US affirms its support for Saudi Arabia to defend its territory from Houthi attacks

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby listens to a question during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (AP)
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby listens to a question during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (AP)
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Updated 02 April 2021

US affirms its support for Saudi Arabia to defend its territory from Houthi attacks

US affirms its support for Saudi Arabia to defend its territory from Houthi attacks
  • Kirby called on the Houthis to stop their cross-border attacks on the Kingdom
  • US administration also realizes that Iran continues to pose a threat to its neighbors

LONDON: The US reiterated its support for Saudi Arabia defending its territory and facing down threats from the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.
John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, called on the Houthis to stop their cross-border attacks on the Kingdom and work to achieve a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.
The Houthi militia have stepped up attacks on the Kingdom in recent weeks, targeting populated areas and vital and oil installations, threatening global energy security.
The US administration also realizes that Iran continues to pose a threat to its neighbors and to US national security interests in the region, Kirby said in a press conference on Thursday evening.
He added that the Iranian ballistic missile program still exists, that the Iranian regime’s continued support of terrorist groups in the region is a problem and that it had accelerated in many ways, which threatened US interests and the interests of its allies in the region.


Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past

Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past
Updated 21 min 4 sec ago

Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past

Nabd Al-Riyadh shows the present Kingdom on the walls of past
  • Nabd Al-Riyadh, which means the pulse of the capital, presents the rich past of the Kingdom since its foundation through more than 400 storytelling visual presentations

RIYADH: Nabd Al-Riyadh, one of Riyadh Season’s 14 zones, opened its doors for visitors this week to take them on a visually enhanced journey to explore the history, heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia.

The zone, which is free, was a popular feature of Riyadh Season when it first appeared in 2019. This year it has been given an extra touch of music and shows from all around the world to accompany the Saudi folklore and keep the visitors entertained.

Nabd Al-Riyadh, which means the pulse of the capital, presents the rich past of the Kingdom since its foundation through more than 400 storytelling visual presentations. The zone perfectly embodies Saudi cultural traditions and heritage with an artistic simulation of its history projected on the walls of Masmak Palace.

Abdulhameed Fouzi, a visitor from Tabuk, said that Masmak Palace “is one of the places I really wanted to visit and see in person.”

“Masmak Palace is often where the people pledged allegiance to their kings. This is where everything used to happen in the past,” said Rana Al-Wakeel, another visitor.

The zone offers entertainment for individuals, families, and children with musical performances and art shows that will continue until mid-January 2022.

The events at Nabd Al-Riyadh include the Safat Square, which has sand painting, Rubik’s square painting, “3D” street art, glitter art and theatrical and musical performances, as well as the Safat Caffe, which serves traditional drinks and sweets.

The Al-Masmak Square area includes artistic, theatrical, and interactive performances, while the Nabd Al-Riyadh theatre features more than 30 Saudi and international bands, orchestras and singers.


KSrelief sends 40 tons of liquid oxygen to Tunisia

KSrelief sends 40 tons of liquid oxygen to Tunisia
Updated 01 December 2021

KSrelief sends 40 tons of liquid oxygen to Tunisia

KSrelief sends 40 tons of liquid oxygen to Tunisia
  • Tunisian Health Minister Ali Mrabet noted that this assistance comes at a critical time when the world is preparing for a new health crisis with the spread of the omicron variant of the virus
  • Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al-Saqr said that the assistance embodies the deep-rooted fraternal ties that exist between the two countries

TUNIS: Following a directive from King Salman, KSrelief has sent a shipment of medical aid to Tunisia, including 40 tons of liquid oxygen, part of an eventual supply of 200 tons, to assist the Tunisian medical sector in combating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tunisian Health Minister Ali Mrabet and Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al-Saqr were among those officials present to receive the aid.

The Tunisian health minister expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s medical assistance.

Mrabet noted that this assistance comes at a critical time when the world is preparing for a new health crisis with the spread of the omicron variant of the virus.

For his part, Al-Saqr said that the assistance embodies the deep-rooted fraternal ties that exist between the two countries.


