Who’s Who: Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan, secretary-general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

Who’s Who: Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan, secretary-general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties
Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan
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Updated 31 March 2022

Who’s Who: Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan, secretary-general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

Who’s Who: Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan, secretary-general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

Dr. Aws Al-Shamsan is the newly appointed secretary-general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.

Before his appointment he was a professor of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at King Saud University College of Pharmacy, and had been dean of the college since 2017.

Previously Al-Shamsan worked as a consultant for biological products at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority for five years.

His extensive administrative and managerial experience includes directorship of the Research Center at the College of Pharmacy at KSU between 2012 and 2013. He was co-director of the Joint Center of Excellence in Nanomedicine at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology between 2013 and 2015, and director of King Abdullah Institute for Nanotechnology between 2014 and 2017.

Al-Shamsan gained his Ph.D. in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Alberta, Canada, in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from King Saud University in 2001. He is currently studying for a master’s in business administration from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in nanobiotechnology at the National Institute for Nanotechnology, Canada in 2010,  PMP from the Project Management Institute in 2019, and received a certificate in biotechnology project management from the University of California San Diego in 2020.

Al-Shamsan worked on the development of a nanobiotechnology cancer vaccine under the name Stimuvax.

He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Research Council of Canada Nanotechnology Research Centre before being given visiting professor status. 

He also chaired the Future of Health taskforce in the S20 engagement group and has been editor-in-chief of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal since 2020.


Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh
Updated 58 min 17 sec ago

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh
  • Al-Jaber emphasized the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts to extend the truce in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber met with the UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg in Riyadh on Monday.

During the meeting, Al-Jaber emphasized the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts to extend the truce in Yemen to reach a complete ceasefire and a comprehensive political solution in the war-torn country.

The truce was first implemented on April 2 and is due for renewal on Oct. 2.

Earlier this month, Grundberg met with the head of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi in Riyadh where they discussed ongoing efforts to implement the truce and the importance of negotiating its extension and expansion.


Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures

Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures
Updated 26 September 2022

Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures

Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures
  • Those wishing to perform Umrah will be able to use Nusuk to obtain the necessary visas and permits and book packages and programs electronically

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched a new unified government platform on Monday through which pilgrims can plan and book their visits to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

With Nusuk, travelers from all over the world can easily organize their entire visit to the Kingdom, from applying for an eVisa to booking hotels and flights.

The platform provides a wide range of services and information for pilgrims and visitors that enable them to perform their Umrah rituals easily. It is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives to better the quality of services provided and enrich the religious and cultural experience of pilgrims.

Nusuk is being launched in cooperation with the Saudi Tourism Authority, and is linked to the services provided by the Kingdom’s official tourism website “Visit Saudi Arabia” with the aim of enriching pilgrim experiences and facilitating reservation and communication procedures to provide them with various packages and programs.

Those wishing to perform Umrah will be able to use Nusuk to obtain the necessary visas and permits and book packages and programs electronically.

A range of other services will be added to the platform at a later stage and these will include interactive maps, a calendar for offers and activities, a digital instruction guide in several languages, and health information and services.

The Maqam platform will continue to operate until all services are transferred to Nusuk at a later stage.

The Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah explained that the Nusuk platform is an extension of continuous efforts to improve the quality of services provided to pilgrims using the latest technology.

He added that the platform is a result of several government agencies coming together to facilitate pilgrim procedures with the aim of enriching their spiritual journey.


German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia

German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 September 2022

German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia

German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed strengthening ties, potential partnerships

RIYADH: German Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dieter Lamle highlighted discussions that took place between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday.

“The Kingdom has an active and very important role in this region, just as Germany has an active and important role in Europe, and it is apparent that these two very important countries meet in their region to talk about issues and ways to solve them,” Lamle said.

“The goal is to strengthen and deepen the economic relations between the two countries, as well as in the field of education. What we want is to start a new page in the relations between Germany and the Kingdom, and what we did yesterday is the first step for this new stage,” he added.

