Who’s Who: Sari Ibrahim Asiri, general director at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Sari Ibrahim Asiri
Sari Ibrahim Asiri
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Updated 28 August 2021

Who’s Who: Sari Ibrahim Asiri, general director at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Who’s Who: Sari Ibrahim Asiri, general director at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Sari Ibrahim Asiri is the general director of the General Directorate of Hajj and Umrah at the Ministry of Health.

He also works as an assistant to the general director of health affairs for public health in the Makkah region.

Asiri joined the healthcare leadership academy innovation program of Stanford University, US in 2020, where he was an accredited trainer at the family medicine fellowship and participated as a lecturer and attendant in chronic disease programs.

He also participated in primary healthcare programs and activities, emergency medicine and disaster programs during Hajj seasons, and geriatric care programs.

Asiri has also joined six sigma training for quality, and the collaborative institutional training initiative.

He worked as an honorary assistant professor at Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah in 2019.

Asiri has numerous publications to his credit which include: “Implementing the health early warning system based on syndromic and event-based surveillance,” in the Eastern Mediterranean health journal (2019), and “Confusion in a patient with mycoplasma pneumonia lowers threshold to lumbar puncture despite hyponatremia,” in the International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health (2013).

Other publications include “Descriptive epidemiology and characteristics of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus infection” in the Makkah region (2014), and “Knowledge, attitude, and practice among primary healthcare physicians toward smoking cessation in Makkah.”

He also worked as a trainer of family medicine as well as a consultant of family medicine in 2011.

Asiri also completed an MBBS from Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah in 2005.

 

 

 


OIC human rights commission says international community must mobilize efforts to end poverty 

OIC human rights commission says international community must mobilize efforts to end poverty 
Updated 57 min 53 sec ago

OIC human rights commission says international community must mobilize efforts to end poverty 

OIC human rights commission says international community must mobilize efforts to end poverty 
  • The IPHRC emphasized the importance of addressing the issue of extreme poverty as a top priority
  • The principle of “leaving no one behind” must guide efforts to eradicate poverty, the commission said

LONDON: The world should recognize abject poverty as a human rights violation, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission said on Sunday.

In a statement released to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2021, the IPHRC said the world has a “shared responsibility to mobilize all possible efforts to end poverty.” 

It said the fact that 689 million people still live in extreme poverty with less than $1.90 a day to live on is a “moral outrage.”

The commission added that the effects of the Coronavirus disease pandemic reversed many years of progress in the fight against poverty, and that between 88 and 115 million people are being pushed into poverty.

The majority of the new extreme poor live in south Asian and sub-saharan countries where poverty rates were already high, the commission added.

The IPHRC emphasized the importance of addressing the issue of extreme poverty as a top priority for the international community.

Despite the global focus on fostering development and eradicating poverty, the pandemic has clearly proven that the world needs structural changes to efficiently eradicate poverty beyond the ambitious political narratives that fail to inspire real action, it said. 

The human rights commission called upon the international community to translate the global focus on human rights protection and sustainable development goals into concrete, measurable actions on the ground to effectively address the core issue of poverty. 

The principle of “leaving no one behind” must guide efforts to eradicate poverty at the national and global levels, the commission added.

It urged all governments to strengthen their legal framework of human rights that places human dignity at the heart of policy and action against existing structural disadvantages and inequalities. 

People living in poverty must be meaningfully engaged in decision-making processes that directly affect their lives, it added.

The commission urged OIC member states to redouble their efforts to devise human rights-based and people-centered socio-development policies.

It highlighted that eradicating poverty is a moral and spiritual imperative of Islam and a strategically beneficial goal for the political, economic, and social progress of all member states.

IPHRC also emphasized the international community’s collective responsibility to create a conducive socio-economic environment for the enjoyment of human rights by everybody around the world. 


