Saudi Arabia announces $20m grant to help cover Sudan’s debt with IMF

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
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Updated 18 May 2021

Saudi Arabia announces $20m grant to help cover Sudan’s debt with IMF

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
  • King Salman and the crown prince were keen to ease Sudan’s debt burden

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has provided a $20 million grant toward covering part of Sudan’s financial debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the grant was an extension to previous support provided by the Kingdom to Sudan.
He was speaking as he led the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris on Monday.
Saudi Arabia also announced it would transfer the balance into the two emergency and deferred fees accounts with the IMF, to contribute to the handling of arrears and alleviate Sudan’s debt burden.
Prince Faisal said that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were keen to ease Sudan’s debt burden and contribute to addressing the nation’s arrears, in addition to “enhancing Saudi investments in Sudan and the Kingdom’s support for all sectors that would achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people toward further progress, prosperity and development,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
“What unites us together today is our common goal to support the transitional phase that Sudan is going through toward a bright and prosperous future, and based on this, on April 13, 2019, my country announced its full support for the Sudanese people regarding their future and the measures taken are in their interest.”
He said that the Kingdom provided a package of humanitarian and development aid.
Prince Faisal said that the Kingdom was one of the first countries that contributed and participated, through the framework of the Friends of Sudan Group, in supporting this transitional phase in Sudan.
“This comes from my country’s belief in the importance of activating Sudan’s regional role and providing everything that would protect Sudan and preserve its security,” Prince Faisal added.
He said he appreciated the roles of the US, France, and the UK and their tireless efforts in supporting Sudan under for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
The Kingdom’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan also attended the conference in the French capital, which was part of the Summit on the Financing of African Economies that is attended by more than 40 countries and will continue until Tuesday.


Saudi artist paints elderly back into the social picture

In a latest collection, titled ‘See In My Eyes,’ the beauty of a group of elderly subjects. (Supplied)
In a latest collection, titled ‘See In My Eyes,’ the beauty of a group of elderly subjects. (Supplied)
Updated 01 December 2021

Saudi artist paints elderly back into the social picture

In a latest collection, titled ‘See In My Eyes,’ the beauty of a group of elderly subjects. (Supplied)
  • Fawaz Binkolaib says remaining integrated in society is vital to the well-being of older people

JEDDAH: Art presents us with an opportunity to fight social stigmas and promote inclusion through the positive representation and empowerment of marginalized groups.

In a world where younger generations are celebrated and adulated, the elderly can sometimes feel like they have lost their place and succumb to loneliness due to social exclusion and ageist stigma. But according to a local artist, one way in which older people can remain full and active members of society is through art.
Ageism is a global phenomenon that affects senior citizens across all cultures. In the Saudi context, culture plays a vital role in socially including the elderly, where family solidarity equates to ensuring the well-being of senior members.

FASTFACT

In a world where younger generations are celebrated and adulated, the elderly can sometimes feel like they have lost their place and succumb to loneliness due to social exclusion and ageist stigma. But according to a local artist, one way in which older people can remain full and active members of society is through art.

Fawaz Binkolaib, a Jeddah-based artist with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Art Institute of Houston in Texas, said older members of society were all too often left on the sidelines.
“As we grow older, time leaves its marks on our skin, the stages of our lives telling stories of pain and laughter,” the 29-year-old told Arab News.
“We sometimes unintentionally exclude our seniors from daily social activities, treating them as unfit to take part.”
It was while studying in the US that Binkolaib realized how art could be used as a medium for conversation.
“My passion for art was sparked in a general education class I had to take in my first year called art appreciation,” he said. “My mind was woken by the subjective and various art forms and how that can provide different ways of communicating for us as a species.”
In his latest collection, titled “See In My Eyes,” Binkolaib showcases the beauty of a group of elderly subjects through the intricacies of every fold and wrinkle on their faces.
He said that creating the digital images, which he did using an electronic pen and pad, enabled him to really connect with his subjects.
“Speaking to the elderly was peaceful and easy,” he said. “They were excited to be voiced and heard. As we were speaking, other people passed by and joined the conversation, helping them to get across their stories.
“After talking with my senior muses, I became aware that a sense of community can enhance their overall psychological and emotional well-being,” he added.
“For that, I believe that promoting community-engaged art programs can empower and uplift senior citizens. I also think that their absence from social media has made it difficult for them to represent their image and how the younger generation perceives them.”
Binkolaib also said that facilitating and accommodating elderly people’s inclusion in community activities, like art, and familiarizing them with current trends was a good way to reintegrate them into society.
Art serves as a channel of untraditional communication for those unable to find the words to express their feelings, he added. Therefore, creating artistic outlets for senior citizens can help bridge the generation gap and energize their souls, providing solidarity and social cohesion.
Binkolaib says the elderly were us years before our time, leaving their thumbprint on all the places we are yet to experience for ourselves, carrying with them the wisdom of life gained through trials and tribulations.
“Because one day all we are going to have are the marks on our faces that relay our stories better than our words ever can,” he said.
Examples of the artist’s work can be found on his Instagram page, @Fawaz_designs.


