Girls go solar in Saudi university

The installed grid-connected 20.15 kWp rooftop photovoltaic system and the team behind it. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 04 December 2017

Girls go solar in Saudi university

JEDDAH: Effat University’s female senior students on Monday participated in the first solar energy training program to install a rooftop solar photovoltaic system by Saudi female engineers.
Malak Al-Nory, dean of graduate studies and research, said that the solar energy training program was a joint effort between the university and Altaqaa Alternative Solutions Company, which aims to train students and faculty members to operate a self-sufficient system.
“We’ve had several companies offer to install solar roofs for us, but we wanted our students to experience it firsthand, to partake in designing and installation. We’re looking for many studies to be conducted as an aftermath of this program.”
The installed solar system alongside an electric grid helps generate power for the deanship of graduate studies and research building. The solar energy program cost Effat University SR150,000 ($40,000) to install.
Wajd Al-Mehdar, an electrical engineering student at Effat, expressed her gratitude and enthusiasm to Arab News. “I’m so proud to be part of it — to be given a chance by the university to do something not many girls get to do. There were almost no obstacles as Altaqaa provided us with thorough training sessions along with equipment and information.”
Effat University is the first university in Saudi Arabia that offers women the opportunity to obtain a master’s in energy engineering. It shows Effat’s support for the objectives of Vision 2030 to ascertain “a sustainable non-oil dependent future for the Kingdom,” said Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, president of Effat University.

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.


• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.