Saudi talent foundation Mawhiba maths competition ends first phase ahead of finale

About 31,000 students have taken part in the first phase of the Mawhiba Kangaroo Math Competition 2022 in Saudi Arabia, which concludes next week on March 21. (Screenshot)
About 31,000 students have taken part in the first phase of the Mawhiba Kangaroo Math Competition 2022 in Saudi Arabia, which concludes next week on March 21. (Screenshot)
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Updated 18 March 2022

Saudi talent foundation Mawhiba maths competition ends first phase ahead of finale

About 31,000 students have taken part in the first phase of the Mawhiba Kangaroo Math Competition 2022 in Saudi Arabia, which concludes next week on March 21. (Screenshot)
  • Since its inception in the Kingdom in 2016, the competition has attracted about 190,000 students

RIYADH: About 31,000 students have taken part in the first phase of the Mawhiba Kangaroo Maths Competition 2022 in Saudi Arabia, which concludes next week on March 21.

The final round of the competition, organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, will take place virtually on March 25 and 26.

Badr Al-Majrathi, manager of the competitions department at Mawhiba, said: “With its global momentum, Mawhiba opens the door to participation for all students in the Kingdom, and aims to encourage students to deepen and master their knowledge of mathematics, thus developing their mathematics skills and ability to solve mathematical problems.”

He told Arab News that the competition helps to promote passion for mathematics among students, assist them in applying mathematics to life activities, and reinforce the importance of a mathematical education.

Al-Majrathi said that Kangaroo competition is part of Mawhiba’s event program to discover and develop the performance of talented people. “The quality of the questions included in the competition are of a special nature in terms of linking mathematics to various life activities,” he added.

Since its inception in the Kingdom in 2016, the competition has attracted about 190,000 students. This year, the competition saw 5,638 students hailing from the Eastern Province, which provided the most participants out of any of the Kingdom’s regions.

Hashem Al-Shaikhy, a professor of mathematics at King Faisal University, said that the Kangaroo competition “is of real importance, as it is a wonderful and distinguished competition in mathematics.

“The questions of the competition require mathematical knowledge, of course, but it requires more high mathematical thinking skills, as its questions are characterized by difficulty, particularly those with higher grades.”

He added: “Given the high level of questions on the one hand, and their importance and role in developing students’ mathematical thinking and thinking skills in general on the other hand, we support students participating in this competition, particularly those who show signs of excellence in mathematics.

Al-Shaikhy, who is also an expert in mathematics competitions in the Middle East, added: “Given the low average score in the international Kangaroo tests, which is due to the level of its difficult questions, and in order not to frustrate students when they get low scores in them, it is very important for students to understand that they will get many benefits from taking exams at such a high level and that any score they get indicates a great distinction, which should be rewarded.”

Saleh Al-Mofadhali, a mathematics teacher, urged schools and mathematics teachers in particular to organize training courses for students before letting them take part in maths competitions. Courses should help students solve exercises, develop arithmetic skills and reach solutions to mathematical problems through critical thinking, he added.

Al-Mofadhali, who has spent about 20 years teaching mathematics to students of various ages, stressed the importance of the mathematics competition in developing students’ thinking skills, discovering talented people, working to develop talents and directing them towards specializations that fit their skills.

He said that the role of the school and the math teacher is centered on “working together to overcome the difficulties and fear of mathematics among students,” so as to make mathematics popular with students through competitions and linking mathematics lessons with sports and other games.

He warned that schools should avoid “making students rigid,” adding: “Learning math should not be restricted to homework and doing explanations on the blackboard.”

Al-Mofadhali said that organizing competitions motivates students to raise their skills and pay attention to mathematics, because of its importance in the development of sciences and other knowledge.

“It is critical to thoroughly train the student in order to memorize the multiplication table, in addition to training the student to solve problems that focus on higher-order thinking skills and enhancing the student’s self-confidence,” he added.

Bandar Mamdouh, a member of the Student Association for Mathematical Sciences, also stressed the importance of boosting students’ self-esteem, and how mathematics competition and other educational competitions help toward that goal by “increasing the student’s level of knowledge through training and practice.”