King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve reveals its treasures at falconry festival

King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve reveals its treasures at falconry festival
Updated 15 sec ago

King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve reveals its treasures at falconry festival

King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve reveals its treasures at falconry festival
  • The reserve is known for its broad geographical scope, which includes Al-Tanhat, Al-Khafs, Noura parks, and parts of the Al-Summan plateau and the Al-Dahna desert, covering approximately 28,000 sq. km

RIYADH: King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve has opened its doors to reveal its treasures to visitors at the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival.

The festival, held at the headquarters of the Saudi Falcons Club in Mulham, north of Riyadh, is running until Dec. 16.

The reserve is known for its broad geographical scope, which includes Al-Tanhat, Al-Khafs, Noura parks, and parts of the Al-Summan plateau and the Al-Dahna desert, covering approximately 28,000 sq. km. 

The wild animals and birds include the steppe eagle, the griffon vulture, the Arabian oryx, the goitered gazelle, the Arabian wolf, the sand cat, the Arabian red fox, honey badger, and porcupines.

The King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve hosts ample vegetation, such as perennial ruminant, wild sidr, bitter melon, acacia, ragweed, grass, buttercup, lavender, star anthracnose, which is famous in Chinese medicine, and the thorny ladder tree that can reach up to five meters in height.

The reserve is also known for its topography, sites, and parks for visitors to the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival, including the Al-Dahna Desert, famed for its dunes, the Al-Summan plateau east of the Najd Plateau, and Rawdat Al-Tanhat, known as the King’s Forest known due to its lush and fertile land.

The reserve also includes Qalta rock formations — also known as the Qalta Umm Qalidah — east of Tamir. It is characterized by natural carvings that have become waterfalls, which look like natural pools amid the eroded rocks.

The fourth day of the festival showed fierce competition between falcons in the speed category. In the first round, the first-place winner in the 400-meter run came in at a speed of 19.125 seconds, second place followed closely with 19.224 seconds, while the third place hit 19.261 seconds.

Winner of first place in the second round went to a falcon that crossed the 400-meter run at a speed of 18.650 seconds. Second place went to a time of 18.671 seconds, with third place going to a time difference of no more than 0.2 seconds.

The festival allocated financial prizes of about SR25 million ($6.66 million) to the winners of the Al-Milwah and Al-Mazayen competitions, and for the champion of the King Abdulaziz Cup.


Saudi authorities seize massive drug haul hidden in cardamom container

Saudi authorities seize massive drug haul hidden in cardamom container
Updated 01 December 2021

Saudi authorities seize massive drug haul hidden in cardamom container

Saudi authorities seize massive drug haul hidden in cardamom container
  • GDNC seize over 30 million pills after investigation into a criminal network

RIYADH: Saudi anti-narcotics authorities thwarted an attempt to smuggle more than 30 million amphetamine pills into the Kingdom.

Maj. Mohammad Al-Nujaidi, spokesperson for the General Directorate of Narcotics Control, said that proactive investigation into the criminal network’s activities, which attempt to tamper with the security of the Kingdom and its youths, has thwarted an attempt to smuggle 30.3 million amphetamine pills hidden inside a cardamom container at Riyadh Dry Port.

The successful operation was launched in coordination with the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, where the recipients of the shipment — two Saudis and two Syrians — were arrested.

Al-Nujaidi said that the preliminary legal measures have been taken against them and they have been referred to the public prosecution.

Recently, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority at Al-Haditha port also foiled eight attempts to smuggle more than 4.4 million Captagon pills into the Kingdom.

The GDNC called on members of the public to help its mission and protect society by contacting the designated number for security reports (1910), email ([email protected]) or by using the international number (00966114208417).

Whistleblowers can report smuggling and customs violations through these channels in strict confidentiality, and will receive a financial reward if their information is correct.


