Mohammad Bahareth: Proud to be an advocate for dyslexia

Mohammad Bahareth: Proud to be an advocate for dyslexia
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Mohammad Bahareth. (Photo/Supplied)
Mohammad Bahareth: Proud to be an advocate for dyslexia
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Mohammad Bahareth. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 03 May 2021

Mohammad Bahareth: Proud to be an advocate for dyslexia

Mohammad Bahareth: Proud to be an advocate for dyslexia
  • You can get 300 percent more productivity from a person with dyslexia if you know how to manage him right

JEDDAH: Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Mohammed Ali, George Washington, and Steve Jobs gifted the world with ideas and talent that made tremendous contributions to mankind. They also had something else in common — dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. It is characterized by difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
Despite these challenges, dyslexics have excellent thinking skills in the areas of conceptualization, reason, imagination, and abstraction. According to renowned speech language pathologist and dyslexia specialist Devon Barnes, most people with the learning difficulty have average or above average intelligence at least.
In 2016, Mohammad Bahareth gave a TEDx speech in Jeddah. He was onstage, before 3,000 people, and talking about his learning disability. One he had hidden all his life.
Despite his fear of public speaking, he did it anyway. “Talking in front of 3,000 people, saying that I have a disability called dyslexia which nobody knew before, was a very liberating experience,” he told Arab News.
Bahareth (@mbahareth) is a bestselling author and dyslexia advocate. Born and raised in Jeddah, he is an accomplished entrepreneur and startup consultant.
He has become known in the Kingdom for his initiatives to raise public awareness about dyslexia, aiming to help others like him.
There was a book in Arabic about all the techniques and tools he used or tried over the years to overcome and manage daily dyslexia-related difficulties.
He gave lectures and TV interviews to raise awareness and launched dyslexia.sa to help Arab speakers better understand the condition. He collaborated with international and local foundations, specialists and parents.
Bahareth works to make trusted information and tools available on his website to help those with dyslexia improve their quality of life.
He wants to give dyslexics a better world by spreading public awareness, erasing misconceptions, and calling on government bodies to ensure people with dyslexia are given their rights.
A major reason behind this eagerness to make a change is his personal experience and the challenges that he faced. There was a lack of support and lack of recognition from authorities of dyslexia as a disability.
“We are unable to get legal and proper disability documentation from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, which is the government entity for issuing these documents,” he said.
The condition was usually underestimated as a disability because it lacked a physical aspect, leading to accusations he was seeking sympathy.
But public pity and sympathy is not what Bahareth wants. His end goal is to establish a specialist association in Saudi Arabia that can adequately diagnose and assist dyslexics.
Every person’s condition was different, said Bahareth. Some people were able to manage it, while others like himself had severe symptoms like involuntary compulsions and organ dysfunction due to the instability of electricity between both brain hemispheres.
The brain functions differently in dyslexics, so there needs to be better understanding in their educational and workplace environment to improve and support their performance, as well as allowing them to develop their strengths.
“You can get 300 percent more productivity from a person with dyslexia if you know how to manage him right. People with dyslexia usually use one side of the brain more than the other, so they are primarily creative and are not suitable for administrative work. Just imagine what people with dyslexia can do if they got the support they needed. We put about 600 times the effort needed to function as normal people do.”
The condition is regarded as neurobiological and genetic in origin, which means it is passed down in the genes and can run in families.
Bahareth was certain there were more dyslexic people in Saudi Arabia than many other countries in the world.
“We have a high rate of marriage within relatives, so this would result in a higher percentage than other countries.”
Dyslexia is absent from official statistics and reports related to learning disabilities and other disabilities because it is not officially recognized as a one yet.
He urged authorities to facilitate an integrated support system for dyslexics starting with recognizing the disability, which would help ensure they received the proper support in public places, the right treatment in educational institutions and the workplace, as well as legal and health protection.
He was disappointed with the current levels of awareness about dyslexia.
“We will raise awareness so that every parent knows how to deal with this disability and function with the best tools, devices, and techniques known to humanity.”

 I will do my best to reach this goal during my lifetime and ensure it will continue after my death.”
Saudi Arabia  has seen developments in disability care laws in recent years. It guarantees that people with disabilities can obtain suitable employment opportunities and education, ensuring their independence and integration in society.
But Bahareth said people with dyslexia were still waiting for authorities to pay attention to their demands and needs.
“The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development did not classify dyslexia as a disability, which is counterproductive and blocking all legal rights for people with dyslexia.”
This lack of recognition prevents dyslexics from getting special discounts and priorities in certain conditions, as well as insurance and support for special tools and utilities, assistance in airports, police stations, the courts, and other places.
“Nobody knows what we need to function or how to assist us. Many doctors here are confused about it. Some are classifying it under the psychology department, which is outdated. It should be organized with neurologists as it should be, like all other countries starting to realize that it is a neurological condition, with assistance from speech specialists when needed.”
Bahareth thanked the Saudi Food and Drug Authority for allowing dyslexia medication to be sold in the Kingdom. “Their response was fast and diligent. This has helped me and many others, and this is my hope that the support will increase for all people with dyslexia.”
Despite his many books in different fields and his busy career, Barareth is usually associated with dyslexia. But this association is not a problem for him.

