Saudi women lead the way as cycling breaks down barriers

Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
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The race series was organized by the SFA with the Saudi Cycling Federation’s support to encourage women to take part in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles. (Photo/Supplied)
Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
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The race series was organized by the SFA with the Saudi Cycling Federation’s support to encourage women to take part in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles. (Photo/Supplied)
Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
3 / 6
The race series was organized by the SFA with the Saudi Cycling Federation’s support to encourage women to take part in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles. (Photo/Supplied)
Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
4 / 6
The race series was organized by the SFA with the Saudi Cycling Federation’s support to encourage women to take part in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles. (Photo/Supplied)
Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
5 / 6
The race series was organized by the SFA with the Saudi Cycling Federation’s support to encourage women to take part in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles. (Photo/Supplied)
Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
6 / 6
The race series was organized by the SFA with the Saudi Cycling Federation’s support to encourage women to take part in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 09 January 2020

Saudi women lead the way as cycling breaks down barriers

Saudi women lead the way  as cycling breaks down barriers
  • All-women series draws 1,000 competitors to races in Jeddah, Riyadh and Alkhobar

JEDDAH: Cycling is one of Saudi Arabia’s fastest-growing sports — and it’s the Kingdom’s women who are leading the way.

More than 1,000 women recently took part in the country’s first major women’s cycling event, a three-race series held in Jeddah, Riyadh and Alkhobar.

The turnout for the competition drew praise from the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), which organized the event, with Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, SFA managing director, describing the series as “truly a historic occurrence for health and wellness in Saudi Arabia.”

In the final race of the series, held at the Corniche in Alkhobar, Nadia Skoukdi claimed first place, followed by Floria Martias and Nasima Siddikui.

More than 800 women took part in the first race, held at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, where Skoukdi and Martias were joined by Ahlam Al-Zaid on the finalists’ podium.

Jeddah’s race welcomed more than 200 women to Al-Joharah Stadium, with Martias placing first, and Arwa Al-Amoudi and Samar Rahbeini as runners-up.

Cycling as a sport is growing in popularity across the Kingdom, according to the SFA, which says that about 1.1 percent of the population cycles on a weekly basis. At least 30 percent of cyclists are women, the federation believes.

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan hopes to boost weekly levels of physical activity to 40 percent in the next decade.

Al-Husseini said that the SFA considers physical activity its “mandate,” which translates to more public competitions and events such as the women’s cycling series.

“We will continue to stage activities under the Quality of Life program, and work hard toward our goal to get people involved in sports and activities of all types,” she added.


Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well

Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well
An undated photo of Yahya Hamza Koshak, who died at the age of 80. (Supplied)
Updated 21 min 24 sec ago

Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well

Saudis pay tribute to engineer for his services to the Zamzam well
  • Yahya Hamza Koshak was considered an authority on the architecture and history of the ancient site

JEDDAH: Saudis on Tuesday were mourning the loss of Yahya Hamza Koshak following his death at the age of 80. An engineer by profession, he became famous for his services to the Zamzam well.

Koshak, also known as the “father of engineers,” was a former director general of the National Water Company and member of the Okaz Organization for Press and Publication.
He was born in Makkah, where his father, a merchant, worked during the Umrah season, serving as chairman of the Establishment of Motawifs of Pilgrims of Turkish Muslims of Europe America and Australia.
His mother was a close friend of the wife of the late King Faisal, Princess Effat, whom she met at the Makkah’s Grand Mosque.
Koshak studied in one of Taif city’s first schools after it was founded by King Faisal and Princess Effat.
He studied engineering at Ain Shams University in Cairo, but completed his degree in Riyadh. He later continued his education in the US, where he obtained a Ph.D. in engineering sciences.
His nephew Nabeel Koshak told Arab News that the late engineer was dear to those who worked with him.

FASTFACTS

• Yahya Hamza Koshak was born in Makkah.

• Koshak studied in one of Taif city’s first schools.

• He studied engineering at Ain Shams University in Cairo, but completed his degree in Riyadh.

• He later continued his education in the US, where he obtained a Ph.D. in engineering sciences.

• He led the cleaning team of the Zamzam well four decades ago.

• Koshak wrote a book, ‘Zamzam: The Holy Water,’ in which he recorded his observations inside the well.