Saudi Justice Ministry praises female employees 

Saudi Ministry of Justice in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Ministry of Justice in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi Justice Ministry praises female employees 

Saudi Ministry of Justice in Riyadh. (SPA)
  • The ministry has empowered distinguished women leaders by assigning more than 85 of them with supervisory tasks since the establishment of the women’s departments at the ministry

RIYADH: Female employees at the Justice Ministry have been praised for their positive impact on service and performance, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Women’s entry into the ministry has contributed to their empowerment and to raising the level of their participation in the public sector. Their roles have included legal and social researchers, administrative assistants, program developers and notaries.
The ministry said that empowering women in the justice sector had reflected positively on the service provided to people, enhancing the speed of performance and achievement and raising the ceiling of work completion.
Noura bint Abdullah Al-Ghunaim, director of the Women’s Administration, said the female employees had provided services in all sectors, including 1.7 million in the implementation sector, 551,000 in the judicial sector, 320,000 services in the documentation sector, 240,000 services in the reconciliation system, in addition to 180,000 services in the digital transformation agency and through the unified communication center.
Al-Ghunaim added that the ministry had allocated central departments fully staffed by women, including the Cases Audit Center, the Case Preparation Center, the Judicial Attribution Center for Execution, and the Documentation Operations Audit Center. SPA Riyadh
The ministry has empowered distinguished women leaders by assigning more than 85 of them with supervisory tasks since the establishment of the women’s departments at the ministry, in addition to the tasks assigned to female employees in courts and notaries.


Red Sea Fund announces support for 26 Saudi projects

Red Sea Fund announces support for 26 Saudi projects
Updated 13 min 19 sec ago

Red Sea Fund announces support for 26 Saudi projects

Red Sea Fund announces support for 26 Saudi projects
  • In its first cycle, the fund carefully selected 90 ‘game-changing’ films from over 650 submissions

JEDDAH: The Red Sea Fund will support 26 Saudi films in a list of 90 carefully selected projects from the Arab World and Africa.
Following over 650 submissions, the fund on Tuesday announced its final selection of the much-anticipated projects, aiming to create a game-changing generation of filmmakers.
The grants will be given to 37 films in development, 33 live projects, and 28 films in post-production.
Of the projects to receive funding, 11 hail from Africa, 60 from the Arab region, and 26 from Saudi Arabia.
The exciting and unique selection includes 59 feature fictions, 18 feature documentaries, 10 short fictions, five feature animations, three episodic series, and two short animations.
The fund will also back 28 talented Saudi film directors, 54 percent of whom are female.
The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation established the fund in June to back 100 feature films, short projects, and episodics by directors from the Arab world and Africa.
The fund was supported earlier this year by the Saudi Film Commission to help a larger pool of talented filmmakers from the Kingdom and the Arab region bring their work from script to screen.
Three committees of industry professionals were formed for each section of the funding: Development, production, and post-production support.
Edouard Waintrop, artistic director of the Red Sea International Film Festival and head of the committee awarding funds for post-production, said: “There is a wealth of undiscovered talent in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world. As pioneers and believers in the importance of cinema and film in driving inspiration, creativity, and innovation, we are very proud to enable these brilliant artists to showcase their work by investing in their talents and empowering them to realize their dreams through the Red Sea Fund.
“These exceptional cinematic works will challenge people’s perceptions of traditional cinema and revive the film industry in KSA and the region.”
He continued: “We truly cannot wait to see these selections come to fruition and find their way to the big screen.”


