Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and UAE are ‘terrorist actions’: Kosovo PM

Prime Minister Albin Kurti speaking to Arab News’ Faisal J. Abbas during an exclusive interview at his office in Pristina to mark the 14th Independence Day of Kosovo. (AN Photo/Ziyad Alarfaj)
Prime Minister Albin Kurti speaking to Arab News’ Faisal J. Abbas during an exclusive interview at his office in Pristina to mark the 14th Independence Day of Kosovo. (AN Photo/Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Updated 17 February 2022

Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and UAE are ‘terrorist actions’: Kosovo PM

Prime Minister Albin Kurti speaking to Arab News’ Faisal J. Abbas during an exclusive interview at his office in Pristina to mark the 14th Independence Day of Kosovo. (AN Photo/Ziyad Alarfaj)
  • We are on the same page as Riyadh in fight against terror and violent extremism, says Albin Kurti
  • ‘People in Kosovo, the Balkans and Europe should be more aware of recent Saudi reforms’

PRISTINA: Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti condemned the continuing series of Houthi attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, and more recently the UAE, agreeing that such assaults reveal the Houthis to be a terrorist group.

“We were appalled by these images and all these attacks. Absolute violence against civilians, which has nothing to do with respect for human dignity, for human rights, for society and community, is something that we can never tolerate and it is our task to always condemn (them),” he said.

Asked whether he agrees that as a result of this deliberate targeting of civilian targets the Iran-backed Houthi militia should be designated as a terrorist group, Kurti said: “Yes, I think that all these attacks on civilians are terrorist actions.”

Kurti spoke to Arab News during an exclusive interview at his office in Pristina to mark the 14th Independence Day of Kosovo. The prime minister lauded his country’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the fields of countering terrorism, intelligence sharing and the ideological battle against violent extremism.

READ MORE

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti spoke exclusively to Arab News in a wide-ranging interview to mark the 14th Independence Day of his country. From NATO to relations with Gulf nations, read the full interview here.

“I think that we have good cooperation and we would like to continue it because when we fight violent extremism and terrorism, and all these kinds of violent fundamentalism, we are on the same page,” he said.

Highlighting the recent wide-ranging reforms that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ushered in under Vision 2030, Kurti said it is his aim to strengthen Kosovo’s ties with the Kingdom.

“I think the people of Kosovo, but also people in the Balkans and in Europe, should know more about the reforms and the progress in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“We want to strengthen cooperation with Saudi Arabia. It’s a very rich country, both in its culture and history, but likewise in its natural resources and economic development.”

 


The prime minister invited the Kingdom to invest more in his country and benefit from the reforms and serious anti-corruption measures his government is introducing in Pristina.

“With our government we are fighting corruption; there is no tolerance for corruption,” he said. “And we are also increasing our economy.

“For example, last year we had for two-thirds (of the year) higher exports than the year before. Budget revenues increased by one-third. Likewise, business turnover increased (and) foreign direct investment increased by over 50 percent. This data shows that Kosovo is progressing — and the best way for more progress is to invest in the already existing progress.”

READ MORE

As Kosovo celebrates its 14th independence day, Europe’s newest country — and one with the continent’s youngest population — has much to be proud of. Read more here.

Regarding the opportunities that exist for Saudi and other international investors, Kurti highlighted several potential sectors and stressed that as prime minister, he looks forward to engaging with efforts to promote these opportunities.

“We would like to have more trade exchange with Saudi Arabia and more investments in the health sector, in agriculture and also in energy because we want, just like Saudi Arabia, to invest in renewables, especially solar and wind,” he explained.

“Because the vast majority of our electrical energy is generated by coal thermal power plants, we would like to have more renewables.

“I believe that, together with information and communications technology, and wood and metal processing, these are some of the fields where we can cooperate with Saudi Arabia and I, as a prime minister, look forward to actively engaging in this.”


Saudi nutritionist uses his weight loss journey to inspire others

The weight-loss milestones of 24-year-old Salam Farid Azam has been a motivation for many wishing to achieve their weight goal.
The weight-loss milestones of 24-year-old Salam Farid Azam has been a motivation for many wishing to achieve their weight goal.
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi nutritionist uses his weight loss journey to inspire others

The weight-loss milestones of 24-year-old Salam Farid Azam has been a motivation for many wishing to achieve their weight goal.
  • Durham University graduate talks up need for Saudi culture not to conflate its famed generosity with food

RIYADH: Unhealthy food and fitness habits are on the rise among Saudi youth, and maintaining a healthy weight has become a concern.

