The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee holds 5th meeting

The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee holds 5th meeting
1 / 2
The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee holds 5th meeting
2 / 2
Short Url
Updated 26 May 2022

The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee holds 5th meeting

The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee holds 5th meeting
  • The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee is one of the permanent committees emanating from the periodic meeting of the heads of the Shoura, Representatives, National and Nation Councils in the GCC

RIYADH: The Shoura Council hosted today the fifth meeting of the Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee. The meeting was held virtually with the participation of several members of the Shoura, Representatives, National, and Nation Councils in the Gulf Cooperation Councils.

The meeting began with the committee offering its deepest condolences to the government and people of the UAE for the passing of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The committee also congratulated and sent its sincere blessings to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on his election as president of the UAE, wishing him and the country more success, progress and prosperity.

In his speech, Shoura Council member and Chairperson Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahas stressed the importance of coordinating Gulf stances to unify parliamentary diplomatic efforts towards all Gulf-European issues.

The committee agreed that the presiding state will work with the GCC General Secretariat to initiate a bilateral meeting with the European Parliament delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula.

The committee will also coordinate between the presiding state and the General Secretariat regarding communication with the European Parliament to determine the date of the mutual visits.

The Shoura Council delegation participating in the meeting included council member and chair of the meeting, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahas, the secretary-general of the Shoura Council, Mohammed Al-Mutairi, and council member Dr. Tariq Al-Shammari.

The Gulf-European Parliamentary Committee is one of the permanent committees emanating from the periodic meeting of the heads of the Shoura, Representatives, National and Nation Councils in the GCC.

The committee is concerned with studying issues related to parliamentary relations between the legislative councils in GCC countries and the European Parliament.


King Khalid International Airport launches advanced control center

King Khalid International Airport launches advanced control center
Updated 14 sec ago

King Khalid International Airport launches advanced control center

King Khalid International Airport launches advanced control center
  • The inauguration ceremony was attended by Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, president of the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation

RIYADH: Riyadh Airports Company inaugurated an advanced airport operations control center at King Khalid International Airport to boost efficiency and sustainability in operations, as well as improve passenger experience.

The control center is the main hub in an airport where internal and external partners work together to manage airport operations.

The center lets parties make decisions based on real-time information and establishes systems to enable a common focus by all airport stakeholders on punctuality, process quality and improvements.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, president of the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation; Ghazi bin Abdul Rahim Al-Rawi, chairman of the board of directors of Riyadh Airports; and Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Maghlouth, Riyadh Airports Company CEO.

Commenting on the launch of the center, Al-Maghlouth said: “We are pleased to inaugurate the Operations Control Center at KKIA, which will enable Riyadh Airports Company to fully control all its operations in its various facilities. It allows for data-driven proactive measures, which contribute to better planning processes.”

The control center will manage almost 700 daily flights including passenger and freight aircraft.

It aims to improve the level of services provided to more than 30 million passengers annually.

It will help in the immediate sharing of information and more effective decision-making to enhance the flow of operational movement.

The center includes more than 25 operational, security and service agencies and contains the latest operational systems related to the management of resources, operational monitoring, and performance indicators for airport management around the clock.

In April this year, Al-Duailej launched the advanced digital platform OFOQ as part of Riyadh Airports Company’s digital transformation efforts.

It came as part of the broader objectives of the Kingdom to become a global leader in the digital economy.

OFOQ acts as a central database and management tool for all operational processes in KKIA. By providing insights into operational procedures from a single platform, OFOQ enables proactive and data-driven decision-making measures, helping to improve planning processes, minimize disruptions and improve the passenger experience.

The resource management system feature enables teams to automatically control and schedule airport procedures, such as aircraft parking, opening and closing check-in counters as well as passenger boarding gates, and managing baggage conveyors.

The OFOQ platform also features a Flight Information Display System that provides accurate and efficient flight-related data in a real-time environment.


The Saudi Cancer Society launches Hayat initiative

The Saudi Cancer Society launches Hayat initiative
Updated 04 July 2022

The Saudi Cancer Society launches Hayat initiative

The Saudi Cancer Society launches Hayat initiative
  • The initiative provides psychological support and recreational programs to cancer patients struggling with mental health

 

RIYADH: The Saudi Cancer Society has launched its Hayat initiative, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Hayat provides psychological support sessions and recreational programs to cancer patients who are struggling with their mental health.

According to the association, the Hayat initiative is based on the values upon which it was founded, which includes reducing the effects of cancer on patients, their families, and society by providing services that allow patients to complete their treatment journey.

Other social services provided by the association include transportation, housing, financial assistance, and psychological support.

Community members can also support cancer patients by donating to one of the initiatives in the association’s online store.


Over 2,000 Pakistani volunteers assist Hajj pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia

Over 2,000 Pakistani volunteers assist Hajj pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia
Updated 04 July 2022

Over 2,000 Pakistani volunteers assist Hajj pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia

Over 2,000 Pakistani volunteers assist Hajj pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia
  • This year, 81,132 Hajj pilgrims will come from Pakistan
  • Volunteers offer assistance and advice to worshippers during their pilgrimage

ISLAMABAD: More than 2,000 Pakistani volunteers have been assisting pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj, senior officials told Arab News, ahead of the annual pilgrimage set to commence this week.

