Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts
Bassma Mukhtar says most people are now aware about the benefits of a workout.
Updated 07 April 2018

Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

JEDDAH: Saudis are much more conscious about their health than they used to be, and are taking life-changing steps in that regard, according to fitness experts in the Kingdom.
“The fitness industry has expanded a lot in Saudi Arabia, where most people now are aware about the benefits of a workout on their health,” Bassma Mukhtar, 22, who is certified with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a personal trainer, told Arab News.
“More females are rejecting the myth that sports are bad for women, and are joining gyms to get in shape,” she added.
“Saudis are now exposed to fitness through events, campaigns, social media and many more outlets.”
Fitness is not always about having to stick to a strict diet, or working out all week with no rest days, Mukhtar said.
“Fitness is about finding what helps you lose the weight of a stressful day, or challenging yourself to new limits.”
Mukhtar sees it as her mission to help women in the Kingdom turn their lives around. Sometimes people need a push to discover what they are capable of, “and when they do, it becomes a habit for them,” she said.
Reham Kamal, 31, an athlete and founder of the RK Fit workout studio in Jeddah, also sees a rise in fitness awareness among Saudis.
“I’m so proud of that because two years ago, many ladies I trained focused only on their body shape, but now it’s more about how they see it as their lifestyle,” Kamal told Arab News.
She advises people to try various sports, saying: “You’ll find one that you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life.”
Kamal stressed the importance of being health-conscious, adding: “Prevention is better than cure.”


Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem
Updated 2 min 31 sec ago

Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem
  • Kingdom reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and rejected Israeli violations of their rights
  • The Organization of Islamic Cooperation held an emergency session

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reiterated that it rejects Israel’s violations of the rights of Palestinians, and strongly condemns its plans, and evacuation operations, for the forced displacement of families in East Jerusalem.
The Kingdom’s permanent representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Saleh Hamad Al-Suhaibani, said the Israeli violations flagrantly contravene the principles of international humanitarian law, and defy UN Security Council resolutions.
He added that the “Kingdom’s continued support for the Palestinian people stems from its deep belief in the importance of the just Palestinian cause, and the need to intensify international efforts to end this long-running conflict in order to restore their legitimate rights and establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
His comments came during an emergency session of the OIC, chaired by Niger — which currently holds the rotating presidency of the organization’s Foreign Ministerial Council — to discuss Israeli attacks on occupied Arab land, especially Jerusalem.
Al-Suhaibani said the Kingdom rejects and condemns Israeli plans and operations that aim to remove, forcibly, Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem and impose sovereignty, and the consequences this could have.
He also condemned “any unilateral measures and any Israeli violations of international legitimacy resolutions, and anything that undermines the chances of resuming the peace process and international efforts to achieve regional security and stability.”
Saudi Arabia will continue to defend the cause of the Palestinian people in regional and international forums, the foremost of which is the UN Security Council, he added.
“At a time when Muslims all over the earth are preparing to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr and complete the obligation of fasting with joy and pleasure, we find that our Palestinian brothers are being exposed to attacks and provocations by the Israeli occupation forces with the aim of carrying out evictions and forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem,” said Al-Suhaibani.
“This is a flagrant violation of the principles of international humanitarian law, and UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2334 which affirms that east Jerusalem is Palestinian land, and the establishment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and an obstacle to achieving permanent and comprehensive peace.”
Saudi Arabia reiterates its complete support for the Palestinian people, their legitimate rights and all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue in a way that enables them to establish an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 border agreement, with East Jerusalem as its capital, he added.
The Kingdom also calls on the international community to take immediate action to compel Israel to halt all practices that violate the rights of the Palestinian people, “who have suffered greatly and are still struggling to obtain their most important legitimate rights to establish security and safety, achieve economic growth, and improve their conditions,” Al-Suhaibani said.


Saudi, Turkish foreign ministers discuss bilateral relations

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan receives his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Makkah. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan receives his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 59 min 7 sec ago

Saudi, Turkish foreign ministers discuss bilateral relations

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan receives his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Makkah. (SPA)
  • Prince Faisal and Cavusoglu agreed to hold regular consultations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Tuesday held talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and his accompanying delegation at the foreign ministry’s regional office in Makkah.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji, they discussed relations between the two countries, and the most prominent regional and international developments, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
They agreed to “work on positive issues on our common agenda and to hold regular consultations,” Cavusoglu said, adding: “Our close cooperation will contribute to stability, peace and prosperity in the region.”


