Kingdom slams racism against Muslim refugees

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Updated 25 November 2015

Kingdom slams racism against Muslim refugees

NEW YORK: The Kingdom has drawn the world’s attention again to the racist and inhuman rhetoric against Muslim refugees.
It also called on all countries and humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and the media to abandon any racist speeches and contribute to raising awareness and responsibility in order to boost protection for refugees who are fleeing brutal regimes and terrorist groups.
“We are facing an unprecedented humanitarian disaster since the Second World War as the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirms that there are nearly 20 million refugees and 40 million displaced people, numbers that are increasing every day amid a lack of funding and the absence of appropriate mechanisms for protection,” said Saad bin Abdullah Al-Saad, deputy permanent representative of the Saudi delegation to the UN.
The diplomat was addressing a meeting of the UN General Assembly on “Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin, with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers.”
The Syrian crisis is the biggest humanitarian tragedy of the 20th century, he pointed out.
The diplomat also said that Saudi Arabia has received 2.5 million Syrian refugees since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. It did not treat them as refugees or put them in refugee camps in order to preserve their dignity and safety.
It gave them complete freedom of movement, and awarded those who wanted to stay in the Kingdom legal residence like the rest of expatriates with all consequent rights to free health care, work and education.
The number of Syrian students receiving free education totaled more than 100,000, he said.
“Saudi efforts have not been confined to receiving and hosting the Syrian brothers after their humanitarian tragedy in their country, but extended to include support and care for millions of Syrian refugees in their country’s neighbors, Jordan, Lebanon and other states,” he added.
The efforts included providing humanitarian assistance in coordination with the governments of their host countries, as well as with international humanitarian relief organizations, whether through financial or in-kind support, he said.
“The number of forced refugees and displaced people is more than half of Syria’s population as the number of forced refugees reached more than four million people, according to the UNHCR and the number of the displaced exceeded seven and a half million people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,” said the diplomat.
“Syrian refugees fleeing to neighboring countries have been a major challenge in trying to meet the basic needs of the refugees, provision of shelter, education and health care in order to preserve the dignity of refugees and ensure their protection,” said the envoy.
Al-Saad explained that the value of the humanitarian assistance provided by Saudi Arabia for Syrians amounted to about $ 700 million, according to statistics of the third International Donors Conference held in Kuwait on March 31
The humanitarian aid also included providing food, health, residential and educational services, as well as the establishment of Saudi specialist clinics in various refugee camps most important of which is Al-Za’tari refugee camp in Jordan and in the border crossings refugee camps as these specialized clinics were able to provide all kinds of vaccines, preventive treatments, medical care and surgical procedures.
The Kingdom also paid for other campaigns to accommodate a large number of special humanitarian cases of Syrian families in both Lebanon and Syria.
The diplomat stressed that concrete steps must be taken to address this humanitarian disaster — and not just words of sympathy and expressions of concern.
“We must not allow fear from the risk of terrorist attacks and the escalation of racist rhetoric to make us lose the spirit of solidarity with refugees.”


Saudi Ministry of Culture launches platform for scholarship applications

Updated 20 January 2020

Saudi Ministry of Culture launches platform for scholarship applications

  • The scholarship program is open to those who wish to obtain a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree in various cultural and arts fields
  • The courses provided by the program include music, theater, visual arts

RIYADH: The Ministry of Culture has launched a website for applications from students who wish to join the Culture Scholarship Program. From Sunday, applications can be made at https://engage.moc.gov.sa/scholarships on three tracks: Self-financed students, pre-accepted students and the new students. The website features the application forms, benefits and general conditions for each track, as well as a list of relevant educational institutions.
The scholarship program is open to those who wish to obtain a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree in various cultural and arts fields from the world’s most prominent educational institutions.
The courses provided by the program include music, theater, visual arts (drawing, sculpture, art theory, calligraphy, art history, photography and cinematography) filmmaking, literature and linguistics, archaeology, culinary arts, design, architecture and libraries and museums.
The program offers several advantages for both self-financed students and pre-accepted students. Scholarships cover all tuition fees, financial support, living expenses, health care and return flights to the scholarship’s location for both the student and their companion.
Students in these two tracks are offered guidance and assessment programs to check their academic development during the program, as well as getting support in other aspects needed for their advancement. After their graduation, students in these two tracks can also join training programs abroad for a maximum of two years.
The program offers several advantages to new students who have not yet received acceptance. The program helps them to get the qualifications they need to be accepted by universities by offering assistance in overcoming obstacles such as language proficiency and interpersonal skills.
The program supports the students by organizing training workshops to develop their talents and skills. It introduces them to specialized experts in the field related to their scholarships. The program saves students time and effort and supports them throughout the whole registration process, by helping them write their resumes and complete their portfolios professionally.
The scholarship program is an educational first in Saudi Arabia, and is part of a Ministry of Culture initiative to develop national cadres specialized in cultural and arts fields so as to develop the sector and meet the increasing requirements of the labor market.