Organization of Islamic Cooperation intensifies efforts to protect heritage

The platform aims to preserve the heritage and monuments in the Muslim world. (SPA)
Updated 08 October 2019

Organization of Islamic Cooperation intensifies efforts to protect heritage

  • The platform aims to preserve the heritage and monuments in the Muslim world

JEDDAH: Discussions were held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (ICO) in Jeddah to establish a platform to preserve cultural heritage. The platform aims to preserve the heritage and monuments of the Muslim world.

The Secretary-General of the ICO Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen stressed that the project is a confirmation of the organization’s unwavering commitment to promote joint Islamic work in the field of heritage conservation.

“It also translates the organization’s desire to catch up with the international community in its increasing efforts to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of member states, as a living witness to the richness and diversity of the Muslim world,” he said.

He added that safeguarding Arab heritage adds a cultural dimension to development policies and promotes cohesion between national cultural policies and international cooperation programs.

Ismail Al-Hammadi, director of the physical heritage department at the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, said the platform would contribute to empowering the pillars of culture, which in turn would strengthen the economies of the organization’s countries.

In his speech to the session, the French consul general in Jeddah and envoy to the organization, Mustafa Maharaj, stressed the need for foreign expertise in heritage conservation so as to integrate efforts between the ICO and the international community.


Startup of the Week: Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (Supplied)
Updated 15 min 37 sec ago

Startup of the Week: Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.
Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.
The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”
Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.
“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”
Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”
The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.
“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.
Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.
“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.
KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”
The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.
“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.