Protection of lives, economy from pandemic blues ‘top KSA priority’

A virtual ‘family photo’ of G20 heads of state was displayed on Friday on the walls of the historic Salwa Palace in Diriyah at a cultural dinner for journalists, guests and envoys. Individual photos of the G20 leaders were joined together with King Salman at the center. The ‘family photo’ is an annual tradition that highlights member states’ commitment to work together via a series of agreements signed by the leaders. The dinner was hosted by the G20 Saudi Secretariat. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 21 November 2020

Protection of lives, economy from pandemic blues ‘top KSA priority’

  • Saudi Arabia is determined to work with global partners to beat COVID-19, says foreign minister

RIYADH: The protection of lives and the economy from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic tops Saudi Arabia’s priority list, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said on Friday.

The G20 Summit in Riyadh comes under exceptional circumstances, and the Kingdom has “faced the challenges of the pandemic with determination, and competence,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan was quoted by the Saudi Press Agency as saying.

The Kingdom, Prince Farhan said, seeks to push policy solutions to address the epidemic, “and to work with international partners and organizations to achieve these solutions.”

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, said joint efforts by the G20 to fight the disease had proved that through collaboration the world could overcome the health crisis.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Joint efforts by the G20 to fight the disease proved that through collaboration the world could overcome the health crisis, said Al-Jubeir.
  • Saudi Arabia has injected $500 million — $200 million of which is for international and regional organizations’ vaccine and drug development.

Speaking at the International Media Center for the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh,  he pointed out that nations had rallied together with a village-like mentality to combat the 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 — attended by UAE Minister of State, Reem Al-Hashimi — on how the G20 had reconnected the world.

Al-Hashimi said the 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.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

Al-Hashimi said 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.”

Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, Saudi minister of commerce and acting media minister,  said due to the pandemic the 2020 summit had become a meeting representing all nations.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, said: “The Kingdom has been proactive and supported global efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and will be one of the first countries to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Speaking during a session titled “G20 Saudi Leadership: Challenges and Achievements,” Al-Rabeeah said: “Saudi Arabia has injected $500 million — $200 million of which is for international and regional organizations’ vaccine and drug development.”

“The G20 have injected $21 billion with the hope that people will not suffer from the pandemic.”

 


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.”