Mawhiba, ALECSO launch second edition of Gifted Arabs initiative

Mawhiba, ALECSO launch second edition of Gifted Arabs initiative
The event was held in Riyadh under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture and chairman of the National Committee for Education, Culture and Science. (Supplied)
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Updated 31 March 2022

Mawhiba, ALECSO launch second edition of Gifted Arabs initiative

Mawhiba, ALECSO launch second edition of Gifted Arabs initiative
  • Mawhiba is a leading international institution in discovering, nurturing, and empowering talented students
  • The era of teacher-centered classrooms has ended, and the task has moved from teachers and schools to the learners themselves

JEDDAH: After the resounding success in the first edition of the Gifted Arabs initiative, the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization on Wednesday launched its second edition.
The announcement was made during a ceremony, held in honor of the winners of the first version of the initiative, which was launched last April.
The event was held in Riyadh under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture and chairman of the National Committee for Education, Culture and Science.
Speaking to Arab News, Mawhiba Secretary-General Dr. Saud bin Saeed Al-Mathami said that Mawhiba is a leading international institution in discovering, nurturing, and empowering talented students.
“Mawhiba has the most comprehensive talent-nurturing program in the world. In cooperation with the Education and Training Evaluation Commission, Mawhiba has developed a scientific scale for discovering Arab talents, taking into account the various cultural differences,” he said.
In his speech at the launch, Al-Mathami said that there should be an Arabic program to take advantage of artificial intelligence, technology, and the Internet, pointing out that such a project requires cooperation between students, families, schools, and governments.
Al-Mathami stressed that Mawhiba is a Saudi success story, and that Saudi Arabia has shared its experience in discovering, nurturing, and investing in talented young people to pursue a prosperous Arab world.
Addressing students all over the region, Al-Mathami said: “The era of teacher-centered classrooms has ended, and the task has moved from teachers and schools to the learners themselves. With their talent, these students will transfer societies to the horizons of progress and advancement.”
Addressing teachers and school officials in the Arab world, the secretary-general urged them to pay attention to “students who show boredom” in class, and to “provide additional enrichment programs, give them more time to develop their abilities and skills, and direct their talent to the academic fields that suit their talent.
“When a student is classified as ‘talented’ in a certain field, their personality will drastically change once they know about their talents. Their determination and thinking will also rise to higher levels.”
In his speech, Al-Mathami added that talented students normally need qualitative programs that take them to wider horizons, and develop their passion.
“With such programs, not only the talented people or their countries would benefit from their creativity, but also humanity and the whole world will reap the fruits of these gifted people’s minds.”
Al-Mathami then, along with Hani Al-Moqbel, the executive director at ALECSO, honored talented students and representatives of the ministries of education participating in the initiative from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Palestine, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania, Bahrain, and Oman.
In the 2021 edition of the initiative, some 230 Arab students scored the highest marks, representing 12 countries, with 57 students from Saudi Arabia, two from the UAE, 34 from Bahrain, eight from Qatar, 30 from Oman, 12 from Palestine, 20 from Jordan, 15 from Iraq, two from Yemen, 15 from Tunisia, nine from Mauritania and 26 from Libya.
These gifted students were divided into three categories: Exceptional talents, talented students, and promising ones. Mawhiba last year said it would provide a package of programs to develop the capabilities of the qualified Arab talents.
The foundation added that it would also provide the “exceptional talents” with several in-person and remote care programs, including an excellence program for enrollment in prestigious universities.
According to Al-Mathami, the support would also include offering counseling, guidance, leadership programs, and the Mawhiba Universal Enrichment Program and Mawhiba Academic Enrichment Program, which cover scientific studies and skills of the 21st century.
The secretary-general added that the students in the “promising talent” category would be enrolled in the Mawhiba Academic Enrichment Program remotely. He told Arab News that Mawhiba “strongly believes in the role that school teachers can play in developing talented students.”
He added: “School teachers are our main partners. Mawhiba has so far trained more than 200,000 teachers systemically. These teachers have helped in training their colleague teachers in their schools.”
Al-Mathami said that most of the talented students Mawhiba has discovered were a result of this “fruitful” partnership.
“All our teachers should further learn how to discover talented students in classrooms so that we don’t lose a talent that should have been spotted and nurtured,” he said.
Meanwhile, Al-Mathami revealed that Mawhiba is collaborating with the Saudi Ministry of Culture to launch a national project that focuses on discovering creative people in the Kingdom.
Mawhiba provides enrichment programs in more than 20 scientific tracks, including mechanical engineering, aviation, robotics, electrical engineering, space and more. Its students have won 456 international awards and 83 awards at the International Science and Engineering Fair, of which 53 were medals and certificates of appreciation awarded in 2021.


KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 

KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 
Updated 59 min 42 sec ago

KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 

KSrelief begins food, aid distribution in Yemen’s flood-hit Al-Mahra province 
  • Al-Mahra, among other southern and eastern governorates, witnessed heavy rains in the past few days

Dubai: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) began its aid efforts in Yemen’s Al-Mahra governorate on Saturday by distributing emergency food aid to people affected by the torrential rains and floods. 
The center distributed 100 food baskets containing basic materials, benefiting 1,092 people.
Al-Mahra, among other southern and eastern governorates, witnessed heavy rains in the past few days. 
KSrelief’s immediate intervention comes as part of its continuous efforts to aid and support Yemeni people in different crises.


Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
  • Lama Al-Ahdal scooped medals in Physics Olympiads and made her country proud

JEDDAH: Prizewinning Saudi student Lama Al-Ahdal, who has been scooping medals at Physics Olympiads, says her competition success motivates her to continue with her passion and achieve great things for the Kingdom.

She won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad, a bronze at the International Physics Olympiad, and a bronze at the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad.

Al-Ahdal spoke to the Saudi Press Agency about the beginning of her journey in the Physics Olympiad through the Mawhoob Competition, which she took part in several times.

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“I started attending basic courses in Jeddah, through which I qualified and passed the required tests. I was nominated for the Winter Forum at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, then trained with the physics team, from which a number of students in the Kingdom would qualify to form the Saudi team for the Physics Olympiad.

HIGHLIGHT

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“At the beginning of 2019, we underwent intense eight-hour training, both remotely and at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, to prepare for international competitions. I learned how to calculate the strength of the Earth's magnetic field using a string and two pieces of magnets, how electricity can be generated by heating two pieces of metal, how to measure the thickness of a candy wrapper using a laser, and other scientific experiments.

“The top five students were then nominated to represent the Kingdom, and thankfully I made it and snatched the gold medal in the Gulf Physics Olympiad, the bronze medal in the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad, and the bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad.”

Joining the Saudi physics team and undergoing training helped her to discover that physics was a beautiful subject. “I learned a lot from it and the Olympiad experience.”

Her participation increased her skills and developed her thinking by getting to know competitors from different countries.

“I also developed my time management skills since the training continued even during school days. My father and mother had a major role in helping me achieve my goals and encouraging me to try new things to gain more skills and learn more,” she said.

Setting a specific goal and working to achieve it was the most important thing that motivated her to take up the challenge and try new things.

Her father, Abdul Rahman Al-Ahdal, said his daughter’s journey was full of scientific challenges.

“She has always been a talented child and a bright student, with a  promising future ahead of her. God blessed her with a group of highly experienced trainers and supervisors. It is important to focus and draw a plan and work to achieve it.

“I thank King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, and everyone responsible for helping the sons and daughters of the Kingdom partake in forums of creativity, innovation and scientific Olympiad, and other scientific activities.”


Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
  • The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season

TAIF: Visitors from all over the Kingdom and the Gulf are flocking to Taif this summer to get respite from the heat and rejuvenate in the region’s mountains.

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape, several of which are also working farms or have beautiful gardens planted with the famous Taif roses and wild plants including basil, al-baitran, and marjoram.

Tourists and visitors can also stay in cozy, rural hostels made of old stone ornamented with carvings and sculptures of animals, where they can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys of Taif, which are home to a variety of rare birds.

The city and other nearby areas such as Al-Hada and Al-Shifa are also famous for their fruits.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season. Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

Besides basking in nature, visitors to Taif can also visit museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, a strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles.

 


 


Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
  • The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Armed Forces and US Marine Corps on Saturday launched a joint training exercise along the Red Sea coast in the western city of Yanbu, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said.

The “Outrageous Anger 22” exercise was inaugurated in the presence of Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Dibais, commander of the western sector, and Maj. Gen. Paul Rock, commander of the Marine Corps at the US Central Command, as well as senior officers from the Saudi armed forces and US Army.

An inspection tour included sites where the two forces will conduct the joint operations.

Col. Saud Al-Aqili, commander of the exercise, said that it aims to rehearse implementation of bilateral operational and logistical plans, exchange expertise between the two sides, and develop complementary work with civil authorities.

Col. Matthew Hakula, commander of the US forces, said that the joint maneuvers will raise combat readiness, as well as strengthen compatibility between Saudi and US troops.

The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition.


Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Alotaibi, director of SMEs Training for Capacity Building at Monsha’at

Abdulrahman Alotaibi
Abdulrahman Alotaibi
Updated 13 August 2022

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Alotaibi, director of SMEs Training for Capacity Building at Monsha’at

Abdulrahman Alotaibi

Abdulrahman Alotaibi has been the director of SMEs Training for Capacity Building at the General Authority for Small and Medium Size Enterprises, also known as, Monsha’at, since 2020.

Alotaibi’s current role includes overseeing the development of capacity-building solutions for SMEs and entrepreneurs through Monsha’at Academy’s online, local and international programs.

These programs support the Saudi business community by offering specialized skills in entrepreneurship, business planning, financial management and marketing.

Alotaibi started his career in Saudi Aramco in 2006 and held various roles in operations, accounting and planning.

He later joined the Saudi Export Development Authority in 2017 as an exporters training manager. He led numerous projects and programs to help Saudi companies to access and develop international markets.

Alotaibi holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from King Abdulaziz University and a master’s in business administration from Al-Yamamah University.

He is a certified global business professional from NASBITE International and also certified in market analysis tools by the UN’s International Trade Center, ITC.  

In 2021, he published a book titled “Export Business Development —  A Guide to International Markets.” The work provides the necessary knowledge and best practices to help business people to develop and execute global business plans, evaluate opportunities, manage market challenges and grow international sales.

Working closely with various businesses and trade support organizations, Alotaibi has delivered workshops and advisory sessions in export and international trade. He also contributes to newspapers and other business media outlets.