Saudi Citizen Account Program deposits SR1.9 billion for July 

The cost-of-living supplements for Saudi citizens are based on a household’s total monthly income. (SPA)
The cost-of-living supplements for Saudi citizens are based on a household’s total monthly income. (SPA)
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Updated 12 July 2021

Saudi Citizen Account Program deposits SR1.9 billion for July 

The cost-of-living supplements for Saudi citizens are based on a household’s total monthly income. (SPA)
  • The cash transfer program has distributed SR99 billion in payments since it was launched in December 2017

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Citizen Account Program deposited SR1.9 billion ($506 million) into the accounts of 10.5 million beneficiaries for July. Total compensation for the previous installment, paid retroactively, stood at SR35 million.
The national scheme was created to protect Saudi households from the direct, indirect and expected impacts of the various economic reforms taking place in the Kingdom through monthly cash transfers into their accounts.
The cash transfer program has distributed SR99 billion in payments since it was launched in December 2017.
Sultan Al-Qahtani, the program’s spokesman, said that 77 percent of the total beneficiaries received full benefits, with an average support of SR1,055 per household.
Heads of household reached more than 2 million, constituting 93 percent of total number of beneficiaries, while dependents amounted to more than 8.3 million. The cost-of-living supplements for Saudi citizens are based on a household’s total monthly income and the number of people living in the property, as well as their age.


Saranghae KSA festival unites K-pop fans in Jeddah

Saranghae KSA festival unites K-pop fans in Jeddah
Updated 19 sec ago

Saranghae KSA festival unites K-pop fans in Jeddah

Saranghae KSA festival unites K-pop fans in Jeddah
  • The Consulate General of Korea in Jeddah delievered a one-of-kind Korean experience, offering to photograph fans wearing traditional Korean outfits, as well as providing cooking demonstrations

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's first K-pop festival, Saranghae KSA 22, brought fans from a wide range of backgrounds together under the roof of the Jeddah Superdome for a three-day celebration of Korean music and culture.

K-pop installations, an Umbrella Boulevard and a Cherry Blossoms Avenue provided picture-perfect backgrounds for fans, who were also given a taste of Korean cuisine at stalls selling a range of Korean favorites.

One audience member, Ghazal Mazen, 16, said that she grew up listening to Korean songs because of her older sisters, and has been a fan of Ateez since early 2020.

“I really can’t describe how I feel now. It feels like a dream I have been waiting to live in real life,” she said.

High-quality screens ensured fans were able to see their favorite performers, while a screen suspended from the middle of the dome displayed images taken by audience members at the photo booth, as well as short clips of the bands.

The Consulate General of Korea in Jeddah delievered a one-of-kind Korean experience, offering to photograph fans wearing traditional Korean outfits, as well as providing cooking demonstrations.

Performing on the festival's opening day, EPEX and Ateez greeted the audience in Arabic and Korean.

Both bands took a break to meet the audience and answer questions from fans.

On Wednesday, EPEX enjoyed the festive vibe of Jeddah Season by visiting the Historical Jeddah zone, walking through museums and the house of horror, playing games, and winning prizes.

Fans of Ateez spotted the band members shopping at the Red Sea Mall on the same day.

Saturday will mark the last day of the festival with Monsta X and Verivery.

 


Jordanian minister praises Saudi transport services for Hajj pilgrims

Jordanian minister praises Saudi transport services for Hajj pilgrims
Updated 3 min 40 sec ago

Jordanian minister praises Saudi transport services for Hajj pilgrims

Jordanian minister praises Saudi transport services for Hajj pilgrims
  • Mohammad Al-Khalaileh cited the Haramain High Speed Railway Project in particular

RIYADH: The Jordanian minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has praised the development of Saudi Arabia’s transportation services for Hajj pilgrims while making the pilgrimmage himself, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Mohammad Al-Khalaileh cited the Haramain High Speed Railway Project in particular, one of the major projects designed to serve pilgrims and Umrah performers who seek to visit the two holy mosques.

In a statement to SPA, before his departure to the holy sites in Makkah on board Haramain High Speed Railway from Madinah, the minister reiterated that Jordanian pilgrims will benefit from the diversity of transportation services that enables pilgrims to easily and quickly move around, whether by train, land transport via buses, or domestic air transport.

He added that this reflected the sincere and great efforts made by the Kingdom under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The minister extended his appreciation and gratitude to the Kingdom’s government for all the services and facilities provided to pilgrims to facilitate the Hajj journey.