“I am proud to be an advocate for dyslexia in Saudi Arabia. Within a few years, every person with dyslexia in Saudi Arabia will be proud that he has it. I know in my heart that people with dyslexia will give back to their country more than anyone. The next Saudi Einstein is born with dyslexia, and he might be an infant today, but I hope that I will be the person to guide him to change the world.”


Workers in Saudi Arabia will need COVID-19 vaccine to return to workplace, HR ministry says

All workers attending a workplace in Saudi Arabia will be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccination, it was announced on Friday. (SPA/File Photo)
All workers attending a workplace in Saudi Arabia will be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccination, it was announced on Friday. (SPA/File Photo)
Updated 07 May 2021

Workers in Saudi Arabia will need COVID-19 vaccine to return to workplace, HR ministry says

All workers attending a workplace in Saudi Arabia will be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccination, it was announced on Friday. (SPA/File Photo)
  • Urged employers to begin preparations to ensure all employees have received a vaccination

RIYADH: All workers attending a workplace in Saudi Arabia will be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccination, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said on Friday.

“Receiving a coronavirus vaccine will be a mandatory condition for male and female workers to attend workplaces in all sectors (public, private, non-profit),” the ministry said on Twitter.

It also urged employers to begin preparations to ensure all employees have received a vaccination, saying: “The ministry will soon clarify the mechanisms of the decision and its implementation date.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia recorded 13 new COVID-19 related deaths on Friday, which raised the total number of fatalities in the Kingdom to 7,045.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,039 new cases of the disease in the country over the past 24 hours, meaning 424,445 people have now contracted the disease since the pandemic began. 

Of the total number of cases, 9,750 remain active and 1,311 in critical condition, a decrease from the day before.

According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 386, followed by Makkah with 274 and the Eastern Province with 140, while Asir recorded 46 and Madinah confirmed 45 cases.

The ministry also announced that 1,061 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 407,650.

 


Saudi Arabia wants to see “verifiable deeds” from talks with Iran, says official

Saudi Arabia wants to see “verifiable deeds” from talks with Iran, says official
Updated 07 May 2021

Saudi Arabia wants to see “verifiable deeds” from talks with Iran, says official

Saudi Arabia wants to see “verifiable deeds” from talks with Iran, says official

DUBAI: A Saudi foreign ministry official said on Friday that talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran aim to reduce regional tensions, but added it was too early to judge the outcome and Riyadh wanted to see “verifiable deeds.”
The comments by Ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at the ministry, were the first public confirmation from Riyadh that the rivals — who severed ties in 2016 — were holding direct talks.
“As to current Saudi-Iranian talks they aim to explore ways to reduce tensions in the region,” Krimly told Reuters.
“We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions. Our evaluation will be based on verifiable deeds, and not proclamations.”
He declined to provide details on the talks, but regional officials and sources had told Reuters that the discussions were focused on Yemen and the 2015 nuclear deal between global powers and Iran, which Riyadh had opposed.
Iraq’s president said on Wednesday that Baghdad hosted more than one round of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who have been locked in a rivalry that has played out in proxy conflicts across the region, including Yemen.
Krimly said Saudi policy had been explained “very clearly” by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who last month said that while the Sunni Muslim kingdom has a problem with Tehran’s “negative behavior” it wanted good relations with Shiite Iran.
Yemen war
Tensions between Riyadh and Tehran have festered over the Yemen war, where an Iran-aligned Houthi group has increased attacks on Saudi Arabia. Strains between the two Gulf powerhouses also grew after a 2019 assault on Saudi oil plants that Riyadh blamed on Iran, a charge Tehran denies.
Riyadh supported former US President Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to quit the nuclear pact for not addressing Tehran’s missiles program and regional behavior. After Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran responded by breaching several nuclear restrictions.
Global powers are trying at talks in Vienna to bring the United States and Iran back into full compliance with the deal. Saudi Arabia has urged them to reach a stronger accord.
Riyadh and Tehran have also backed opposing sides in Lebanon and Syria, where Iran has supported President Bashar Assad.
Gulf states have been alarmed by the rising influence of non-Arab Iran, Russia and Turkey in Syria, especially after Syria’s membership of the Arab League was suspended in 2011 over its crackdown on protesters at the start of the civil war.
Krimly said recent media reports that the head of Saudi intelligence had held talks in Damascus were inaccurate.
He said Saudi policy toward Syria remained based on support for the Syrian people, for a political solution under a United Nations umbrella and in accordance with Security Council resolutions, and for the unity and Arab identity of Syria.


