Saudi Arabia condemns intervention in domestic affairs of states

Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh addresses during the 15th session of the Conference of the Federation of  Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. (SPA)
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Updated 01 February 2020

Saudi Arabia condemns intervention in domestic affairs of states

  • Kingdom to address future challenges during G20 summit: Shoura speaker

RIYAHD: The Kingdom condemns intervention in the domestic affairs of states and support for terrorist forces and armed militias that target the region’s states and undermine their institutions, the Saudi Press Agency reported the speaker of the Shoura Council saying.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh was addressing the 15th session of the Conference of the Federation of  Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The conference declared its commitment to the fundamental principles of the OIC, especially with regard to not intervening with the domestic affairs of others, respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states, and peacefully settling differences through dialogue.
The Ouagadougou Declaration also emphasized its determination to continue the positive and effective contributions to the work of the UN and its specialized agencies, including the establishment of world peace and regional security as well as respecting human rights and state sovereignty.
The declaration stressed the international community’s responsibility to resolve the conflict in the Middle East by enabling Palestinians to exercise their legitimate rights and establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, in addition to creating conditions for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland in accordance with the relevant international legitimacy resolutions.
Al-Asheikh said Palestine was the Kingdom’s primary cause and commanded the greatest attention in its foreign policies.
The speaker said that the humanitarian situation in Yemen required a serious stand from the international community to put an end to the tragedy, as the Houthi militia continued to deviate from the internationally recognized government in Yemen in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216 and continued to impede the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The speaker said that Saudi Arabia was committed during its G20 presidency to promoting global consensus and cooperation with the group’s partners to address future challenges. The next G20 summit will be held in Riyadh in November.


TheFace: Fatmah Al-Rashed, Saudi architect

Updated 21 February 2020

TheFace: Fatmah Al-Rashed, Saudi architect

  • "Ithra was a wonderful opportunity and a joyful experience that added so much value to my life."

Early on in life I learned that there is no one way to happiness, no one stereotype for accomplishment or self-satisfaction. This belief has been a drive for me to achieve more. I was born and raised in Alkhobar city; my father was a businessman and my mother was a housewife.

My life is rich with love provided by my family, my siblings, nieces and nephews and I’m enjoying motherhood and my family through nonconventional means.

My parents raised us as equals, they supported us, thought very highly of us and believed that we could excel in anything that we did. Our opinions were highly respected, but there were high expectations to be upheld.

My father once told me after finishing a novel on Marie Curie, “you know you’re no less than she is, you can be the Marie Curie in your own field. You have all it takes.”

I enrolled in the Imam Abdulrahman Al-Faisal University as I’ve always wanted to become a pediatrician. My parents raised my siblings and I with one motto in mind: “It’s not about you, it’s about how you can give back to your community.” My mother was not in favor of my chosen vocation. This is not to say that she went against me; in fact, I was given the freedom to decide my life path and my parents were supportive.

In those days, you had to apply to the university by physically providing all the necessary paperwork. As I stood in line to apply for medical school, I saw another queue. Inquisitive by nature, I went to ask what it was for. The administrators told me it was for the department of architecture and planning. Upon hearing that the course was just 5 years, I remembered my mother’s words, and within a minute, I decided to enroll in the department.

Two steps is all it took, stepping into the queue to the right and that decision changed my life’s path and helped make me who I am today. After graduating, I was hunting for jobs with no luck.

As I am not the type to lay back and do nothing, I volunteered to teach English at a local charity. One day, my father surprised me and said I had a job interview in Aramco.

I was shocked since I never applied and because it’s my father, he simply said that I applied for you because it’s time for you to give back. He told me: “The country invested in you, you are smart and you can take whatever job they give you. Who’s going to build the country but you and your generation?” Doors were opened.

I worked in my field for a while and that led me to the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra.

Twenty-five years later, I’m a still proud employee at Saudi Aramco and one of the first to bring the concept of Ithra to life. My role in Ithra began as an architect and was extended to be part of the creative team responsible for managing the creative program, its concept, and established the first Fablab at the King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals — the first in the Eastern Province. Building the concept of Ithra, or as I prefer to call it “the land of dreams,” was a group effort.

I joined with a dream and it was fate that we, the dreamers, were able to gather and meet at the right time and place, and most importantly we were given the opportunity to build something amazing.

This was a selfless act from our end because we wanted to see it come alive, to ensure that we played our part in giving back to a community that helped us grow to who we are today.

Ithra was a wonderful opportunity and a joyful experience that added so much value to my life. What comes next is going to also be part of my journey of growth, to explore our identity.

My life has been a whirlwind of opportunities. One lesson I learned was to never underestimate an opportunity no matter how small it was. You never know what you’ll get out of it.