UNESCO extends Saudi scientist’s goodwill ambassador role for another 2 years

Dr. Hayat Sindi
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Updated 05 August 2020

UNESCO extends Saudi scientist’s goodwill ambassador role for another 2 years

  • Sindi was selected as one of Newsweek’s 150 Women Who Shake the World, was ranked second by Forbes on a list of the most powerful Arab women in Saudi Arabia and was again selected by Newsweek, and The Daily Beast, as one of 150 fearless women

JEDDAH: Saudi medical scientist Dr. Hayat Sindi’s prestige role as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador has been extended for another two years by the organization’s director general, Audrey Azoulay.
Makkah-born Sindi was given the title in recognition of her work to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists, and engineers in the Middle East and around the world.
Sindi was the first woman from the Gulf to obtain a Ph.D. in biotechnology from the University of Cambridge and was one of the first female members of the Saudi Shoura Council.
In addition, she co-founded and co-invented Diagnostics for All — a program to create affordable diagnostic devices for millions of people in impoverished regions — alongside a team from Harvard University.
In 2008, Sindi led the Diagnostics for All team to first place in Harvard Business School’s business plan contest, the social enterprise track, and also won MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition in the same year — becoming the only team to take top spot in both competitions in the same year.
She founded the i2 Institute that aims to empower and inspire the next generation of innovators to realize their dreams and contribute to the world. She also invented a low-cost diagnostic tool for early detection of breast cancer by converting light into sound, and holds nine patents.

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It was an acknowledgement of the 52-year-old biotechnology research expert’s efforts to bring youth closer to innovators, promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and for her dedication to the ideals and aims of UNESCO.

In 2017, Sindi was appointed chief scientific adviser to the president of the Islamic Development Bank and has since put science, technology, and innovation at the heart of bank’s work in driving economic growth and sustainable development.
Sindi was selected as one of Newsweek’s 150 Women Who Shake the World, was ranked second by Forbes on a list of the most powerful Arab women in Saudi Arabia and was again selected by Newsweek, and The Daily Beast, as one of 150 fearless women. In 2018, she was named by the BBC among the 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world.
In 2015, she was appointed as an honorary adviser to the UN Environment Program for the Eye on Earth Summit and the following year joined a 10-member group supporting the technological facilitation mechanism for sustainable development goals.
Recently, Sindi was appointed by the G20 as global ambassador for the health and development partnership of the group.


Saudi Arabia gives rental relief to municipal space investors

Updated 28 September 2020

Saudi Arabia gives rental relief to municipal space investors

  • The decision will help over 50,000 facilities deal with the economic effects of coronavirus
  • Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail thanked the two leaders

DUBAI: King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have approved a plan to exempt investors in municipal spaces about 25 percent of rental fees, state news agency SPA has reported.
The decision will help over 50,000 facilities deal with the economic effects of coronavirus by relieving them off payments amounting to over $151.9 million, the report added.
Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail thanked the two leaders.
“I extend my sincere gratitude for the Custodian of the Holy Mosques for issuing the generous approval to exempt investors with municipalities by 25% of the rent of municipal real estate this year to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which contributes to creating an attractive investment environment with the municipalities,” he tweeted.

Saudi Arabia announced a further drop of daily coronavirus cases on Sunday, as the number of total infections grew by 403 to 317,005.