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Pakistan army chief

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Pakistan army chief
Updated 07 May 2021

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Pakistan army chief

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Pakistan army chief

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani chief of army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince, deputy prime minister and minister of defense of Saudi Arabia, and reviewed bilateral relations, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Bajwa arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan will also embark on a three-day visit to the Kingdom today.

The media wing of the Pakistani military said “matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including recent developments in Afghan Peace Process, bilateral defense, security, collaboration for regional peace and connectivity were discussed” during Friday’s meeting.

 

 

“COAS said that Pakistan is resolute in its commitment to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of KSA and defense of the two Holy Mosques. The Crown Prince acknowledged Pakistan’s role toward regional peace and stability,” the military said.

“The Crown Prince also said that the relations between KSA & Pakistan are based on bonds of brotherhood & mutual trust and both nations will continue to play their part for peace, stability & betterment of Muslim Ummah.”

SPA reported that the two leaders “reviewed bilateral relations, especially in the military and defense fields, and discussed opportunities for their development, in addition to a number of issues of common concern” during their meeting.

“The meeting was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Defense, His Excellency the Minister of State, Member of the Council of Ministers, National Security Adviser Dr. Musaed bin Muhammad Al-Aiban, His Excellency the Head of General Intelligence, Mr. Khalid bin Ali Al-Humaidan, and the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Pakistan Mr. Nawwaf bin Saeed Maliki.”

On the Pakistani side, Pakistani ambassador to the kingdom, Lt. Gen. Bilal Akbar, the secretary to the army chief, Major General Muhammad Irfan, and the Defense Attaché of the Pakistani embassy in Riyadh, Brig. Gen. Harun Ishaq Raja, were present.

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Pakistan PM Imran Khan embarks on three-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan PM Imran Khan embarks on three-day visit to Saudi Arabia
Updated 07 May 2021

Pakistan PM Imran Khan embarks on three-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan PM Imran Khan embarks on three-day visit to Saudi Arabia
  • Meetings with Saudi leadership to cover areas including economics, trade, investment and job opportunities for the Pakistani workforce

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia today, Friday, on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In meetings with the Saudi leadership, Khan will cover all areas of bilateral cooperation including economics, trade, investment, environment, energy, job opportunities for the Pakistani workforce, and the welfare of the Pakistani diaspora in the kingdom, the foreign office said. 
“The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the Foreign Minister and other members of the Cabinet,” the foreign office said in a statement. 
During Khan’s visit, “the two sides will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest … A number of bilateral agreements/MoUs are expected to be signed during the visit.”
Khan will also meet the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of the World Muslim League, Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, and the Imams of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medina. 
“Prime Minister Imran Khan will also interact with the Pakistani diaspora in Jeddah,” the foreign office said.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long-standing and historic fraternal relations, rooted deep in common faith, shared history and mutual support. The relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields and mutual collaboration on regional and international issues, in particular those faced by the Muslim Ummah,” the foreign office said, adding:
“​Saudi Arabia is home to more than two million Pakistanis, contributing toward the progress and prosperity of both countries. Regular high-level bilateral visits continue to play a pivotal role in providing impetus to the fraternal ties and close cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.”
Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also visited Riyadh this week and on Wednesday discussed defense cooperation with the Saudi military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili.
During the meeting with Al-Ruwaili, Gen Bajwa “emphasized the need to further enhance military-to-military cooperation between the two-armed forces and said that Pakistan-KSA cooperation will have positive impact on peace and security in the region.”


Vaccination against COVID-19 a must for all workers in Saudi Arabia: State TV

Vaccination against COVID-19 a must for all workers in Saudi Arabia: State TV
Updated 07 May 2021

Vaccination against COVID-19 a must for all workers in Saudi Arabia: State TV

Vaccination against COVID-19 a must for all workers in Saudi Arabia: State TV

RIYADH: Every worker in the Kingdom will be required to get inoculated against COVID-19 to be able to attend their workplaces, state TV Al Ehbariya said on Friday, quoting the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Development.

In a series of tweets, Al Ekhbariya said the ministry was also calling on all sectors to ensure that their employees are vaccinated.

The mechanism of the forthcoming policy and its date of application will be announced soon, the TV station said.