Council of Senior Scholars: Saudis aware of the bad intentions of terrorist groups

The secretariat issued a number of reports in which it confirmed its support for the government’s procedures regarding terrorists. (SPA)
Updated 16 September 2017

Council of Senior Scholars: Saudis aware of the bad intentions of terrorist groups

RIYADH: The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars noted two security achievements: Thwarting a terrorist plan to attack two departments affiliated with the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh, and discovering and disbanding cells that had seditious intentions.
The secretariat yesterday announced in a statement: “The people of the Kingdom are totally aware of the bad intentions of terrorist groups and cells that have external relations intending to cause instability and sedition. It is very important for us to know that the thing that irritates our enemies the most is seeing the achievements and solidarity in the Kingdom, which has resulted in a stable and secure country. The Kingdom has a leading role at Arab, Muslim and international levels, and the hatred and malice of our enemies pushes them into trying to sabotage this.”
The report also said that the secretariat issued a number of reports in which it confirmed its support for the government’s procedures regarding terrorists and those who have external allegiances to such groups as Daesh, Al-Qaeda, the Houthis, and Hezbollah, in order to prevent and protect the country and its people from their evil, and preserve solidarity and unity.
The secretariat also stressed the necessity of cooperation on this issue, and called for adherence to religion in order to escape corrupt movements, sedition and division.


Traditional Saudi game jumps to the digital world

First prize winners of this year’s tournament came home with cash prize of SR750,000 and a BMW. (Photo/Social media)
Updated 29 min 20 sec ago

Traditional Saudi game jumps to the digital world

  • First prize winners of this year’s tournament, Fahad Al-Shibani and Saud Al-Shibani, came home with cash prize of SR750,000 and a BMW

RIYADH: Baloot, a card game similar to bridge, has developed from a traditional game — usually played at family gatherings — to an online game for your mobile phone.
The Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports launched in Riyadh the third baloot tournament, which has attracted more than 18,000 participants including 40 female teams. The total prize money is SR2 million ($533,234).
The third baloot tournament showed an unprecedented number of players this year, bolstered by the participation of female players.
First prize winners of this year’s tournament, Fahad Al-Shibani and Saud Al-Shibani, came home with cash prize of SR750,000 and a BMW. Second prize winners received cash prizes of SR500,000 and third place players won SR100,000.
The electronic version is now more popular among Saudis than the original, which requires at least four players.
“The main feature that these baloot apps provide is that I can play the game anytime and anywhere, I don’t need to wait until I find three more people to complete the team,” said Saad Al-Amri, an undergrad student from Abha. “I also don’t lose control as I sometimes do when I play it with my relatives,” he added.
However, Al-Amri admits that playing baloot online made him more addicted to the game, saying that some days he spends 3 hours playing.
Baloot apps are not new and the market continues to grow. Apple’s App Store boasts over 30 Baloot apps. In Android’s Google Play store, the number of apps is even higher, ranging from platforms for playing the game, to apps that teaches the rules, to calculators that help users track their scores in the traditional version.
On top of the list of apps are two famous versions called “Kammelna” and “Baloot VIP,” with both reaching over 1 million downloads.
There are other apps that are less popular but also have strong downloads figures. “Tarbeeat Baloot” and “iBaloot” have just over half a million and 100,000 downloads respectively.
According to the website of “Kammelna,” a Saudi app, they started working on it in 2008, and currently have more than 1 million subscribers, with an updated ranking list for the best 100 players published daily.
Baloot apps can charge paid subscriptions, ranging from monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. Some apps sell points to customers who can replace them with special features in the game.
Subscriptions start from around SR30 per month, giving users additional features such as access to a special playing room and the ability to start private conversations with other players. Some apps have unique tournaments to encourage users to compete with each other and win points that they can use in future games.