Saudi, Algerian foreign ministers chair political consultation committee session

Saudi, Algerian foreign ministers chair political consultation committee session
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra meet in Algiers on Thursday. (SPA)
Saudi, Algerian foreign ministers chair political consultation committee session
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra meet in Algiers on Thursday. (SPA)
Saudi, Algerian foreign ministers chair political consultation committee session
3 / 3
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra meet in Algiers on Thursday. (SPA)
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Updated 19 May 2022

Saudi, Algerian foreign ministers chair political consultation committee session

Saudi, Algerian foreign ministers chair political consultation committee session
  • Prince Faisal was hosted by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune at the El Mouradia Palace
  • Algerian FM hosted a dinner in honor of the Kingdom’s FM and his accompanying delegation on Wednesday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Algerian counterpart chaired the third session of the Saudi-Algerian Political Consultation Committee in Algiers on Thursday.

Prince Faisal and Ramtane Lamamra also noted the consensus of their views on regional and international issues of common concern, and reviewed bilateral relations, Arab, regional and international issues, and ways to support security, stability and prosperity.

They also discussed ways to confront challenges in order to achieve progress in their countries and support international peace and security.




President Abdelmadjid Tebboune hosts Prince Faisal bin Farhan at the El-Mouradia Palace in Algiers on Thursday. (SPA)

Later, Prince Faisal was hosted by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune at the El-Mouradia Palace and the two officials reviewed the close relations between the Kingdom and Algeria and ways to strengthen them in all fields.

They also discussed current Arab and regional issues.

Prince Faisal conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Tebboune, and the Algerian president in turn sent his greetings to the Saudi leadership.

Lamamra hosted a dinner in honor of the Kingdom’s foreign minister and his accompanying delegation on Wednesday.


Saudi Arabia forges ahead with health service digital transformation on back of COVID-19 pandemic

Saudi Arabia forges ahead with health service digital transformation on back of COVID-19 pandemic
Updated 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia forges ahead with health service digital transformation on back of COVID-19 pandemic

Saudi Arabia forges ahead with health service digital transformation on back of COVID-19 pandemic
  • The strain placed on the Kingdom’s health services by the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the need for more robust apps

RIYADH: The coronavirus pandemic has inadvertently provided the springboard to spur on the digital transformation of Saudi Arabia’s public healthcare sector.

The strain placed on the Kingdom’s health services by the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the need for more robust apps, such as booking platforms for vaccinations and remote access to patient records.

As a result, the Saudi Ministry of Health has been forging ahead with the introduction of multi-cloud solutions, built on VMware Cloud Foundation, to boost provision to the country’s growing population of more than 35 million people.

The ministry can now offer secure, cloud-based services to a range of public healthcare providers including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, significantly boosting their efficiency, and enabling them to grow and innovate.

Health officials have simplified the ministry’s information technology infrastructure by deploying VMware Cloud Foundation as the unifying platform for its cloud environment, spreading workloads across the clouds of service providers including STC and Mobily.

Ministry information security general director, Khalid Al-Medbel, said: “The Ministry of Health seeks to achieve the highest levels of excellence in healthcare in line with the aims of Saudi Vision 2030. This means having the best multi-cloud foundation to optimize operations, raise efficiency, and drive innovation across the country’s healthcare providers.

“Thanks to our digital transformation with VMware, all public healthcare providers will have access to best-in-class cloud services that will improve operations and boost healthcare provision for citizens and residents.”

By utilizing VMware, the ministry has gained access to a complete set of highly secure software-defined services for compute, storage, network, security, Kubernetes, and cloud management. Once fully deployed, Saudi Arabia’s public healthcare system will benefit from the resiliency, agility, and efficiency offered by the shared cloud platform.

Each healthcare facility will have access to virtual infrastructure and as-a-service apps and will also be able to design and deploy apps from the cloud, giving them the freedom to innovate and provide world-class services to patients.

