UN envoy to Yemen Griffiths says battle for Marib must stop

UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met with Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman in Riyadh. (Twitter/@kbsalsaud)
UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met with Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman in Riyadh. (Twitter/@kbsalsaud)
Short Url
Updated 26 May 2021

UN envoy to Yemen Griffiths says battle for Marib must stop

UN envoy to Yemen Griffiths says battle for Marib must stop
  • Griffiths also held talks on easing restrictions imposed on the movement of people and commodities
  • He also discussed ‘the critical situation in Marib’ as he concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The UN special envoy to Yemen on Wednesday concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he met with senior Saudi and Yemeni officials to discuss the UN’s plan to achieve a comprehensive cease-fire.
Martin Griffiths also held talks on easing restrictions imposed on the movement of people and goods to and from the country, and resuming the political process to end the conflict.
During his visit, Griffiths met with Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar and Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed, Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber, and US Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking, as well as other diplomats.

Griffiths held talks on “the critical situation in Marib and stressed that the battle for Marib must stop to allow diplomatic peace efforts to achieve positive results,” the UN said in a statement.
He also expressed hope that the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement would continue to progress and warned against the threat of further fragmentation in Yemen.
“The parties have a responsibility to the Yemeni people to peacefully resolve their differences,” Griffiths said, adding: “A change of course is still possible now, but it will become much more difficult if the war continues, if the division and fragmentation increases more than this, and if the deteriorating humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate.
“Yemenis deserve better than a life of perpetual war,” he added.

 


Saudis take a trip back to their childhood days at Jeddah Season’s Rasha Rizk concert

Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudis take a trip back to their childhood days at Jeddah Season’s Rasha Rizk concert

Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
  • Rasha Rizk is voice of childhood dreams that lives in memories of three generations

JEDDAH: Rasha Rizk, the voice of childhood innocence, hopes, and dreams that lives in the memories of three generations, performed in Jeddah to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season.

Syrian chanteuse Rizk is best known for performing Arabic versions of anime and cartoon theme songs and is credited with over 100 tracks, including “Doraemon,” “Gundam,” “Detective Conan,” “Captain Tsubasa,” “One Piece,” “Offside,” and “D.I.C.E.”

After three nights of filling the air of Anime Village at City Walk, Rizk held a meet-and-greet event at the SuperDome area on Sunday.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Rasha Rizk started the event with the Arabic version of the ‘Hunter X Hunter’ theme song.

• The singer ended the hour-long session with snippets from two of her widely loved songs: ‘Remi’s Anti Al-Aman’ and ‘Anastasia’s Ah lo fo Alahlam.’

• Most of those attending grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and noughties. Now adults, they brought their children along to meet their anime-singing idol.

Before coming on stage, a variety of anime theme songs performed by her rang through the venue, awakening the inner child in every adult and re-igniting the flame of happy and innocent days from times past.

“Rasha is (one of) my unforgettable childhood memories. She taught me all about hope, strength, and happiness,” said 23-year-old Asma Alsaggaf. “I will introduce her to the coming generations, including my children, their children, and their children.”

“She (Rizk) is my entire childhood as all the childhood songs that I grew up listening to are mostly sung by her,” said 29-year-old Fatma Abdurahman. “I feel like I’m above the clouds after meeting her because I’ve been dreaming about this moment forever.”

Rizk started the event with the Arabic version of the “Hunter X Hunter” theme song. She then began welcoming and talking to fans of all ages.

“Honestly, I first listened to Rasha during my teenage years and immediately fell in love with her voice,” said 22-year-old Read Sindhi. “I’m thrilled with the fact that I met her.”

The singer ended the hour-long session with snippets from two of her widely loved songs: “Remi’s Anti Al-Aman” and “Anastasia’s Ah lo fo Alahlam.”

Most of those attending grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and noughties. Now adults, they brought their children along to meet their anime-singing idol.

“I will allow the new generations to get to know Rasha to know how kind she is and listen to her songs because every track has a moral lesson,” said 24-year-old Raigah Zain.

Rizk told Arab News that she was thrilled and delighted to meet the people who had grown up listening to her and giving back the love she had received through the years.

“Meeting people and receiving this much love,” was what Rizk said she would remember most about the Jeddah events. “Seeing the audience singing every word and letter along with me is the best thing I could ask for. It feels like seeing my own children growing before my eyes.”

Rizk said she hoped to see more local anime works representing different Arab cultures and traditions go global. “I support every cultural project that sends a beautiful image to the world about Arabs.”

