Saudi deputy foreign minister meets UN anti-terrorism director

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir meets the director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, Dr. Jehangir Khan, in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir meets the director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, Dr. Jehangir Khan, in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji meets the director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, Dr. Jehangir Khan, in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji meets the director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, Dr. Jehangir Khan, in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Updated 03 November 2021

Saudi deputy foreign minister meets UN anti-terrorism director

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji meets the director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, Dr. Jehangir Khan, in Riyadh. (SPA)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji met with Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center and the Office of Counter-Terrorism Dr. Jehangir Khan in the capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday.
During the meeting, they reviewed the efforts between the Kingdom and the UN in many fields, including combating terrorism and extremism.
The two sides also discussed the importance of strengthening joint efforts to dry up the sources financing terrorism and extremist ideology, which threaten international security and stability.
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also met with Khan, where talks also focused on efforts to combat the sources of terrorism funding, and enhance international peace and security.


Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech
Updated 21 January 2022

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech
  • ‘The Agate’ features 70 artworks and runs until January 27

ALKHOBAR: It’s been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a new exhibition at the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center suggests that agate is the gemstone that best symbolizes femininity.  

“I see agate (as representing) the inner beauty of a woman,” Saudi artist Esmat Mohsen Almohandis, the curator of the exhibition, which is called “The Agate,” told Arab News. Since most women are fond of jewelry, agate seemed like a good theme for an exhibition of the work of female artists, she explained.

According to the International Colored Gemstone Association, “Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect against fever. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms.” In Arabian folklore, agate is said to contain healing properties and bring power to its wearer.

The exhibition, hosted by Scitech in partnership with Alwan Al-Sharqia, consists of 70 paintings, all by female artists. Most of the artists are from Saudi Arabia, but a few are from neighboring Arab countries.

One of the participants, Hind Al-Tharman, used sustainable material in her work. “Since the theme of the exhibition was the agate stone and women, I used agate as the lip color of the woman in (my) painting,” Al-Tharman told Arab News. “My piece was not painted on canvas but on wood — on a table I already had. It can be turned into a table again or be displayed as a painting on the wall. I like to use recycling and to provide options.”

The paintings on show, if viewed in order, collectively tell a story of feminism and folklore by using fragmented storylines to build a narrative showcasing various milestones from many women’s lives, from marriage to motherhood, but also depicting the trials and triumphs of living in the era of COVID-19.

Much like the gemstone for which it is named, the exhibition is both beautiful and valuable.


Saudi and Egyptian armed forces conclude joint exercise

The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)
The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)
Updated 21 January 2022

Saudi and Egyptian armed forces conclude joint exercise

The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Land Forces and the Egyptian Armed Forces concluded a joint exercise in the Kingdom’s northwestern region, the defense ministry said on Thursday.
The Tabuk-5 maneuvers, which began on Jan. 6, were concluded in the presence of the commander of the northwestern region, Maj. Gen. Hussain bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and a number of senior officers of the RSLF and the Egyptian armed forces.
The exercises concluded with participating forces carrying out a number of combat scenarios, which they were trained on during the exercise.
Special forces carried out parachute landings and free-jumping using helicopters to clear and storm the fortified sites. The armored divisions carried out support operations using live ammunition for light and heavy weapons.
Maj. Gen. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Khashrami, director of the exercises, said the drill was one of the most important, due to the diversity and nature of the participating forces.
He emphasized its benefits to both forces in refining their combat skills and raising their readiness, while praising the high proficiency of all the operations assigned to them during the exercise.
The Tabuk-5 exercise aimed to unify military approaches and exchange training expertise between the armed forces of both countries.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan

KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan
Updated 21 January 2022

KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan

KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan
  • KSrelief has implemented 1,814 projects worth more than $5.5 billion in 77 countries

TAIZ: The mobile nutrition clinics of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in Al-Khawkhah district, Yemen, have continued to provide treatment services.

In one week, the clinics received 6,978 patients with various health conditions in different clinics and departments and provided them with necessary medical services. The clinics also provided 2,614 individuals with various medications.

The center distributed more than 42 tons of food baskets in Al-Shamaitain district of Taiz governorate, benefiting 1,723 people.

Yemen is among the top beneficiaries of KSrelief assistance. In total, the center has implemented 644 projects in Yemen at a cost of $3.9 billion.

Meanwhile, KSrelief has continued distributing food and shelter aid to those affected by the floods and the neediest families in Sudan. The center distributed more than 28 tons of food baskets in Sennar state, benefiting 5,700 people.

Worldwide, KSrelief has implemented 1,814 projects worth more than $5.5 billion in 77 countries, carried out in cooperation with 144 local, regional and international partners since the inception of the center in May 2015.


Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised

Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised
Updated 21 January 2022

Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised

Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised
  • The ministry said that elementary and kindergarten students in all the regions of the Kingdom would begin returning to school from Sunday

RIYADH: UNICEF has praised Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen its schools for kindergarten and elementary students.

Jumana Haj Ahmad, the agency’s deputy representative for the Gulf area, said it was an important step, adding that during the COVID-19 pandemic schools should be the last to close and first to reopen.

Ahmad’s remarks came during a visit to the Kingdom’s Satellite Broadcasting School, where Education Ministry’s Undersecretary for Public Education Mohammed bin Saud Al-Migbel gave a briefing on how lessons delivered by the facility were recorded and supervised. He also gave a presentation on the Madrasati and Rawdati platforms.

Ahmad said that Saudi Arabia’s provision of online education through the two platforms and the EIN channels was worldleading. She also noted the Ministry of Education’s efforts to ensure children’s psychological and social growth, and programs to protect them from abuse.

The ministry said that elementary and kindergarten students in all the regions of the Kingdom would begin returning to school from Sunday.

Schools in remote areas would be the first to open as there were fewer coronavirus cases there, it said.


Mangroves: Saudi efforts to protect nature’s guardians of the ecosystem

Mangroves: Saudi efforts to protect nature’s guardians of the ecosystem
Updated 21 January 2022

Mangroves: Saudi efforts to protect nature’s guardians of the ecosystem

Mangroves: Saudi efforts to protect nature’s guardians of the ecosystem
  • Authorities plan to plant 10 billion mangrove trees across the Kingdom as part of the Saudi Green Initiative

JEDDAH: As part of the Saudi Green Initiative, which was launched last year with the aim of tackling climate change, reducing carbon emissions and improving the environment, 10 billion mangrove trees will be planted across the Kingdom.

Mangroves, ancient coastal plants that grow partly submerged in salt water and thrive in warmer climates around the world, are considered a cornerstone of coastal environmental development and so have a key role to play in achieving the objectives of the initiative.

Ahmed Almansi, a coastal and marine environment consultant at the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, told Arab News that mangroves grow along the coasts of the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf.

“This provides an impetus for the center to cultivate more mangroves in these environments,” he added.

According to the center, two types of mangroves commonly grow on the Red Sea coast: Avicennia marina, commonly known as gray or white mangrove, and Rhizophora mucronata, also known as loop-root, red or Asiatic mangrove. They are highly sensitive to cold. 

“Mangroves grow in the form of scattered patches in the intertidal areas of the Red Sea coast and are lower in height in the northern regions,” the center said. “The reason for these differences in height may be the low temperatures that the bushes are exposed to in the northern part of the Red Sea in winter.”

The avicennia marina type of mangroves that grow in the Asir and Jazan regions are the largest found on the Saudi coast, the center said, and “the coastal areas and patches of the Red Sea that contain mangroves in the Kingdom cover an estimated area of about 35,500 hectares.”

There are a number of reasons why mangroves are considered so important to environmental and conservation efforts. They have the ability to absorb pollutants such as heavy metals and other toxic substances from water, which helps to protect seagrass and coral reefs.

FASTFACT

• The trees can protect coastal communities, provide shelter for wildlife, absorb pollution and help to combat climate change.

They also act as natural filters for sewage, preventing pollutants originating on land from reaching deep waters. And the trees help to mitigate the effects of climate change as they can absorb larger amounts of carbon from the atmosphere compared with other tropical trees.

Mangroves also form “green barriers” that serve as a first line of defense for coastal communities, protecting them from damage caused by storms and waves, preventing erosion and helping to stabilize beaches.

“These green barriers absorb at least 70 to 90 percent of wave energy generated by the winds,” said Almansi. “They are also able to reduce the intensity of tsunami waves by mitigating the catastrophic amount of wave energy associated with them, which helps reduce the loss of life and property damage.”

In addition, mangroves act as shelters and incubators for many species of fish, crustaceans and birds, providing them with a good source of nutrition. They provide nesting and resting locations for many types of resident and migratory birds, strong communities of which are considered a biological indicator of ecosystem quality. The National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification has identified 125 species that use mangrove habitats at some point in their life cycles.

Land-based animals also benefit from mangrove swamps. They provide pastures for camels on islands in the Red Sea, and provide high-quality nutrition for camels in coastal locations during the winter.

Despite their clear environmental benefits, mangroves are under threat globally from urbanization, encroachment, overgrazing, pollution, the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and the improper disposal of waste. The development of the tourism industry is another significant threat. But efforts are being made in Saudi Arabia to preserve and enhance this precious natural resource.

“The center is planting mangroves to rehabilitate these environments, using 60 cm long seedlings,” Almansi said, adding that nylon nets are used temporarily to protect the young plants, prevent seaweed and waves from damaging them, and encourage strong root growth and stability.