Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh

Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh
1 / 5
The Karbasha team calls on individuals to join hands by either being a volunteer or provide financial assistance. (Supplied)
Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh
2 / 5
The Karbasha team calls on individuals to join hands by either being a volunteer or provide financial assistance. (Supplied)
Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh
3 / 5
The Karbasha team calls on individuals to join hands by either being a volunteer or provide financial assistance. (Supplied)
Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh
4 / 5
The Karbasha team calls on individuals to join hands by either being a volunteer or provide financial assistance. (Supplied)
Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh
5 / 5
The Karbasha team calls on individuals to join hands by either being a volunteer or provide financial assistance. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 10 September 2021

Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh

Saudi students team up to save abandoned animals in Riyadh
  • Team urges public to donate to help animals after thousands dumped over false pandemic rumors
  • Government official tells Arab News animal welfare is high priority

JEDDAH: A group of Saudi students banded together to help Riyadh’s stray and feral cat and dog populations in a bid to improve their lives.

Formed in 2018, the Karbasha team grew to become the city’s first nonprofit organization in the field of animal welfare, and the first social facility approved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.

“We are united by a passion for the love of animals, and we live in a reality that makes it difficult for us to help them … including the presence of more than 2 million homeless cats in the city of Riyadh, (with) 100 of them needing veterinary treatment every day,” Muhanad Al-Juaidi, one of the founding members of Karbasha team, told Arab News.

Their ultimate goal, beyond helping animals directly, is to raise awareness and educate people that animals have feelings like humans.

“We do our rescue work on top of our day jobs and other personal commitments,” said Al-Juaidi who majors in chemical engineering. “There are no paid employees in our team and we ensure that every single riyal we raise in donations goes directly to saving animals.”

The group includes Noura Aqaili, a computer science student; Amaar Ali, a student pilot; Dania Al-Rubaian, who specializes in medicine; Amaal Al-Otaibi, a business administration student; Ghada Al-Zahrani who majors in programming; Aya Al-Hajj, a law student; artist Majed Al-Qarni; Ghada Al-Subai, an architecture student, and 33 other volunteers.

The team was motivated to launch their initiative after the two founders, Aqaili and Al-Rubaian, met through a mutual friend and talked about animal welfare in Saudi Arabia.

This small nonprofit has a diverse group of dedicated volunteers who rescue injured, sick or abandoned animals and provide full medical rehabilitation, vaccinations and preventatives, they foster cats and dogs.

They also raise awareness about the plight of voiceless animals by encouraging adults and children to interact with them through lectures and videos.

“We roam around streets searching for those in need, and also respond to calls made by people through the various social media platforms,” Al-Juaidi said.

The team has saved around 200 abandoned animals, adopted more than 500 cats, organized 36 awareness campaigns with partner charities and visited a large number of universities and schools to spread their message.

“We have sold more than 1,500 food and water tubes to feed stray cats, and we also have more than half a million monthly interactions on our social media platforms,” Al-Juaidi added.

The Karbasha team calls on individuals to join hands by either being a volunteer or provide financial assistance.

One can also donate household items, furniture, clothing, accessories, or anything else, Al-Juaidi said, which can go towards raising funds for the organization, or provide a foster home or adopt an abandoned pet.

During the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, the situation for animals was dire, with many pets in the Kingdom abandoned. “The effect on stray animals was devastating as most were finding it increasingly difficult to find food.”

Al-Juaidi noted that a high number of pets were also abandoned over fears the animals could spread COVID-19. “Hundreds of companion animals have been added to the streets of Riyadh, looking totally betrayed by their owners, because of some ridiculous rumour going around.

“We paid a lot of effort to make people understand that such rumors are not correct, through videos with high production to show the step of abandoning pets on the street and how to deal with it in such a hard time,” he noted.

Looking to the future, members of the team hope to establish mobile veterinary clinics, hotels for pets, pet taxis, cat lounges, animal-friendly sanctuaries and parks.

Dr. Abdullah Safar, director of the livestock department and veterinary clinic at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Asir, told Arab News that animal welfare is a high priority for the government of Saudi Arabia.

“The government is continuing to improve the welfare of animals across the country, by establishing clinics in every region to provide additional funding to support medication shelters, facilities and programs for animals,” he said.

He added: “The ministry’s veterinary polyclinic in Asir benefits animals of all sorts, all under one roof, which increases the quality of veterinary services; it also helps for admission of critically ill animals to have an in-patient unit.”

