For Saudi students, KAUST program is just what the doctor ordered

For Saudi students, KAUST program is just what the doctor ordered
Prof. Khaled Salama
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Updated 23 January 2020

For Saudi students, KAUST program is just what the doctor ordered

For Saudi students, KAUST program is just what the doctor ordered
  • More than 200 KAUST students will take part in the program along with 1,500 participants from across Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi students will step into the future of health care at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s annual Winter Enrichment Program (WEP), which launched its 10th installation with a focus on personalized medicine.

The two-week program from Jan. 12-23 will feature distinguished speakers, and “will enrich our students’ exposure, thinking and mindset,”

KAUST President Tony Chan said.

Prof. Khaled Salama, co-chairman of the program, said: “We chose ‘Personalized Medicine’ as a theme because it’s where science, technology and medicine intersect. We’ve reached an evolutionary stage in this field where traditional medicine is no longer working.”

Around the world, there is a huge research on how to use technology and machine learning to help doctors improve quality of service, Salama said.

“That can be achieved by improving the treatment to give the required dosage at the right time to the right patient — people are different from each other, and one medicine might work for one individual but not another.”

Researchers are studying errors in cancer treatments and other diseases, and how to use technology to treat these ailments in a personalized way, allowing for genetic, geographical and environmental differences.

“If we can use this technology to solve one of the biggest challenges that humanity faces in health care, it will be helpful not only scientifically but also will serve humanity as a whole.”

More than 200 KAUST students will take part in the program along with 1,500 participants from across Saudi Arabia, including high school and university students, university professors, government officials and health researchers.

“This helps enrich the Kingdom, creating connections where people can write proposals, network and open discussion for further research,” Salama said.

“Through events such as this, a university like KAUST can access expertise offered by visiting researchers, who can teach us things, which in turn helps our leaders and professors figure out what KAUST needs to expand on,” said Salama.

The program will include workshops, sessions and interactive scientific experiments. Saudi biochemist Hussam Zawawi will have his film screened during WEP, based on a microbiology study carried out in Latin America.

The program is a requirement for graduation at KAUST, and is an “important ritual of enrichment,” Chan said.

Sessions and podcast discussions will be broadcast to audiences across the Kingdom and the world on the university website.


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.