Saeed Al-Malki, Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache to Spain

Saeed Al-Malki
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Updated 12 November 2020

Saeed Al-Malki, Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache to Spain

Saeed Al-Malki was recently appointed as Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache to Spain, the second time that he has held this position.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic language and literature from King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in 1998, and received his master’s in Al-Andalus literature from Umm Al-Qura University in 2002.
He traveled to Spain to pursue a secondary master’s in the same major from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 2004. Three years later, he obtained his doctorate there in the same major. In 2016, he pursued another master’s degree, in project management, from EAE Business School in Madrid.
Al-Malki has worked as a lecturer in Al-Andalus literature at KAU, and in 2008 he was assigned to lead the cultural committee and supervise the IT unit in the university’s Faculty of Arts. He was also chairman of the General Cultural Committee of the Deanship of Student Affairs at the university between 2009 and 2011.
Beginning in 2010 he headed the Department of Arabic Language and Literature for two years, and was the supervisor of the Future Leaders Preparation Program in 2012 and 2013.
Al-Malki worked as a part-time consultant at the Research and Consulting Institute from 2010 to 2013. He also consulted part-time at KAU’s Vice-Presidency for Business and Knowledge Creativity between 2011 and 2014.
He served as vice-president of the Literary Cultural Club in Jeddah from 2012 to 2014, and was a member of the board of directors of KAU’s Tourism Institute in 2013 and 2014. He was appointed the Kingdom’s cultural attache to Spain in 2014, a position he held until 2016, and to which he was recently reappointed.
In between, Al-Malki served for three years as the University of Bisha’s vice-dean of educational affairs, and acting vice-dean of development and quality deanship.


Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

Nutrition is the most important part when it comes to bodybuilding, then comes type of exercise, and good rest. (AFP)
Updated 29 November 2020

Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

  • Ali Al-Salam, who stopped consuming animal products in 2017, says certain steps must be completed to have an athletic body

JEDDAH: The vegan diet has risen in popularity in Saudi Arabia in recent years and has been a constant topic of debate among Saudis, attracting the interest of many, including athletes.

Ongoing debates about whether the vegan diet is sufficient for normal people, let alone bodybuilders, abound, but one Saudi is answering them physically.
Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.
Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease, but other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.
Speaking to Arab News, 33-year-old Saudi vegan bodybuilder, Ali Al-Salam, who first started his vegan diet three years ago when he was suffering from high blood pressure, highlighted that the consumption of animal products is a deep rooted idea among bodybuilders and athletes.
“We always hear that in order to build muscle, we must consume animal products. In some parts of the world, there are people who can only have a small amount of animal products yet they live their lives healthily and comfortably and are not suffering from malnutrition — on the contrary, they have a lower level of chronic illnesses.”

When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.

Ali Al-Salam, Saudi vegan bodybuilder

He said it also opened his eyes to what goes on in the dairy and meat industry; he began researching in 2016 and decided to become vegan in 2017.
“I was just like every other athlete, I used to consume a high amounts of protein. I remember in the last days before turning vegan, I used to have 10 egg whites and a piece of steak for breakfast to fulfil my protein needs. This made me think, ‘is this the only way to consume protein?’ And from then on, I started researching and got introduced to the vegan diet at a larger scale,” he said.
“When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.”
He explained that bodybuilding does not solely rely on protein, and that there are steps that must be completed in order to reach an athletic body. Nutrition is the most important part, then comes type of exercise, and good rest.
“When we talk about good nutrition, it does not just rely on protein. Yes, it is important, but the amount of calories in general is more important,” he said.
“Let’s say you needed 200 grams of protein, does that mean if you consumed 200 grams of it, you would gain muscle? No. You need all the basic nutrients to reach a certain amount of calories in general,” he added.
He highlighted that as soon as people register for gym memberships, they immediately look for supplements because they think they cannot reach the needed amount of protein.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.

• Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease.

• But other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.

• Vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants.

• Animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.

“I’m talking about non-vegans here too, where their protein intake is already high. Marketing plays a big role here. People link protein to animal products because our society grew up with this idea as well.
“Can a vegan build muscle? Yes, when they eat right, exercise correctly and rest well. The misconception about protein stems from amino acids. People think vegan food lacks amino acids, and only animal products are full of them and that is far from the truth,” he added.
When comparing vegan athletes to regular athletes, he said vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants which helps greatly in recovery, and because “animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.”