The weight-loss milestones of 24-year-old Salam Farid Azam has been a motivation for many wishing to achieve their weight goal.

Azam’s priority is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He lost 25 kg through his balanced habits, which have been cultivated through his educational experience in human nutrition and behavioral science.

Now, he has a mission to help others bury their weakening cycles of poor habits.

FASTFACTS

• Salam Farid Azam’s priority is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He lost 25 kg through his balanced habits, which have been cultivated through his educational experience in human nutrition and behavioral science.

• Now, he has a mission to help others bury their weakening cycles of poor habits.

Azam created his consultation platform, Sehha W Salam, two months ago.

“Sehha W Salam is a platform that’s trying to improve the overall health of people in society through personal consultations tailored to them,” Azam told Arab News.

“Consultants will try to enhance the behaviors and nutrition of people who come. They will try to understand the issues people are struggling with,” he said.

Qualified consultants create an in-depth case study of clients’ issues. Nutritional meal plans, exercises, and a combination of behavioral consultations are then applied, with prices dependent on how complex a case is.

“I am a registered associate nutritionist from the Association of Nutrition in the UK. I might recruit more qualified people with both qualifications in behavioral science and nutrition,” he said.

“The most convenient way of reaching me is through Instagram which is @sehhawsalam. Consultations will be held virtually over any video meeting platforms, or we can do it by visiting each other.”

Azam started his journey in the UK after high school. He was inspired to study nutrition because he was overweight during his adolescence.

“I thought of studying nutrition because I used to be overweight (at) around 13 years old. I was suffering from it. It affected me in terms of confidence in myself, my general well-being, I was shy, I was not socializing in general. I thought ‘I need to make a decision because I am not who I am’,” he said.

“I stayed at home all the time and played PlayStation and video games. I used to eat a lot, all the time, and I was unaware of my health. I used to play center back, the defending position in football, from primary school until I was 14. My colleagues and football team members (then) told me I need to play as a goalkeeper — I am not giving a bad impression of being a goalkeeper, but it’s usually given to people who don’t give a good impression of running. I was feeling rejected,” he explained.

Website surfing and Instagram accounts with nutritional information were the first source of awareness for Azam’s weight loss, before expanding his passion for nutrition at university.

“I chose Kingston University. I did my bachelor’s of science in human nutrition, and I was one of the top students in (the) university,” he said.

Azam complemented his bachelor’s with a master’s degree in behavioral sciences at Durham, one of the UK’s leading universities.

“We learned a lot about behavioral aspects of psychology. Choice architecture is a concept that looks at whether items are on an eye-level,” he said. “Changing the position of these unhealthy food products affects people’s choices. They crave these foods when they see it.”

Losing weight was difficult at first for Azam, especially without surgical intervention. His focus on food quality, avoiding fast food, and exercising gave a positive turn in all aspects surrounding his life.

“After I lost weight, I couldn’t describe how comfortable I felt. I started socializing, anticipating. I became very confident in myself. I started joining societies, leading them, going into positions of trust, and all of that. Nutrition can help people achieve their best,” said Azam.

Generosity is a key component of Saudi culture, and Azam believes that generosity and showing appreciation should not always be correlated with food — gratitude can be expressed in many ways. Food for him is not always for pleasure, but instead, mostly for survival.

“Saudi society is generous and we conflate it with food. I see people providing a generous quantity of food to guests, and they are treating it as generosity, which isn’t always healthy,” he said.

“Today’s doll-like body standards can be dangerous,” he added.

Azam said he places an importance in a Hadith that translates as: “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for water and one-third for breathing.”

He greatly appreciates the Kingdom’s efforts in looking out for the health of people in Saudi Arabia.

“I am really glad I am helping my country. Saudi Arabia is doing a really great job at the moment, especially in the health field. I am very proud to be Saudi, and I also look forward to improving my community and taking pride in doing so,” he said.

 


Saudi justice minister issues 2,317 law practice licenses

Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani. (SPA)
Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani. (SPA)
Updated 15 August 2022

Saudi justice minister issues 2,317 law practice licenses

Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani. (SPA)
  • Services for lawyers offered through the Najiz portal include applying for a law practice license and renewal of licenses

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani has issued 2,317 and renewed 1,082 law practice licenses in the past 12 months.

