Arab coalition returns Houthi child recruit to Yemeni government

Arab coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said the recruitment of Yemeni children was a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (File/SPA)
Arab coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said the recruitment of Yemeni children was a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (File/SPA)
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Updated 24 May 2021

Arab coalition returns Houthi child recruit to Yemeni government

Arab coalition returns Houthi child recruit to Yemeni government
  • Arab coalition has rehabilitated and handed over 147 Yemeni children since the beginning of the Yemeni crisis

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said on Monday that it had returned a Yemeni child recruited by the Houthi militia to the legitimate Yemeni government, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said the procedures were carried out in the presence of representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Saudi Red Crescent, the Human Rights Commission, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, and specialists from the Arab coalition’s Joint Forces Command.
Brig. Gen. Al-Maliki said the coalition’s child protection unit has rehabilitated and handed over 147 Yemeni children since the beginning of the Yemeni crisis, “who had been recruited, exploited and forced into combat operations on the southern borders of the Kingdom by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.”
The coalition said this was a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


VOX Cinemas bringing Saudi stories to film

A Saudi cinema-goer has her temperature taken as she wears a colored face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus,  at VOX Cinema hall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 26, 2020. (AP)
A Saudi cinema-goer has her temperature taken as she wears a colored face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, at VOX Cinema hall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 26, 2020. (AP)
Updated 8 min 57 sec ago

VOX Cinemas bringing Saudi stories to film

A Saudi cinema-goer has her temperature taken as she wears a colored face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus,  at VOX Cinema hall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 26, 2020. (AP)
  • Majid Al Futtaim backing new wave of talent, KSA chief says

JEDDAH: With more than 130 films set to be screened at the Red Sea International Film Festival, VOX Cinemas are on a mission to support and promote local films the best way they can.

The Red Sea International Film Festival kicked off its festivities at Jeddah’s UNESCO World Heritage Site old town, Al-Balad, on Dec. 6. It will run until Dec. 15, in partnership with VOX Cinemas and others.
VOX Cinemas will screen 138 feature films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages. The content was produced by established and emerging talent, with fans, film enthusiasts, filmmakers and actors in attendance for many of the films.
A slate of new Saudi films — 27 from an exciting wave of Saudi filmmakers — will be shown alongside the best of contemporary international cinema.
“We’re very proud to be partners of this festival, especially since this has been the first international Red Sea Film Festival taking place in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Toni El Massih, managing director of VOX Cinemas, told Arab News.
RSIFF is a significant breakthrough for the whole industry, exhibitors, distributors and producers, he said. “This platform will help future filmmakers and storytellers know that this country is so full and rich in culture and storytelling. This is the exact platform that is needed for the talent to come across and present their project,” he added.
On tour to the main VOX Cinema sites in Al-Balad that have been constructed to screen RSIFF films, Arab News spoke to Mohamed Al-Hashemi, KSA chief of Majid Al Futtaim. He said: “The Red Sea Film Festival is a statement for the Kingdom. There were no cinemas prior to April 2018, however, customers enjoyed the set of experiences as soon as they opened.
“With life coming back to normal after the COVID-19 period, the Red Sea Film Festival is a statement from the Kingdom to the world that Saudi Arabia will be a major player when it comes to local content production, demand for international content, and most importantly, demand for exhibitions as well, when it comes to the best of the best that can be offered to consumers.”
With movie theaters in more than six cities across the Kingdom in over 15 locations, VOX Cinemas operates 154 screens in Saudi Arabia. “We are considered to be the largest cinema exhibitors in the Kingdom in terms of site numbers and screen counts,” Al-Hashemi said.
Why is the screen count so important?
“The screen basically is the only platform where people can showcase local content producers on the big screen. With more big screens, more local content will be produced for the local market and the regional market, and hopefully Saudi as well to the international market,” Al-Hashemi said.
“The RSIFF is where the Kingdom can act as a local content producer and where we can bring out the folded and untold stories of this beautiful company, to the customers within Saudi,” he added.

HIGHLIGHT

VOX Cinemas will screen 138 feature films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages. The content was produced by established and emerging talent, with fans, film enthusiasts, filmmakers and actors in attendance for many of the films.

On Dec. 6. during the inaugural red-carpet event, VOX Cinemas announced an ambitious initiative that aims to foster homegrown talent and showcase untold stories on the big screen.
A plan was made to boost regional film production and develop 25 Arabic films in the next five years.
El Massih said that many of these films would be from Saudi Arabia, with Saudi talent working as directors, producers and actors. There will also be films coming out of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Speaking on the genres of the future films, he said: “The genre that we are focusing on and that has proven to work best is the comedy-drama. This is the sort of film that we’ll be working toward.”
As part of the initiative, VOX Cinemas will continue to support the next generation of homegrown content developers and provide resources for emerging filmmakers to bring their scripts to screen.
“This platform will search and scout for talent. It’ll be the same case later in the UAE and in other festivals that are taking place across the region.
“Accordingly, we’ll start putting a team together, building screening and writing rooms, getting stories from each of the different regions together, and then we’ll take that forward and then do the necessary films that we’ll see on the big screen,” El Massih said.
“Majid Al Futtaim has been very active in the region since 1999, starting off with exhibition, and then elevating our activities into film distribution, and recently in film production.”
Being a main contributor and partner of RSIFF is “huge,” he added, saying that such an opportunity will support emerging talent.
El Massih said: “This is the perfect platform for us to be participating and searching for the emerging talent and filmmakers that we can bring on board.”


