Big cheers for participants in women’s races in Jeddah

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The race was held in afully equipped sportsenvironment and ladieswere free to wear normalsports suits, as it wasan all-female event. Themarathon fence wascovered with black satin tomaintain the participants’privacy.(AN photos)
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Winners of the race in two different categories. (AN photo)
Updated 02 April 2018

Big cheers for participants in women’s races in Jeddah

JEDDAH: King Abdullah Sports City (KASC) witnessed a rare event on Saturday: The biggest women’s running event in the city.
A public women’s running event is an unusual sight in the Kingdom. Many women’s races have been held in the past few years but privately, and they have been limited to certain universities and schools unlike this one, which was done on a city level.
The race was held in a fully equipped sports environment and ladies were free to wear normal sports suits, as it was an all-female event.
The marathon fence was covered with black satin to maintain the participants’ privacy.
The event, organized by Activity Team and Petromin Corp. and supported by the Saudi Mass Participation Federation, aimed to introduce the Saudi community to sports and encourage more people to participate in the forthcoming events.
There was a male running event in the morning at the same place, which was attended by males of all ages, and a chance for people with special needs (in wheelchairs) to participate from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Access to the race was free for all the audience.
More than 350 female participants gathered in the KASC around 5 p.m. They were divided into three groups, as follows:
1. 4km group, children from 8 to 13
2. 8km group, teenagers from 14 to 17
3. 20km group, women between 18 and 60

Winner of the children’s group race, Lara Al-Saggaf, 12, who was awarded a PlayStation3, told Arab News: “I’m so happy. I challenged myself to reach the endpoint.”
Winner of the second race, Nadimah Abu Alaineen, 17, who won SR2,000 ($533), said: “It’s more than great to feel the spirit of the audience who were cheering for me.”
Arwaa Al-Amoodi, who won the third and longest race, told Arab News: “I am glad to win this race. I am actually a fitness coach.”
King Abdul Aziz Stadium and Al Wehda Club (a multi-sports club team from Makkah) will host the first women’s marathon in Makkah on April 6 under the patronage of the General Authority for Sport and the president of the Saudi Federation of Community Sports, Princess Reema bint Bandar.


Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 21 January 2020

Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.

Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.

The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”

Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.

“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”

Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”

 

The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.

“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.

Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.

“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”

The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.

“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.