At the time of the tragedy, Ismail had gone out to fetch tea for her, which is how he survived.


MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 25 March 2019
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MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.