KSRelief signs accord to rehabilitate Yemeni children conscripted by Houthis

agreement will provide support services to 80 former child soldiers. (SPA/File)
Updated 24 October 2018

KSRelief signs accord to rehabilitate Yemeni children conscripted by Houthis

  • The program was created to provide psychological, medical and social support
  • The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the KSRelief

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has signed a deal to support more Yemeni children conscripted by the Houthi militants.
This agreement will provide support services to 80 former child soldiers to help them reintegrate into their families and communities.
It extends KSRelief’s rehabilitative services program with services such as a return to school program for former child soldiers. 
“The KSRelief signed a joint cooperation agreement with a civil society institution to provide rehabilitative services to additional former child soldiers in Yemen,” said KSRelief spokesman Abdulmajeed Al-Humaydhi.
He added that the agreement, which was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the KSRelief, will directly benefit 80 children and their parents.
A further 1,902 people in Marib will benefit indirectly from the program, he added.
The program aims to help children who were recruited by Houthi militias to act as human shields in the armed conflict.
KSRelief created the program to provide psychological, medical and social support and help their parents support their children through the process of dealing with the trauma they experienced.
According to the KSRelief, during each phase of the program, 80 children and their families will be supported.
Returning to the normal life, the children participate in arts workshops to develop their interests and skills in drawing, while parents learn about the dangers of child recruitment and ways to build a healthy family environment for their children.
The agreement will also look at encouraging children to return to school, identifying their medical needs as well as providing courses on preventing violence.


LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.