Thousands join ‘Beat Diabetes’ walkathon

Updated 24 November 2012

Thousands join ‘Beat Diabetes’ walkathon

More than 2,000 people joined the second annual “Beat Diabetes Walkathon” organized here by the retail conglomerate Al Bandar Trading (BT) in support of a global call for action against diabetes. The walkathon, under the title ‘Efhas Taslam’ led by Prince Bandar bin Saud K. Al-Saud, chairman of Al Bandar Trading, has become an iconic annual event to raise awareness about diabetes in Saudi Arabia drawing participation from all sections of society.
“The walkathon was organized by Al Bandar Trading in association with the Ministry of Health (MoH) with aim to educate as many people as possible about the growing propensity of diabetes,” said Prince Bandar, while speaking on the occasion here yesterday.
According to the MoH, the number of Saudis affected by diabetes exceeds 4.5 million mark and its prevalence is growing every day in this country. The location chosen for the historic walk was beside BT’s Centrepoint and Home Centre outlet at Exit-9 in Riyadh.
Extending his support to the cause, Prince Bandar also joined the participants in the two km walk along with Khalid Al-Sharfa, director of Al-Bandar Trading, actor Yousef Al-Jarrah and Al-Bandar Trading Chief Administrative Officer Abdullah Al Ahmed. Several top executives of the company including Vittal Prabhu, chief operating officer of Al Bandar Trading (Corporate); Ravi Krishnan, chief operating officer of Al Bandar Trading (Central Region); and other Bandar Trading officials and staffs also participated donning their blue T-shirts and caps.
Prince Bandar said: “Diabetes is growing at an alarming rate and currently affects over 366 million people worldwide.” Awareness is one of the key factors in controlling this dreaded condition as half the people who have diabetes don’t know what ailment they have or they are suffering from, he added.
“I urge everyone to regularly monitor their blood glucose levels to ensure early detection and better management of diabetes”, said the prince, while expressing concerns over the progressively growing number of diabetes patients in the country. “As we endeavor toward building a healthy society, we feel that it is the need of the hour to foster a better and seamless understanding of the condition and help the community achieve a healthy, active lifestyle,” he remarked.
"Through our on-going ‘Beat Diabetes Campaign’, Al Bandar Trading as a responsible organization intends to reach as many people as possible to raise awareness about the condition," added Al Sharfa.
He appreciated the efforts of Al Bandar Trading (an enterprise of the Landmark Group), which is one of the Kingdom’s largest retail conglomerate with brands like Centrepoint, Citymax, Home Centre, Emax, ICONIC, New Look, Koton, Shoexpress, Babyshop, Splash, Lifestyle, Shoe Mart and other International Brands under its portfolio. The group has been actively participating in several national events as part of their corporate social responsibilities program.
Last year, the Al Bandar Trading organized a walkathon in Riyadh, with over 2,000 people prticipating. A large number of people also took the opportunity to take a free blood glucose test. The group has also partnered with several organizations, including the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), to spread awareness about diabetes. The group intends to conduct many more such kinds of society-centric activities in the near future in its endeavor to create a better society.

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 44 min 43 sec ago

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”