ROME: The Saudi Irrigation Organization (SIO) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) announced this week new cooperation to support the Kingdom’s national irrigation strategy in accordance with Vision 2030.
SIO manages and develops the irrigation sector in the Kingdom, conserves natural resources, maintains an integrated irrigation system and upgrades field efficiency through the expansion of non-conventional water use.
Two new project agreements, aimed at “promoting efficient irrigation and water productivity among farmers” and “enhancing national capacities for irrigation management,” were signed by SIO President Dr. Fuad bin Ahmed Al-Sheikh Mubarak and FAO-KSA Program Director Dr. Abubakr Mohamed, on behalf of the FAO director general, the Rome-based UN agency said in a statement.
The two organizations will develop and design key strategies to promote water use efficiency in the Kingdom.
They will advance Saudi irrigation technologies and practices, efficient drainage management, codes and standards, and will build a national irrigation database.
With a fund provision of $6.8 million, the new collaboration reinforces the Kingdom’s position as a leading partner of the FAO, both in the Middle East and worldwide.
Mubarak said that the new cooperation with FAO will enhance national capacities to develop and manage the irrigation sector in the Kingdom.
Mohamed praised the SIO “for the trust it places in FAO and for its constructive contributions to support the efforts aimed at promoting the country’s sustainable management and development of irrigation systems.”
He also hailed Saudi Arabia’s support for the FAO and its efforts, noting that that first technical cooperation between FAO and the Kingdom took place in Jazan in 1952.
The association between FAO and the Kingdom has also further developed in the past 15 years through four major projects, he added.
Saudi students who won ISEF 2022 awards celebrated upon return to Riyadh
‘Our talented students are the true wealth of Saudi Arabia and the solid building blocks of our society’
Updated 16 May 2022
RIYADH: Over 35 Saudi students who picked up 22 awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia, landed in Riyadh on Sunday and were greeted with a celebratory reception at King Khalid International Airport.
The ISEF 2022, held from May 7-13, 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.
“The happiness I’m feeling for my son Abdullah can’t be described,” said Abdul Aziz Al-Ghamdi, the student’s father. “To see the vision of my Kingdom come true before my eyes and for my son to be a driving force behind realizing this vision is a feeling that truly can’t be described.”
Al-Ghamdi’s father told Arab News that his son would spend his time at a research center after school, where he became fascinated with the idea of how to store hydrogen efficiently. “The fruits of his hard work are seen today,” he said.
When the crown prince said that the Saudis’ strength was like that of the Tuwaiq Mountain, unbreakable, Mawhiba saw in his words a road map for its initiatives.
Dr. Saud bin Saeed Al-Mathami, Mawhiba Secretary-General
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.
Al-Eithan’s uncle, Abdulmunim Al-Eithan, told Arab News that the family was sitting on the couch when they heard the news and sprung into the air in excitement, cheering. “This is a result of her dedication to this field,” he said, adding that the 14-year-old had also previously won an award with SABIC for chemistry.
Six students — three Saudis and three Americans — were also granted scholarships to participate in an international enrichment program organized by King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, known as Mawhiba.
Thirteen students from the US, India and China were also awarded scholarships to study bachelor’s programs at King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals in chemistry, embedded systems, energy, physics and astronomy, robotics and material sciences.
The Kingdom was represented by the Ministry of Education and by Mawhiba.
Saudi Minister of Education Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh tweeted on Saturday: “I proudly congratulate my sons and daughters who won the International Science and Engineering Fair 2022. The Kingdom has won an unprecedented 22 awards with the support of our wise leadership — may God support it — and the unremitting efforts of their teachers and families. I am pleased to announce the provision of scholarships to the winning students in appreciation of this national achievement.”
Mawhiba Secretary-General Dr. Saud bin Saeed Al-Mathami said that he is encouraging innovative students worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the world’s problems and preserve these resources for future generations.
He stressed that the Kingdom takes pride in its students, saying the country had harnessed its great potential to qualify them to compete effectively in international forums.
“When the crown prince said that the Saudis’ strength was like that of the Tuwaiq Mountain, unbreakable, Mawhiba saw in his words a road map for its initiatives,” he said.
“Our talented students are the true wealth of Saudi Arabia and the solid building blocks of our society. They are the real future that we are looking forward to, and their familiarity in all disciplines and specializations will push forward Saudi Vision 2030,” Al-Mathami added.
“The talented students excelled in all disciplines related to energy, climate change, medicine, biosciences, space, medical and environmental engineering, organic materials, technology, innovation, information engineering and artificial intelligence.
“They underwent extensive training for long hours and rigorous testing under the supervision of competent committees to honor Saudi Arabia in international forums.”
British experts to qualify Saudis in railway sector
More than 400 graduates will be able to work in various disciplines in the rail transport business
Updated 17 May 2022
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia aspires to strengthen its position as a global logistics hub connecting three continents, improve services and increase integration between logistics systems and modern modes of transportation.
Eng. Abdulaziz Al-Sugair, the director general of the Saudi Railway Polytechnic Institute, and Munir Jolamyehiya, the director general of the British X-Rail Group, signed a training agreement to train Saudis in the railway industry in the Kingdom.
The agreement was signed in presence of the chairman of the Saudi-British Joint Economic Committee, Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi, the Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser, the UK Minister of Railways Wendy Morton, Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih, the chairman of the Public Transport Authority and the Saudi Railway Polytechnic Institute, and Saudi Deputy Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Eng. Badr Abdullah Al-Dalami.
