New rules on waste management approved

Updated 23 July 2013

New rules on waste management approved

The Cabinet has approved new regulations for the management of municipal solid waste in all cities and villages to protect the environment and ensure the safety of citizens and residents.
The regulations will ensure an integrated framework for the management of municipal solid waste. This includes waste separation, collection, transportation, storage, sorting, recycling and processing, said Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency after the weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday night.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs would be responsible for overseeing the tasks and responsibilities of the solid waste management system. The plan is to protect the environment and people’s health and safety.
The ministry has to develop appropriate programs to educate people about how to deal correctly with waste, the minister added.
The Cabinet also called on the international community to launch immediate humanitarian assistance to Palestine, particularly for prisoners in Israeli jails, and to end Israeli oppression.
The Kingdom also reiterated its appeal to the international community to help end the genocide of the Syrian people and find ways to allow relief aid and medicines to enter that country.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf briefed the Cabinet on the International Monetary Fund’s ranking of the Kingdom as one of best-performing economies in the G20 in recent years.
The Cabinet also lauded the speeches of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman at the beginning of Ramadan, which stressed the Islamic message of love, forgiveness, tolerance, dialogue and peace.
The King had also said that Saudi Arabia would not allow anyone to use religion to promote extremist views.
The Cabinet also commended the King’s order to open the ground floor, first floor, the first mezzanine, and the outer north, south and west squares of the King Abdullah project for the expansion of the Grand Mosque, which can accommodate about 400,000 worshippers.
The Cabinet also authorized the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities to discuss and sign a tourism agreement with the Mexican government.
It also appointed Muhammad bin Ali Al-Khudair and Abdul Wahab Al-Faiz as members of the Saudi Press Agency’s board of directors.

Home alone: Saudis and expats try to beat the holiday blues

Updated 34 min 44 sec ago

Home alone: Saudis and expats try to beat the holiday blues

  • People celebrating Eid alone or abroad find ways to stay positive

JEDDAH: For different reasons many people living in the Kingdom have found themselves alone for the holidays due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, their spirits dampened as they are forced to stay home alone, away from loved ones.

As the pandemic enters its third month in Saudi Arabia, flights have not yet resumed, strict social distancing and safety measures are still in place and curfews have been reimposed to curb the spread of the virus during the Eid holidays.

Many families are stranded in cities across the Kingdom, while Saudis studying and working abroad are either stuck or have chosen to spend summer where they are out of fear they will not be able to return and start their new semesters.

Some people were able to move in with their families and quarantine together, while others were deprived of that chance.

A number of Saudi nationals, including students, have been repatriated in the past couple of weeks while others are still waiting for their turn.

Yousef Al-Ayesh, a 21-year-old senior student at Arizona State University, has been at home since late March as a precautionary measure.

He said that Eid with his family in Jeddah was one event that everyone looked forward to all year long. Under normal circumstances the first three days of Eid would be filled with events — family dinners at night and beach excursions during the day. Although he would be sleep-deprived, he would still make the most of the little time he spent with his family due to his studies.

“With all that’s going on, it doesn’t even feel like it’s Eid,” he told Arab News. 

“It most probably would have been different if I was back in Saudi Arabia but I still wouldn’t have been able to celebrate it the same way. It’s not that bad here (in the US) now since restaurants have reopened and my friends and I have the outdoors to enjoy, have a barbecue, or just hang out. I would have felt worse if I was alone. Ramadan was already odd enough, I don’t think I would have been OK if it were the case without them.”

Although his family lives 8,000 miles away he did not feel alone as his group of friends decided to celebrate together, even without the perks of new clothes and eidiyas from aunts and uncles.

It’s an exceptional year for us and one that is teaching us a lesson on various levels, but we must adapt either way.

Fareed Abdullah Fareed

Al-Ayesh hoped to be repatriated to the Kingdom soon and spend some time with his family after his mandatory quarantine.

Fareed Abdullah Fareed, a 29-year-old expat working and living in Riyadh, said this year’s Eid was tough without his family.

Although he is used to living alone because of his job, Eid was the one occasion he looked forward to the most every year because he got to travel to Cairo and be with his family.

“My family moved from Jeddah to Cairo about four or five years ago and Eid is a significant occasion in the family, Eid Al-Fitr is significantly more special than Eid Al-Adha even,” he told Arab News. “I look forward to traveling to see them every year since moving to Riyadh but wasn’t able to with the lockdown, so we all got together on FaceTime video call and spent the whole day speaking to family members.”

Like many expats, Fareed has spent the past months at home and said it was hard for him and his family but that communication had made the ordeal slightly easier.

“It’s an exceptional year for us and one that is teaching us a lesson on various levels, but we must adapt either way,” he added.