Family, friends mourn young Saudi student killed in Florida apartment

Family, friends mourn young Saudi student killed in Florida apartment
Yasser Abualfaraj, second from left, with his classmates in Miami, Florida. (Facebook)
Updated 11 October 2018

Family, friends mourn young Saudi student killed in Florida apartment

Family, friends mourn young Saudi student killed in Florida apartment
  • The body of Yasser Abualfaraj, 23, was discovered by his roommate on Sunday in a building opposite the University of Miami
  • Police announced a reward of $3,000 for anyone who can provide information that helps in the investigation

LONDON/JEDDAH: Family and friends of a young Saudi student were in mourning on Wednesday after he was found murdered in his apartment in Miami, Florida. 

The body of Yasser Abualfaraj, 23, was discovered by his roommate on Sunday in a building opposite the University of Miami, where he was studying architecture.

Police have issued a photofit image of a young man seen in the area in the early hours of Sunday, who is wanted for “questioning only.”

“It’s an open investigation and we are working to find any witnesses who may have heard or seen anything at the time,” Det. Chris Thomas of Miami-Dade Police Department told Arab News.

He said the cause of death was unknown and the motive for the murder was unclear. The “investigation is still in the early stages,” Thomas added. 

The police announced a reward of $3,000 for anyone who can provide information that helps in the investigation.

The young man’s fellow students held a vigil in his memory on Monday, and architecture classes were cancelled as a mark of respect.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington said it was aware of the incident and was following the investigation, while providing all necessary support to the family.

Zainab Alsaihati, president of the Saudi Student Association at the University of Miami, said Abualfaraj was “always friendly to new students and helped them with joining clubs and activities. He got involved in volunteering campaigns like cleaning public spaces after Hurricane Irma.”

Abualfaraj’s friend, Mohammed Al-Shawa, told Arab News: “He was a kind, funny and loyal friend. If you knew him well, you would know how much of a good friend he is… I see him as my brother.”


Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China

Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China
Terry He, the CEO of Huawei Tech Investment in Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom is a very important market for the company. (AFP)
Updated 5 min 36 sec ago

Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China

Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China

RIYADH/JEDDAH: Chinese tech firm Huawei has signed an agreement with Kaden Investment for the launch in Saudi Arabia of its largest store outside China.
During the signing ceremony, at the Ministry of Investment headquarters in Riyadh, Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih highlighted the importance of investment in information and communications technology, along with energy and entertainment, which are important pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plan.
He said that the agreement with Huawei is a symbol of the prosperity that comes from long-term partnerships, in this case a 20-year relationship with the Chinese business. It is a “long-standing digital partner and ahead of the curve” in spotting the potential offered by the Kingdom, he added.
“Huawei has played an instrumental role in Saudi Arabia’s development, collaborating with government and private enterprises to enhance our nation’s technological infrastructure,” said Al-Falih. “It continues to share our commitment to talent development, innovation and ambition, the values which underpin Vision 2030.”
Terry He, the CEO of Huawei Tech Investment in Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom is a very important market for the company.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the next step in Huawei’s commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to open the largest Huawei flagship store in the overseas market,” he added. “This will provide customers with an unprecedented, immersive full-scenario experience.”
Fahad Alarjani, a member of the Saudi Chinese Business Council, welcomed the agreement as a “huge success” for the Ministry of Investment, in collaboration with other Saudi ministries, in attracting high-tech investments to Saudi Arabia, “especially given that Huawei is considered a technology giant in China and the world.”
Alarjani, a doctorate-level scholar in sustainable entrepreneurship, SMEs development, and marketing strategies, said it is important that agencies in the Kingdom work together to create a fertile, world-leading environment for investors so that they can attract the latest, and sustainable, technological innovations.
“This will help to open new markets and speed up entrepreneurial development,” he added. “It is important to be aware of the fact that Chinese companies are working hard on being pioneers of 5G.”

The agreement with Huawei is a symbol of the prosperity that comes from long-term partnerships, in this case a 20-year relationship with the Chinese business.

Khalid Al-Falih, Investment minister

Saleh M. Al-Saleem, a professor of computer and information sciences at King Saud University, said: “The agreement will definitely entail training programs to transfer technology, and an investment by a company of this size in the Saudi market is an acknowledgment on its part of the huge size of the technological sector in the Kingdom.”


He added that the agreement opens the door for increased competition between the biggest international companies in the sector, and will contribute to lower costs and enhanced services in the Kingdom.
Saudi consumers also expressed excitement about the news. Pharmaceutical science graduate Ruwaid Mahalawi, 29, who lives in Jeddah and describes himself as a Huawei fan, said: “It’s nice to see big names coming into Saudi Arabia and this is only the start — it will inspire more companies to invest in the Kingdom and recognize the market is extremely welcoming.”
Saudis are a very tech savvy society, he said. “Children and adults alike use electronic devices — especially now, with the pandemic — whether it’s for work or schooling. I think it’s shedding light on how big the market is here.”
Mahalawi’s wife, 26-year-old Wajd Abdullah, is also a fan of the Chinese firm and said she ditched her iPhone for a Huawei Mate. She appreciates the added level of service that is provided when a tech brand sells its products through its own stores, rather than through third-party retailers.
“It’s always best when a brand’s own store opens,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about insurance for the gadgets or quality. The store staff will be more knowledgeable and helpful, too, and that helps to ensure customers will return.”
An opening date for the new store, which will be in Riyadh, has yet to be announced.