Envoys hail Saudi Arabia’s ‘vaccine for all’ rollout

Envoys hail Saudi Arabia’s ‘vaccine for all’ rollout
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Updated 20 January 2021

Envoys hail Saudi Arabia’s ‘vaccine for all’ rollout

Envoys hail Saudi Arabia’s ‘vaccine for all’ rollout
  • More than 300,000 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Foreign residents living and working in Saudi Arabia have welcomed a unique opportunity to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, with more than 300,000 inoculated so far.
The Ministry of Health’s Sehhaty app began accepting registrations for vaccination from Dec. 16 to ensure access to the treatment for all residents in the Kingdom.
Inoculations began the next day in the Saudi capital, with three vaccine centers opening across four regions less than a month later.
After receiving their first vaccine dose, a number of ambassadors to foreign missions  hailed the country’s efforts in providing treatment for all.

John Abizaid
US ambassador

Speaking to news media after being vaccinated, Abizaid said: “The organization here is terrific. The professionalism is outstanding. We were probably the first people in the embassy to get the vaccine. I wanted to show the American community here in Saudi Arabia and all 80,000 that it is safe, that it is effective. We want to thank you for this opportunity to see Saudi healthcare workers in action and we really feel good about being in your country. If there was a place to be during the pandemic, it has been Saudi Arabia.”

Jorg Ranau
Germany’s ambassador

After receiving his second dose of the vaccine, the envoy said that he was proud to have a vaccine developed in his home country and provided for Saudis and foreigners in the Kingdom.
“I encourage everyone to get the vaccine because it is the only safe way to achieve herd immunity that will enable everyone to return to normal life. I encourage all German citizens in the Kingdom to register for the vaccine through the Sehhaty app.”
 
Andreas Schaller
Swiss envoy

“Like many of my team members, I just got the COVID-19 vaccine and was impressed by the ease of making the appointment by app and the exemplary organization. Thank you to all responsible, competent health staff for caring so well for the people, Saudis and international guests like me.”

Jo Byung Wook
South Korean envoy

“Today I heard that the Saudi authorities have approved two more vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Moderna for use in the Kingdom, in addition to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being used in this country. I expect that this will further enhance the Kingdom’s vaccination capability to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I received my first dose of the vaccine only three days after applying. I was impressed by the efficiency of the vaccination process and the professionalism of the healthcare practitioners. I highly encourage my fellow Korean residents to receive the vaccine.”

Balazs Selmeci
Hungarian ambassador

The Hungarian envoy thanked the Saudi government and the Health Ministry after both he and his family were inoculated.
“We have to say thanks to the Saudi government and the MOH for giving all of the residents here in Saudi Arabia the vaccination free of charge. I think that the authorities were well prepared for the arrival of the vaccine and also tried to prepare the staff. It’s clear that KSA has a detailed plan for the vaccination, which is working.
“The organization of the vaccination is perfect and I hope that more and more people will register here as the Saudi authorities are doing everything to grant the vaccine to everybody.”

Alvaro Iranzo Gutierrez
Ambassador of Spain

“I am very happy to say that the management by the Saudi authorities, the health authorities, the government and also the people of Saudi Arabia has been excellent since the pandemic started. All the measures taken we had to bear with patience, but it was for the good of everybody.
“As a Spanish citizen who lives happily in Saudi Arabia, I’m particularly grateful for the way it has been handled in an exemplary manner, and now we are in another phase thanks to the progress of the scientific community. We now have a vaccine, which ideally is going to allow normalcy to return in a few months’ time when most of the population will have taken it.
“I am also grateful because I had the opportunity to be vaccinated today. It was a swift procedure, efficient, done through the Sehhaty app, and I encourage everybody to go and take it. It doesn’t hurt at all will provide the immunity we are seeking.”

Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama
Djibouti envoy

The ambassador took to Twitter to thank the leadership for facilitating the vaccine for all. “The organization, reception and performance were organized and appropriate as was with the first dose. We reiterate our thanks and appreciation to the leadership of the Kingdom and to the Ministry of Health, which dealt well with the coronavirus pandemic.”

 


Al-Rabeeah, EU envoy discuss relief efforts

Al-Rabeeah, EU envoy discuss relief efforts
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah. (SPA)
Updated 34 sec ago

Al-Rabeeah, EU envoy discuss relief efforts

Al-Rabeeah, EU envoy discuss relief efforts
  • Simonnet praised KSrelief’s professional mechanisms, its preparation and coordination of humanitarian and relief programs, and its support for the needy around the world

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian efforts have been hailed as “professional” in a meeting between the head of KSrelief and the EU’s ambassador to the Kingdom.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), met Patrick Simonnet, head of the EU delegation to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman.
During the talks in Riyadh, the two discussed issues of mutual interest related to relief and humanitarian affairs.
Simonnet praised KSrelief’s professional mechanisms, its preparation and coordination of humanitarian and relief programs, and its support for the needy around the world.
KSrelief has implemented 1,536 projects worth almost $5 billion across 59 countries.
According to a recent report, the countries and territories that have benefited the most from the projects include Yemen ($3.47 billion), Palestine ($363 million), Syria ($304 million) and Somalia ($202 million).


Picture perfect: Saudi Arabia’s ancient beauty finds a new audience

Picture perfect: Saudi Arabia’s ancient beauty finds a new audience
Photographers now use drones to reach places that once were too dangerous or remote, and the resulting images shed new light on the power of photography and the beauty of landscapes. (Photos: Instgram/ @mysloppyadventures)
Updated 35 min 23 sec ago

Picture perfect: Saudi Arabia’s ancient beauty finds a new audience

Picture perfect: Saudi Arabia’s ancient beauty finds a new audience
  • Online platforms have become a melting pot of images taken by photographers who travel the country

JEDDAH: A new generation of Saudi photographers is relying on the power of social media to showcase the Kingdom’s vast beauty.

Online platforms have become a melting pot of images taken by photographers who travel the country — from the sandy beaches of the east and west, to the mountains of the north and south, and the green oases of the deserts — discovering the beauty of each region one picture at a time.

Fahad Al-Mutairi, 22, started @thesaudigate on Twitter to promote Saudi Arabia’s “hidden wonders” to a growing tourist market.

“I wanted to be part of the future somehow — that’s why I started Saudi Gate and this is what has motivated me to go on,” he told Arab News.

Many other photographers who travel the country share the same outlook.

Faisal Fahad Binzarah, 41, said: “I had to work on a few projects and went to places I had never been before. I remember thinking, where has this been all my life? I never thought I would find such gems in Saudi Arabia.”

Binzarah said that he looks for dramatic landscapes and tries to “capture the overall feeling of the place.”

He said: “The pictures I take are not unique, the uniqueness comes from the places. I am just the conveyer of the beauty and nothing else.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Fahad Al-Mutairi, 22, started @thesaudigate on Twitter to promote Saudi Arabia’s ‘hidden wonders’ to a growing tourist market.

• Al-Mutairi said that about a third of @thesaudigate’s followers are international, and they are usually surprised by what they see.

“As a photographer, I try to capture the right objects at the right time, but often I feel like the beauty is not represented,” he said.

Al-Mutairi said that about a third of @thesaudigate’s followers are international, and they are usually surprised by what they see.

“Often they are amazed but also very happy because after going through the pictures they know that there is a part of the world that they must explore.”

Hadi Farah, 28, a Lebanese photographer who now lives in the Kingdom, said that he had traveled widely in Saudi Arabia and “always felt a sense of welcome and ease.”

“I think tourism is directly influenced by photographers. Whenever I upload something, I receive questions with people asking if this is really in Saudi Arabia or have I accidentally put the wrong name.