The agreement was signed in presence of the chairman of the Saudi-British Joint Economic Committee, Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi, Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser, UK Minister of Railways Wendy Morton, Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih, the chairman of the Public Transport Authority and the Saudi Railway Polytechnic Institute, and Saudi Deputy Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Eng. Badr Abdullah Al-Dalami.
Al-Sugair said the collaboration with X-Rail Group is a new step towards the development of national skills in transportation, particularly rail transport services. He stated that the agreement intends to train and qualify high school graduates and equip them to work in a variety of industries. These include signaling, communication, and railway control systems, in order to assist the transportation labor market and meet the growing demand for specialist cadres in this industry.
The training term lasts 18 months, with 12 months spent at the institute and 6 months spent on the job at the company’s facilities, or on projects that it executes, operates, and maintains.
More than 400 graduates were able to work in various disciplines in the rail transport business since 2021, according to the institute.
Among the goals of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services is to increase the total lengths of future railways to 8,080 km, including the “land bridge” project with a length of more than 1,300 km, which will have a capacity of more than 3 million passengers and more than 50 million tons of freight annually.
Other goals include connecting the Kingdom’s ports on the Arabian Gulf coast with the ports on the Red Sea coast. New and exciting opportunities for this line will be created by it passing through modern logistic centers, economic activity centers, industrial cities and mining operations, enhancing the Kingdom’s logistic performance index to be among the top ten in the world.
“Training plays a big role in employing job-seekers,” believes Awwad Al-Dhafeeri, CEO of Shabakat ABAD training Institute.
Al-Dhafeeri told Arab News that jobs that demand specific abilities necessitate greater training to master the work, pointing to the profound changes that have occurred in professions as a result of expanding technology.
In previous decades, job acceptance was based on simple skills, and employees would acquire further necessary skills with experience, but at the moment, most jobs are concentrated in the private sector, which prefers employees to already have the required skill, with the rate of job acceptance much higher for those who have training in modern-age areas than those who do not.
Al-Dhafeeri, who has spent about 15 years in the management of training centers, advises young people not to rely entirely on educational attainment during their years of study in order to get jobs, but rather to get the appropriate training during their studies, including universities so that they can compete after graduation.
Since “we live in an era of digital transformation and the use of technology in various areas of life where the machine has replaced the human,” and many employment opportunities have been lost, he said, young people must hone their skills through training related to technological skills, according to their competence.
SCImago Rankings have been a leading international annual classification system for research outcomes since 1996
Updated 17 May 2022
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s universities and research-related institutions have been ranked 17th in the world for their pioneering project work.
The country’s position in the SCImago Rankings 2021 league table has now jumped up on two occasions, from 21st last year, and 26th in 2018.
Ongoing support from the Saudi leadership and Ministry of Education has been credited for helping the Kingdom’s academics enhance the quality of scientific research, and initiatives and projects being conducted with universities under the ministry’s supervision.
SCImago Rankings have been a leading international annual classification system for research outcomes since 1996.
It is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database. These indicators can be used to assess and analyze scientific domains.
Journals can be compared or analysed separately, and country rankings may also be compared or analysed separately.
Repopulation plan: Saudi Arabia’s Soudah Development welcomes newborn ibex
Located in the Asir region in the southwest of the Kingdom, the juniper-covered mountains of Soudah are home to the highest peak in Saudi Arabia, situated more than 3,000m above sea level
Updated 17 May 2022
ABHA: Soudah Development, a company of the Public Investment Fund, announced that six newborn Nubian ibex have been welcomed after the company launched a repopulation program last December in cooperation with the National Center for Wildlife.
It is part of efforts by the company to maintain the environment and protect the endangered species.
Soudah Development introduced 15 endangered ibex in the Soudah area with the aim of relocating endangered wild animals and protecting the natural environment in the region.
The initiative contributes to supporting the Kingdom’s environmental efforts.
Soudah Development continues its efforts to preserve biodiversity, restore environmental balance and encourage sustainability in Soudah, which is home to several important species, including the ibex.
Located in the Asir region in the southwest of the Kingdom, the juniper-covered mountains of Soudah are home to the highest peak in Saudi Arabia, situated more than 3,000m above sea level.
Who’s Who: Talal Al-Tuwaijri, deputy minister at Saudi Ministry of Health
Updated 16 May 2022
Talal bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Tuwaijri was appointed deputy minister for planning and transformation at the Ministry of Health in 2020.
He holds four other medicine-related positions, including head of vision realization at the Ministry of Health.
The Vision Realization Office aims to achieve the objectives of both the 2020 National Transformation Program and Saudi Vision 2030, monitoring transformational initiatives, tracking implementation progress, and continuously assessing performance and quality.
The office also seeks to create a motivational, productive work environment to attract talented people, and work within the Vision 2030 governance framework to ensure disciplined internal operations and alignment with other government agencies.
Al-Tuwaijri is also the secretary-general of the board of directors of the Medical Cities and Specialized Centers, which aims to provide the best medical services at the highest levels, specialized medical care, and contribute to the establishment of high-level rules and standards for the practice of professionals in medical cities and specialized hospitals.
He is also associate professor and consultant of vascular surgery at King Saud University in Riyadh, and a vascular surgery consultant at King Khaled University Hospital.
Al-Tuwaijri served as CEO of Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz General Hospital in Riyadh. Through his previous experience at the Ministry of Health, he has increased productivity and efficiency in various medical fields.
He has a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from King Saud University, which he received in 2000, and in 2007 received a fellowship in vascular surgery. In 2019, he also undertook a vascular surgery fellowship from the University of Calgary.