Saudi Arabia’s crown prince visits 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan visits the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, accompanied by his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad. (SPA)
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Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan visits the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, accompanied by his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad. (SPA)
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Updated 10 December 2021

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince visits 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad visit the Lusail Stadium in Doha. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
  • Prince Mohammed also met the former emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa.
  • Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan visits the National Museum of Qatar in Doha

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday visited the Lusail Stadium in Doha, one of the arenas that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar
He was accompanied by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad and the two leaders listened to an explanation of the stadium’s most prominent features, in terms of architecture and capacity, while using the latest technologies and international design standards.
During his two day visit, Prince Mohammed also met the former emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa.
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan visited the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, accompanied by his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad, on the sidelines of the crown prince’s visit.


Prince Badr was briefed on the museum’s contents and its galleries.
The two ministers also held talks to discuss enhancing aspects of bilateral cultural cooperation, stressing the importance of strengthening partnerships in the cultural sectors.


The 19th Regular Session of OIC-IPHRC to draw up closing statement today

The 19th Regular Session of OIC-IPHRC to draw up closing statement today
Updated 8 sec ago

The 19th Regular Session of OIC-IPHRC to draw up closing statement today

The 19th Regular Session of OIC-IPHRC to draw up closing statement today

JEDDAH: The 19th Regular Session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission has been meeting at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah from May 22 until 26.

On Tuesday it held a thematic debate entitled “The Role of National Human Rights Institutions in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the OIC Countries.”

During the session panelists, OIC representatives and observer members of non-OIC countries have been discussing the human rights situation in the world and in the OIC countries, Islamophobia, the right to the development of women rights and more.

Marghoob Saleem Butt, IPHRC’s executive director, told Arab News that every year, they choose a prominent subject to discuss: “These sessions are an exchange of interaction on a certain subject between countries.”

Over the years, the commission has been vocal in condemning hate-motivated acts against Muslims worldwide in such places as Palestine, Kashmir, Nagorno Karabagh, India, Sri Lanka, France, Western Thrace, New Zealand and the Central African Republic.

Dr. Haci Ali Acikgul, the OIC-IPHRC’s chairperson, said: “The Commission recognizes NHRIs are a vital part of the national human rights protection mechanisms. By raising awareness, providing advice, monitoring and holding authorities to account, NHRIs play a central role in mitigating modern-day human rights challenges of discrimination and inequality as well as novel issues such as the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights of affected individuals.”

The commission considers that practical cooperation with civil society groups, especially NHRIs, can help to increase its visibility and operational outreach for the performance of its mandated tasks.

This week OIC-IPHRC signed two memoranda of understanding aimed at technical cooperation between the NHRIs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Uzbekistan to undertake joint activities of mutual interest and strengthen institutional capacities.

The first MoU was signed by Abdulaziz Abdullah Al-Khayal, vice president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, and the second one was signed by Mirzatilla Tillabayev, first deputy director of the National Human Rights Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Al-Khayal told Arab News that every state and organization has its own definition regarding human rights, which can focus on women, children, people with disability, criminal justice, and so on. “We believe that such MoU contribute to the growth of national capabilities by exchanging knowledge between the two countries and develop the sector nationally and internationally,” Al-Khayal said.

In front of more than 30 OIC representatives and observers, presentations on the theme of the session were delivered by the five panelists. They were Dr. Eng. Mohammed Saif Al-Kuwari from Qatar, vice-chairman of the National Human Rights Committee and member of the Governance Committee of the Asia Pacific Forum; Vladlen Stefanov, head of the National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society section of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mazhar Hussain, director of the Economic and Social Research Department at the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries in Ankara; Ahmad Taufan Damanik, chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia; and Mohammed Sabri, adviser to the Cabinet of the President of the National Human Rights Council in Morocco.

This was followed by an open discussion between the commissioners, representatives of OIC Member and Observer States, and their NHRIs.

Dr. Aboubacarr Jah, The Gambia’s deputy permanent representative at the OIC Saudi Arabia, said: “Human rights are crucial and imperative. However, it’s time to look at human wrongs and correct them.” He said the Republic of The Gambia was calling for justice for the Rohingyas of Myanmar.

“Once human rights are mentioned it is difficult to bury the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he said.

“Monstrous human wrongs have been perpetrated against Palestinians for 74 years today. Not 74 days, weeks, or months but 74 Years! How long is this inhuman, atrocious, and abhorrent act of inhumane aggression by the Israeli government going to go on?” he asked.

Jah stressed the importance of Muslim Ummah bonds: “United we are strong and shall win,” he said.

The commission regularly invites NHRIs of all OIC Member States to participate in its activities and encourages them to collaborate with their respective governments to hold joint activities.

Acikgul said, “I hope that today’s discussion will inspire the Member States to further intensify their commitment to strengthen the capacities and capabilities of their respective NHRIs with the overall aim of nurturing human rights-respecting and preserving societies.”

A joint IPHRC and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights workshop titled “The Role of NHRIs in International Human Rights Mechanisms” was held on Wednesday.

The commission will issue an outcome document on the topic of the thematic debate based on the week’s discussions on the final day of the session.


Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test

Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test
Updated 40 min 19 sec ago

Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test

Saudi students prepare for PISA 2022 test
  • The OECD administers the PISA exam every three years

RIYADH: Saudi students are preparing to take the PISA test, an international performance metric conducted by the OECD to measure educational levels in 15-year-olds around the world.

The test will be completed virtually by 600,000 students from 80 countries.

It is the second time that the test will be conducted in the Kingdom after the initial launch in 2018.

From May 29 to 30, the PISA will be offered electronically in general education classrooms, focusing on computing and linguistic abilities.

