Collaborative approach of G20 key to overcoming COVID-19 pandemic: Saudi minister

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A roundtable discussion moderated by Noor Nugali, Arab news Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Adel Al-Jubair Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State, about the how the G20 can reconnect the world. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
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A roundtable discussion moderated by Noor Nugali, Arab news Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Adel Al-Jubair Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State, about the how the G20 can reconnect the world. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
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Updated 21 November 2020

Collaborative approach of G20 key to overcoming COVID-19 pandemic: Saudi minister

  • Adel Al-Jubeir said nations had rallied together with a village-like mentality to combat the virus outbreak

RIYADH: Joint efforts by the G20 to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic had proved that through collaboration the world could overcome the health crisis, Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs said on Friday.

Speaking at the International Media Center for the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh, Adel Al-Jubeir pointed out that nations had rallied together with a village-like mentality to combat the virus outbreak.

He noted that the G20 had provided billions of dollars to obtain a vaccine for COVID-19, and added: “The lessons learned from this are that by working together, we can develop a vaccine faster and more effectively. We can develop protocols for how to deal with this pandemic.”

His comments came during a roundtable discussion — which was moderated by the minister alongside Arab News’ assistant editor-in-chief, Noor Nugali, and UAE minister of state, Reem Al-Hashimi — on how the G20 had reconnected the world.

Al-Jubeir said that the world had always been connected. “The only difference is that now we’re connected much more intensely and at a much greater speed, which means we have to perform at a much greater speed than we used to in the past.

“I see much more benefit from it than anything negative. And I see that when we can use technology and use our different backgrounds, we just enrich our global culture that much,” he added.

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Al-Hashimi said the COVID-19 pandemic had shown how much nations depended on each other.

“The global challenges are not going to be solved by one nation no matter how strong. And any fragility in one part of the world is going to have a ripple effect everywhere else,” she added.

Al-Jubeir said the G20 had showcased to the world how Saudi Arabia was empowering its youth and women and making significant reforms through its Vision 2030 plan. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had curtailed some aspects of the Kingdom’s presidency year.

We want to make our government more efficient … to empower our youth and our women so that the future generations can realize their hopes, their dreams, and their ambitions.

Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of state for foreign affairs

“It (the pandemic) prevented most of the meetings from happening physically. And it would have been nice to have thousands of people come to Saudi Arabia, walk the streets, meet Saudi men and women, see the changes that have happened in the country, feel the changes that are happening in the country, but … we will be able to do that as time goes by,” he added.

Al-Hashimi said: “It’s been phenomenal. I think that the challenge that 2020 has brought was very well-handled by the Kingdom that was able to bring everybody together in such difficult and extraordinary circumstances.

“Nobody wants a conference for the sake of a conference. And here you see that the Kingdom has taken a very robust and rigorous approach in really trying to bring together the things that matter to everybody else.

“I mean, when the theme is realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all, it talks about unlocking that potential,” she added.

On Saudi Arabia playing a more vocal and visual role in international organizations, Al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom had a huge interest in the world and in the stability of the region.

“We want to make our government more efficient … to empower our youth and our women so that the future generations can realize their hopes, their dreams, and their ambitions.

“So, to do this, we need stability in the region. We don’t need conflict. We have a series of conflicts around us, and to stabilize them, we need to work with the international community.

“So of course, our role will continue to be strong when it comes to dealing with the international community and dealing with international organizations,” he added.


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.”