8th Saudi school introduces Chinese to its students

Students have responded positively to the new course. (SPA)
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Updated 22 January 2020

8th Saudi school introduces Chinese to its students

  • Ibtisam Al-Shehri: “This step represents the first stage of the ministry’s plan to teach the Chinese language on a larger scale that includes female students”

DAMMAM: A school in Dammam this week became one of eight in Saudi Arabia to introduce Chinese to its students, implementing the crown prince’s directives to teach the language as an optional subject at all educational levels.
Of the eight schools, four are in Riyadh, two in Jeddah and two in the Eastern Province. Muhammad bin Mubarak Al-Zahrani, director of Dammam’s education office, stressed during his visit to King Abdullah Secondary School the importance of including Chinese in public education due to its prestigious position among the languages of the world.
He noted the crown prince’s efforts to strengthen bilateral relations, and said offering Chinese at schools will open new horizons for students in various fields.
Mishaal and Khaled Al-Otaibi, Chinese-language teachers at the school, said students have responded positively to the new course.

FASTFACTS

• Offering Chinese at schools will open new horizons for students in various fields.

• Teachers say students have responded positively to the new course.

• The government aims to teach the Chinese language on a larger scale that includes female students.

Education Ministry spokesperson Ibtisam Al-Shehri said: “This step represents the first stage of the ministry’s plan to teach the Chinese language on a larger scale that includes female students.”
Chinese was introduced in Saudi schools during the crown prince’s visit to Beijing in February 2019, as part of an agreement between the two countries to strengthen ties and cooperation. Chen Weiqing, China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said Arabic is taught at more than 50 universities in his country.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Updated 28 February 2020

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

  • OIC secretary-general notes that the organization continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen announced on Wednesday that the OIC will adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) after it is revised in accordance with international human-rights standards. The foreign ministers of the OIC member states are expected to approve the CDHRI at their meeting in Niamey, Niger in April.

 Al-Othaimeen was speaking at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), held in Geneva on Wednesday, where he highlighted some of the efforts the OIC has made to fight racism and xenophobia — including Islamophobia — claiming that they are the result of “intellectual and political resistance to cultural pluralism.”

He said the OIC, in cooperation with its partners, has prepared “a comprehensive and consensual approach to address incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion.”

Al-Othaimeen’s speech, which was delivered on his behalf by OIC Geneva Permanent Representative Nassima Baghli, stressed that terrorism, including religious extremism, is a major source of concern for the international community. He pointed out that the OIC continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups and has established the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center, which focuses on addressing the ideological rhetoric of extremists.

His speech also reviewed the most common human-rights violations suffered by Muslims, referring to the detailed documentation from the UN’s own human rights bodies and the OIC of discrimination and violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Al-Othaimeen explained that America’s actions in Palestine in recent months required the OIC to stress that any peace initiative between Israel and Palestine must be consistent with legitimate rights, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

He also stressed the OIC’s support for Kashmiris in their pursuit of their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with international resolutions and highlighted the OIC’s condemnation of Armenia’s continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven regions bordering Azerbaijan.