Saudi tree-planting deal boosts Kingdom’s afforestation drive

Saudi tree-planting deal boosts Kingdom’s afforestation drive
Saudi Arabia’s afforestation campaign has been given a boost with the signing of a deal to plant trees. (SPA)
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Updated 17 October 2021

Saudi tree-planting deal boosts Kingdom’s afforestation drive

Saudi tree-planting deal boosts Kingdom’s afforestation drive
  • The National Center for Vegetation Cover inks a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Investment Recycling Co

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s afforestation campaign has been given a boost with the signing of a deal to plant trees.
The Kingdom’s push to plant large swathes of forest and vegetation is part of its pledge to tackle carbon emissions.
On Thursday, the National Center for Vegetation Cover inked a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Investment Recycling Co. to plant more trees in its facilities and cooperate on the implementation of the company’s afforestation projects.
Under the terms of the agreement, the center will provide support and guidance on afforestation, irrigation methods, water sources, the suitability of proposed sites to plant appropriate species, as well as identifying suitable plants for each region and the right time to plant them.
The center will also offer help with research and study programs related to afforestation.
Corporations, government bodies, and research centers throughout Saudi Arabia have been involved in launching a number of community-based afforestation schemes in response to an initiative led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to turn the desert green and rehabilitate 40 million hectares of land over the coming decades.
Separately, on Thursday, the Imam Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Royal Reserve Development Authority used drones to scatter acacia, wild sidr, clover, lavender, and psyllium seeds, among others.
And to celebrate the annual Oct. 14 Arab Environment Day, it also carried out a cleanup campaign in and around the Rawdat Khuraim Nature Reserve. The event took place in cooperation with the Environmental Green Horizons Society and with the participation of various government authorities.
The initiative aims to raise public awareness through environmental activities and events and promote volunteering.
In addition, it helps students to understand the importance of protecting the environment and increasing vegetation cover, while highlighting the environmental damage caused by waste, and the need for sustainability and social responsibility.
 


Saudi virtual hospital saves life of 70-year-old heart victim

(Twitter @CICSaudi)
(Twitter @CICSaudi)
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi virtual hospital saves life of 70-year-old heart victim

(Twitter @CICSaudi)
  • Patients of the virtual hospital will no longer need to travel to different parts of the Kingdom to be seen by specialized physicians, nor will they be limited by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. clinic hours

RIYADH: A cardiology team at Saudi Arabia’s Seha Virtual Hospital supervised a remote operation to save the life of a 70-year-old woman suffering from severe heart pain.

The patient arrived at the emergency department of King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Tabuk, complaining of severe pain in her chest.

After communicating with specialists from the cardiology team at Seha Virtual Hospital, located 1,000 kilometers away in the capital Riyadh, a decision was reached to operate on the woman and correct a life-threatening heart defect.

The operation, supervised by SVH consultants, was successful. The patient stayed for two days in the intensive care unit before being transferred to the inpatient department for another two days.

She has left the hospital in good health and is receiving follow-up treatment in the outpatient clinic.

With a growing live network of 130 connected hospitals, Seha Virtual Hospital is the largest of its kind in the world. The only other virtual hospital to rival it is in the US, with 43 connected hospitals.

Patients of the virtual hospital will no longer need to travel to different parts of the Kingdom to be seen by specialized physicians, nor will they be limited by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. clinic hours.

Earlier, an official told Arab News that patients can now receive second and third medical opinions from the same consulting room.

Unlike simple video calls with doctors, the virtual hospital allows patients to visit their local hospital and attend a real-time live video clinical session with top specialists from across the Kingdom. During the session, vitals signs can be shared, while tests and X-rays can also be taken and shared with the network of specialists.

Emergency interventions can be provided round the clock, and real-time consultations with top specialists will guide local junior staff in dealing with complex cases.

Seha Virtual Hospital covers 12 main specialties and more than 35 subspecialties, including hospital-at-home follow-ups, where chronically ill patients, from the comfort of their homes, can stay connected with doctors.


Jeddah’s jetboats thrilling passengers with adrenaline-filled trips

Jeddah’s jetboats thrilling passengers with adrenaline-filled trips
Updated 9 min 33 sec ago

Jeddah’s jetboats thrilling passengers with adrenaline-filled trips

Jeddah’s jetboats thrilling passengers with adrenaline-filled trips
  • The so-called fireboats carry 12 passengers while performing maneuvers and drifts in adrenaline-filled 25 minute trips
  • The business at the Jeddah Yacht Club was the first to own fireboats in the Kingdom, Al-Ghamdi said

JEDDAH: Passengers taking high-powered speedboat journeys as part of Jeddah Season are leaving “satisfied and happy,” owner Ahmed Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.

The so-called fireboats carry 12 passengers while performing maneuvers and drifts in adrenaline-filled 25 minute trips.

The business at the Jeddah Yacht Club was the first to own fireboats in the Kingdom, Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.

He added that the people of Jeddah love water activities, which led to his decision to import the high-powered vessels from Spain.

“We know that the people in Jeddah love this kind of entertainment; people are fascinated and happy, and everyone loves it. There are passengers aged 10 to 95 years old, and we do tours that suit their ages,” he said.

Before establishing his business, Al-Ghamdi visited the Moggaro factory in Spain, which specializes in aluminum yachts.

He wanted to discover the latest trends in the motorboat industry, and soon fell in love with fireboats, also known as jetboats.

“I went to Santiago Barga, owner of Moggaro in Spain; his factory is one of the best existing factories for me. We developed the idea, sat studying it for a while, worked hard to make the arrangements, and today we have the boats in Jeddah,” Al-Ghamdi said.

Barga then visited the Kingdom to support his business partner and track how his bestselling jetboat, the Moggaro 700WJ, was operating on Jeddah’s waters.

“Ahmed Al-Ghamdi and I met in Spain. He didn’t come as a normal client who usually stays for two days; he stayed for a week, which created a good relationship between us,” Barga said.

While traveling on fireboats, passengers will experience exciting maneuvers, with video cameras recording the entire trip.

“I want to make this experience a good one for my clients. So I take care of the details as each of them will have their disposable towel and a locker to have their belongings, and showers as well as changing rooms,” Al-Ghamdi said.

He added that his passion for boats began in 1999, when started his first business in the industry. Al-Ghamdi said that in the future, he aims to localize all elements of his business.


100 scholars available at Makkah’s Grand Mosque to answer pilgrim inquiries

100 scholars available at Makkah’s Grand Mosque to answer pilgrim inquiries
Updated 26 June 2022

100 scholars available at Makkah’s Grand Mosque to answer pilgrim inquiries

100 scholars available at Makkah’s Grand Mosque to answer pilgrim inquiries
  • The 100 scholars comprise elite judges and university faculty members trained to answer questions
  • Worshippers can also have their questions answered by robots at the Grand Mosque

JEDDAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has allocated 100 scholars to answer questions from pilgrims and worshippers during their Hajj journey.

Spread across 10 different locations inside Makkah’s Grand Mosque, the 100 scholars comprise elite judges and university faculty members trained to answer questions in person or on the phone through seven booths operating around the clock.

Director general for dawah and guidance at the Grand Mosque, Majid Al-Masoudi, said: “Responses offered by scholars to pilgrims are compatible with the outcomes of the Two Holy Mosques Fatwa document and its impact on facilitating the journey of pilgrims and worshippers.”

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has allocated 100 scholars to answer questions from pilgrims during their Hajj journey. (SPA)

Scholars also offer responses about Hajj rituals in line with the frequent fatwas to avoid irregular fatwas, unify ijtihad (independent reasoning by an expert in Islamic law), and avoid racist and hate speech.

Worshippers can also have their questions answered by robots at the Grand Mosque. The presidency is offering this service in the main entrances of the Mataf area to take advantage of technology and artificial intelligence.

These robots support 11 languages to guide pilgrims from around the globe, including Arabic, English, French, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Malay, Urdu, Chinese, Bengali, and Hausa.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has allocated 100 scholars to answer questions from pilgrims during their Hajj journey. (SPA)

They guide pilgrims on how to perform their Umrah rituals, issue fatwas, answer questions and provide opportunities for people to communicate with scholars remotely.

The four-wheeled robots feature 21-inch touchscreens and a smart stopping system that allows them to be moved easily. They also feature high-resolution cameras for clarity when transmitting images, high-resolution headphones, and a microphone with high-capture quality that allows clear sound transmission.

The robots work on a Wi-Fi wireless network system with fast and high data transmission.

A similar scholars’ initiative was launched by the presidency during the previous Ramadan season, with 30 Muslim scholars to help worshippers answer their questions on the correct performance of Umrah rituals and give fatwas.


First group of pilgrims from England’s Manchester Airport arrive in Saudi Arabia

First group of pilgrims from England’s Manchester Airport arrive in Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 June 2022

First group of pilgrims from England’s Manchester Airport arrive in Saudi Arabia

First group of pilgrims from England’s Manchester Airport arrive in Saudi Arabia
  • CBHUK volunteers were on hand at Manchester Airport to reassure and assist pilgrims ahead of their journey
  • Two other groups of British pilgrims departed Heathrow and Manchester airports on Sunday

LONDON: The first group of British Hajj pilgrims flying out from Britain’s Manchester Airport arrived in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of Sunday.

More than 250 pilgrims, including England cricketer Adil Rashid, boarded a flight from the airport on Saturday afternoon and arrived at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport on Sunday morning.

Rashid will skip England’s upcoming One Day International series against India to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam.

England cricketer Adil Rashid and CEO of the Council of British Hajjis Rashid Mogradia at Manchester Airport. (@cbhuk)

CEO of the Council of British Hajjis Rashid Mogradia and his team of dedicated volunteers were on hand at the airport to reassure and assist pilgrims ahead of their journey.

“Given the unprecedented nature of these Hajj bookings, and as they are the first of their kind to have transferred online, it was clear that we needed to assist and provide some ground support for departing pilgrims to give them assurance and support,” Mogradia said.

This year, the way pilgrims booked Hajj changed. Aspiring pilgrims from Europe, the US and Australia were required to register for this year’s Hajj electronically at www.motawif.com.sa. Applicants were entered into a draw system and were then selected from the pool.

The CEO of the Council of British Hajjis Rashid Mogradia assists pilgrims at Manchester Airport on Saturday. (@cbhuk)

“The volunteers from CBHUK assisted in ushering people and helped them join the right queues. They worked with Manchester Airport staff to assist them as and when required, and with the Saudia desk to help them move the queue quickly,” Mogradia said.

“They also helped people with preparing the correct documentation including passports, visas, PCR test results and vaccination certificates, so that they could be seen to quickly. Redundant licensed Hajj organizers also assisted with these efforts,” the CBHUK CEO added.

CBHUK volunteers assist pilgrims at Manchester Airport on Saturday. (@cbhuk)

The first group of British pilgrims traveling from London’s Heathrow Airport arrived in Jeddah on Friday evening. They were greeted on arrival by British Consul General in Jeddah Seif Usher.

The group later arrived in Makkah on Saturday and were welcomed by Abdulrahman Shams, assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Umrah affairs, as well as a number of other officials.

They were given Zamzam water, flowers and souvenirs on arrival in the holy city.

The first group of British pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom are greeted by the British Consul General in Jeddah Seif Usher. (@KAIAirport)

Two other groups of British pilgrims departed Heathrow and Manchester airports on Sunday.


Prince Khalid discusses military, defense cooperation with Pakistan military chief

Prince Khalid discusses military, defense cooperation with Pakistan military chief
Updated 26 June 2022

Prince Khalid discusses military, defense cooperation with Pakistan military chief

Prince Khalid discusses military, defense cooperation with Pakistan military chief
  • Prince Khalid and General Bajwa also reviewed ways to strengthen historic relations between their countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman has dicussed bilateral cooperation in the areas of military and defense with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa.

Prince Khalid and General Bajwa also reviewed ways to strengthen historic relations between their countries, and discussed issues of common concern, the deputy defense minister tweeted on Sunday.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on the directives of King Salman, decorated the military chief with the King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Class on Saturday.

The medal was awarded “in appreciation of Gen. Bajwa’s distinguished efforts in strengthening and developing Saudi-Pakistani relations,” Saudi Press Ageny reported.