He said scientific competitions create a sense of competition among school communities, and that “school administrations, teachers and parents work together to motivate students, and provide them with assistance to enter the competition and do their best to excel.”

Mamdouh added that scientific competitions have a positive impact on the educational system because they inspire students to learn, create and innovate.


UNWTO passes Saudi resolution to transform global tourism

UNWTO passes Saudi resolution to transform global tourism
Updated 26 November 2022

UNWTO passes Saudi resolution to transform global tourism

UNWTO passes Saudi resolution to transform global tourism
  • Passing of resolution is first major step by Kingdom in its new position as Executive Council chair
  • Saudi-Spain-UNWTO working group to oversee significant changes to tourism industry in wake of pandemic

MARRAKECH: The 177th Executive Council of the UN World Trade Organization has passed a Saudi resolution to “redesign tourism” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As newly elected chair of the council, the Kingdom successfully lobbied for the creation of a Saudi-Spain-UNWTO working group to oversee and direct significant changes to the global tourism industry.  

The proposal had been promoted by the Kingdom since December 2021, with a Saudi host delegation reiterating its support for the creation of the working group during the Kingdom’s hosting of the 116th Executive Council in Jeddah earlier this year.

This week’s three-day event in Marrakech, attended by Arab News, saw the passing of a resolution to push forward with the creation of the working group, which has been supported from the outset by Spain.

The working group, which will comprise eight members of the organization according to the resolution, is slated to launch in spring next year, but will still require the formal endorsement of the UNWTO chief.

The eight members will work alongside the three working group co-chairs — Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the UNWTO — to move forward with the vision to transform global tourism.

Of the council’s 36 member countries present at the event, 31 approved the resolution. The working group aims to represent every region of the world, and will include two member states for Africa and America, as well as single states to promote the tourism aspirations of Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Pacific, and South Asia.

Once established, the working group will meet at least biannually and will run on a budget allocated voluntarily by member states of the Executive Council.

The move is expected to lead to a significant shake-up within the world’s premier tourism body, with the Kingdom calling to “revitalize” the UNWTO and “improve its operating methods.”

It comes on the back of enhanced Saudi-Spanish ties in investment and tourism, and is the result of months of work by the two countries to gather support for the proposal among council members.

The working group aims to make the UNWTO “more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable than ever,” said Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb.

The passing of the resolution was the first major step by the Kingdom in its position as council chair.

Al-Khateeb oversaw the handover from previous chair Cote D’Ivoire in Marrakech on Friday.

Trade between Saudi Arabia and Spain totals $3.5 billion annually. The two countries have made significant steps toward boosting economic ties throughout the year, with the Saudi-Spanish Investment Forum in June ahead of the Jeddah UNWTO event leading to a number of high-profile agreements.

The meeting in Marrakech also saw the admittance of several Saudi and Spanish affiliate members, including the Jeddah Central Development Co. and Spain’s Innovaris SL and Eturia CLM.


Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic

Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic
Updated 26 November 2022

Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic

Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has delivered support to the Ministry of Public Health and National Solidarity in Chad to prevent and respond to the malaria epidemic, Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

The support was delivered in the presence of the Chadian Minister of Public Health and National Solidarity, Dr. Abdelmadjid Abderahim, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Chad, Amer bin Ali Al-Shehri, the KSrelief representative in the capital, N’Djamena, and a number of officials.

Abderahim expressed his thanks and gratitude for the support, which comes within the framework of the aid provided by the Kingdom through KSrelief for many relief projects, according to the humanitarian needs in all countries around the world and according to the highest standards.


Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic

 Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic
Updated 25 November 2022

Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic

 Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic
  • Al-Fahad told Arab News: 'I am a big supporter of the hip hop culture in Saudi Arabia'

RIYADH: Saudi music producer, rapper, and composer Bander Al-Fahad has started a podcast in Arabic to provide the latest updates on the Kingdom’s hip hop scene.