Saif Mashat, Saudi Arabia country director for VMware, said: “The Ministry of Health’s transformation with VMware shows the power of multi-cloud to re-invent healthcare with the highly efficient use of resources, and unleash new levels of agility and innovation.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the ministry as it continues to move workloads to the new environment and offer more cloud-enabled services to healthcare providers across the country.”

Over the coming months, ministry officials plan to deploy more VMware solutions — including for additional cybersecurity and secure distributed working — to bring additional app development capabilities to the Kingdom’s public healthcare providers.


Pathways launched to develop, improve buildings for Education Ministry  

Pathways launched to develop, improve buildings for Education Ministry  
Updated 3 min 46 sec ago

Pathways launched to develop, improve buildings for Education Ministry  

Pathways launched to develop, improve buildings for Education Ministry  
  • TBC Building Development Company was set up in 2013

RIYADH: TBC Building Development Company, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund, has launched four pathways to develop and improve buildings for the Ministry of Education.

The first three are for building projects and maintaining, cleaning, restoring, and rehabilitating buildings. The fourth is for furnishing and advisory services. All of them are integrated and planned to cover the Kingdom’s regions.

The first focuses on developing school buildings, multi-use halls, guard housing, canteens, rooms, shaded yards, and other facilities. The project started in 2018, with more than 1,125 school buildings completed.

The second provides maintenance and cleaning services for schools and administrative facilities. The provision of services expanded in 2020, assisting 1.6 million students and 7,137 schools and administrative buildings. It focuses on improving the quality of buildings and adopting digital technologies to provide an efficient educational environment for students.

In the third, the company provides services for the restoration, rehabilitation, emergency maintenance, and enhancements of schools and administrative facilities. The company prepared virtual learning tools for 1,445 schools and 197,000 students during the pandemic.

The fourth features furnishing, maintenance, and advisory services. It aims to support projects and provide solutions for them. Schools and offices have been equipped with supplies for the past three years and services have reached more than 6,300 schools and administrative buildings, creating the proper educational environment for 1.8 million students.

The company launched in 2013 as a government firm owned by the PIF.

It specializes in project management, supervising educational building projects, and the administrative facilities of the Ministry of Education. The company inspects and completes different programs including 628 educational facilities and serves more than 289,000 students in Saudi Arabia.


Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table

Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table
Updated 26 min 10 sec ago

Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table

Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table

JEDDAH: Luna Reef Restaurants, located inside the Jeddah Yacht Club, has brought together five restaurants, each boasting authenticity and class and offering the best view of the sea in town: Italian restaurants Madeo and Le Vesuvio, French fine-dining restaurant Le Comptoir De Nicole, Sri Lankan eatery Hoppers, and pizza place Emmy Squared Pizza.

The chefs from each restaurant are working hard to move their locales to a more permanent spot so they can be a part of the already growing collection of superb restaurants in the Kingdom.

Daniel Lewis, the executive branch chef for Emmy Squared Pizza, said that they are always open to trying new things. The pizza parlor recently came up with the “Loaded Ronni” pizza, given the Saudi predilection for pepperoni pizza.

The pizzeria is a must-try for those who enjoy comfort food. The pizzas are baked in a square tin tray that is coated with brown butter. The spongy dough pairs sublimely with the mozzarella cheese, baked to golden perfection.

FASTFACT

French restaurant Le Comptoir De Nicole gets its name from old French; the word “comptoir” today is used to describe a casual, relaxed dining setting.

“In America, they call this kind of pizza a pie, and if you speak to an Italian chef, they are going to tell you it is not a pizza. However, the quality of the ingredients that we use is what matters the most. We get ourselves the best ingredients that we can globally, so that is what sets us apart from the run-of-the-mill pizza,” Lewis said.

Some of the ingredients used in the pizza are shipped here from Italy to ensure they are the best in the market. The chef said that they were still working to put a Saudi twist on things.

“I have some Middle Eastern experience, but this year I am going to dive much deeper into the culture and try to adapt some of our recipes and offerings to the people here. While doing that, we still want to maintain the award-winning standard that we have set.”