Saudi students take part in university admission workshop

More than 200 Saudi students take part in university admission workshop. (Twitter: @mawhiba)
More than 200 Saudi students take part in university admission workshop. (Twitter: @mawhiba)
Updated 13 min 34 sec ago

Saudi students take part in university admission workshop

More than 200 Saudi students take part in university admission workshop. (Twitter: @mawhiba)
  • The program helps students with university admission by focusing on developing their leadership skills

RIYADH: More than 200 students participated in a training workshop to qualify for admission to prestigious US universities, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The workshop was organized by King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation For Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba).

It was part of Tamayouz, an integrated training program that prepares secondary school students in the Kingdom for admission to the top 30 US universities.

Tamayouz lasts for one year, starting from the second semester of the second year of secondary school until the student obtains admission to the university.

The workshop had 207 participants, 119 males and 88 females, from across the country.

FASTFACT

The Kingdom ‘has become an incubator of minds and talent, and also a distinguished model in creativity, due to the leadership’s efforts to promote the role of young people in overcoming challenges, creating a better future, and affirming the Kingdom’s position among developed countries.’

Mawhiba secretary-general Dr. Saud Al-Mathami attended the event.

He gave a speech in which he highlighted the keenness of the Saudi leadership to support local talent.

He said the Kingdom had become an incubator of minds and talent, and also a distinguished model in creativity, due to the leadership's efforts to promote the role of young people in overcoming challenges, creating a better future, and affirming the Kingdom’s position among developed countries.

Al-Mathami called on students to continue their hard work and present an honorable and bright image of the Kingdom in the universities they were to enrol in.

They were the nation’s ambassadors in these universities and would highlight Saudi capabilities, as well as contributing their knowledge and talent to support the Kingdom’s transformation into a knowledge-based society and achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, he added.

The program helps students with university admission by focusing on developing their leadership skills and preparing a “file of achievement” that will set them apart from other applicants.

Tamayouz was launched in 2015, and more than 700 students have enrolled in it so far.


STA launches Winter Season on its Visit Saudi platform

Visitors take photos of a musician playing an Arabic traditional instrument at Souq Al Ahsa World Heritage UNESCO Village. (REUTERS file photo)
Visitors take photos of a musician playing an Arabic traditional instrument at Souq Al Ahsa World Heritage UNESCO Village. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 39 min 7 sec ago

STA launches Winter Season on its Visit Saudi platform

Visitors take photos of a musician playing an Arabic traditional instrument at Souq Al Ahsa World Heritage UNESCO Village. (REUTERS file photo)
  • Options include city experiences and outdoor excursions tailored to colder months

RIYADH: The Saudi Tourism Authority has launched events and seasons through its Visit Saudi platform for the winter months.

From city experiences to outdoor excursions, the event schedule is filled with activities best experienced during the cold season.

Saudi Arabia is experiencing rapid growth through the interaction of visitors and tourists from inside and outside the Kingdom with all seasons, events, packages, and various destinations that have emerged through the platform, the official identity of Saudi tourism supervised by STA.

Through the Visit Saudi platform, visitors can find suitable packages and trips, and entertainment activities available until March 2022. STA is working with partners from the public and private sectors to promote this economic and social development that contributes to providing investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies, and job opportunities for the young men and women of the Kingdom.

After the great successes it has achieved in revitalizing local tourism during the past few years, STA will work during the current winter season to attract tourists from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the wider Middle East.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Through the Visit Saudi platform, visitors can find suitable packages and trips, and entertainment activities available until March 2022.

• STA is working with partners from the public and private sectors to promote this economic and social development that contributes to providing investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies, and job opportunities for the young men and women of the Kingdom.

STA is also collaborating with the Saudi tourism sector to generate one million job opportunities, reaching 100 million annual visits, and raising the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP to 10 percent by 2030.

The Kingdom is witnessing a great tourist revival which reflects the extent of the government’s interest in the sector, one of the fastest-growing in the world, with a promising future as one of the most important pillars in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Last year, STA launched its Saudi Winter season from Dec. 10 until the end of March 2021. Visitors were provided with over 300 experiences and packages offered by more than 200 private sector establishments during the season. The campaign allowed Saudi nationals and non-Saudi residents traveling as families, in groups, or as individuals, and GCC nationals, to discover the Kingdom’s geographical and climate diversity.