Saudi Arabia records 3 COVID-19 deaths, 41 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 3 COVID-19 deaths, 41 new cases
Updated 50 min 41 sec ago

Saudi Arabia records 3 COVID-19 deaths, 41 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 3 COVID-19 deaths, 41 new cases
  • Kingdom’s airports will begin operating at full capacity as of Sunday
  • Ministry of Interior records 22,746 violations against precautionary measures in past week

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed three new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,763.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 41 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 547,931 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 106 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 18, followed by Jeddah with seven, and Makkah, Madinah and Dhahran confirmed two cases each.
The health ministry also announced that 47 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 536,947.
Over 44.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 20.6 million people have been fully vaccinated.


The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that the Kingdom’s airports will begin operating at full capacity as of Sunday.
In a circular issued to all airlines operating in the Kingdom, including private aviation, GACA said that the full capacity of the Kingdom’s airports will be used to operate domestic and international flights.
Meanwhile, Saudi authorities continued their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to stem the spread of the disease.
The Ministry of Interior reported 22,746 in the past week, with the highest recorded in Riyadh with 8,674, followed by the Eastern Province with 4,251, Makkah with 2,113, and Madinah with 1,630. Najran recorded the lowest number of violations with 92.
The ministry called on citizens and residents to abide by the preventive protocols and the instructions issued by authorities in this regard.
Saudi municipalities have also ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures.
The municipality of the Eastern Province carried out 8,879 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities during the past week, and closed 19 businesses and found 402 others in violation of the precautionary measures. 
Jeddah Municipality also carried out 13,976 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities during the past week and authorities closed 79 commercial outlets and fined 85 for breaching protocols.
 Officials have also called on the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or contacting authorities through the Balady app.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 241 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.91 million.


Food-culture ambassador aims to nourish the bonds between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Food-culture ambassador aims to nourish the bonds between Saudi Arabia and Japan
Chef Sato seen with some of the dishes he prepared using special culinary skills and techniques studied in Japan. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 56 min 56 sec ago

Food-culture ambassador aims to nourish the bonds between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Food-culture ambassador aims to nourish the bonds between Saudi Arabia and Japan
  • Chef Taki Sato, who has nearly 30 years of experience as a chef, was appointed the first chef as Japanese cuisine goodwill ambassador to the Middle East in 2019

JEDDAH: The Japanese cuisine goodwill ambassador to the Middle East is working hard to spread awareness of his nation’s food, ingredients and culinary expertise in a Saudi market he believes would enjoy more exposure to Japanese culture and traditions.

“I want to share with everyone I know, really, ‘Ana Saeed’ (I’m happy). I want to see more food exchange between Japan and Saudi Arabia,” said chef Taki Sato.

Chef Taki Sato, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador and brand ambassador of Wakame. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)

When he came to Saudi Arabia, Sato discovered that the people there prefer a fusion of Japanese and mainstream flavors and methods of cooking, so he had to adapt as part of what he now realizes was a career renaissance.

“I recognize that there are two types of Saudi Arabian people who love Japanese cuisine,” he said. The first type “love sushi deep-fried,” he explained, while the second type has more of an all-round appreciation of “for example, fresh fish and very specific Japanese ingredients.”

He added: “Most of the Saudi Arabian people are the first type: sushi, deep-fry and noodles.”

Sato, who has nearly 30 years of experience as a chef, was appointed the first chef as Japanese cuisine goodwill ambassador to the Middle East in 2019 by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. He is tasked with using his professional knowledge and experience to promote and provide information about Japanese cuisine and food culture.

His responsibilities as part of this mission include educating chefs about Japanese food, teaching them the culinary skills needed for Japanese food-preparation techniques, and training them how to use ingredients to create “umami.”

Chef Sato displays some of his preparation techniques. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)

Umami, a “very rich and specific” savory taste, is a popular flavor characteristic in Japanese cuisine that Sato said he hopes to “synchronize” with Saudi food culture.

“I’m also brand ambassador for Wakame, in addition to being in communication with the Japanese government,” he said. “We must deepen the bonds between Saudi Arabia and Japan through the exchange of food, culinary expertise and culture.”