“Unfortunately, people think that it is just a desert and nothing else. So by posting pictures of these places we are educating them about possibilities and attractions they thought never existed,” he said.

Binzarah agreed, saying: “Undiscovered places are of interest for professional photographers, because they are always looking for challenges, and I think this ignites their interests to go to these places and explore.”

he added that “while the desert might be nothing new to a Saudi resident, it will be of interest to people who live in greener countries.”

Saudi Arabia, as a land of ancient civilizations, is extremely appealing for archaeologists and tourists interested in history, Binzara said.

Farah described the beauty of nature in different places, saying: “We associate beauty with life, and in our minds where there is green there is life, but we forget that there is also life in rocks and sand, and they are rich in history. So, we need to keep in mind that the beauty of AlUla is different from other areas.”

Technology is also having a major influence. Photographers now use drones to reach places that once were too dangerous or remote, and the resulting images shed new light on the power of photography and the beauty of landscapes.

“Being on social media gives us the drive to do better,” Binzarah said. “If there is no community or people to engage with, it gets dull.”

He added: “It is a personal journey and one for everyone to discover Saudi Arabia one picture at a time.”

 


United States strongly condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

United States strongly condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
Updated 49 min 4 sec ago

United States strongly condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

United States strongly condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
  • US says these attacks threaten civilians and Yemen peace prospects
  • Washington remains committed to its longstanding partnership with Saudi Arabia

LONDON: The United States strongly condemned the attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militia on population centers in Saudi Arabia, the State Department said on Sunday.
The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched four drones targeting civilian areas in the Kingdom on Saturday, that were intercepted by Arab coalition forces.
“These attacks threaten not only innocent civilians but also prospects for peace and stability in Yemen,” the State Department said in a statement.
The US also called on the Houthi militia to “end these egregious attacks and engage constructively with UN Special Envoy. Martin Griffiths and US Special Envoy Tim Lenderking with the goal of bringing peace, prosperity, and security to the Yemeni people.”
Newly appointed veteran diplomat Lenderking is currently in the region holding talks with Yemeni, Saudi and UN officials to help bring a political solution to the Yemen war.
“The United States remains committed to its longstanding partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to helping Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” the statement added.
US President Joe Biden reiterated to King Salman during a phone call on Thursday that Washington was committed to defending the Kingdom against any threats.


Family affair: Saudi siblings inherit father’s law legacy

Family affair: Saudi siblings inherit father’s law legacy
Having seen their father work while growing up, the three eldest children, Osama, Jawaher and Haya, are all now practicing lawyers. (Supplied)
Updated 33 min 2 sec ago

Family affair: Saudi siblings inherit father’s law legacy

Family affair: Saudi siblings inherit father’s law legacy
  • Veteran lawyer Musaad Al-Saleh feels ‘sense of pride’ over children’s path

MAKKAH: Law firms in Saudi Arabia are very much a dime a dozen, but one law firm in Tabuk is showing their power through family unity.

Following one career path, three young lawyers are following their father’s footsteps in the legal profession.

Musaad Al-Saleh, 50, told Arab News that his children chose the profession without any pressure because they saw a career that meets their abilities, adding that they will be “a family that will be difficult to approach.”

Having seen their father work while growing up, the three eldest children, 29-year-old Osama, 25-year-old Jawaher and 23-year-old Haya, are all now practicing lawyers.

“It’s common to find families that inherit the medical, business, trade, carpentry and other professions. Women did not enter the legal profession until recently, and the first license for a woman to practice law was offered about five years ago,” said Al-Saleh.

“My children have followed my line of work. Some of them have specialized in commercial law and the others in criminal law, allowing for diversity in dealing with legal issues in the law firm.”

He said that many families follow older generations into a profession, and that now, through women’s empowerment in the Kingdom, women in the family have been able to play the societal roles assigned to them, adding that he worked in the legal field for more than 25 years until retirement.

