Saudi forests dwindling at alarming rate

Saudi forests dwindling at alarming rate
Updated 21 March 2014

Saudi forests dwindling at alarming rate

Saudi forests dwindling at alarming rate

Forests in Saudi Arabia cover only 1.3 percent of the country’s total area. Unfortunately, the forests in Saudi Arabia are dwindling and witnessing degradation at an alarming rate, according to an environmental advocate at King Saud University (KSU).
Prof. Mirza Baig, a Canadian professor, made his observation on the occasion of the International Day of Forest (IDF) celebrated globally every March 21, by the decision of the United Nations General Assembly uniting the two international commemorations; the World Forestry Day and Forest Day.
Baig, at KSU’s Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Society told Arab News that Saudi Arabia’s forest degradation is because of the natural factors and anthropogenic features like very low and variable rainfall, high temperatures, low humidity, lack of rivers and scarcity of underground water.
“All these factors hamper the natural growth of forests making tree planting programs very expensive,” he noted adding, “The excessive cutting of trees, overgrazing, deforestation, deterioration of natural pastures and expansion of agricultural lands are considered among the main challenges for sustainable development of the forests in Saudi Arabia.
According to him, several projects were initiated with the objective to grow more trees, re-plant forests and to realize more wood from the existing forests in the Kingdom. However such initiatives would not be successful without the involvement of the native people. He added that several studies conducted by Dr. Faisal Sultan Al-Subaiee, vice dean at the KSU, revealed that Saudis have a lot of appreciation and liking for forests attaching great importance to them.
“They seem more than willing to assist the Kingdom and participate in the initiatives aimed at managing and protecting the forests to keep them productive and protected for their future generations,” he said.
The series of studies conducted in the last decade by Dr. Al-Subaiee further revealed that regardless of the economic and literary status of Saudis, they were quite eager to be a part of the initiatives that could protect their natural heritage and the precious natural resource.
“Surprisingly, people living near the forests were quite aware of the potential environmental, ecological and economic benefits of the forests. They were eager to learn more scientific and technical advanced techniques needed for the better management of the forests from all the stake-holders,” the study said.
The professor continued, “World forestry day celebrations provide an opportunity to all the stake-holders to learn more from each other about the potential benefits of the forests toward maintaining people’s well-being.”
Appreciating the initiative taken by the UN, Saudi Arabia facilitates the implementation of the International Day in collaboration with FAO, collaborative partnerships on forests and international and regional organizations, as well as relevant stakeholders, including civil society.
Around 1.6 billion people — including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures — make their living from forests, which covers roughly one-third of the earth’s land mass.


Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi

Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi
Updated 28 February 2021

Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi

Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi
  • Pakistan in “solidarity” with Saudi Arabia to bring Khashoggi killers to justice
  • Kingdom took all measures to convict people responsible for the crime, Foreign Office says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special adviser on religious harmony and the Middle East has denied the findings of a US intelligence report containing an “assessment” of the Jamal Khashoggi murder case, calling it “baseless.”
Saudi journalist Khashoggi was murdered in October 2018 at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
“The Saudi government fulfilled the requirements of justice, and propaganda against the Kingdom’s leadership is baseless,” Tahir Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC), said during a convention in Lahore on Saturday.
He expressed solidarity with the Kingdom, adding that ties between the two countries “are strong and permanent, and nothing can dent the relationship.
“There has been a negative campaign against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since day one, but he laid down the foundations for polices of moderation in Saudi Arabia, and his Vision 2030 is for the development of the Kingdom and the entire Arab World,” Ashrafi said.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan on Saturday also expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia after the release of the report, saying that Islamabad recognized the Kingdom’s efforts to bring Khashoggi’s killers to justice.
In an official statement issued in Islamabad, the Foreign Office noted that the Saudi authorities had described the killing as an “abhorrent crime” and a “flagrant violation” of the Kingdom’s laws and values.
“The Saudi government has further underlined that it took all possible measures within its legal system to ensure that the individuals responsible were properly investigated, convicted and sentenced, and that justice was served,” the statement continued.
“Pakistan underscores adherence to the rule of law, respect for national sovereignty, and protection and promotion of human rights by all states, in accordance with their respective constitutional frameworks and international obligations,” it added.
Saudi Arabia has already rebuffed the contents of the report, saying that it “completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions.”
The Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry noted that people responsible for the killing had been convicted and sentenced in Saudi courts, and that “these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi.”


Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 28 February 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 368,305
  • A total of 6,494 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced six deaths from COVID-19 and 322 new infections on Sunday.
Of the new cases, 167 were recorded in Riyadh, 66 in the Eastern Province, 37 in Makkah, eight in Asir, eight in Najran, five in Madinah, five in Jazan and four in Hail.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 368,305 after 294 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,494 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

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Arab states condemn Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia

Arab states condemn Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia
Updated 13 min 45 sec ago

Arab states condemn Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia

Arab states condemn Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Arab states condemned the Houthi militia’s attacks on Saudi Arabia that targeted civilian areas across the Kingdom.

The Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed four Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in the Kingdom’s southwestern city Khamis Mushayt, one targeting Jazan and another targeting the southern region on Saturday.

One of the drones targeting Khamis Mushayt was fired earlier on in the day.

The coalition also intercepted a ballistic missile attack targeting the capital Riyadh.

Shrapnel from one of the Houthi ballistic missiles crashed through the roof of a residential property  in Riyadh after it was intercepted by Saudi defense forces.


The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “The Houthi militia’s insistence on continuing these terrorist acts constitutes a continuation of the dangerous escalation that these militias are undertaking to harm the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and undermine the stability of the region.”
The minister said this was “a flagrant challenge” to international and humanitarian law and an obstruction of international efforts seeking to reach a political solution that ends the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
Kuwait renewed its call to the international community, and the United Nations Security Council, to carry out its duties to curb the Houthis “dangerous escalation” and put an end to it to maintain international peace and security.
Kuwait affirmed its support of Saudi Arabia’s measures to preserve its security, stability and sovereignty.

The Yemeni government echoed Kuwait’s response in condemning the Houthi militia’s “repeated terrorist acts,” calling it a war crime that endangers the lives of civilians.
The Yemeni foreign ministry reaffirmed its support of the Saudi government, and praised the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces in supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government.  
Bahrain also released a statement condemning Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia and affirmed its solidarity with its neighboring country.  
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry praised the coalition forces that were able to intercept and destroy the ballistic missile and drones, stressing the need for the international community to assume its political responsibilities towards these “unjust Houthi attacks” on the Kingdom’s territory.

Qatar strongly condemned the Houthi missile attack that targeted Riyadh and said it was “a dangerous act against civilians which contravenes all international norms and laws.”

In a statement, Qatar’s foreign ministry reiterated the state’s firm position on rejecting violence, criminal and subversive acts regardless of the motives behind them. 

The French Ambassador in Saudi Arabia Ludovic Pouille also condemned the attack and thanked Saudi forces for the intervention.

“I firmly condemn the ballistic missile attack claimed by the Houthis which has targeted Riyadh last night and the drone attacks against Khamis Mushait. I convey my deepest thanks to the Saudi Defense Forces for their efficient protection,” he tweeted.  


Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’

Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’
Those who watched the Saudi Cup horse race coverage would have noticed that many racegoers, including foreigners living in the Kingdom, donned eye-catching pieces from the Kingdom’s regions. (Supplied)
Updated 28 February 2021

Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’

Saudi fashions ‘tell the world a story’
  • Eye-catching traditional pieces that women wear on key occasions highlight the Kingdom’s diverse heritage

MAKKAH: With Saudi Arabia’s diverse and colorful cultural traditions, fashion serves as a medium where foreigners and citizens can meet.
Fashion has always been an important part of how people define themselves and others, and Saudi Arabia’s traditional clothing is no different.
Those who watched the Saudi Cup horse race coverage would have noticed that many racegoers, including foreigners living in the Kingdom, donned eye-catching pieces from the Kingdom’s regions, while others made sure they showed off traditional fashion items.
For almost 12 years, Brandi Janow has made Saudi Arabia her home. Janow, who calls herself an “American Saudi,” caught the eye of photographers at the Saudi Cup with her striking red hair and gold coin headpiece while wearing a farwa (heavy overcoat) featuring a Sadu piece, or traditional embroidery of the region, on her coat lapels.
Janow told Arab News that she felt welcome and comfortable since moving to the Kingdom, and dressed according to the traditions of the land.
“The fashion scene was remarkable at the Saudi Cup. I am going to dub it the ‘Met Gala’ of Saudi Arabia in future. Saudi Arabia has such an old fashion heritage, so it was wonderful to be able to take a trip through history and to tell the world a story,” she said.

