Awamiyah: ‘Slum’ transformed into jewel of Saudi urban heritage

The inauguration of the central Awamiyah project is a vital step in the comprehensive development of Qatif and its cities. (SPA)
Updated 31 January 2019

Awamiyah: ‘Slum’ transformed into jewel of Saudi urban heritage

  • Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif opened the central Awamiyah project in Qatif.

JEDDAH: A “dangerous slum” has been transformed into a jewel of Saudi urban heritage in less than year, guests were told at the development’s ceremonial opening on Wednesday.

The central Awamiyah project in Qatif was opened by the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz.

Local mayor Fahad Al-Jubair said he was delighted at the progress made in central Awamiyah, which he hailed as one of the most ambitious transformations in the Kingdom.

“The inauguration of the central Awamiyah project is a vital step in the comprehensive development of Qatif and its cities, so that it remains a cultural hub,” he said.




Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz inaugurates central Awamiyah project in Qatif on Wednesday. (SPA)

The mayor said the project was a beacon of what was possible for the people of Awamiyah. An architectural masterpiece, with its high towers, spacious courtyards, traditional souqs and cultural center, it would become a source of pride in Qatif for years to come, he said.

“The project’s importance, however, is not limited to its architecture only, but it also promotes the new concept of the citizens’ effective participation in shaping development. The people of Qatif have taken part in the project’s design stages, and actively participated in its implementation,” he said.

The mayor applauded the companies involved in the construction process, noting that a workforce of over 1,200 men had completed the work in under eight months, all while adhering to increasingly stringent safety and quality codes.

Officially opening the development, Prince Saud said: “This dream has been realized in less than a year. The team has transformed a dangerous slum area that represented an environmental and social threat into an urban heritage site.

“King Salman hosted the property owners throughout the summer as the construction began, when I laid the foundation stone here. Today, I am honored to inaugurate this project.”


Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

  • “You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness,” Prince Khalid said
  • The ambassador encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it

LONDON: Riyadh does not seek conflict with Tehran but will not let “Iran’s meddling in the region” go unchecked, said the Saudi ambassador to Britain. 
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek escalation. We have always been supporters of taking a firm stand against Iran. Our issue is not with the people of Iran, it is with the regime running the country,” Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan told the Daily Telegraph. 
“But we do not believe in appeasement. At no point in history has appeasement proved to be a successful strategy. You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness.”
France, Germany and the UK, three of the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), triggered a “dispute resolution mechanism” recently in response to Iran ramping up its nuclear program in violation of the deal.
Prince Khalid criticized the JCPOA because it does not address “all the other things that Iran” is doing in the region.
“Iran’s meddling in the region is as challenging as the nuclear program. This is why we were concerned with the nuclear deal,” he said.
The ambassador also touched on recent allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in hacking the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“It is very easy for people to throw these unsubstantiated allegations against Saudi Arabia because they know that it is very difficult for Riyadh to defend itself when it does not have proper access to the details,” Prince Khalid said.
“We need to see the evidence before we make any response, because the evidence made public so far is circumstantial at best.”
Saudis do not always represent themselves well because they are “a reticent people and our culture does not push us to talking about ourselves,” he said. “We need to do a better job on showing the world who we really are.” 
The ambassador, who was appointed last year, encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it. 
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. We want people to come and see Saudi Arabia for themselves, and not rely on what they have read somewhere or heard somewhere to form their opinion of the country,” he said.
“There is plenty to see, and you will find a warm, generous and hospitable people there waiting to greet you.”