Besides singing anime and cartoon theme tracks, Rizk has released three albums, performed at opera houses and concerts around the world, played roles in musicals and movies, and was the voice of Anastasia in the animation movie.

She works with the cartoon channel “Spacetoon,” which shows dubbed animation and cartoons. She lent her voice to the Saudi animated movie “The Journey,” which was released in theaters last year.

 


PNU joins King Fahd National Library catalog

The agreement was signed by Rabiah Al-Barrak and Othman Mohammed Al-Asmari. (SPA)
The agreement was signed by Rabiah Al-Barrak and Othman Mohammed Al-Asmari. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2022

PNU joins King Fahd National Library catalog

The agreement was signed by Rabiah Al-Barrak and Othman Mohammed Al-Asmari. (SPA)
  • In February, the library joined the International Federation of Libraries and Institutions for 2022

RIYADH: Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University has signed an agreement to join the Saudi Unified Catalog of the King Fahd National Library.
This development ensures that intellectual resources can be easily accessed from one database, which will benefit the nation’s researchers.
The agreement was signed by university representative Rabiah Al-Barrak and Othman Mohammed Al-Asmari, director of the catalog project.
The library aims to build a national reference to standardize technical practices. It also seeks to develop information and knowledge projects, and to facilitate coordination between institutions in Saudi Arabia.
In February, the library joined the International Federation of Libraries and Institutions for 2022. The federation consists of 1,600 members from 150 countries around the world.
Dr. Mansour bin Abdullah Al-Zamil, secretary of the KFNL, pointed out that joining the federation is the culmination of the library’s efforts in strengthening international cooperation, which would not have been possible without the continuous support from the Saudi leadership. AN Riyadh
Al-Zamil stressed that by joining the federation, the library will be able to share knowledge, experiences, standards and methods of work and keep pace with global developments, in addition to actively participating in meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences.

 


Saudi education minister meets with UK counterpart

Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudi education minister meets with UK counterpart

Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
  • The meeting discussed ways of enhancing opportunities of educational, academic and research cooperation between the two countries

LONDON: The Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh met with British Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi on the sidelines of the Education World Forum 2022 in London.

Al-Sheikh also met with the UK prime minister’s special representative to Saudi Arabia for education, Steve Smith.

The minister is currently on an official visit to London to take part in the forum, running from May 22-25.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed ways of enhancing the cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education and science, as well as the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Program on Scholarship, according to the recent strategy launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The meeting also discussed ways of enhancing opportunities of educational, academic and research cooperation between the two countries and developing educational curricula, including teaching the Arabic language through the internet and training Saudi doctors.

The meeting was attended by Salih Al-Gesoomi, undersecretary at the Saudi Ministry for International Cooperation, Ohood Al-Fares, undersecretary for public education; and Dr. Mohamed El-Mugbel, undersecretary for educational programs, as well as the cultural attache at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the UK, Amal Fattani.


Saudi Arabia’s RITA signs deal to promote performing arts

(Twitter @TRITA_sa)
(Twitter @TRITA_sa)
Updated 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s RITA signs deal to promote performing arts

(Twitter @TRITA_sa)
  • The deal contributes to encouraging national talents, entrepreneurs, artists, craftspeople and those with a passion for traditional arts in both countries by providing incentives for them to continue their work and acquainting the public with them

RIYADH: The Royal Institute of Traditional Arts has signed a cooperation agreement with the Performance Arts School at the Korea National University of Arts.
The agreement is aimed at enhancing cooperation in the field of performing arts and enriching traditional arts through initiatives that focus on developing educational programs and establishing an exchange program for students and faculty members between the two institutions.
The agreement will also help boost cooperation in the field of research and studies.
The deal contributes to encouraging national talents, entrepreneurs, artists, craftspeople and those with a passion for traditional arts in both countries by providing incentives for them to continue their work and acquainting the public with them.
Visual arts form a vital part of the Kingdom’s heritage. It includes traditional performing arts such as dance and folk music from the various regions of the Kingdom.
In February, the institute and Diriyah Gate Development Authority signed an agreement for strategic cooperation in a number of projects and initiatives, the authority said.
The agreement included plans for projects related to education and training in fields such as the protection of heritage sites, and documentation of tangible and intangible heritage sites.