“He was very social, close to people, and always kind and did not like to hurt anyone. He was light hearted — these were the characteristics that distinguished his personality.”
Koshak “was like a father to me,” and the family remained proud that he earned the trust of the Kingdom’s leadership, his nephew said.
“He greeted and received the king every year during the last 10 days of Ramadan.”
Koshak held a number of government positions in Makkah over a long career, including undersecretary for technical affairs at the Makkah Municipality.
He led the cleaning team of the Zamzam well four decades ago and wrote a book, “Zamzam: The Holy Water,” in which he recorded his observations inside the well.
“Cleaning the Zamzam well was one of his most important projects, a huge task under the direction of the late King Khalid,” his nephew said.
In his book, Koshak outlined the history of the well and its water sources, and also documented the archaeological objects found during the cleaning project.
The late engineer said: “By observation, it became clear that there are only two main sources of water, one toward the Kaaba, and the other toward Ajyad. As for the third source, which historical narratives said is on the side of Jabal Abu Qubays and Al-Safa, I found instead 12 small holes between building stones.”
Koshak’s interests included alternative medicine, which led to him establishing a specialist center in Jeddah.


Saudi Arabia, Iraq hold talks to boost ties

Saudi Arabia, Iraq hold talks to boost ties
Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Inaad Saadoun presents a memento to Saudi Arabia’s Chief of Staff Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili in Baghdad. (SPA)
Updated 10 min 29 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Iraq hold talks to boost ties

Saudi Arabia, Iraq hold talks to boost ties
  • The Saudi military chief held a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah and reviewed bilateral ties in a way that help both sides achieve their common goals

Saudi Arabia’s Chief of Staff Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, who is on an official visit to Iraq, met Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Inaad Saadoun on Wednesday.
During the meeting, they discussed matters related to the armed forces and other issues of common interest.
They stressed the need to strengthening ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq to ensure the security and stability of the region.
The Iraqi minister presented Al-Ruwaili with a memento.
The Saudi military chief also held a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah and reviewed bilateral ties in a way that help both sides achieve their common goals.
He also held meetings with the chiefs of the Iraqi army and air force.


Who’s Who: Areej Attiyah Al-Johani, deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality

Who’s Who: Areej Attiyah Al-Johani, deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality
Areej Attiyah Al-Johani
Updated 18 min 41 sec ago

Who’s Who: Areej Attiyah Al-Johani, deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality

Who’s Who: Areej Attiyah Al-Johani, deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality

Areej Attiyah Al-Johani was recently appointed as the deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality.
She has been general supervisor of the Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Office (Afseh) at the Saudi Health Ministry since 2018.
Al-Johani received a bachelor’s degree in education from King Saud University in 2003. After completing a master’s degree at the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, she obtained a Ph.D. in technology science from the University of South Wales.
Before her current role, Al-Johani served as director-general of the ministry’s workforce planning department from April 2019 to February 2021.
She has been a certified internal assessor at the health ministry for the King Abdul Aziz Quality Award since 2018.
Al-Johani headed the quality excellence team at the ministry’s deputyship of human resources between 2018 and 2019.
In 2016, she was a coordinator for the leadership renewal program at the ministry’s deputyship of human resources. In 2009, she worked for nearly a year as supervisor at the learning and resource center of the Jeddah-based Al-Abnaa High School.
Al-Johani has attended various local and international training courses. She is a recipient of several prestigious professional awards.
From 2005 to 2014, she attended several IT courses in the UK.
Al-Johani has had research papers published in various journals. She has also attended conferences inside and outside the country.


Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app

Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app
According to a new report by mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, the Clubhouse app has grown from having more than 3.5 million global downloads in February 2020 to reaching 8.1 million by Feb. 16 this year. (Getty Images)
Updated 29 min 33 sec ago

Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app

Volunteers help Saudi job seekers find work via popular app
  • The Clubhouse app has grown from having more than 3.5 million global downloads in February 2020 to reaching 8.1 million by Feb. 16 this year