The ministry has said that it is focusing its efforts on vocational training as an essential part of the justice system, providing professional advice to safeguard people’s interests.

Inquiries about licensed lawyers can be made through a list of lawyers classified by name and city, as well as queries about the status of filed applications and other services, the ministry said.

Services for lawyers offered through the Najiz portal include applying for a law practice license and renewal of licenses.

A trainee lawyers’ service allows applicants to register and receive a “trainee lawyer identification certificate” electronically.

The portal also has a transfer service for lawyers and can issue new electronic “trainee lawyer identification certificates.”

 


Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Saja, general manager of Tabby Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz Saja
Abdulaziz Saja
Updated 15 August 2022

Who’s Who: Abdulaziz Saja, general manager of Tabby Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz Saja

Abdulaziz Saja is the general manager of Tabby Saudi Arabia, one of the leading buy now, pay later financial technology companies in Saudi Arabia.

Tabby is a platform that offers financial freedom to its users with BNPL options for over 4,000 brands operating in the Kingdom, the UAE and Kuwait.

Saja is in charge of Tabby’s operations, including hiring, business development, compliance, legal and growth activities in the Kingdom.

Born and raised in Riyadh, he studied finance with a minor degree in economics at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

He started his career in commercial banking, working in multiple banks for around five years.

He then decided to pursue a master’s degree in business administration with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, later switching careers to management consulting.

After working as an associate with McKinsey & Co. for two years, Hosam Arab, co-founder and CEO of Tabby, approached Saja to join his team as general manager in 2019.

In February 2020, Tabby launched its commercial operations in the UAE. A launch in the Kingdom followed soon after in July 2020, along with approval to join the Saudi Central Bank’s Sandbox environment, bringing BNPL officially to the Kingdom in October 2020.

Saja continues to lead Tabby’s efforts in the Kingdom with plans to roll out new and exciting products in the future.

 


Saudi minister receives Thai charge d’affaires in Riyadh

Saudi minister Fahad Abualnasr receives charge d’affaires of the Thai Embassy in Riyadh. (Supplied)
Saudi minister Fahad Abualnasr receives charge d’affaires of the Thai Embassy in Riyadh. (Supplied)
Updated 15 August 2022

Saudi minister receives Thai charge d’affaires in Riyadh

Saudi minister Fahad Abualnasr receives charge d’affaires of the Thai Embassy in Riyadh. (Supplied)
  • They reviewed diplomatic relations between the two countries and the latest developments of common concern

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy Fahad Abualnasr received the charge d’affaires of the Thai Embassy in the Kingdom, Sathana Kashemsanta Na Ayudhya, in Riyadh on Monday.

The pair reviewed relations between their countries and discussed topics of common interest.

Abualnasr also met Francisco Chacón Hernández, Costa Rica’s non-resident ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

They reviewed diplomatic relations between the two countries and the latest developments of common concern.

In June, Abualnasr met Bahrain’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Shaikh Ali Abdulrahman bin Ali Al-Khalifa in Riyadh. They reviewed diplomatic relations and discussed topics of common interest.

 


Saudi Arabia’s NELC launches advanced online learning courses

The participants will receive training from specialists in the sector before having to undergo examinations. (AFP)
The participants will receive training from specialists in the sector before having to undergo examinations. (AFP)
Updated 28 min 2 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s NELC launches advanced online learning courses

The participants will receive training from specialists in the sector before having to undergo examinations. (AFP)
  • Places for over 4,000 students and teachers on offer

RIYADH: The National eLearning Center in Riyadh has now invited applications for three new advanced-level professional job courses that seeks to prepare students and teachers to become experts at online education.

Places are open for 4,359 students, both male and female, who can apply until Oct. 9.

The first is certification targeting teachers, faculty members, trainers, and all e-learning, and training program providers.

The second is an education experience design and e-learning (eLXD) course aimed at educators and tech-learning specialists.

The third is an e-learning quality control certificate (eLQA) targeting those in the field including education app arbitrators and supervisors, and school administrators.

The certificate program allows young professionals to get a competitive advantage in the e-education and training field.

The participants will receive training from specialists in the sector before having to undergo examinations.

The courses are being offered in collaboration with the Education and Training Evaluation Commission represented by Qiyas, the National Center for Assessment.