Saudi Arabia imposes new fines in COVID-19 regulations

The Ministry of Interior said the fines are in addition to what was imposed last year to limit gatherings that contributed to the spread of the disease. (File/SPA)
The Ministry of Interior said the fines are in addition to what was imposed last year to limit gatherings that contributed to the spread of the disease. (File/SPA)
Updated 11 May 2021

Saudi Arabia imposes new fines in COVID-19 regulations

The Ministry of Interior said the fines are in addition to what was imposed last year to limit gatherings that contributed to the spread of the disease. (File/SPA)
  • Recidivist business owners and individuals could face imprisonment and fines of up to SR200,000
  • Businesses will be forced to temporarily close

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday a series of fines to be enforced against individuals and businesses which do not comply with COVID-19 regulations.
The fines vary between SR10,000 ($2,666) and SR50,000 for individuals, while businesses will have to pay between SR10,000 and SR100,000, state news agency SPA reported.
The Ministry of Interior said the fines are in addition to what was imposed last year to limit gatherings that contributed to the spread of the disease.
The full list of fines: 
Gatherings
The individual responsible for the gathering and the owner of the facility will be fined as follows:
1. SR10,000 for family gatherings inside homes, rest houses, farms, etc. exceeding the maximum numbers specified in a single or specific space, and do not come from a single household.
2. SR15,000 for non-family gatherings inside homes, rest houses, farms, camps, chalets, or open areas for people of one neighborhood, and exceeding the maximum capacity permitted in one space.
3. SR40,000 for social gatherings, including funerals, parties and the like, exceeding the numbers specified.
4. SR50,000 for any gathering of workers in homes, buildings under construction, rest houses, farms, and so on, other than their homes, consisting of five or more people in one space, and not belonging to one household.
Businesses
Violations of private sector companies for not adhering to precautionary measures or protocols include inviting people and organizing gatherings, failure to verify the health status of individuals through the relevant apps, permitting confirmed coronavirus cases to enter premises, not carrying out required checks for workers, allowing individuals not wearing a face mask to enter buildings, not providing disinfectants and sterilizers in designated places, measuring temperatures of employees and customers at entrances to malls and commercial centers, disinfecting trolleys and shopping baskets after each use, disinfecting facilities and surfaces, and closing children’s play areas and fitting rooms.
1. The business will be forced to close for five days and fined depending on its size and the number of employees.
- Very small businesses with one to five employees will be fined SR10,000.
- Small businesses with six to 49 employees will be fined SR20,000.
- Medium-sized businesses with 50 to 249 employees will be fined SR50,000.
- Large businesses with more than 250 employees will be fined SR100,000.
2. The fine will be doubled for repeat offenders to SR200,000, and the business will be forced to close for a maximum of six months.
3. The business owner will also be fined, depending on the size, and the penalty will be doubled for repeat offenders to up to SR100,000.
4. Recidivist business owners will be prosecuted and could face imprisonment.
5. Restaurants, cafes, and the like, are excluded from the aforementioned closing periods, and face 24 hour closure for first offense, 48 hours for the second, a week for the third, two weeks for the fourth, and a month if they have repeated violations five times or more.
Individuals:
1. SR1,000 for anyone who violates the regulations and will be doubled for repeat offenders and can reach up to SR100,000)
2. SR1,000 for anyone who tries to perform prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah or the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah without obtaining a permit.
3. SR5,000 for anyone who attends one of the aforementioned gatherings. The fine will be doubled for repeat violators with a maximum of SR100,000, and could face prosecution and imprisonment.
4. SR10,000 for organizing any gatherings, with a maximum fine of SR100,000 and imprisonment.
The ministry called on everyone to adhere to the approved health safety instructions and requirements in all places.
($1 = SR3.7502)

(With Reuters)


Khair for All — Saudi charity celebrates another successful Ramadan

Khair for All — Saudi charity celebrates another successful Ramadan
Updated 11 May 2021

Khair for All — Saudi charity celebrates another successful Ramadan

Khair for All — Saudi charity celebrates another successful Ramadan
  • Khair, the Arabic term for good, well-being, blessings and benevolence, was the operative word founder Abdulmajeed Hashem chose for his charity

 

 

JEDDAH: With Ramadan drawing to a close, a family and friends charity celebrated the success of their ninth consecutive year in operation ahead of Eid festivities.