Scholz met with the crown prince on Saturday in Jeddah during a two-day tour of the Gulf region.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed potential sectors for partnerships, regional and international political issues, energy partnerships, and ways of contributing to the development of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“The purpose is to deepen the relationship in the field of economy and trade, and not only in concluding deals. We seek a real partnership by exchanging knowledge and experiences. The two sides benefit from each other in the exchange of knowledge, technology, and vocational education,” Lamle said.

“Starting with the bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany, there are some people who believe that the German side came to the Kingdom because we have a problem because of Russian supplies, and this possibility is incorrect, because we buy Saudi oil from the international natural resource markets. We can take advantage of this wealth,” he added.

Lamle explained that the chancellor’s intention was to strengthen partnerships in various fields, including energy.

“We did not come here for gas. The goal that was in the field of energy was to talk about green hydrogen and blue hydrogen and partnership between the two countries,” the ambassador said.

He underlined that Germany is pushing for an energy transformation, with 53 percent of the country’s power being sourced through renewable energy. Its mission is to expand energy resources through partnerships with the Kingdom.

“The idea is, of course, that it will be a benefit for the two sides to take advantage of German technology with the great potential in the Kingdom to produce green hydrogen because of the excellent climatic conditions for extracting solar energy to produce hydrogen,” Lamle said.

“The second point discussed during the meeting was in bilateral relations, and ways to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries,” he added.

During the press conference, the ambassador also highlighted the regional and international conflicts including the Ukrainian-Russian and Iranian conflicts. 

“They (the crown prince and chancellor) spoke about the Russian and Ukrainian wars that Europe is witnessing today. 

“The federal chancellor said very clearly that it is important for Germany to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and we will continue to support this country … the important thing is that this war does not lead to famine or problems in other parts of the world or raises energy prices to a level that some countries cannot pay these prices.

“They agreed frankly that it is the most important thing for this war to end as soon as possible to end the catastrophic repercussions all over the world that result from this war,” he added.

In addition to the war in Ukraine, the two leaders also discussed Iran. 

“Iran poses a threat in the region, similar to the Russian-Ukraine war in Europe. Two sides are of course aware of Iran’s regional hegemony policy, and we have been working so far to re-conclude the nuclear agreement with Iran,” the ambassador said, adding: “Here, as two countries, we seek the stability of the region.”

He continued: “We know, of course, that the Kingdom is a leading country in the Arab world, and the Kingdom is a member of the G20, and in this way, it has great weight in the region, and without the active supervision of the Kingdom in all issues, it cannot be resolved.”


Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan
Updated 26 September 2022

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan
  • The aid will be delivered to 8,424 beneficiaries across Pakistan

RIYADH: Two additional planes carrying 60 tons of humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Karachi to help those affected by Pakistan’s worst floods in decades.

The 6th and 7th flights to be dispatched by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) delivered tents, blankets, shelters, and food baskets for 8,424 beneficiaries, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The batches of aid were received by the National Disaster Management Authority to be distributed in several regions across Pakistan based on the need.

KSRelief earlier established a Saudi air bridge to deliver urgent aid to Pakistan amid the floods, which drowned third of the country, killing over 1,300 people and displacing millions more. The first two batches of Saudi aid arrived earlier this month.

“The aid reflects the Kingdom’s mission to help people in need across the world in various crises,” read the SPA statement.


Health ministry transfers child to Saudi Arabia after heart attack in Kuwait 

Health ministry transfers child to Saudi Arabia after heart attack in Kuwait 
Updated 26 September 2022

Health ministry transfers child to Saudi Arabia after heart attack in Kuwait 

Health ministry transfers child to Saudi Arabia after heart attack in Kuwait 

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health transferred a Saudi child to the Kingdom after he suffered from a heart attack in Kuwait, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday. 

In cooperation with the Saudi Embassy in Kuwait and other stakeholders, the child – who was on life support – was transferred on board a medical evacuation plane that belongs to the defense ministry, according to SPA. 

He is currently being treated at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh.