Registration for International AI Artathon launched in Saudi Arabia

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Updated 21 September 2021

Registration for International AI Artathon launched in Saudi Arabia

Twitter: (@globalaisummit)
  • Saudi Arabia is creating an AI-friendly ecosystem, supporting big data concepts and solutions through its smart city programs such as NEOM

RIYADH: The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority has announced the opening of registration for the second edition of the International AI Artathon 2021.
Applications to take part in the event, that will run until Sept. 26, can be made online. The artathon is expected to attract those interested in AI music, interactive art, wall art, volumetric art, and data, and participants will compete and create artworks using AI technologies.
Interactive arts, paintings, volumetric art, and music will make up the AI-based categories for the event.
In August, a report showed that Saudi Arabia’s big data and artificial intelligence could reach $891.7 million in five years, a new report showed.
The market reached $162.5 million in 2020, according to Reporterlink.com, and it could grow at an annual rate of 32.6 percent until 2026.
The pandemic, the report said, has led to innovative solutions that supported Saudi Arabia’s response to the global health crisis.
These include the Tawakkalna mobile application that facilitated curfew permits electronically, among others.
The Kingdom is creating an AI-friendly ecosystem, supporting big data concepts and solutions through its smart city programs such as NEOM, the report said.

 


Around 25,000 babies born prematurely in Saudi Arabia per year 

Around 25,000 babies born prematurely in Saudi Arabia per year 
Updated 16 sec ago

Around 25,000 babies born prematurely in Saudi Arabia per year 

Around 25,000 babies born prematurely in Saudi Arabia per year 
  • Approximately 15 million babies are delivered preterm worldwide each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born
  • Dr. Sawsan Hussein Daffa, consultant neonatologist and head of pediatrics at the Aya Specialist Hospital, said that nearly four percent of the total yearly births in Saudi Arabia were preterm

JEDDAH: World Prematurity Day, which is observed Nov. 17 each year to raise awareness of preterm birth, was recently celebrated in a Saudi hospital with parents accompanied by their children who were born a little earlier than expected.

Some 25,000 babies are born prematurely in Saudi Arabia each year, according to a mid-2020 report from the General Authority for Statistics. Approximately 15 million babies are delivered preterm worldwide each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born.

According to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization, more than 60 percent of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia, but preterm birth is a global problem. In lower-income countries, on average, 12 percent of babies are born too early compared with 9 percent in higher-income countries, the report said. Poorer families are at higher risk, the report added.

Dr. Sawsan Hussein Daffa, consultant neonatologist and head of pediatrics at the Aya Specialist Hospital, told Arab News that nearly four percent of the total yearly births in Saudi Arabia fell into this category. 

Daffa said that a prematurely born child can cost the Health Ministry or an insurance company up to SR100,000 ($26,667), adding that a preterm may need to stay in an incubator for 2 to 4 months.

Speaking during World Prematurity Day 2019, the consultant noted that any child born before 36 weeks of the gestational age is called premature.

“The particularly small babies are placed in incubators for a period of time ranging from 30 to 60 days,” she said. “This can cost government hospitals/insurance companies around SR60,000. Some others are placed there for longer periods and can even cost SR100,000.”

However, Daffa said that up to 28 percent of premature babies die due to complications.

She added a special vaccine given to premature babies could protect them against the respiratory syncytial virus, which normally hits premature infants from October to March.


COVID-19 booster dose will be required to maintain fully vaccinated status in Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 booster dose will be required to maintain fully vaccinated status in Saudi Arabia
Updated 36 min 16 sec ago

COVID-19 booster dose will be required to maintain fully vaccinated status in Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 booster dose will be required to maintain fully vaccinated status in Saudi Arabia
  • As of February 1, adults in Kingdom will be required to have a booster dose to keep their fully vaccinated status

RIYADH: People in Saudi Arabia will be required to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine eight months after getting double-jabbed to maintain their vaccinated status.

As of February 1, 2022, adults aged 18 and above will need to have a booster dose in order to keep their fully vaccinated status on the Tawakkalna application, an interior ministry source said.

