Longtime refugees may get citizenship

Updated 22 March 2013

Longtime refugees may get citizenship

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal yesterday indicated that Saudi Arabia may give citizenship to refugees who have been living in the Kingdom for several years as part of government’s efforts to correct their residency situation.
Addressing a forum for developing disorganized residential districts in the Makkah region, Prince Khaled said the project would focus mainly on people living in these districts, especially foreign refugees like the Burmese.
“We have agreed with the Labor Ministry to create jobs for them. We also told big companies implementing projects in the region to make use of these residents… and one day they become good citizens,” the governor said.
“This is the vision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and this is the king’s program to correct the situation of these people and this is a commitment from this state and they have a right on this country to take care of them,” he explained.
The Labor Ministry announced recently it would consider employment of four Burmese, Turkistanis and Palestinians equal to one foreigner, encouraging private companies to employ these refugees who are readily available in the country, instead of recruiting foreign workers.
“The problem of disorganized districts is not limited to Makkah or Saudi Arabia. This is an international problem. Disorganized districts could be found in major cities of the world,” he said while opening the forum organized by Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah.
He said the problem was created in Makkah after thousands of pilgrims who had come to the city for Haj and Umrah in the past stayed in the country even after the expiry of their visas. There are others who had run away from their countries because of religious oppression.
He emphasized the need for providing iqamas to refugees living in disorganized districts of Makkah and other cities of the region to change their status in the beginning, and provide them with jobs. “We should also give them education and training before making plans for the reconstruction of these districts,” he added.
Prince Khaled said the government’s main concern is not removal of old buildings in these districts or construction of new roads but to improve the living condition of people living in these areas.
He said the individuals and families living in those districts would be given alternative housing facilities before demolishing their old houses. The two-day forum is being held on the university’s campus in Abidiya, Makkah.


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.