Who’s Who: Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology

Who’s Who: Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology
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Updated 21 April 2021

Who’s Who: Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology

Who’s Who: Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology

Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki was appointed president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) by royal decree on April 19.
El-Desouki has been assistant minister at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). He also worked as deputy minister for development and planning at the MCIT and senior adviser to the minister of MCIT.
El-Desouki has served on and chaired several national committees, held a number of positions in KACST and won numerous awards and prizes, including the 2014 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prize for inventors and the talented (Takreem) for his invention in electrical engineering called “Development through Time Integration.”
He gained his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 2002. He also received an M.A.Sc. in electrical and computer engineering from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in 2005.
El-Desouki attained his M.Eng. degree in engineering entrepreneurship and innovation from McMaster University in 2007.
He obtained his Ph.D. from the same university in electrical and computer engineering in 2010, specializing in CMOS imagers for low-level light biomedical applications, in addition to CMOS imagers for high-speed non-invasive fluorescence lifetime imaging systems.
El-Desouki has also published more than 85 scientific papers and articles in scientific journals and world conferences and has received more than 20 patents.


Saudi authorities ready to receive passengers as travel ban ends

Saudi authorities ready to receive passengers as travel ban ends
Updated 54 min 8 sec ago

Saudi authorities ready to receive passengers as travel ban ends

Saudi authorities ready to receive passengers as travel ban ends
  • Saudia airlines says it completed preparations to operate flights to 71 destinations from 95 airports
  • Interior ministry said a ban on travel to countries where the virus is not under control still stands

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s passport authority on Sunday said it was ready to operate international flights at full capacity at the Kingdom’s land border crossings, sea and air ports, as a travel ban is set to end on Monday.
The Ministry of Interior announced that citizens would be permitted to travel and all ports would reopen as of 1 a.m.
The General Directorate of Passports said those wishing to travel outside the Kingdom are required to follow the instructions issued by the interior ministry depending on what category they fall into.
The categories include those who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, those who received one dose at least two weeks prior to travel, those recovering from the virus within six months from the date of travel, and citizens under 18-years-old provided they present a travel insurance policy approved by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), covering the risks of COVID-19 outside the Kingdom before travel.
Saudi Arabian Airlines said it has completed preparations to operate flights to 71 destinations from 95 airports, including 28 domestic and 43 international destinations.
The airline said since the beginning of the pandemic, it has operated more than 100,000 flights and transported more than 10 million passengers.
Its fleet is regularly sterilized using UVC disinfection systems and all crew have been vaccinated.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation said that around 385 flights are expected to operate throughout the Kingdom’s airports on Monday.
Meanwhile, the interior ministry said travel to a number of countries, directly or via another country, is still banned without prior permission.
In January, the ministry banned travel to Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, and India were the outbreak is till not under control or were the mutated strain is being spread.


Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses Palestine with US Secretary of State Blinken

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses Palestine with US Secretary of State Blinken
Updated 55 min 44 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses Palestine with US Secretary of State Blinken

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses Palestine with US Secretary of State Blinken
  • They reviewed strategic bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in all fields
  • The two ministers also discussed developments in Palestine and the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Sunday discussed the ongoing efforts to calm tensions in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza and bring the current violence to an end, during call with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Blinken “lamented the loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives and urged engagement to prevent a deepening of the crisis,” the State Department said, adding he also “expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.”
During the phone call, the two ministers reviewed the strategic relations between their two countries and ways to enhance them in all fields, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.
They also discussed the most prominent developments, foremost of which are developments in Palestine and the region.
The two ministers also discussed other important priorities, including bolstering Saudi defenses, achieving a comprehensive cease-fire and transition to a political process in Yemen, the State Department added. 
Blinken also conveyed his best wishes to the foreign minister and the Saudi people for Eid Al-Fitr.


Saudi Arabia condemns Afghan mosque bombing during Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia condemns Afghan mosque bombing during Eid Al-Fitr
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudi Arabia condemns Afghan mosque bombing during Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia condemns Afghan mosque bombing during Eid Al-Fitr
  • A bomb ripped through a mosque in northern Kabul during Friday prayers killing 12 worshippers
  • Saudi foreign minister receives call from his Afghan counterpart

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday said it condemns and denounces an explosion inside a mosque on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul that killed at least 12 people and wounded 15.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack in Shakar Dara district, as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers on the second day of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
The attack also occurred during a three-day cease-fire for the Muslim holiday declared by the Taliban.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Kingdom stands in solidarity with Afghanistan in combating violence, extremism and terrorism, adding that it rejects “these criminal acts that are inconsistent with all religious principles and moral and human values.”
The ministry offered condolences to the families of the deceased and the Afghan government and people, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Also on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Hanif Atmar.
During the call, they reviewed relations between their two countries, and opportunities to develop them in various fields.
They also discussed a number of regional issues, developments in Palestine, and other international developments.


Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 15 COVID-19 deaths, 825 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 1,028 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 13 mosques temporarily closed after 13 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 15 new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,162.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 825 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 433,094 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 8,145 remain active and 1,376 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 263, followed by Makkah with 231, the Eastern Province with 98, Madinah recorded 62 and Asir confirmed 56 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,028 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 417,787.

The Ministry of Interior recorded 22,442 violations against coronavirus preventative measures across the Kingdom from May 9 to 15, with the highest reported in Riyadh with 8,202, followed by Makkah with 3,734, the Eastern Province with 3,504, and Qassim with 1,737. 
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed 13 mosques in five regions after 13 people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,201 within 99 days, 1,175 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 163 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.38 million.


Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain

Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain
Updated 16 May 2021

Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain

Saudi Arabia reopens King Fahd Causeway for travelers to and from Bahrain
  • Travel suspension for citizens, and the opening of land, sea and air ports would be lifted starting Sunday
  • A coronavirus insurance certificate is required for travelers below 18 years

DUBAI: Hundreds of thousands of daily travelers between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain through the King Fahd Causeway may once again access the border crossing when travel restrictions are lifted on Monday, May 17.
Residents shuttle between the two countries via King Fahd Causeway, but the travel artery was closed on March 8, 2020, because of COVID-19 safety precautions.
Travel suspension for citizens, and the opening of land, sea and air ports would be lifted starting Sunday, state news agency SPA reported.
An additional 10 lanes were installed to the departure area, bringing the total to 27 lanes, in addition to 36 lanes in the arrival area, Duwaihi Al-Sahli, director of King Fahd Causeway Passports, was quoted by the report as saying.
However, only those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or those who have recovered from the disease would be allowed to leave the Kingdom, authorities. They would be required to present proof via the Tawakkalna app installed in their mobile phones.
A coronavirus insurance certificate is required for travelers below 18 years.
For travelers heading from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, they will be required to carry any of the health applications approved in the GCC countries, which confirm whether they are vaccinated or have recovered from the virus, Bahrain’s news agency BNA reported.
They can also present PCR certificates which should not exceed 72 hours from the time of taking the sample, BNA added.
Jordan meanwhile said that exemptions previously announced for passengers’ entry through the Omari border post with Saudi Arabia have been canceled effective on Monday.
The decision was made after a series of measures were taken recently to help ease the entry of Jordanians and visitors from Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries, state news agency Petra reported, citing Interior Minister Mazen Al-Faraya.
Border regulations previously required the presentation of a certificate proving they received two coronavirus vaccine doses and a negative PCR test 72 hours prior.
Travelers can now pass without registering on the platform or having a PCR test on the border, the report said.