Saudi mother-of-six finds sweet success with her ‘kingdom of bees’

Since launching her beekeeping career four years ago, Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari has found sweet success and been dubbed the ‘Beekeeper of the North.’ (Supplied)
Since launching her beekeeping career four years ago, Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari has found sweet success and been dubbed the ‘Beekeeper of the North.’ (Supplied)
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Updated 25 December 2021

Saudi mother-of-six finds sweet success with her ‘kingdom of bees’

Since launching her beekeeping career four years ago, Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari has found sweet success and been dubbed the ‘Beekeeper of the North.’ (Supplied)
  • Honey, hard work help Saudi beekeeper taste sweet success

JEDDAH: Beekeeping as a hobby or business is not for the faint-hearted, as a mother-of-six from Hail in northern Saudi Arabia is proving in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

Since launching her beekeeping career four years ago, 38-year-old Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari has found sweet success and been dubbed the “Beekeeper of the North.”
As the only female beekeeper in the Hail region, she is winning praise from fellow beekeepers and visitors, and has been honored by Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, minister of environment, water and agriculture.
Al-Shimmari, who describes herself as a hard-working self-learner, said: “I disagree with those who say that beekeeping is a man’s profession. A strong female can accomplish anything and can excel at any career.”
Al-Shimmari told Arab News that she decided to educate herself about the secrets of the beekeeping business, so bought a beehive and “began exploring the kingdom of bees from A to Z.”
She enjoys being “fully immersed in nature, dealing with bees, plants and fresh honey.”

I disagree with those who say that beekeeping is a man’s profession. A strong female can accomplish anything and can excel at any career.

Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari

Al-Shimmari said that she learnt by observing. “How can one queen lead thousands of workers in a bee colony? I started to explore more and learnt from my colleagues, professional beekeepers who have been in the business for years.”
She said: “Gaining skill and excelling in beekeeping is far from easy. It requires on-site experience, and you need to have a good source that will answer all your questions. I received support from all the beekeepers I sought out. They were keen to teach me from scratch, and explained how to overcome obstacles and solve problems step by step.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• As the only female beekeeper in the Hail region, 38-year-old Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari is winning praise from fellow beekeepers and visitors, and has been honored by Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, minister of environment, water and agriculture.

• Al-Shimmari was the only woman among 33 beekeepers who took part in the 2021 Hail Honey Festival in early November. The festival helps apiarists market their products and increase investment opportunities, and also delivers a substantial financial return for local beekeepers and producers.

Advice from online platforms also helped Al-Shimmari to improve her beekeeping skills, with demonstrations on how to provide the best environment for bees.
Starting out with one beehive as a hobby, she gradually increased to 50 beehives, and began providing her family and relatives with honey from her farm.
“Once the production started to rise, my family encouraged me to transform my hobby into a business. They saw the array of honey types I produced and how hard-working I am. So I created my honey brand named after my late father Shawi.”
Al-Shimmari produces 11 honey products and pollen, with eight types of honey from different flowers.
A female beekeeper in Saudi Arabia is a rarity, one of the factors that helped Al-Shimmari find business success in the area where she lives on the outskirts of the city of Hail. Her village of Al-Khita is known for its fertile farmland, but beekeepers in general are scarce.
Al-Shimmari moves her beehives around different locations so bees have access to athel, sidr and talh flowers, known for their attractive color and plentiful nectar.
“Beehives are heavy, and it needs two people, but I manage to relocate them during different seasons to collect nectar from special plants and flowers. That means I can get a variety of honey types,” she said.
Her working day starts at dawn when bees begin leaving their hive and searching for nectar.
“I also have my farm, where I keep all my hives and where many types of flowers are planted for bees to get nectar, including citrus trees, clover, roses, climbing plants and grape vines. Bees also get nectar from neighbors’ fruit trees.”
Meanwhile, the “Beekeeper of the North” dreams of expanding her business with hundreds of hives, and adds that she still draws inspiration from the Kingdom’s first female apiarist, Hanaa Al-Alamai, from Rijal Alma in the southern Asir region.
Al-Shimmari was the only woman among 33 beekeepers who took part in the 2021 Hail Honey Festival in early November. The festival helps apiarists market their products and increase investment opportunities, and also delivers a substantial financial return for local beekeepers and producers.
“I am so happy because of all the support that I have received during the festival from my fellow beekeepers, visitors and officials. My talent can be seen and recognized by everyone, so I hope to meet their expectations and more,” she said.


Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch

Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch
Updated 59 min 27 sec ago

Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch

Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch
  • More than 5 million visitors from the Kingdom and around the world have attended Jeddah Season

JEDDAH: Jeddah Season has achieved unprecedented visitor numbers over the past 55 days since its launch, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The number of visitors exceeded five million who arrived from more than 129 countries to attend 2,800 events.

The season drew the attention of numerous local and international media outlets, with over 11,000 news articles published in 26 languages.

The media coverage on Jeddah Season reached 68 countries and has received over 250 million views.

Not only did the Jeddah Season surpass its entertainment and events objectives, but also had a substantive impact on the Kingdom's economic development, SPA reported.

The season stimulated activity in several sectors, creating more than 74,000 job opportunities for citizens.

As it wraps up its program in 5 days, Jeddah Season has proven to be a regional success story, SPA said.


Saudi FM meets Italian counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio. (SPA)
Updated 27 June 2022

Saudi FM meets Italian counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio. (SPA)
  • The prince and Di Maio reviewed the outcomes of the 12th session of the Saudi-Italian Joint Commission

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Monday received Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh.

Marking the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the ministers hailed the historic links that both nations aimed to further strengthen.

The prince and Di Maio reviewed the outcomes of the 12th session of the Saudi-Italian Joint Commission, held in Riyadh on Monday to promote bilateral cooperation in a number of areas. They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.


Saudi ministry launches UN mentoring program for Taif farmers

Saudi agricultural ministry in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, launched a mentoring program for farmers in Taif.
Saudi agricultural ministry in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, launched a mentoring program for farmers in Taif.
Updated 27 June 2022

Saudi ministry launches UN mentoring program for Taif farmers

Saudi agricultural ministry in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, launched a mentoring program for farmers in Taif.
  • The FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to positively impact farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas

RIYADH: Saudi agriculture officials on Monday launched a UN mentoring program for farmers in Taif aimed at encouraging sustainable development.

Initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, and presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the scheme aims to help introduce more efficient farming practices through the sharing of information on proven techniques and by providing access to industry experts.

The ministry’s director for Taif, Hani Al-Kadi, said: “Taif is no less significant than other cities in the Kingdom, due to its agricultural diversity and yearly abundance in crops.”

FASTFACT

The FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to positively impact farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas.

He noted that introducing farmers to effective agricultural concepts and objectives would greatly contribute toward, “producing safe and sustainable food, maintaining consumer confidence, ensuring mindfulness toward the exploitation of natural resources, and reducing environmental harm.”

Kakoli Ghosh, the FAO’s chief technical adviser to the program, said global advances in farming methods and agricultural practices had helped to increase production, job opportunities, and standards of living for small farmers, while also preserving natural resources for future generations.

She pointed out that the program would include visits to Taif farms at Al-Hada, Al-Shafa, Wadi Mahram, and Al-Dayha.

The FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to positively impact farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas.

The Saudi ministry first launched the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program in cooperation with the FAO in 2019. It has been designed to boost the production, processing, and marketing of fruit, fish, livestock, and Arabic coffee, and the cultivation of rain-fed crops.

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and boost contributions to gross domestic product by pushing sustainable development in all sectors of the economy. One of the main areas of focus has been on the conservation of natural resources, including the rationalization of water consumption in agriculture and achieving food security.


Cambodian king praises Muslim World League efforts in strengthening civilizational alliance

Al-Issa praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity. (Supplied)
Al-Issa praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity. (Supplied)
Updated 27 June 2022

Cambodian king praises Muslim World League efforts in strengthening civilizational alliance

Al-Issa praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity. (Supplied)
  • Al-Issa expressed his appreciation for the prestigious university and praised the values of tolerance and coexistence adopted by Cambodians as they had become an inspiring role model in fighting all forms of hatred, racism, and discrimination

PHNOM PENH: King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia received Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League and chairman of the Muslim Scholars Association.

The king praised the tangible impact of the league’s efforts in strengthening the civilizational alliance among diverse groups around the world and awareness among Muslim societies.

Al-Issa visited the Islamic Center in Phnom Penh and met Cambodia’s Muslim leadership. He praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity.

He gave the Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque of Phnom Penh upon the request of the Islamic leadership in Cambodia. Hundreds of worshippers attended the sermon, with Al-Issa addressing key issues facing the Muslim world.

Al-Issa met the Grand Buddhist Patriarch of Cambodia Tep Vong and Patriarch Bor Keri.

The Royal University of Phnom Penh hosted Al-Issa, where he gave a lecture titled: “Our Common Values and Civilizational Alliance.”

The Royal University of Phnom Penh is the biggest in Cambodia. It was founded 62 years ago and has 20,000 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs.

Al-Issa expressed his appreciation for the prestigious university and praised the values of tolerance and coexistence adopted by Cambodians as they had become an inspiring role model in fighting all forms of hatred, racism, and discrimination.

He shared his views about the common values among humans as these values had granted full rights to everyone in Cambodia, despite the differences of religion and race, and made modern Cambodia live in security and stability.

 


Who’s Who: Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari, president of the General Authority for Statistics

Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari
Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari
Updated 27 June 2022

Who’s Who: Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari, president of the General Authority for Statistics

Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari

Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari is the newly appointed president of the General Authority for Statistics.

As president, he is tasked with leading the authority through a critical period that includes the strategic transformation of data collection processes in the Kingdom.

Al-Dossari began his career in 1999 as an economics researcher at the Saudi Central Bank, and in 2009 became the head of the money and banking division in the bank’s research and statistics department.

While at the Saudi Central Bank, he became the director-general of the research and statistics department, and in 2013 its director of international affairs.

From 2013 to 2017, Al-Dossari held the position of director-general of the Institute of Finance, formerly known as the Institute of Banking. He also served as deputy governor for administrative affairs at the Saudi Central Bank from 2016 to 2019.

Before becoming president of the General Authority for Statistics, Al-Dossari served as deputy governor for research and international affairs at the Saudi Central Bank.

Al-Dossari is the chairman of the board of directors of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

He is also a board member of multiple organizations including the Social Development Bank, Saudi Real Estate Development Fund, Agricultural Development Fund, and the Public Pension Agency.

Al-Dossari received a doctorate in economics in 2008 from the University of Leeds in the UK.