The PISA is a set of studies administered every three years to a random sample of students at the target age to assess their abilities in reading, science and mathematics.

The application of the PISA in the Kingdom falls within the framework of the efforts of the Ministry of Education to improve graduates in the educational process. The results of the test will provide useful indicators to improve the Kingdom’s education system.

Prof. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Juhaimi, president of the National Institute for Educational Professional Development, said that the electronic professional development program for mathematics, science and reading for teachers will improve the skills of PISA students. The program allows educators to transfer their experience to students using more influential methods.

Al-Juhaimi told Arab News that one of the program’s most important features is its “great flexibility,” since teachers can attend the program at any time and from any location.

Prof. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Juhaimi, president of the National Institute for Educational Professional Development. (Supplied)

He added that the program’s training modules are designed to help teachers acquire targeted skills in mathematics, reading, and natural sciences to improve their performance, which reflects on the level of students and contributes to supporting student learning outcomes.

The OECD administers the PISA exam every three years. The Saudi Ministry of Education will oversee the test.

Al-Juhaimi said that e-training is an opportunity for teachers in the targeted disciplines because it is self-motivated, not limited by place or time, and is available to any teacher of the three subjects.

Furthermore, teachers are provided three chances to do unit-related assessments and an overall review of the program based on their specialist sector to assist self-learning.

Al-Juhaimi said that the regulations of NIEPD, issued in November 2019, support the professionalization of public education and raise the level of educational practices in the Kingdom.

However, he said that there are numerous challenges confronting mathematics and science education. These include the need to modernize standards and identify the training needs of each specialty.

Al-Juhaimi added that one of the most important enablers for teacher development is the integration of training into the school curricula. Another enabler is linking the school curricula with teacher training programs within the school, and linking professional development with performance evaluation as well as promotions to ensure demand. Supporting electronic training, encouraging self-evaluation and strengthening professional learning communities for teachers is also important, he said.

He said that the institute’s projects for teacher development include establishing scientific forums, developing the workforce, training school leaders and launching programs for educational professional development practitioners.


Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum

Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum
Updated 48 min 57 sec ago

Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum

Saudi FM meets Ukrainian counterpart on sidelines of Davos forum

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan met his Ukranian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of his participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday.   

During the meeting, the ministers discussed the latest developments of the crisis in Ukraine. 

Prince Faisal emphasized Saudi Arabia's support for everything that contributes to de-escalating the conflict, protecting civilians, in addition to negotiations that would reach a political solution, as well as all international efforts to resolve the crisis politically.

On Tuesday, Prince Faisal called for global dialogue and cooperation during a panel at the World Economic Forum, which tackled the global geopolitical outlook in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“If we learned anything on COVID-19, it is that we need to focus on cooperation, we need to continue to look toward avenues to foster cooperation,” the top Saudi diplomat said. 


Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again

Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again
Updated 25 May 2022

Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again

Weather forecasters warn of more sandstorms coming as dust shrouds Riyadh again
  • Back-to-back sandstorms blanket region, sending thousands to hospitals with breathing issues

RIYADH: Weather forecasters warned on Tuesday that more sandstorms were on the way after Riyadh was again shrouded in choking dust.

The National Center for Meteorology issued weather alerts for the Saudi capital, extending to the Madinah region and the governorates of Yanbu, Al-Rais and Yanbu Al-Nakhl. There will also be dust storms in AlUla and Khaybar.

“Dust particles in the north, center, and southern and interior regions will persist,” center spokesman Hussain Al-Qahtani told Arab News.

More than 1,200 people this month have gone to hospitals in the Kingdom suffering from breathing difficulties, but the phenomenon is region wide. Severe sandstorms have blanketed parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Kuwait for the past month. The storms have sent thousands to hospitals and resulted in at least one death in Iraq and three in eastern Syria.

Sandstorms are typical in late spring and summer, spurred by seasonal winds, but this year in Iraq they have occurred nearly every week.

The Iraqi Health Ministry stockpiled canisters of oxygen at facilities in hard-hit areas.

In Syria, medical departments were put on alert as the sandstorm hit the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Iran shut down schools and government offices in Tehran last week as a sandstorm swept the country.

It hit hardest in the southwest desert region of Khuzestan, where over 800 people sought treatment for breathing difficulties. Dozens of flights out of western Iran were canceled or delayed.

For the second time this month, Kuwait International Airport suspended all flights because of the dust. Video showed largely empty streets with poor visibility.

“It’s a region-wide issue but each country has a different degree of vulnerability and weakness,” said Jaafar Jotheri, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Al-Qadisiyah in Baghdad.


Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards

Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards
Updated 25 May 2022

Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards

Crown prince cites Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards
  • Over 35 Saudi students won 22 awards at ISEF, which was held from May 7-13 in the US

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday received Saudi students who won Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2022 awards.

The crown prince expressed happiness and pride in what the talented students have achieved in the international competition, adding that this achievement is considered a motivation for other Saudis, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He also said that this achievement is a first step for a prosperous future, wishing the winners success.

(SPA)

Over 35 Saudi students won 22 awards at ISEF, which was held from May 7-13 in the US.

The ISEF 2022 saw the participation of pre-college students from over 80 countries in the biggest competition showcasing innovation in scientific research and advancement.

Student Abdullah Al-Ghamdi won two prizes in energy for his project on the production and storage of hydrogen, earning him the award for “Best Research Scientist,” in which he competed against over 1,700 submissions from students across 65 countries.

Five other first-place prizes were awarded to Dana Al-Eithan and Maria Al-Ghamdi, who won in chemistry; Tahani Adel, who won in material sciences; and Yousef Khoja, who won in embedded systems.