Muslim World League chief calls for forming alliance of civilization during Bangkok visit

MWL chief meets with government officials in Bangkok. (Supplied)
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MWL chief meets with government officials in Bangkok. (Supplied)
Muslim World League chief calls for forming alliance of civilization during Bangkok visit
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Muslim World League chief calls for forming alliance of civilization during Bangkok visit
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Updated 21 February 2022

Muslim World League chief calls for forming alliance of civilization during Bangkok visit

MWL chief meets with government officials in Bangkok. (Supplied)
  • Chan-o-Cha praised the outstanding role that MWL was playing worldwide, hoping that this visit would further strengthen the cooperation between Thailand and the MWL

RIYADH: A delegation from the Muslim World League, led by its secretary general Dr. Mohammad Al-Issa, arrived in Bangkok earlier this week.

The delegation was welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai, who is also the foreign affairs minister.

Al-Issa will meet ministers and members of parliament during his visit. He will give  two lectures, the first on religious tolerance and bridge-building and the second at Chulalongkorn University on the importance of an alliance of civilizations.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his country’s eagerness for Al-Issa’s keynote lecture at the university, which is Thailand’s oldest and most famous.

Chan-o-Cha praised the outstanding role that MWL was playing worldwide, hoping that this visit would further strengthen the cooperation between Thailand and the MWL.

He also congratulated Al-Issa for receiving an honorary doctorate from Fatoni University.

Al-Issa met the former prime minister and the current speaker of the House of Representatives, Chuan Leekpai, in the presence of parliamentary committee chairmen and MPs. Both sides held an extensive meeting tackling topics of mutual interest and prospects for strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Al-Issa also had a meeting with Pramudwinai. They discussed several topics of mutual interest and identified frameworks for activating bilateral cooperation through initiatives and programs.

The MWL delegation, accompanied by several local Thai leaders, visited the Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok, where they were received by Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome, a number of the museum’s curators, and senior researchers and experts.

Al-Issa praised the level of national harmony in Thailand with its religious and ethnic diversity, highlighting the long history of Thai multiculturalism.

He said that Thailand was a role model for countries in terms of coexistence under the banner of one national state and a single constitution.


Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations

Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations

Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call on Wednesday from his Costa Rican counterpart, Arnoldo Andre Tinoco.
During the call, they reviewed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in all fields to serve the aspirations of the two countries.
They also discussed the latest regional and international developments, and issues of common interest.


Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held

Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held
Updated 10 August 2022

Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held

Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held

RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested 70 people accused of trying to smuggle close to 70 tons of the stimulant khat and 618 kg of hashish into the Kingdom, news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

Col. Misfer Al-Quraini, a spokesperson for the General Directorate of the Border Guard, said land patrols thwarted multiple smuggling attempts in the Najran, Jazan and Asir regions.

Of those arrested, 33 were Saudi citizens, 20 were Ethiopian and 17 were Yemeni nationals, he said.

Initial legal procedures against the suspects had been completed and the contraband had been passed to the relevant authorities, he added.

 

 


Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid
Updated 8 min 22 sec ago

Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid
  • The ambassador presented the letter to the Saudi minister during a meeting at the foreign minister’s office in Riyadh on Wednesday

RIYADH: Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mohammed Javed Patwary delivered a letter from President of Bangladesh Mohammed Abdul Hamid expressing the country’s support for the Kingdom’s bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh.

The letter was delivered to King Salman through the Bangladesh ambassador and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan.

The ambassador presented the letter to the Saudi minister during a meeting at the foreign minister’s office in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Saudi bid in October last year and the formal application was submitted in December during a virtual meeting of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions.

The Kingdom has already won significant backing for its expo bid.

In November, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation pledged its support for the Saudi application.

Saudi Arabia’s bid is based on the theme “The Era of Change: Leading the Planet to a Foresighted Tomorrow.”

If the Kingdom is successful, the expo will take place in Riyadh from Oct. 1, 2030, to April 1, 2031.

Saudi Arabia has received a number of international endorsements and emerged as a strong contender.

There are five stages to the candidature process, which will culminate in a vote in late 2023.

During the meeting the Bangladesh ambassador and the Saudi foreign minister discussed cooperation between the two countries, and exchanged views on regional and international issues.

Patwary also reiterated Bangladesh’s fraternity and solidarity with the Kingdom.

The Saudi foreign minister voiced his satisfaction over the relationship between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, and said that he was looking forward to deepening the relationship further.


Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
Updated 10 August 2022

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
  • The single-pitch routes, near NEOM, have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers
  • Wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers

JEDDAH: Saudi climbing enthusiasts in search of a “new high” have been gathering in the desert near NEOM to try out 100 new routes opened late last year as part of Rise 100, the Kingdom’s first climbing festival.

The single-pitch routes have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers.

Single-pitch climbing routes are up to a half-rope length (about 30 meters) with an anchor at the end, and are accessible to climbers of all abilities.

Rise 100 last December set the stage for NEOM’s diverse adventure sport offerings, which are designed to encourage greater environmental awareness, educating thrill-seekers beyond just the sport.

Now indoor climbing gyms are opening around the country, while a growing number of events bring international and local climbers together.

The result is a fast-growing community of young, but highly committed, climbers.

Abdul Rahman Abughazala, a 25-year-old mechatronic engineer, said that after developing an interest in the sport in college, “it took over my life.”

The young adventurer’s day now revolves around climbing.

New routes opened in NEOM “mean a lot to the climbing community,” he added.

“Newer climbers can experience different rock types and styles of climbing that are absolutely beautiful. And it is easier for Middle Eastern climbers from the north to visit Saudi and try climbing here,” he told Arab News.

Bolting more routes around the Kingdom will offer climbers more exposure and variety as they learn how to deal with different climbs and rock types.

Pioneering Saudi climber Faisal Al-Dosary said that hard granite rock gave Tanomah, a popular climbing destination in the Kingdom’s southwest, an advantage.

“Granite is stronger and more difficult to break,” he said.

“In NEOM, they are a bit closer to sandy rock, which makes them fragile. Fortunately, the routes are safe because they are bolted extremely deep. These kinds of differences will ensure that the climbers will be able to deal with any type of rock around the world.”

Abughazala agreed that the wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers to the Kingdom.

Al-Dosary, who was part of a team that worked together to open the first dedicated indoor climbing center in Saudi Arabia, said that it is encouraging to see so many younger climbers joining the sport.

“It is a skill that we need to develop at an early age, and it helps with flexibility and strength,” he said.

Follow this path, the climbing veteran said, “and we will have Olympic-level climbers.”

Abughazala said that he is excited about the future “because I know our potential, and I know that it is just a matter of time until our community thrives.”

Growth in the sport will also lead to greater environmental awareness and have “a big impact on the perception of nature,” he said.

“As climbers and nature lovers, leaving the place as it is, or in even better condition, is as important as the action of climbing. It is every single person’s job to care for it as much as the workers or the government body around the area.”

Climbers believe the NEOM routes are merely the start for Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom’s desert areas and mountains destined to attract climbers from around the world.


Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
  • Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world

MAKKAH: The Saudi Life Saving Federation has introduced two initiatives to help reduce drowning cases in the Kingdom.

The federation’s chief, Ahmed Al-Shammari, said that the programs will focus on training and qualification.

He said that the federation will introduce a six-day, 50-hour training program for men and women, after which trainees obtain an international rescuer certificate through which they can work in Saudi Arabia and in all member states of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).

He added that another program will allow Saudis who qualify in international courses to submit them through the federation’s “rescuer” platform. A theoretical and practical evaluation process is then carried out. Once cleared, rescuers will obtain official certificates.

Al-Shammari said that the Saudi Life Saving Federation has provided its services to over 500 beneficiaries and works to increase community awareness on water safety through social and traditional media.

Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world.

Al-Shammari told Arab News: “We regret the drowning cases occurring in several Saudi cities,” adding that avoiding these incidents is an integrated societal responsibility and everyone must join hands to prevent drowning cases.

He said that a society-wide response is what the federation works for through training, rehabilitation and a legislative calendar that benefits every rescuer, citizen, and resident, allowing them to obtain official certificates when they are available to train.

Al-Shammari said that the federation, established in 2019 by Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, was certified by the ILS in 2020.

“We need a wide media mobilization to raise awareness about the importance of rescue and water safety. We aim to train the largest number of qualified lifeguards,” he said, noting that the federation has recently been granted seven seats at the ILS in Belgium.

Al-Shammari noted: “We focus on providing theoretical and practical qualifications by offering a range of courses for beginners working in water bodies, swimming pools and beaches, and contributing to the development of technical standards and regulations with all relevant authorities. We are currently working with the relevant authorities on forming a national committee to set national policies to prevent drowning cases.”

He stressed that work is currently underway to develop rescue sports competitions in various regions to prepare for the Kingdom’s representation in upcoming international forums.