US universities honor Saudi students who died trying to rescue kids

Cousins Theeb Al-Yami, 27, and Jaser Al-Rakah, 25, died trying to rescue children from the Chicopee River. (Supplied)
Updated 15 September 2018

US universities honor Saudi students who died trying to rescue kids

  • They were honored for their heroism and bravery during a ceremony at the latter university on September 14

WASHINGTON: Two Saudi students who died trying to save two young children from drowning have been awarded posthumous honorary degrees from the universities they were attending.
Cousins Theeb Al-Yami, 27, and Jasser Al-Rakah, 25, were studying in the United States when they joined several other people in an effort to rescue the youngsters, who were in distress in the Chicopee river in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on June 29, 2018. The children managed to reach safety but the two students were swept away and drowned. They died just a month before they were due to graduate.
Al-Yami was awarded a bachelor’s degree in engineering by the University of Hartford in Connecticut, and Al-Rakah a degree in civil engineering from Western New England University in Massachusetts.
They were honored for their heroism and bravery during a ceremony at the latter university on September 14, which was attended by members of their families, the Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States Sami Al-Sadhan, the cultural attache at the Saudi Embassy Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa, the Consul General in New York Khalid Al-Sharif, professors from the universities and representatives of the local Islamic community.
Dr. Anthony Caprio, the president of Western New England University, expressed the appreciation of the university and the academic community for the heroism of the Saudi students.


UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

Updated 07 August 2020

UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

  • Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches
  • She holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde

RIYADH: Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Dr. Amal bint Jameel Fatani as cultural attaché to the UK.

Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches by the Saudi Minister of Education Dr.Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheik earlier this month.

Ambassador Neil Crompton tweeted Thursday: “#Congratulations to Dr Fatani @FataniAmal for her appointment as Cultural Attaché to the #UK. Delighted she is a UK alumni herself. Wishing her the very best in her new role and looking forward to strengthening the people to people links between the UK and Saudi Arabia.”

Fatani holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde. She obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology and toxicology from the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University (KSU), where she is currently an associate professor.

She has previously worked at the Ministry of Higher Education and KSU, and was among the first female pharmacy graduates in the Kingdom.

After receiving her doctorate she was appointed vice chair of the pharmacology and toxicology department. She is the first female dean of the nine scientific and medical colleges, and has worked with the rector, deputies, and deans of male colleges to build a unified strategic plan for gaining accreditation, a higher global ranking, and implementing best international practices in higher education.

Saudi Arabia and the UK have an important and long-standing relationship, strengthened through the strong individual connections that Saudis enjoy with the UK through their attendance at academic institutions. Hundreds of Saudi scholarship students have graduated from top UK educational institutions.

The two countries are key strategic partners in the Kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and have reaffirmed their commitment to building and developing trade and investment as well as achieving shared prosperity for their citizens.