The ministry has prohibited several practices that are considered cruelty toward animals in the Kingdom, in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Animal Welfare Act and Livestock Law, which was approved by royal decree, imposing penalties on the perpetrators of such harmful practices.

The list of proscribed practices that are prohibited except for medical necessity includes tail docking and ear cropping, declawing, debarking, dehorning and chemical castration.

Meanwhile, the other list of all practices that are forbidden for any reason whatsoever involves dyeing animals, using injectable cosmetic fillers (such as fillers, Botox, etc.) on animals, especially camels, and using animal-growth stimulants or stimulant drugs.

The ministry urged people to call the hotline on 8002470000 to report any suspected violation.


Stunning French soprano enthralls Jeddah audience

Clara Barbier Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini. Her journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. (Photos/ Hayy Jameel)
Clara Barbier Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini. Her journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. (Photos/ Hayy Jameel)
Updated 24 January 2022

Stunning French soprano enthralls Jeddah audience

Clara Barbier Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini. Her journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. (Photos/ Hayy Jameel)
  • Clara Barbier Serrano performs arias taking audience on a special journey through European history
  • To be in this place in this Maraya concert hall was just incredible, because it’s beautiful; it’s so magical how we can bring this music to the whole world, and then people will somehow connect to it

JEDDAH: The first recipient of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship, French soprano Clara Barbier Serrano, thrilled a Jeddah audience with her stunning performance on the Hayy Jameel stage on Jan. 22.

Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini, taking the Jeddawi audience on a special journey through European history from the 17th to the 20th centuries, via Italian opera, Mozart and finishing with French songs, accompanied by a pianist to complete a beautiful, intimate recital.
This event is considered the first classical music performance at Hayy Jameel.
In an exclusive interview at Hayy Jameel, Serrano told Arab News that she was lucky to receive the scholarship as it created chances for her, including the opportunity to perform next to Bocelli at different locations throughout the world.
“I had my first performance next to Bocelli after I received the Bocelli-Jameel scholarship, it is really always a pleasure to sing next to him,” she said.
“Now I feel more at ease when we’re on the stage together. I’m more relaxed than before because I know him a little bit. There is very nice energy that he gives on stage.”
The talented young singer performed the day before with Bocelli at one of the Kingdom’s prominent cultural destinations, the award-winning Maraya in AlUla.
“To be in this place in this Maraya concert hall was just incredible, because it’s beautiful; it’s so magical how we can bring this music to the whole world, and then people will somehow connect to it,” she said.
As a child, Serrano said that she did not know much about opera. “My family also didn’t listen to classical music, I was not particularly into it. I was listening more to jazz and things like that.”
Serrano’s journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. “I played the violin as a kid, and I took so many musical classes, singing in the choir, and playing the violin, I got more and more interested in the voice and then my teachers would tell me, you have a nice voice you should think solo, and that’s how I got interested in opera or more in lyrical singing.”
“At the time, I hadn’t seen many operas in my life. And it’s a very particular form of art actually. However, this interest in the voice just led me to practice this kind of singing,” she said.
Serrano said that when an opera is performed on stage a great narrative combination happens. “When we are on stage, it is like a story and a plot, it is like a theater piece being performed in a music style. The technique and the way we use our body to make the sound are very emotional. You have to take people with you in something very personal.”
Serrano received the Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship in 2020; she was rewarded with a two-year diploma in opera and a chance for her to be fully immersed in the opera world.
“I have been studying opera classical singing for six years, including my four years of bachelor in art and music in Germany, and now I am doing a special kind of postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London,” she said.
Serrano performed with Bocelli in the 2020 “Believe in Christmas” concert at the Teatro Regio di Parma, at the annual Concerto di Natale in Assisi in 2020, and in 2021 at the Teatro di Silenzio in Bocelli’s Tuscan hometown of Lajatico.
The opera scholarship is open to students from around the world. Community Jameel, which supports the scholarship, and Art Jameel, which runs Hayy Jameel, are sister organizations founded by the Jameel family of Saudi Arabia.
The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and Community Jameel scholarship were established in 2019, with the aim of supporting up-and-coming singers to study opera at the Royal College of Music in London. The second Bocelli-Jameel Scholar was awarded to Egyptian talent Laura Mekhail in 2021.