Having a fully vaccinated status on the app allows people to do the following:

1. Take part in any economic, commercial, cultural, sports or tourist activity.

2. Attend any cultural, scientific, social or recreational event.

3. Enter any governmental or private establishment.

4. Travel on planes and public transport.

Those exempt from taking the vaccine against coronavirus as listed on the app do not need to take the booster dose.

The source stressed the need for everyone to adhere to all precautionary and preventive measures and approved health protocols.


UN official lauds Saudi support in ‘saving day’ for Syrian refugees in Jordan, stabilizing Yemeni food security situation

UN official lauds Saudi support in ‘saving day’ for Syrian refugees in Jordan, stabilizing Yemeni food security situation
Updated 03 December 2021

UN official lauds Saudi support in ‘saving day’ for Syrian refugees in Jordan, stabilizing Yemeni food security situation

UN official lauds Saudi support in ‘saving day’ for Syrian refugees in Jordan, stabilizing Yemeni food security situation
  • Corinne Fleischer: ‘KSrelief has provided $1 billion since 2018 to our operations in Yemen – this makes a very, very important difference to the people in Yemen’
  • Fleischer: ‘I have been in some of these camps in Jordan, and the situation of these refugees is dire, and they can’t survive without having what the WFP provides them, with the help of KSrelief’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia had “saved the day” for Syrian refugees in Jordan and stabilized the food security situation in Yemen through its generous financial backing, a top UN aid official has said.

Corinne Fleischer, regional director of the World Food Program for the Middle East and North Africa, made her comments following a meeting in Riyadh with Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).

During talks at the center’s headquarters in the Saudi capital, the two officials discussed strengthening cooperation between KSrelief and the WFP to help fight hunger and poverty and assist countries in the MENA region to meet sustainable development goals.

In a press conference after the meeting, Fleischer said: “KSrelief has provided $1 billion since 2018 to our operations in Yemen. This makes a very, very important difference to the people in Yemen.

“And specifically, this year, thanks to the contribution of KSrelief, we were able to increase our assistance that we previously had to cut because of lack of funds, and we were able to bring it back to the same level for a large number of people.

“The impact of this has been very quick. We have seen that the food security situation of the people has stabilized as they have received full rations again.”

On the situation in Jordan, she added: “KSrelief has really saved our day in Jordan with the Syrian refugees. We were about to have to cut rations to about half the Syrian refugees we are supporting in Jordan. Thanks to the very generous contributions of KSrelief, we can actually continue at the same level.

“I have been in some of these camps and settlements in Jordan, and the situation of these refugees is dire, and they can’t survive without having what the World Food Program provides them, with the help of KSrelief.”

Lauding the center for its ongoing support for the WFP in the region, Fleischer said: “I’m really happy to be here, in this building, where I can finally see where our relationship with KSrelief has gone for years, has been strengthened for years, and has become more important for years.

“The Saudi Arabia government is a very important partner to the WFP, not only because they give us very important and vital contributions to our projects worldwide … but we are also deepening our relationship with KSrelief on drivers of food insecurity and how together we can tackle some of these drivers, bringing the expertise from both organizations together so that we can make a marked impact on people’s lives,” she added.

KSrelief, on behalf of Saudi Arabia, has implemented more than 600 food security sector projects around the world, many of them in partnership with the WFP.


First AlUla art residency program launched at Saudi heritage site

First AlUla art residency program launched at Saudi heritage site
Updated 03 December 2021

First AlUla art residency program launched at Saudi heritage site

First AlUla art residency program launched at Saudi heritage site
  • Six artists are currently part of the pilot residency running until January 14

The Royal Commission for AlUla and the French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula) have announced the launch of the first art residency program at the Saudi heritage site.

The 11-week project, to be operated by Manifesto, aims to foster dialogue, exchange, and collaboration between the artists in residence and the community of experts working on the ground in AlUla, as well as local practitioners and other members of the community, a statement said.