 


UN official applauds Saudi Green Initiative aimed at addressing climate change effects

UN official applauds Saudi Green Initiative aimed at addressing climate change effects
The UN resident coordinator in Saudi Arabia, Nathalie Fustier, addresses participants at Riyadh Blue Talk. (AN photo by Ali M Al
Updated 24 May 2022

UN official applauds Saudi Green Initiative aimed at addressing climate change effects

UN official applauds Saudi Green Initiative aimed at addressing climate change effects
  • UNRC applauds Saudi Green Initiative aimed at addressing devastating effects of climate change
  • The environment is a key priority for the UN globally and in the Kingdom

RIYADH: The UN resident coordinator in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday praised the Kingdom for stepping up its commitment to the environment by launching initiatives aimed at addressing the devastating effects of climate change.

In her opening remarks at Riyadh Blue Talk, an event organized by the UNRC office and the embassies of Portugal and Kenya to raise awareness of oceans ahead of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference to be held in Lisbon next month, Nathalie Fustier said:

“In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up its commitment to the environment and launched last year the Middle East and the Saudi Green Initiatives aimed at addressing some of the devastating effects of climate change. Recently, the Saudi government announced the establishment of the Red Sea Authority, a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea.

“Saudi Arabia has more than 2,000 km of coastline, the largest in the region, with 30 percent of the Kingdom’s population living within 100 km of a coastline. This enormous coastline is home to diverse marine ecosystems and the basis for the future blue economy of the Kingdom.

“Considering the valuable contributions and efforts that Saudi Arabia has made to the conservation of marine environment at national, regional, and global levels, we are glad to gather stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society, academia, regional and international organizations to exchange knowledge and solutions and build partnerships to solve pressing challenges.”

The environment is a priority for the UN and the Kingdom. The UN in Saudi Arabia supports the Kingdom in its progress toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Vision 2030, she added.

“We are working on a five-year development cooperation framework with the government which has a strong focus on ‘planet.’ We have also established a dedicated Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Advisory Working Group within the UNCT (UN Country Team) to enhance internal UN coordination and improve support to the government in the field of (the) environment.”

The UN secretary-general firmly believed that solutions were possible and the current trends could be reversed to bring considerable improvements to the environment, she said.

“With this optimism in mind, I look forward to learning more and hope that the discussions here will inform the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon and create new ways of working towards an effective solution to better preserve our oceans.”

Speaking at Riyadh Blue Talk, Dr. Osama Faqeeha, Saudi Arabia's deputy minister for environment, water, and agriculture said: “Saudi Vision 2030 plays a central role (in) coming out with a deep conviction that economic development and prosperity cannot be complete without environmental protection and social development."

In 2016, the Environment Ministry approved a national strategy that included a comprehensive assessment of all environmental challenges and opportunities and an intensified focus on environmental protection.

That was followed by a complete restructuring of institutions working in the environment sector, resulting in the National Center for Environmental Compliance.

It also resulted in the National Center for Waste Management to accelerate work in the Kingdom toward a circular economy, maximizing recycling, minimizing waste generation, maximizing utilization of waste, and reducing waste diversion to landfills.

The National Center to Combat Desertification addresses national challenges related to vegetation cover. Saudi Arabia also has a National Center for Wildlife and a National Center for Metrology to tackle climate and environmental issues.

Peter Thomson, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for the ocean, said: “(The) Ocean’s health is vital to us all. Just consider the fact that over 50 percent of the planet’s oxygen is produced in the ocean. That is why my daily mantra is, ‘No healthy planet without a healthy ocean.’ And the ocean’s health is measurably in decline.

“We can stop the decline of the ocean’s health in 2022 and we made a great start with the consensual agreement at UNEA (UN Environment Assembly) in Nairobi in February to begin work on a binding global treaty to end plastic pollution.

“We must continue this positive momentum by ending harmful fisheries subsidies at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, by adopting the 30 by 30 target at the Biodiversity COP in Kunming, and when we gather in Sharm El-Sheikh in November for COP27, by moving the climate finance needle decisively in the direction of the Sustainable Blue Economy.

“2022’s highlight opportunity will be the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, in support of SDG14’s implementation. There, we will launch a great fleet of science-based solutions, heavily powered by innovation and partnerships.”

Riyadh Blue Talk held two panel discussions.

One was about managing, protecting, conserving, and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems. It was moderated by Portuguese ambassador Nuno Mathias. The other was about increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology. This was moderated by the Kenyan ambassador Peter Nicholas Ogego.

Riyadh Blue Talk is part of a global action initiative to raise ocean awareness.