Food exports from Japan to Saudi Arabia total only $16.8 million, according to recent figures from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, while Saudi food exports to Japan are tiny.

Food exports from Japan to Saudi Arabia (2019), total $16.8 million. (Observatory of Economic Complexity)

“The Japanese government wants to share our chefs’ techniques and ingredients, and it wants me to promote this exchange of training,” he said. “In Saudi Arabia, a lot of the chefs want to learn.”

Sato recently held a sushi-rolling workshop in Jeddah that attracted 50 chefs. In April next year he plans to bring Michelin Star chefs from Japan to the region to host more workshops.

He came to the Middle East 10 years ago, initially working at Zuma, one of the leading Japanese restaurants in Dubai. Two years later he moved to Riyadh to become executive chef of Yokari, before moving to Wakame in Jeddah.

Sato said that as he attempted to maintain the authenticity of Japanese cuisine while combining it with mainstream fusion flavors and techniques to cater to local tastes, he became more creative in his cooking.

25 percent of the ingredients are imported directly from Japan by an affiliate food distribution company to Wakame, and the other 75 percent is from a local supplier, but believes improved availability of authentic Japanese ingredients would help increase the local appreciation of traditional Japanese food.

Chef Sato and local chefs under his instruction. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)

Meanwhile, he has served as an advisor on a MAFF project to introduce the Japanese food and culinary art experience to leading Saudi chefs. They include Yasser Jad, the president of the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association, who Sato said is interested in further collaborations and food-culture exchanges between Japan and the Kingdom, and Khulood Olaqi, Saudi Arabia’s first female sushi expert and the owner of Oishii Sushi in Riyadh.

Sato also sits on the board of several food culture expansion projects in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, including the Cool Japan Fund, which aims to boost demand for Japanese products and services overseas, educational institute Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo, and the ABC Cooking School.

Statistics from the OEC reveal that the total value of Saudi exports to Japan increased at an annualized rate of 4.24 percent from $9.05 billion in 1995 to $24.5 billion in 2019. The main products were crude petroleum, worth $23 billion, refined petroleum ($537 million), and acyclic alcohols $255 million).

The value of exports from Japan to Saudi Arabia increased at an annualized rate of 3.37 percent from $2.95 billion in 1995 to $6.55 billion in 2019. They include cars ($3.72 billion), delivery trucks ($399 million), and automotive parts $223 million).

A Japanese-Saudi electronic sports competition took place on Oct. 2 and 3. Organizers said they hope the event will help to strengthen ties between the two nations, promote their cultures and enrich the global economy.


Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity

Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity
Updated 17 October 2021

Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity

Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity
  • All of passengers’ immunization status would continue to be verified using the ‘Tawakklna’ application

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority has allowed airports in the Kingdom to operate at full capacity.
In a circular issued on Sunday to all airlines operating in the Kingdom’s airports, including private aviation, the General Authority of Civil Aviation said that the “entire capacity of the Kingdom’s airports will be used to operate domestic and international flights.”
All of passengers’ immunization status would continue to be verified using the ‘Tawakklna’ application, which was launched last year to monitor the vaccination condition of residents and citizens.
The Kingdom eased restrictions more than 18 months since the coronavirus pandemic started, and has done away with mandatory social distancing at social gatherings or in public settings including transport, restaurants and cinemas, among others.
The wearing of face masks outdoors was also no longer mandatory except for specific locations, including the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. Visits to the two mosques have also been restored to full capacity.
Fans would also be allowed to access to sports stadiums and facilities after the venues have been allowed to operate at full capacity, provided visitors have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The decision would be subject to periodic review according, the Kingdom’s sports ministry said in statement.


Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk

Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk
Updated 17 October 2021

Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk

Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said Sunday it has started giving booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine to age groups that are most at-risk. 

The ministry mentioned that more than 21 million people in the kingdom have already received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

It also noted that the total number of vaccine jabs that had be given so far exceeds 44 million does.