Houthi projectile lands near market in Jazan in Saudi Arabia: Arab coalition

Houthi projectile lands near market in Jazan in Saudi Arabia: Arab coalition
Updated 29 min 55 sec ago

Houthi projectile lands near market in Jazan in Saudi Arabia: Arab coalition

Houthi projectile lands near market in Jazan in Saudi Arabia: Arab coalition

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen attempted to target Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region on Tuesday evening, state TV reported.
The coalition said an “enemy projectile” fell near one of the public roads and traditional markets in Jazan.
“The Houthi attempt this evening to target civilians in a deliberate and systematic manner is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” it added.
The Iran-backed Houthis have launched numerous drones and ballistic missiles targeting the Kingdom’s southern region since Sunday and on Monday targeted the capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles, all of which were intercepted and destroyed by Saudi air defenses.
Shrapnel from one of the missiles landed in some neighborhoods in Riyadh, without causing any damage.
The attacks have been strongly condemned by the international community.


Saudi aid agency provides skills training in Yemen

A total of 500 people, 326 of them women, were successfully trained in Lahij and Hadramout. (SPA)
A total of 500 people, 326 of them women, were successfully trained in Lahij and Hadramout. (SPA)
Updated 9 sec ago

Saudi aid agency provides skills training in Yemen

A total of 500 people, 326 of them women, were successfully trained in Lahij and Hadramout. (SPA)
  • Saudi Arabia has been the leading donor of humanitarian assistance to Yemen for six years

HADRAMOUT: Hundreds of Yemenis have benefitted from a Saudi-backed vocational and business skills training and support scheme being run in the war-torn country.

In partnership with the UN Development Program and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center continues to implement the project in Yemen.

A total of 500 people, 326 of them women, were successfully trained in Lahij and Hadramout on developing their entrepreneurial skills, including project planning, time management, market analysis, customer service, and finance.

The Kingdom has been the leading donor of humanitarian assistance to Yemen for six years and the $3 million project aims to improve the livelihoods of Yemenis while offering grants to help those looking to start their own business.

The initiative provides support and training in areas including entrepreneurship, agribusiness, food processing, textiles, and handloom, and technical skills such as carpentry, vehicle maintenance, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.

 


Man arrested in Paris in connection with Khashoggi killing ‘has nothing to do with the case’: Saudi foreign ministry

Reports of an arrest of a suspect in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi are false, a Saudi official said on Tuesday. (Getty/File Photo)
Reports of an arrest of a suspect in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi are false, a Saudi official said on Tuesday. (Getty/File Photo)
Updated 59 min 46 sec ago

Man arrested in Paris in connection with Khashoggi killing ‘has nothing to do with the case’: Saudi foreign ministry

Reports of an arrest of a suspect in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi are false, a Saudi official said on Tuesday. (Getty/File Photo)

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said a person arrested in Paris linked to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi “has nothing to do with the case,” and called for his “immediate release,” a statement released on Tuesday said.

“Regarding the arrest of a Saudi citizen on the grounds of being a suspect in the murder of the late citizen Jamal Khashoggi, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of France would like to clarify that what was reported in the media is incorrect, and that the person who was arrested has nothing to do with the case in quesiton,” it said.

“Therefore, the Kingdom's embassy expects his immediate release.

“The Embassy would also like to reaffirm that the Saudi judiciary has issued verdicts against all of those who paritcipated in the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi, all of them are currently serving their sentences,” it added.

A Saudi official had earlier said on Tuesday that reports of the arrest were false and “a case of mistaken identity.”

The official, in a statement to Reuters in response to a request for comment, said those convicted of the crime “are currently serving their sentences in Saudi Arabia.”

* With Reuters


Who’s Who: Dr. Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Akeel, founder and chairman of the Saudi Scientific Research and Innovation Association

Dr. Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Akeel. (Supplied)
Dr. Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Akeel. (Supplied)
Updated 07 December 2021

Who’s Who: Dr. Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Akeel, founder and chairman of the Saudi Scientific Research and Innovation Association

Dr. Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Akeel. (Supplied)

Dr. Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Akeel is founder and chairman of the Saudi Scientific Research and Innovation Association based in Riyadh since May 2021.
He is also a scientific researcher at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology since 1998.
Al-Akeel established the Saudi Innovation Forum in 2016, which promotes research, development, innovation and creativity to contribute to achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
He served as project manager for the Biotechnology Incubator in Riyadh in 2009, where he worked on the infrastructure and design of the incubator, as well as the lab and network setup.
He was also project manager for the technology transfer between KACST and the UK between 2011-2012 and for that between KACST and South Africa in 2002.
Al-Akeel also served as director of the engineering and biomedical engineering departments at the King Abdulaziz University Hospital from 1993-1997.
In 2003, he worked as associate director of research and development, supervising research projects at KACST and supporting its growth.
Because his area of interest is innovation commercialization, Al-Akeel believes that research and development are vital for economic progress.
Al-Akeel holds a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship and innovation and a postgraduate diploma in research management from the University of Edinburgh Business School.
Before these, he earned a postgraduate diploma in electronics engineering from the University of Wales and a bachelor’s degree in the same field from the Wentworth Institute of Technology.