Saudi Arabia has changed immensely since 2009, and that is something I have appreciated witnessing.

Brandi Janow

“As a history lover, this is probably one of the best places that I can be to see so many remarkable sights with my own eyes,” she added.
Celebrating Saudi Arabia’s heritage, fashionable guests appeared in pieces that highlighted the Kingdom’s diverse heritage, including intricately embroidered daglahs for men and the heavily embellished zaboon worn by the women of Hijaz.
Janow calls Saudi Arabia her home and is “happy my journey brought me here.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• For almost 12 years, Brandi Janow has made Saudi Arabia her home. Janow, who calls herself an ‘American Saudi,’ caught the eye of photographers at the Saudi Cup with her striking red hair and gold coin headpiece while wearing a farwa (heavy overcoat) featuring a Sadu piece, or traditional embroidery of the region, on her coat lapels. 

• Janow told Arab News that she felt welcome and comfortable since moving to the Kingdom, and dressed according to the traditions of the land. She calls Saudi Arabia her home and is ‘happy my journey brought me here.’

The private sector worker is also the program director for art, culture, media and entertainment at the American Chamber of Commerce in the Kingdom and also manages Smuug, a small business where she designs and sells products based on her illustrations.
“Before I came to Saudi Arabia I had never traveled outside North America, so I was quite excited to see a new place. I cannot say that I ever experienced culture shock, but I was in awe of how different the country was from my own. It is really beautiful how big the world is, and how different (and the same) we all are,” she said.
“Saudi Arabia has changed immensely since 2009, and that is something I have appreciated witnessing. I really think that humanity cannot prosper without change, growth and evolution.
“This is the natural way of life. As someone who works in the creative industry, it has been such a pleasure to watch the blossoming of talent,” said Janow.


Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche

Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche
The Colorful Corniche initiative will extend over the central island of the southern corniche for 4,500 meters and is due to be carried out in eight phases. (Social media)
Updated 28 February 2021

Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche

Creative touch adds a little color to Jeddah’s corniche
  • The event seeks to improve the appearance of main squares and meeting spots throughout the governorate in line with Vision 2030

JEDDAH: Citizens and creatives of Jeddah have come together for the Colorful Corniche initiative, painting roadways, walkways and squares to beautify the city.
The event, coordinated by the charity organization Oyoun Jeddah alongside Jeddah municipality, seeks to improve the appearance of main squares and meeting spots throughout the governorate in line with Vision 2030.
Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi, adviser to the governor of the Makkah region, took part in the launch, while also overseeing mock-up paint trials carried out earlier.
Jeddah’s mayor, Saleh Al-Turki, inaugurated the event on Friday, saying that the collaboration between Oyoun Jeddah and the municipality, as well as government and private entities, will encourage the growth of the urban environment.
The corniche makeover has been praised by passers-by.

This is such a great initiative because it will turn this beach area where people hang out, have a picnic or work out into something vibrant and full of life, while encouraging creativity and showing the country’s support for art.

Nourah Al-Nahi

“I was having my lunch break at the corniche yesterday and I wish this had been implemented then so I could have seen it,” said executive assistant Nourah Al-Nahi, 29.
Al-Nahi said she often stopped by the corniche to sit and reflect.
“This is such a great initiative because it will turn this beach area where people hang out, have a picnic or work out into something vibrant and full of life, while encouraging creativity and showing the country’s support for art,” she added.
University student Jana Abdullah, 19, said that the urban makeover will encourage her to take more walks at the corniche.

HIGHLIGHT

The aim is to highlight urban design, and integrate art and architecture in the urban landscape, raising cultural awareness by improving access to contemporary work in daily life.

“I don’t go to the corniche often because of the crowds, but this makes me want to go early on weekends for a quick jog or fast walk.”
Abdullah believes this initiative will add life to the austere asphalt and stone setting of the walkway, and will appeal to both adults and children.
“It also represents the country’s interest in art and its desire to revitalize it and encourage those pursuing it,” she added.
The Colorful Corniche initiative will extend over the central island of the southern corniche for 4,500 meters and is due to be carried out in eight phases.
The aim is to highlight urban design, and integrate art and architecture in the urban landscape, raising cultural awareness by improving access to contemporary work in daily life.