Saudi Arabia showcases its tech ambitions as @Hack named ‘largest cybersecurity event of 2021’

Saudi Arabia showcases its tech ambitions as @Hack named ‘largest cybersecurity event of 2021’
Updated 01 December 2021

Saudi Arabia showcases its tech ambitions as @Hack named ‘largest cybersecurity event of 2021’

Saudi Arabia showcases its tech ambitions as @Hack named ‘largest cybersecurity event of 2021’
  • Michael Champion, regional executive VP of Informa Markets, worked alongside Steve Wiley, GM of cybersecurity event organizer Black Hat, to bring @Hack to life and showcase Riyadh’s potential
  • Michael Champion: I have no doubt in my mind that Riyadh is a global tech hub of the future, and it’s certainly right now the event hub of the region

RIYADH: With more than 20,000 visitors over three days, the inaugural @Hack conference was the largest cybersecurity event in the world in 2021, according to its organizers.

“This is only the beginning for the future digital city of the world,” Michael Champion, regional executive vice president of Informa Markets, told Arab News.

“Nowhere can you launch an event which would normally take 15 to 20 years to grow to this size in any another city, and (have) done it in one edition,” he said. “That just shows how important and right the timing was of doing an event like this in Riyadh.”

Champion worked alongside Steve Wiley, general manager of cybersecurity event organizer Black Hat, to bring @Hack to life and showcase Riyadh’s potential.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Riyadh is a global tech hub of the future, and it’s certainly right now the event hub of the region,” Champion said.

Black Hat is an annual cybersecurity event that brings together hackers, trainers and government agencies from around the world to share their knowledge and experience. The largest event of its kind, in 2019 it attracted representatives from almost 120 countries.

“Coming here to @Hack has been a really good experience. Black Hat’s role has been as an adviser to the @Hack team over the last few months,” Wiley said.

Comparing the event in Riyadh to the global event, Wiley added that “people will see a lot of commonalities between the Black Hat event and @Hack.”

“We have taken the formula and applied it to the local market here. It’s been a great event,” he said.

Black Hat and @Hack shared many of the same elements and were both deeply rooted in content, Wiley said, adding that the “right educational information, training and courses offered makes sure the right people are here.”

The three-day event achieved its primary goal of attracting a wide range of visitors and participants, he said.

“I think @Hack has the right foundational elements, there is a lot of people here. The cyber community in Saudi Arabia is very robust and I think it’s great we are here for the inaugural event, and I am sure that this is an event that will carry on from the strong support we are seeing,” Wiley said.

Champion added that @Hack was also one of the most diverse cybersecurity events he had ever seen.

“At least half the people here are women or girls. If I go to a cybersecurity event in America or in London, only 10 percent will be women,” he said.

“All over the world, I think there are a lot of people who have a real misconception about Saudi women.”

While the technology field in Europe and America might be seen as closed off to women, in Saudi Arabia there were crowds of young women eager to participate in the @Hack event, not only as attendees but also as speakers, Champion said.

“I can tell you, we wouldn’t sell out an event like that, the largest debut event in history, the largest cybersecurity event in the world of 2021. That doesn’t happen because there is a good team on it, that happens because of the markets, the timing and the partnerships we have,” he said.

Riyadh had the right markets and the right support to launch multiple global events in the future, Champion added.

“When an event booms to the size @Hack and Leap have, it’s only because there is real intensity behind that market. Everybody knows it,” he said.

“For so many years, Saudi has had so much wealth concentrated in hydrocarbons, but now it seems to have released it to help transform that economy into a heavyweight in technology.”

Leap is an upcoming technology event organized by Informa Markets in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. It is set to run from Feb. 1 to 3 at the Riyadh Front Expo Center.

“When it launches, it will be the largest debut tech event ever,” Champion said. “It will have thousands of companies participating.”

The CEOs of companies like Ericsson, VMware and Magic Leap, as well as the chief digital transformation officer of Huawei Enterprises, are among those set to attend, Champion said.

“You have unbelievable speakers on this, the real heavyweights of global technology are absolutely desperate to get on the speaker faculty. And the reason is that Saudi is a booming market,” he added.

“Saudi is the right market, it’s a very lucrative and attractive market for many companies wanting to be a part of these megaprojects because they know they are seismic.”