Abdulmajeed Hashem, the 25-year-old founder of Jeddah-based charity Khair for All, told Arab News about how his family and friends played their part in giving and lending a helping hand this holy month.

Whilst endeavoring to get involved in the spirit of Ramadan aged 16, the Jeddah-born Hashem discovered that local charities in his area had too many volunteers. However, he knew that there was no cap on good that can be done — so he founded his own charity.

Khair, the Arabic term for good, well-being, blessings and benevolence, was the operative word founder Hashem chose for Khair for All.

“We started in about 2012 with a small group of my cousins and friends. We decided to start by giving out meals for Iftar Sayim,” Hashem told Arab News.

Iftar Sayim is the charitable act of providing ready meals, usually dates, water, laban and a sambosa, to Muslims in Ramadan for them to break their fasts with.

One month worth of essential food items laid out in batches ahead of packaging and distributing. (Zeina Sweidan)

“That simple beginning turned into something that grew in size, in number of volunteers, in effort — we just kind of started from there and it naturally grew.”

Hashem and his team purchased Iftar Sayim meals using their own money and began distributing them in the suburbs of Jeddah — soon they found themselves in a daily routine they could not do without.

“Meeting here everyday, setting up the packs and distributing them ourselves has really been a bonding experience with our group,” he said. “We really enjoy this activity — it’s become a part of our Ramadan that’s very important to us.”

A less fortunate suburb in Jeddah receiving Khair for All monthly packages. (Hussain Abedi)

The global health crisis did not stand in the way of the charity’s vision for 2021, and while adjustments had to be made and precautions taken, they swiftly adapted and made the necessary changes for another successful Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 has played a role in getting the youth moving, according to the Khair for All founder. “I feel like with the new direction a lot more of my friends have been more willing to volunteer,” he said. “More people are ready to go and take on these projects.

“I’ve definitely noticed an increase in enthusiasm and energy in the past few years, and I think it’s very much linked to the direction of the country.”

Khair for All sets no limits on where and how it can be of service, and so ventured into more sustainable projects in which their effects will be seen in the years to come.

While Iftar Sayim is the basis for why Khair for All began, in 2014 Hashem and his team discovered that there were more ways to help the community than to simply help break their fasts.

Khair for All volunteer stuffing monthly packs of essential food items into the back of his car just before the Maghreb prayer — the time in which Muslims break their fasts. (AN/Zaid Khashogji)

“We later shifted to giving monthly packs,” the Khair for All founder said. “We kind of understood that families needed something more stable, something that would make them not have to worry about where their food was coming in for the next month.”

Since then, packaging monthly supplies consisting of basic goods and necessities has become the primary activity of the charity — and they soon found themselves working with local schools.

“We like to have more of a lasting impact in the places we’re helping out, rather than just providing a meal and then going back home,” Hashem said. “We want to provide something to the communities that we can see grow ourselves, so we’re really focusing a lot on education.”

Hashem and the team began pooling money together each year to improve the state of impoverished schools in Jeddah.

“Vision 2030 emphasizes a lot of the power the youth can have,” he said. “We believe any way we can make the schools a better learning environment for the kids would be a way of having a more lasting impact.

“We do a lot of work getting new chairs, painting and providing internet — and I hope we can continue to do more things like that in the future.”

Hashem believes that more direct communication with people in the community is necessary to address the real underlying issues, rather than just basing measures on assumptions.

“Basically, put our energy into what they tell us they need,” he said. “Talk to everyone there, and get to know them really well — that way, it’s addressing actual problems.”


Saudi civil defense reports some damage after Houthi projectile hits Jazan

Saudi civil defense reports some damage after Houthi projectile hits Jazan
Updated 11 May 2021

Saudi civil defense reports some damage after Houthi projectile hits Jazan

Saudi civil defense reports some damage after Houthi projectile hits Jazan
  • The Iran-aligned Houthi group regularly fires drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia
  • On Monday, the Arab coalition said it destroyed an explosive drone that was fired at Abha’s airport

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s civil defense said on Twitter early on Tuesday that a Houthi projectile had fallen in a border village in Jazan in the south of the kingdom, resulting in some damage to a house and cars but causing no injuries.
On Monday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen said that it had intercepted an explosives-laden boat south of the Red Sea and destroyed an explosive drone that was fired at Abha’s airport.
The Iran-aligned Houthi group regularly fires drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia. The coalition says it intercepts most of them.