Qatif attack ‘divisive design’

Updated 28 December 2017

Qatif attack ‘divisive design’

JEDDAH: A suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayer at a mosque in the village of Al-Qadeeh in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 21 and wounding 100 others.
“A suicide bomber detonated explosives he hid under his clothes as people performed Friday prayer at the Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb Mosque in the village of Al-Qadeeh, in Qatif province,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The explosion killed the suicide bomber and a number of worshippers and injured several others, the ministry added.
“We were doing the first part of the prayer when we heard the blast,” worshipper Kamal Jaafar Hassan told Reuters by telephone from the scene.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh condemned the attack as an attempt to divide the nation.
“We must understand that our country’s enemies want to corrupt and break up the Saudi nation,” he said. Saudis must stand together and not be deceived by the schemes of the enemy, he said.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Sanad, president of Haia, denounced the attack as a “terrorist crime” and “a failed attempt to divide the nation.”
Slamming the attack, the general secretariat of the Supreme Judicial Council said it was important for citizens to collectively tackle the country’s enemies.
Sheikh Fahad Al-Majed, general-secretary of the Council of Senior Scholars, described it as “a heinous crime.” He said these terrorists “have now proven that they have foreign agendas.”
Al-Majed said Saudis would emerge stronger from this incident and “defeat the terrorists who want to undermine the country’s security, prosperity and stability.”
Ambulances and Civil Defense personnel arrived at the scene, taking the injured to Mudar, Qatif Central and Aramco hospitals,'' a statement of the Health Directorate said. Police investigators also rushed to the scene, collecting evidence.
The dastardly act has unleashed a storm of protests and condemnation from Saudi bloggers on the social media who said that any such act would create a sectarian divide among the fully integrated Saudi society.
“Security authorities will spare no effort in the pursuit of all those involved in this terrorist crime,” an official statement said.
The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the heinous crime. The claim was posted on Twitter with an image of the bomber by an account that is a reliable source, said the BBC.
The terror group also owned up a bomb blast at a Houthi mosque in Sanaa on Friday that wounded 13 people.
“Members of the caliphate in Sanaa have detonated an explosive device in a Houthi mosque in the people's district...which led to the death and injury of many of them “ said the Islamic State.

Startup of the Week: Wayakit, the biotech firm helping travelers beat odors and stains

Updated 10 December 2019

Startup of the Week: Wayakit, the biotech firm helping travelers beat odors and stains

  • Wayakit leaves the clothes clean and fresh again

JEDDAH: Wayakit is a biotechnology start-up incubated by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

KAUST Ph.D students Sandra Medina and Luisa Javier are avid travelers who have come up with a pocket-sized product that deals with both odors and stains on fabrics, leaving the cloths clean and fresh again.

Wayakit is also gentler on fabrics because traditional laundry eventually damages them, said Javier, who first moved to Saudi Arabia from Mexico ten years ago.

Her business partner, Sandra Medina, who came from Colombia to study at KAUST, explained to Arab News how Wayakit works. “You just spray the smelly area twice and you’re good to go. In the case of stains, you spray twice and then pat dry it with a tissue and it will disappear,” she said.

The idea for the product came during a trip for a conference two years ago when the travelers realized their luggage was lost “We had to present with our dirty, seven-hours’ flight clothes,” Javier told Arab News.

“We started looking into the possibility then, because there’s not a proper solution to doing laundry while traveling,” she said.


They decided they needed to come up with a product that was not pricey, was easy to carry, and did the job by removing stains and bad odors “on-the-go.”



The duo began by interviewing more than 100 travelers of 23 different nationalities to find out if this was a common issue that travelers struggled with.


“From the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, we learned the importance of listening first to the customers before designing any product,” said Medina. From these interviews, Wayakit team got the product requirements and then moved into the lab to start working on the formulation of Wayakit. “The amazing facilities and labs in KAUST helped us to speed up the creation of our first prototype. After this, the same KAUST community was the people who first tried Wayakit and gave us feedback. “In KAUST we do not only have state-of-the-art labs, but also a whole entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Medina added.

Wayakit is different from its competitors in that it contains no toxic chemicals, and covers a broader spectrum in covering stains — it is two products in one. It also contains anti-bacterial properties, acting as a sanitizer that “removes all the stains that occur on a day-to-day basis as well as being an odor remover,” Javier said.

The pair went for a biotechnology-based formula that excluded the usage of oxidizers and focused on more organic compounds. “Even the anti-bacterial properties are not toxic as we incorporated these in an environmentally friendly formulation,” she said.

The Wayakit founders had to rigorously test their product, dealing with different types of sweat and stains to perfect their spray. “We had to give testers to travelers to try it out and had to listen to their feedback, then went back to the lab to improve it, in order to make sure the product was as promised.”

Medina said KAUST’s mentorship had also helped their company to develop. “KAUST for us is a catalyst of entrepreneurship and has given us a lot of room to grow our start-up Wayakit,” she said.

KAUST helped Wayakit by giving the advice and support from the start. From entrepreneurial courses to teaching the concepts of building a brand, KAUST encouraged Wayakit to grow from a scientific outlook and helped the founders to better understand the customer.

“As foreigners, it was difficult for us to understand the logistics and procurement of shipping and importing here in Saudi Arabia. KAUST has helped us to face that hurdle in order to be able to reach all our clients in the MENA region and worldwide,” Medina said. “Beyond helping travellers, our mission is to change the way how laundry is commonly done. We found a way to effectively wash clothes reducing water and energy consumption,” Javier said. 

Wayakit has recently began selling in Jeddah’s Homegrown Market, chosen because it is “a Middle Eastern brand store with unique ambience,” said Medina.