Cultural scholarships on offer to Saudi students in an educational first

Cultural scholarships on offer to Saudi students in an educational first
The program will be offered to students – undergraduate and postgraduate. (SPA)
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Updated 31 December 2019

Cultural scholarships on offer to Saudi students in an educational first

Cultural scholarships on offer to Saudi students in an educational first
  • Applications can be submitted online via a special platform created by the Ministry of Culture

JEDDAH: Cultural scholarships to some of the world’s top universities are to be offered to Saudi students in an educational first for the Kingdom.

Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud announced the launch of the country’s first cultural scholarship program which will provide specialized learning opportunities for male and female students at prominent international institutions.

Archaeology, design, museums, music, theater, filmmaking, literature, visual and culinary arts, will be just some of the fields of study available at Ph.D., bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

Prince Badr said that education was the main pillar on which the Kingdom’s cultural sector was being built, backed by the great support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi artist Rashed Al-Shashai welcomed the launch of the ministry’s scholarship program and its ongoing promotion of the arts and culture.

“Arts education is important; it will surely produce new talent and grow the arts sector significantly.

“Although many have had success after years of trial and error and without having an educational degree in the arts, through gaining experience and understanding, I believe graduates will return with an understanding of new concepts of contemporary art, as their education should open their horizons.

“We, in Saudi Arabia, need more art critics, more curators and individuals who will provide a better understanding on the culture of arts, with experience gained from abroad and applied organically here,” said Al-Shashai.

Rayan Alayesh, a culinary arts graduate from Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London, struggled to achieve his goal of becoming a chef in Saudi Arabia. However, the experience he gained from working with top chefs in the British capital provided him with the knowledge to return to the Kingdom and realize his ambition.

“The culinary degree is a key to entering the field, but the most important part of it all is the experience and training received afterwards from a reputable and accomplished chef to gain the right skill sets in order to translate theory into practice,” he said.

The developing Saudi movie industry also offers growing opportunities for talent through organizations such as the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation, which aims to promote film culture.

Applicants will be able to register online for the cultural scholarship program from Jan. 19, 2020.


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.