DiplomaticQuarter: New Zealand envoy lauds efforts of Etidal against extremism

Outgoing New Zealand Ambassador James Monroe writes his views about Etidal.
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Updated 19 November 2020

DiplomaticQuarter: New Zealand envoy lauds efforts of Etidal against extremism

RIYADH: New Zealand Ambassador James Monroe recently visited the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, known as Etidal.
Praising the work of the center, the envoy said Etidal’s efforts are advanced and critical in its line of work.
Monroe has completed his term as the ambassador to the Kingdom.
“Your work is vitally and globally important. It has been a pleasure to see the progress you have achieved while maintaining your exacting standards and dedication to your methodology. I wish the center and all your staff the very best,” he said.
The secretary-general of the center, Dr. Mansour Al-Shammari, praised the role of New Zealand in promoting values of coexistence and combating hate speech.
The center was established on three basic pillars: Confronting extremism by the latest intellectual, media, and numerical methods and means.
The center uses different methods to counter extremist ideology such as software capable of monitoring, classifying, and analyzing any extremist content within just 6 seconds of its online broadcast and with more than 80 percent accuracy. It has a team of multidisciplinary researchers competent in using data analytical tools.
It operates in the extremists’ most widely used languages and dialects. Advanced analytical models are being developed to locate digital media platforms, highlight the extremist focal point, and secret sources of polarization and acquiring activities.
The center works to refute hate and extremist speech and promote concepts of moderation through the production of media content that confronts radical thoughts.


On the go with Saudi Arabia’s first professionally trained cycling club

Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally. (Supplied)
Updated 34 min 26 sec ago

On the go with Saudi Arabia’s first professionally trained cycling club

  • Saudi Arabia’s female population is enjoying the new wave of opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle

RIYADH: As sports and other activities continue to gain popularity in Saudi Arabia, residents are seeking out exciting ways to get moving.
The Kingdom’s female population are enjoying the new wave of opportunities that have been made available to them in recent years to live a healthy lifestyle.
Hiking, outdoor yoga and football are all popular choices, but one less familiar pastime on the increase is cycling.
Events such as the annual Saudi Tour and the General Sports Authority’s highly successful all-women’s cycling race in Jeddah in 2018 have fostered a growing interest in the sport.
Studies have shown that cycling improves overall health, more specifically improving mental health, strengthening the immune system, promoting weight loss, reducing heart disease and cancer and more.
Riding a bike can be one of the easiest forms of returning to fitness when you are bouncing back from an injury or illness.

Doves Ride organizes rides for all levels, from the gentle trails suitable for beginners to the more challenging routes for hardened cyclists. The group offers lessons that can help any beginner ride a bike safely. (Supplied)

A group of bike enthusiasts from Riyadh intend to spread the word and make people more aware of the healthy advantages of cycling and the joy that can be had on the back of a bicycle.
Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally. Shahd Alturki, Doves Ride’s founder and a professional cycling trainer, spoke to Arab News about why she set up the team.

HIGHLIGHTS

• A group of bike enthusiasts from Riyadh intend to spread the word and make people more aware of the healthy advantages of cycling and the joy that can be had on the back of a bicycle.

• Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally.

• Riding a bike can be one of the easiest forms of returning to fitness when you are bouncing back from an injury or illness.

“I founded Doves Ride to create an environment for women and families where they could get into sports,” Alturki said.
Based in Riyadh, Doves Ride’s goal is to create an environment where Saudis can discover what biking is like and meet others with similar interests.
“The idea was to create a team that would motivate Saudi society to start biking, and to raise awareness in general about sport and movement. We also wanted to help teach Saudis to cycle by creating a program to teach people in all categories,” she said.
Doves Ride organizes rides for all levels, from the gentle trails suitable for beginners to the more challenging routes for hardened cyclists.
“We welcome participants at any level, whether they are looking for a long-term membership or just to try it out,” said Alturki.
She also spoke about the benefits of the sport and hopes to encourage people to try it out for themselves.
“Biking is more than just a fun sport; it raises your fitness levels and can also boost your mental health,” she said.
For the more hesitant, Alturki reassures them that she is well-equipped to train them and get them on the path to biking like a pro.
“We have bike-riding lessons for zero-experience learners, licensed by the British Cycling Federation. Children, men and women are all welcome to take them. These lessons can help any beginner ride a bike safely, and teaches them all the necessary skills and basics,” she said.
Doves Ride can be contacted via their Twitter or Instagram accounts, @dovesride.