Students begin studying Chinese in public schools in Saudi Arabia

Students begin studying Chinese in public schools in Saudi Arabia
The Chinese economy has witnessed rapid growth in recent years, transforming the country into a global leader in technology and manufacturing. (Reuters)
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Updated 20 January 2020

Students begin studying Chinese in public schools in Saudi Arabia

Students begin studying Chinese in public schools in Saudi Arabia
  • The inclusion of the Chinese language will enhance the cultural diversity of students in Saudi Arabia, and contribute to the achievement of the goals in education for Vision 2030

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education has begun teaching Chinese at eight public secondary schools, as the first stage of the ministry’s plan to include it in public education.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson, Ibtisam Al-Shehri, four schools in Riyadh, two in Jeddah, and two in the eastern province, including two girls’ schools, would participate.
Al-Shehri also noted that studying Chinese would be optional for students, not compulsory.
The Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing thanked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Twitter for including Chinese in the country’s educational system.
“I hope that the emerging generation in the Kingdom will master the Chinese language, love Chinese culture, and embrace an honorable future for the two friendly countries,” he said.
Chinese was first introduced to Saudi schools during the crown prince’s visit to Beijing in February 2019, as part of an agreement between the two countries to strengthen bilateral friendship and cooperation.
Several initiatives were launched with different organizations in the education and training sectors to introduce the language to the public.
One of the biggest initiatives was in collaboration with the Arab Open University and Nabegh Educational Center to teach more than 3,500 teachers and employees in the education sector in 12 cities around the country.
Abdulrazaq Othman Abdullah, 38, is a graduate from China, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in administration and financial management. He and his wife taught Chinese to Saudi teachers in Madinah.
“The most important outcome from this project is to help the teachers overcome psychological barriers while studying a foreign language, and eliminate the assumptions associated with the Chinese language,” Abdullah told Arab News.

I hope that the emerging generation in the Kingdom will master the Chinese language, love Chinese culture, and embrace an honorable future for the two friendly countries.

Chen Weiqing, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

“It is very important that teaching Chinese begins from secondary school, it will broaden the students’ horizons and introduce them to a new culture and a new world that they would not know of without the language.”
Knowledge of the Chinese language will create a new field of opportunities for Saudis, be it in tourism, technology, commerce, investment, science, medicine, diplomacy, or education and academia.
The introduction of Chinese into the curriculum is a step toward opening new academic horizons for students of various educational levels in the Kingdom. Saudi universities are gradually including Chinese in their educational plans and academic activities.

FASTFACT

An agreement to teach Chinese in Saudi schools was reached during the crown prince’s visit to Beijing in February 2019.

“I have to admit that I was worried at the beginning, especially that I was teaching adults with years of experience in education,” Abdullah said.
“However, by the end of the experience I was very satisfied with the outcome. We as a population have a sense of curiosity, we like to seize opportunities and we are welcoming of everything new and willing to learn.”
From his experience as a student in China, Abdullah said that there were obvious cultural similarities between the two countries and that both societies were welcoming of each other.
During the crown prince’s visit to Beijing, Chinese leaders agreed to help facilitate Chinese language learning through its the country’s Confucius Institute, which promotes language learning and cultural exchange around the world.
China is home to almost a fifth of the world’s population, and has been growing significantly in the past four decades at an average of nearly 10 percent a year, transforming the country into a global leader in technology and manufacturing.
The inclusion of the Chinese language will enhance the cultural diversity of students in the Kingdom, and contribute to the achievement of the goals in education for Vision 2030.


DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties
Updated 25 February 2021

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

RIYADH: Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Shahin Abdullayev recently held a meeting with the joint Saudi-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Friendship Committee of the Shoura Council in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting was held under the co-chairmanship of Dr. Faiz Al-Shehri, member of the Shoura Council and head of the committee, and examined various ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various fields, especially at the level of parliamentary relations between the Shoura Council and the Azerbaijani parliament.
Abdullayev wished the council success in its new session and expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s policies to enhance security, peace and stability in the Gulf region and beyond.
Al-Shehri ran through the Shoura Council’s organizational structure, and highlighted the importance of the diplomatic role played by parliamentary friendship committees.
Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in February 2017.
The then-Azeri Ambassador in Riyadh Rasim Rzayev said at the time: “Azerbaijan and the Kingdom, two brotherly Muslim countries, have unique commonalities of a historical, religious and political nature.”
 


Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Updated 25 February 2021

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif met Janet Alberda, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Saudi Arabia, in Dammam on Wednesday.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and issues of common interest, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Alberda highlighted the development that the Eastern Province has been witnessing, and wished further progress and prosperity for the Kingdom.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Honorary Consul to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Sulaiman Al-Suhaimi.
Also on Wednesday, Prince Saud received the regional director of Al Arabiya channel, Mohammed Al-Hekmi, accompanied by a number of employees.
Prince Saud praised the role of the media in highlighting the societal and development accomplishments of the Kingdom in general and the Eastern Province in particular.
The media played an influential role and was an important means of communication, he said.
Earlier, Prince Saud met the US consul general in Dhahran, Nicholle Manz-Baazaoui. Issues of common interest and ways to promote relationships between the two countries were discussed.
Prince Saud stressed the solid ties between the two countries and their common vision on various topics.
He also highlighted the two countries’ joint work toward achieving security and peace in the region and the world, as well as their economic and cultural cooperation.
 


Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank
Updated 25 February 2021

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Tareq Al-Sadhan has been president and CEO of Riyad Bank since April 2019. Before that, he served as the bank’s senior executive vice president from January 2018 to March 2019.
Al-Sadhan worked with KPMG Saudi Arabia, where he spent 18 years rising through the ranks to become one of the youngest partners in the firm’s history.
He was CEO/managing partner and chairman of the advisory committee during his last five years at the company.
Before his current position, Al-Sadhan worked in the Kingdom’s public sector in roles such as adviser to the chairman in the Saudi Fund for Development, acting director general at the General Authority for Zakat and Tax, and deputy governor for supervision at the Saudi Central Bank.
Al-Sadhan holds a bachelor’s degree in administration science from King Saud University, majoring in accounting (1997), and a master’s degree in business management from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, France (2007).
He gained a diploma in international business from the University of Edinburgh in 2006, and a diploma in leadership development and strategy from INSEAD in 2010.
Al-Sadhan is a member of the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Stewardship Board for the Middle East and North Africa, and a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants.
He has been an audit committee member at the Public Investment Fund since March 2019, and an advisory board member at Mastercard since March 2018.


Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK
Updated 25 February 2021

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK
  • Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between both countries. 

“Had a good call with the United Kingdom Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between our two friendly countries, and our common interests in achieving regional and international stability,” Prince Khalid tweeted Wednesday.

In an interview last year with Al Arabiya, Wallace said the UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not restricted to selling weapons, but a strong defense partnership.


KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti
Updated 25 February 2021

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has launched a voluntary medical campaign for specialized surgeries in Djibouti.

The center’s medical team has to date performed 41 urinary tract operations on children in the east African country and provided the necessary treatment for 60 other cases.

The health initiative is part of Saudi Arabia’s relief and humanitarian efforts, through the center, to help crisis-hit countries and the suffering of people around the world.