Saudi Arabia and Romania sign defense cooperation agreement

Saudi Arabia and Romania sign defense cooperation agreement
Updated 18 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and Romania sign defense cooperation agreement

Saudi Arabia and Romania sign defense cooperation agreement

RIYADH: The Saudi and Romanian governments signed an agreement for cooperation in the defense field, state-run SPA news agency reported on Monday.
The agreement covered a number of defense fields between the two countries, most notably training, exchanging expertise, technologies, developing communications systems, medical services, military history, archives, publications and museums, among others.
“The agreement comes within the commitment of the two governments to promote and encourage international peace and stability,” the statement said.
The deal was signed by Saudi Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Hussein Al-Bayari and Romanian State Secretary and Chief of the Department for Defense Policy, Planning and International Relations Simona Cojocaru.


Internal Audit Conference to start today in Riyadh

The conference will be held under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari. (SPA)
The conference will be held under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari. (SPA)
Updated 41 min 8 sec ago

Internal Audit Conference to start today in Riyadh

The conference will be held under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari. (SPA)
  • The conference will host 30 local and international leaders and experts specialized in internal auditing and control systems

RIYADH: The activities of the 8th annual internal audit conference starts in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Organized by the Saudi Institute of Internal Auditors, the conference will be held under the slogan “The Future of Internal Audit,” under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari the president of the General Auditing Bureau and chairman of the board of directors of Institute of Internal Auditors.

The two-day conference aims to review the developments of the internal audit profession and control systems globally, chart the future of the profession according to worldwide developments and enhance the characteristics of flexible leadership for the profession in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

The conference will host 30 local and international leaders and experts specialized in internal auditing and control systems, in addition to a number of representatives of international organizations and companies, led by the president and CEO of the International Institute of Internal Auditors , Anthony Pugliese.

The conference will include dialogue sessions, presentations and specialized workshops, discussing the new trends in internal auditing and risk tools in leading control systems in enterprises, as well as role of governance in crisis management and business continuity and growing demand for internal auditing in the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center

Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center
Updated 25 January 2022

Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center

Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center
  • Saudi Arabia takes over the presidency from Bahrain

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has assumed the presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Commercial Arbitration Center and will be headed by the Kingdom’s representative Fahd bin Ali Al-Omari, Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
Saudi Arabia takes over the presidency from Bahrain following a decision made during a board of directors meeting in December.
Tariq Yousef Al-Shammari, the center’s secretary-general, said that Al-Omari is regarded as one of the most prominent legal figures in the Kingdom, and holds a leading position in the Federation of Saudi Chambers.
He also served as vice chairman of the disciplinary committee in the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and participated in several research projects on economic systems.
Bahrain’s representative and former president, Sami Zainal, praised the GCC’s accomplishments over the past year and the efforts made by the General Secretariat to achieve the center’s strategic objectives.
Oman’s Ali bin Salem Al Kasbi assumed the position of vice president.


Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia

Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia
Updated 24 January 2022

Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia

Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia
  • The Kingdom will host a brand new Cirque du Soleil resident show unique to Saudi Arabia
  • The deal also says the two parties will establish a regional Cirque du Soleil academy and office

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has signed an agreement with the Canadian entertainment group Cirque du Soleil to enable it to put on its renowned creative performances in the Kingdom.
The agreement was signed by Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, minister of culture and chairman of the Theater and Performing Arts Authority, and Gabriel de Alba, co-chairman of Cirque du Soleil, at a meeting held in New York City.
The agreement will see Cirque du Soleil present a number of award-winning circus shows for the first time in the Kingdom, including touring shows such as “The Illusionist,” “Now You See Me,” “Paw Patrol Live,” “Race to Rescue,” “Trolls Live,” and the Blue Man Group’s world tour. The Kingdom will also host a brand new Cirque du Soleil resident show unique to Saudi Arabia.
The agreement also says the two parties will establish a regional Cirque du Soleil academy and office, to provide a curriculum of high standards led by the best global circus experts. Students from all over the Kingdom and abroad will have the opportunity to hone their performance skills through the circus’ international school exchange and artist-in-residence programs, and will also be awarded internationally recognized certificates.

Cirque du Soleil has presented six shows in Saudi Arabia since 2018, the last of which was the “Messi 10” show, which was held in November during the Riyadh Season and shed light on the life of the famous Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.
The agreement comes with the performing arts witnessing greater development in the Kingdom, especially after the establishment of the Theater and Performing Arts Authority, which announced its strategy to further improve the sector last year.
The plan includes better infrastructure for theater and performing arts, providing job opportunities, building partnerships, and providing educational and training opportunities for about 4,500 playwrights and more than 4,000 trainees by 2030.