Six artists are currently part of the pilot residency running until Jan. 14.

The work of Riyadh-based conceptual artist and arts educator Rashed Al-Shashai, from Saudi Arabia, explores the purpose of human existence and the functions of society with everyday objects and imagery.

French multidisciplinary artist Sara Favriau, who is based in Paris, produces sculptures, installations, and performances that investigate the very permanence of self, nature, and works of art.

Talin Hazbar, from Syria, works out of Sharjah, in the UAE, and is an architect and visual artist. Her work and processes aim to showcase the overlapping boundaries in nature, history, and ecology.

Paris-based French multimedia artist Laura Sellies finds new ways to understand the relationship between sculptures, people, images, and sounds through her work.

Sofiane Si Merabet, also French but operating from Dubai, is a multimedia artist who interrogates memories, identities, and migration.

And from his base in Riyadh, Saudi multidisciplinary artist Muhannad Shono explores what lies beneath the surface of the human experience.

Nora Al-Dabal, the RCU’s arts and creative planning director, said: “This pilot artist residency is a new milestone in AlUla’s cultural development. Our goal is not only to provide unique cultural experiences for visitors but also to contribute to creating a flourishing cultural ecosystem with a vibrant arts district and space for artists and creatives in AlUla.

“The art residency pilot program will lay solid grounds for such ambition.”

The pilot edition will be based in Mabiti AlUla, a palm grove and guest house in the heart of AlUla’s oasis. It will subsequently be established in Madrasat AdDeera, an arts and design center.

Artists in residence have already started building collaborations with local artisans through programs held at Madrasat AdDeera while delving deeper and focusing their research on the local materials of AlUla, and its craft and cultural practices, the statement added.

It is anticipated that Madrasat AdDeera will become a key anchor asset of the future arts district of AlUla, a dynamic cluster of programs, education, and production that will form an active and vibrant arts destination for communities, students, artists, and visitors.

Afalula scientific director, Jean-Francois Charnier, said: “The originality of this very first art residency program developed in partnership between the Royal Commission for AlUla and the French Agency for AlUla Development relies on the cooperation between international artists with the impressive array of scientific experts currently working in the oasis, including archaeologists, anthropologists, agriculture experts, botanists, and many more.”

Arnaud Morand, Afalula’s head of creation and innovation, said: “It is an unprecedented experiment to associate at this level artistic vision and scientific approaches in the writing of the narratives and the reimagination of a destination.

“This will undoubtedly contribute to further mark the originality of AlUla as a cultural destination of a new kind.”

And Laure Confavreux-Colliex, executive director at Manifesto, said: “We are very proud that Manifesto has been chosen to launch this first artists’ hub in the heart of AlUla’s oasis. We are working on site to make this the very start of a destination truly built by artists.”


Saudi sports minister follows up on preparations of Kingdom’s F1 race

Saudi sports minister follows up on preparations of Kingdom’s F1 race
Updated 03 December 2021

Saudi sports minister follows up on preparations of Kingdom’s F1 race

Saudi sports minister follows up on preparations of Kingdom’s F1 race
  • The minister said that the Kingdom is proud of the work made by the hands of Saudi citizens, as well as Saudi companies

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal was briefed on the latest developments of the Formula One Grand Prix which will be hosted by Jeddah Corniche from Dec. 3 to 5, state news agency SPA reported.
“We have the privilege of hosting this huge sporting event, which represents a dream for all motorsport lovers, and this event would not have been witnessed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without the grace of Allah Almighty and then the support and follow-up of the Crown Prince. We promise everyone better hosting to achieve the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030,” he said.
The minister added that the Kingdom is proud of the work made by the hands of Saudi citizens, as well as Saudi companies.
On Sunday, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, advisor to King Salman, was briefed on the latest preparations for the Saudi Formula One race.
Al-Faisal listened to an explanation by Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal about the 27-turn, 6,175-meter-long circuit, the second-longest track in F1 history. 
Prince Khalid, who is the president of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, confirmed the completion of the preparations for hosting the F1 race.