Madinah welcomes nearly 345,000 Hajj pilgrims

Madinah welcomes nearly 345,000 Hajj pilgrims
Updated 01 July 2022

Madinah welcomes nearly 345,000 Hajj pilgrims

Madinah welcomes nearly 345,000 Hajj pilgrims
  • The Kingdom is allowing up to one million people to perform Hajj this year

RIYADH: Around 345,000 pilgrims from across the world have so far arrived in Madinah to perform Hajj this year, according to official figures reported by the Saudi Press Agency on Friday.

The Kingdom is allowing up to one million people to perform Hajj this year, welcoming foreign pilgrims for the first time in two years, during which COVID-19 restrictions meant the annual pilgrimage was limited to residents of the country.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that almost 279,000 people had landed at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport since the start of the first Hajj flights, while around 66,000 pilgrims had arrived by land.

More than 265,000 pilgrims had already left Madinah and were on their way to the holy sites in Makkah, while almost 80,000 were still in the city, it said.

Authorities in Madinah are working around the clock to ensure the best experience for visitors, the ministry added.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques confirmed its readiness to receive pilgrims, saying it had mobilized 10,000 workers.

The presidency also said that live translation of the Arafat Day sermon, one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar, has been expanded to include 14 languages as Saudi Arabia’s leadership seeks to convey a message of moderation and tolerance to the widest possible audience.

The sermon will be available in English, French, Malay, Urdu, Persian, Russian, Chinese, Bengali, Turkish, Hausa, Spanish, Indian, Swahili and Tamil.


US officials led by antisemitism envoy briefed on Saudi efforts to promote tolerance

US officials led by antisemitism envoy briefed on Saudi efforts to promote tolerance
Updated 01 July 2022

US officials led by antisemitism envoy briefed on Saudi efforts to promote tolerance

US officials led by antisemitism envoy briefed on Saudi efforts to promote tolerance
  • They were visiting the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue, the leader of which stressed the importance of communication and dialogue in building bridges between cultures

RIYADH: A visiting US delegation led by Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, Washington’s special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, was briefed this week on the work of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue.

After being welcomed to the center by its secretary-general, Abdullah Al-Fawzan, and other senior representatives, the delegates were given a brief presentation about its activities designed to promote and encourage greater tolerance among peoples.

They were also briefed on the results of the first study of its kind in the region on tolerance, carried out by the center to the highest scientific standards, which found that Saudi society is tolerant of other cultures and civilizations.

In greeting the visitors on Tuesday, Al-Fawzan stressed the importance of encouraging communication and dialogue between peoples, to help build bridges of understanding among cultures, as part of the efforts being made by the Kingdom, through its Saudi Vision 2030 development plan, to support tolerance and promote peaceful coexistence based on the principles of moderate Islam.

He said that Saudi society accepts and coexists with people from other societies and cultures, as evidenced by the large number of expatriates who live and work in the Kingdom. This shows that the values of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and unity are not new concepts in the country, he added.

Since its inception, the center has placed great importance in promoting the values of citizenship among among all sections of society, making it a mainstay of its work, Al-Fawzan said.

The members of the US delegation were also given a tour of the center’s Interactive Dialogue Exhibition so that they could learn more about the Kingdom’s efforts to support communications between cultures and civilizations. They also heard about local projects developed by the center to help strengthen the nation’s social fabric, and its regional and global initiatives designed to help build and enhance cultural diversity and human commonalities.


Shoura council speaker heads delegation to Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network conference

Shoura council speaker heads delegation to Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network conference
Updated 30 June 2022

Shoura council speaker heads delegation to Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network conference

Shoura council speaker heads delegation to Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network conference

RIYADH: Speaker of the Saudi Shoura Council Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al-Sheikh is heading the Kingdom’s delegation to the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network, which began on Thursday in Baku, Azerbaijan, with the participation of several parliament speakers from NAM member states.

Al-Sheikh said in a press statement that the council’s participation in the conference is an affirmation of Saudi Arabia’s keenness to achieve security, peace and sustainable development globally.

Speaker of the Saudi Shoura Council Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh is heading the Kingdom’s delegation to the first conference of the Parliamentary Network of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which began on Thursday in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Supplied)

The Kingdom’s participation also highlights its constructive partnership with other countries, the solutions it aims to provide to international crises and the humanitarian work it carries out, Al-Sheikh pointed out.

He stressed that international parliamentary conferences are essential in facing global challenges and achieving cooperation across borders.

The NAM Parliamentary Network was established on the sidelines of the 143rd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, held in Madrid. It aims to provide a framework for cooperation between the parliaments of NAM member states, with the participation of several other international organizations.