In his first podcast “Pure Hip Hop,” released on YouTube in August, other Saudi and Arab rappers shed light on the hip hop culture in the country, its relationship with Saudi society, and the history of the music genre.

Al-Fahad told Arab News: “I am a big supporter of the hip hop culture in the Kingdom. I wish to have a unique style. I am keen for hip hop to appear with Saudi rhythms that distinguish it as Saudi music.”

He first discovered his passion for music while pursuing an undergraduate degree in media communication and revealed that he would soon be dropping two more episodes.

SPEEDREAD

• Bander Al-Fahad first discovered his passion for music while pursuing an undergraduate degree in media communication and revealed that he would soon be dropping two more episodes.

• He collaborates with other Saudi YouTubers such as Ibrahim Basha, Dyler, Faisal Tiger, and Fahad Al- Dokhei to create music and jingles for local organizations. And he also aims to create a go-to platform for the genre.

“Podcasting is the way that I think is best to deliver my message. I had many questions about hip hop, and that’s when I decided to deliver information on it to a Saudi audience,” he said.

Al-Fahad collaborates with other Saudi YouTubers such as Ibrahim Basha, Dyler, Faisal Tiger, and Fahad Al-Dokhei to create music and jingles for local organizations. And he also aims to create a go-to platform for the genre.

“When I receive a campaign, I use their idea and begin creating the music and beats. If they don’t have a specific idea, we begin the creative process, and I initially draw the idea on a piano keyboard before transferring it to the studio, where we can use live instruments and musicians,” he added.

The musician said he was thankful that the Kingdom was placing increased focus on the music industry, especially via the recently established Music Commission.

“With the help of education services in the field of music, the young generation can now turn their passion for music into a career. Musicians can now learn, produce, and have people hear their voice,” he added.

Al-Fahad, who at first could only perform for friends and family, would like to have a lasting impact on the Kingdom’s music scene.

“My future projects include working on my company about content and music production. I’m also working on three singles and a mini album.”

He is also among the cast of “Rise of the Witches,” a Saudi fantasy series being filmed in AlUla.

 


Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh
Updated 26 November 2022

Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh
  • The two sides discussed matters of common interest in the field of energy and agreed to continue to carry out important projects in gas, petrochemicals, electricity and renewables

RIYADH: Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Minister of Oil Hayan Abdul Ghani Al-Swad visited the Kingdom after receiving an invitation from Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed matters of common interest in the field of energy and agreed to continue to carry out important projects in gas, petrochemicals, electricity and renewables. They also reviewed ways to enhance communication between Riyadh and Baghdad to further explore shared opportunities in these fields and transform them into tangible partnerships.

 

 


Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life

Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life
Updated 25 November 2022

Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life

Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life
  • Qariat Zaman, or “the old village”, launched on Nov. 24 as a living record of the country’s history for Riyadh Season 2022
  • The zone is a time machine that transports visitors back to the glory of the past

RIYADH: Old school books, telephones without touchscreens and classic cars are the kind of things that you will find at Riyadh’s tribute to how we once lived.
Qariat Zaman, or “the old village”, launched on Nov. 24 as a living record of the country’s history for Riyadh Season 2022. The zone is a time machine that transports visitors back to the glory of the past and the significant events through stalls, traditional markets, and demonstrations of the old lifestyles.
Visitors can explore Dakakin Al-Awwalin, Al-Meydan, Saudia Channel 1, Wadi Al-Masaqil, Al-Taybeen Theatre, Al-Hosh Playground, and Beit Muzna.
Qariat Zaman is an example of how the past is mixed with the present. It is a place where people can learn about old times while listening to traditional music and buying antiques.
Its activities bring together a wide range of talented people in the theater and arts. Visitors can learn old stories and tales related to Saudi traditions and heritage.
The zone recreates the life of the older generation, with workers dressed in traditional clothing and living in mudbrick houses. There are displays of traditional artworks, old crafts and dance shows.
During the previous seasons, the village garnered great admiration from visitors and received wide interest in its various recreational activities, which were enjoyed by the artistic, musical, and interactive atmosphere in an area that highlighted the Saudi heritage and its traditional elements and revived the past with excellence.