JEDDAH: A group of recruitment experts in Saudi Arabia have joined forces to launch a jobs initiative via a popular new audio-only app.
The six volunteers have been giving up three hours a day to speak with job seekers on the Clubhouse social networking platform which is rapidly becoming a go-to staging post for connecting users with the country’s employers.
The team’s Employment Forum Initiative chat room aims to help link people with recruitment specialists and businesses throughout the Kingdom.
The forum is among a number of rooms set up on Clubhouse — that in recent weeks has been among the top three most popular social media apps in Saudi Arabia and worldwide — to discuss labor market needs, job interview techniques, freelancing opportunities, and other employment-related issues.
One of the forum’s founders, Saleh Al-Sodmi, told Arab News: “We are a group of volunteers representing ourselves in this initiative where we united our love of giving and compassion to help people. We are providing assistance to our fellow citizens, which we consider a duty, not a favor.”
Al-Sodmi and his colleagues all work in the human resources and recruitment sector but have been sacrificing their time on a daily basis to help Clubhouse users in their hunt for jobs.
During the first five days of the initiative, the group helped more than 20 people to find employment and numerous others to get job interviews, and Al-Sodmi expected more success stories as the app’s network of HR and recruitment specialists grew.
“It began with two young sisters who were looking for a job and started a room in Clubhouse for that purpose. Gradually many people within the recruitment field joined, and we agreed to carry on such meetings on a daily basis,” he said.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Employment Forum Initiative chat room aims to help link people with recruitment specialists and businesses throughout the Kingdom.

• The forum is among a number of rooms set up on Clubhouse — that in recent weeks has been among the top three most popular social media apps in Saudi Arabia and worldwide.

Between 700 and 1,000 users have been attending the group’s forums in recent days, and numbers are increasing.
According to a new report by mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, the Clubhouse app has grown from having more than 3.5 million global downloads in February 2020 to reaching 8.1 million by Feb. 16 this year.
Al-Sodmi added: “This initiative has shown how people love good and giving. Personally, all I want in return is an honest prayer. We can always help. Even when we do not have the proper job for the job seeker, we can still offer advice on how to improve their chances or overcome concerns.”
Maryam Saleh, a Clubhouse user, told Arab News: “I am truly fascinated with the idea, and I appreciate the moderators’ commitment to giving three hours of their time or sometimes more to help others.

We are providing assistance to our fellow citizens, which we consider a duty, not a favor.

Saleh Al-Sodmi, Co-founder

“I found out about it from my friend; I hope it grows further and helps young people to get the opportunities they deserve, especially those, like me, who graduated in these difficult times amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”
Al-Sodmi said Clubhouse had helped users reach out to a wider audience and connect with people that were not as easily accessible via social media platforms.
“For instance, Clubhouse allowed the influencers’ privilege to dissolve and helped the different groups of societies to truly mingle amongst themselves and talk to each other.


“We have seen artists, economists, and CEOs connecting and interacting with the public easily and comfortably,” he added.
Hanan bin Fantokh, another volunteer recruitment specialist within the employment initiative, told Arab News that the platform has helped save recruiters’ time finding candidates and conducting initial interviews.
“It has also helped people break through their fear barrier by allowing them to introduce and market themselves publicly. It also helped many enhance their dialogue and persuasion skills.
“On the jobs front, many have started getting interviews, and some have signed contracts. However, the availability of jobs is less than the number of job seekers,” she added.


Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise

Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise
Updated 02 March 2021

Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise

Saudi COVID vaccine campaign expanding as cases continue to rise
  • The Kingdom said 286 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • The highest number of cases were recorded in Riyadh with 136

RIYADH: Pregnant women and children in Saudi Arabia have not yet been permitted to receive the coronavirus vaccine, said a health ministry spokesperson.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that this is a temporary measure until further studies have been completed.
He said the vaccine operation is expanding, with 350 vaccination centers across the Kingdom, in addition to inoculations from mobile teams.
Al-Abd Al-Aly said the number of cases is still going through a phase of fluctuation and is being watched with caution after an increase in the number of daily infections during the first weeks of the year.
He said he hoped the preventive measures taken will lead to a decrease in the number of cases and help lead to a return to normal life.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia recorded five new COVID-19 related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,505.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 302 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 378,002 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 2,571 remain active and 486 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 136, followed by the Eastern Province with 78, Makkah with 37, Al-Jouf recorded eight and Qassim confirmed six cases.
The ministry also announced that 286 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 368,926.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 114 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 2.54 million.