Saudi autistic youth treated to a day at Formula E races

Social responsibility programs have been supporting people with autism and their families for several years. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 06 December 2019

Saudi autistic youth treated to a day at Formula E races

  • Motorsport show offers joyful experience to youngsters

RIYADH: A group of Saudi autistic youths were treated to a day at the races as part of an initiative to raise awareness of the developmental disorder.

Accompanied by Prince Saud bin Abdul Aziz bin Farhan Al-Saud, chairman of the Charitable Society of Autism Families (SAF), the young people enjoyed watching the Formula E motorsport event.

The outing was organized by the Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA), the SAF, the Formula E team, and volunteers as part of Diriyah Season.

“We wanted to utilize Formula E to give the autistic youth a chance to enjoy it as normal people, especially that the racing cars used in Formula E are noiseless, which is perfect for people with autism,” Prince Saud said.

“We believe that people on the autism spectrum are an important segment of society and should receive appreciation, attention and care. These events bring opportunities to raise awareness about their needs in society.”

For many of the youth it was their first experience of electric car racing.

“We are grateful to Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki (Al-Faisal, GSA chairman) and the GSA for giving us a special opportunity to engage the autistic youth in such an important event, and we are equally thankful to the Formula E leadership and their team who gave us unlimited support to ensure a joyful experience for our youth,” the prince added.

Earlier this week, on the sidelines of the Diriyah Formula E, Prince Saud and Formula E chairman, Alejandro Agag, signed an agreement to build a strategic partnership between the SAF and Formula E.

“We are happy to have a positive role in Saudi society through the agreement we have signed with the SAF. As well as being a world-class sport organization, we also have our social responsibility programs that we wish to implement in Saudi Arabia,” Agag said.

The SAF and Formula E hope the strategic cooperation accord will increase opportunities to expand the role of the motorsport in terms of inclusion and reaching all segments of the Saudi population.

The SAF has been supporting people with autism and their families for more than 11 years. Prince Saud was appointed as chairman of the board in May 2019, and since then has been working on several innovative projects to develop the SAF on multiple fronts.


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.