When asked about his favorite aspect of the restaurant, he said it is a perfect setting for groups: “It is all about sharing. It is very relaxed.”

Madeo, for its part, does not just represent Italian food but the legacy of an Italian family. It is owned and run by Alfio Vietina and his wife Elvira Buffoni. For over 35 years, they have been creating recipes and plan to hand them down to the coming generations.

For Madeo, the main idea is not to put a twist on Italian food but to remain consistent and deliver the same food in Jeddah as is served in their branch in Los Angeles.

FASTFACT

The square pizza trend caught on with mechanics in Detroit, as they would keep screws and other smaller components in similar tin boxes; later, they would take them home and bake pizzas in them.

“We must follow the recipe, and every day we try and make the best version of it. We are very excited to give our guests an Italian fine-dining experience,” said Davide Figliolini, executive chef of Madeo.

The restaurant has kept its food simple yet delicious, so it appeals to all palates.

Customers of French eatery Le Comptoir De Nicole, meanwhile, say it is the “perfect place to fall in love” with its beautiful view of the nightly fireworks. It presents the signature dishes of Nicole Rubi, who has managed to capture the spirit of Nice, located on the French Riviera, in her culinary creations. Their burrata fraiche and Wagyu beef tagliata are among the restaurant’s best sellers.

Head Chef Joginder Dham said: “The coast of Jeddah is the perfect setting for the bright and cheerful Comptoir de Nicole. I am happy to bring Mediterranean classics to the Red Sea.”


Saudi education commission signs up to Seoul Accord

The headquarters of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC). (Supplied)
The headquarters of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC). (Supplied)
Updated 31 min 38 sec ago

Saudi education commission signs up to Seoul Accord

The headquarters of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC). (Supplied)
  • The commission has been awarded full recognition status by the World Federation for Medical Education until 2032

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Education and Training Evaluation Commission, represented by the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation, is the first in the Middle East to become a provisional signatory to the Seoul Accord for computing programs and information technology.

The Seoul Accord is an international accreditation agreement for professional computing and information technology academic degrees between the bodies responsible for accreditation in its signatory countries.

Membership aims to enhance learning capabilities and graduate mobility between member states, as well as provide job opportunities for graduates of national academic institutions accredited by national centers in computer and information technology across the world.

Dr. Mohammed Bashammakh, executive director of the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation (NCAAA). (Supplied)

It will also improve and develop relations with quality assurance agencies and networks globally, as well as localize international best practices in accreditation. This will enhance the commission’s position as a reference in accrediting computer and information technology programs in higher education locally and globally.

Mohammed Bashammakh, executive director of the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation, said that membership will aid the authority in a number of ways, including the mutual recognition of computer and information technology certificates in recognized programs through quality assurance networks.

He added that this will also help the commission exchange knowledge at international forums on the best practices in computer and information technology specialties.

The commission has also been awarded full recognition status by the World Federation for Medical Education until 2032.


Supreme Court calls on all Muslims in Saudi Arabia to sight the Dhu Al-Hijjah crescent moon

Supreme Court calls on all Muslims in Saudi Arabia to sight the Dhu Al-Hijjah crescent moon
Updated 51 min 19 sec ago

Supreme Court calls on all Muslims in Saudi Arabia to sight the Dhu Al-Hijjah crescent moon

Supreme Court calls on all Muslims in Saudi Arabia to sight the Dhu Al-Hijjah crescent moon
  • Supreme Court has requested that anyone who sights the moon register their testimony to the nearest court

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to sight the Dhu Al-Hijjah crescent moon on Wednesday evening, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The sighting of the moon marks the beginning of the Islamic month of Dhu Al-Hijjah, during which the Hajj pilgrimage is performed, and is followed by Eid Al-Adha.

The Supreme Court asked that anyone who sights the moon, whether with their own eyes or through a telescope, report to the nearest court and register their testimony.

Moreover, whoever does sight the moon will join a moon sighting committee in Saudi Arabia, according to SPA.

Hajj, one of Islam's five pillars, is the pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia that every Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime if they are able.