HIGHLIGHT

Musaad Al-Saleh, 50, told Arab News that his children chose the profession without any pressure because they saw a career that meets their abilities, adding that they will be ‘a family that will be difficult to approach.’

Al-Saleh said that his two daughters graduated from the University of Tabuk’s law department, while his son graduated from Al-Jouf University. Years ago, Al-Saleh had graduated from Al-Madinah University. He stressed that he did not force any of his children to enter the field of law. Rather, it was a choice for each of them. “I only introduced them to the new opportunities awaiting Saudi female lawyers in the sector.”

Family or not, Al-Saleh said that it is business as usual, and that every member of their legal team takes their duties seriously by upholding a professional manner inside the workplace, discussing and analyzing cases, and expressing professional opinions regarding each case they receive.

Complacency, laxity or delay is unacceptable, Al-Saleh added, noting that family bonds should not interfere in the work process to ensure a healthy system.

He said that a common sentiment in the legal community is that a law firm will die with its owner. “But I wanted to change the accepted model, and I tried my best to have my children lead this law firm after me, and maintain its momentum and ensure longevity.

“Being from one family will give them the chance to learn from each other and deal with the issues more professionally.”

As a veteran lawyer, Al-Saleh said he is mostly interested in personal interviews when young men and women apply for work or training at his law firm, adding that a personal touch is important to the formation of a lawyer’s approach.

He said that female lawyers must be attentive, able to present a clear case and communicate information without ambiguity. They will face judges and members of the trial committee and disciplinary bodies — some of whom will be tough. “She must be strong, firm, voice loud and clear and make her case without hesitation.”

Al-Saleh said that he retired after 22 years of service following several positions in the Public Prosecution, and after his young children began to show interest in the legal profession.

First-generation lawyers carry a lot of weight on their shoulders, he said, adding that he “feels a sense of pride” as his children follow his path and pave their own way into the world of law.

 


GCC Standardization Organization celebrates consumer protection day

GCC Standardization Organization celebrates consumer protection day
The GSO attached great importance to consumer protection in the GCC countries. (Photo/Twitter)
Updated 28 February 2021

GCC Standardization Organization celebrates consumer protection day

GCC Standardization Organization celebrates consumer protection day
  • The celebration aims to highlight the importance of consumer safety, strengthen the role of authorities in raising awareness, promote a culture of standardization among consumers, and develop legislation

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Standardization Organization (GSO) is joining national consumer protection bodies and authorities to celebrate “Gulf Consumer Protection Day.”

Celebrated on March 1 every year, GSO Secretary-General Saud bin Nasser Al-Khusaibi stressed the vital role that standardization bodies and their activities play in ensuring consumer safety, which improves the quality of living and welfare of society.

A total of 23,500 GCC standards and technical regulations cover commodities and products.

The celebration aims to highlight the importance of consumer safety, strengthen the role of authorities in raising awareness, promote a culture of standardization among consumers, and develop legislation, regulations and technical procedures that protect people from fraud and commercial misinformation. This ensures that consumers have access to quality products and full information to make the right decisions about the goods and services available on the market.

The GSO, Al-Khusaibi said, contributes to educating consumers about the damage that results from using materials and products that do not conform to standard specifications.

Al-Khusaibi said that the GSO attached great importance to consumer protection in the GCC countries. This was reflected in the preparation and development of GCC standard specifications and technical regulations for commodities, products and systems, and relevant legislation in cooperation with the national standardization bodies in the member states.

The goal is to serve the needs of the trade and industry sectors in GCC countries, in addition to serving consumers by ensuring quality and safety requirements.

Celebrating Gulf Consumer Protection Day is at the recommendation of the Consumer Protection Committee of the GCC General Secretariat. The occasion was approved by the GCC Trade Cooperation Committee in its 32nd meeting in 2005 and celebrated for the first time on March 1, 2006, under the slogan “Consumer protection is everyone’s responsibility.”