One of Islam’s five main pillars of faith, the Hajj was restricted over pandemic fears to just 1,000 people living in the Kingdom in 2020 and 60,000 domestic participants last year, compared with the pre-pandemic levels when up to 2.5 million pilgrims could attend.

This year, with the Hajj pilgrimage set to begin on July 6 and Saudi Arabia having lifted its COVID-19 curbs, the Kingdom will welcome 1 million domestic and foreign pilgrims — and 81,132 of them will come from Pakistan.

Over 2,000 Pakistani volunteers have been assisting Hajj pilgrims from the South Asian country, more than half of whom are Pakistani expats living in Saudi Arabia.

Abrar Ahmed Mirza, Pakistan’s director general of Hajj in Jeddah, told Arab News that “410 Pakistanis who are working in the Kingdom have joined our Hajj mission as local volunteers, while 810 have come from Pakistan.”

The other volunteers had signed up through the Saudi-based Pakistani Hajj Volunteers Group (PHVG), and had received training before they began offering help and advice to the worshippers.

“This year around 750 volunteers will work,” Muhammad Ismail, a central coordinator with the PHVG, told Arab News.

“As per our policy, all volunteers have gone through two mandatory training sessions and are subsequently required to pass an online exam.”

The volunteers are tasked with helping pilgrims get food, access transport, and provide emergency medical aid when required.

Hidayat Ullah, a Pakistani expatriate living in Madinah, said he took leave from his office to join the volunteer mission.

“This is the fourth time I am serving as a volunteer. I am doing this just to serve our country’s pilgrims,” he told Arab News.

Jawad Shafique, another Pakistani volunteer based in Makkah, told Arab News that he wants to help ensure that pilgrims have a smooth stay in Saudi Arabia during their trip.

“We ensure the provision of all basic facilities to pilgrims,” Shafique said.


Kaaba Kiswa to be handed over to senior keeper on Eid Al-Adha

Kaaba Kiswa to be handed over to senior keeper on Eid Al-Adha
Updated 52 min 28 sec ago

Kaaba Kiswa to be handed over to senior keeper on Eid Al-Adha

Kaaba Kiswa to be handed over to senior keeper on Eid Al-Adha
  • The Kaaba is draped in a new Kiswa every year due to the sanctity of the building
  • It is made from raw silk dyed black and is decorated with Quranic verses that are embroidered onto the cloth

RIYADH: The Kiswa of the Kaaba will be handed over to the senior keeper of the sacred building on Dhu Al-Hijjah 10, the president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques announced on Monday.

The Kiswa will be handed over on the first day of Eid Al-Adha and a new covering will replace it on the first of Muharram, the beginning of the new Islamic year.

Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais said the Kingdom’s leadership is proactive in everything that raises the level of services provided at the two holy mosques, and that the utmost attention is paid to the Kaaba and its Kiswa.

He added that the Kaaba is draped in a new Kiswa every year due to the sanctity of the building.

On Sunday, the president announced that all preparations have been finalized to cover the Kaaba with the Kiswa this year.

The Kiswa is made from raw silk dyed black and is decorated with Quranic verses that are embroidered onto the cloth with gold-plated thread.

The cover was sewn at the King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa, in accordance with the highest standards, Al-Sudais said.

Al-Sudais also inaugurated a campaign to facilitate pilgrims’ access to Zamzam water during their Hajj rituals in Arafat.


Saudi women participating in Makkah’s General Cars Syndicate for the first time

Women are now part of the General Syndicate of Cars for the first time, and the are proud and honored to work during Hajj.
Women are now part of the General Syndicate of Cars for the first time, and the are proud and honored to work during Hajj.
Updated 04 July 2022

Saudi women participating in Makkah’s General Cars Syndicate for the first time

Women are now part of the General Syndicate of Cars for the first time, and the are proud and honored to work during Hajj.
  • ‘Our leadership has made it possible for women to work, especially in all government sectors’

MAKKAH: Women will be part of the General Cars Syndicate in Makkah for the first time since it was set up nine decades ago.

The syndicate is an executive body that arranges and organizes pilgrim transportation through affiliated companies.

I am grateful that women now have more professional opportunities to participate and serve during Hajj.

Binan Basnan, Customer service specialist - General Syndicate of Cars

Khadijah Fida, a journalist and content creator at the syndicate, said: “A lot of women have been assisting with work for Hajj in the Kingdom for decades. I saw my father’s work in this sector, along with my brother and husband, and today I have also participated in it. Our leadership has made it possible for women to work, especially in all government sectors, and play an active role in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

(From L to R) Binan Basnan, Mervat Habhab & Khadijah Fida. (Supplied)

“Today, I represent the General Cars Syndicate in the media, public relations, creating quality material, and monitoring the successes of the transport information center during Hajj. I am proud and honored to be a woman from Makkah who works in the syndicate that greatly and actively contributes to the success of Hajj and the safe transport of pilgrims.

The syndicate is always working on creating and establishing an institutional framework for this association that has made a dramatic difference in transport in Makkah.

Khadija Fida, Journalist and content creator - General Syndicate of Cars

“We experience Makkah’s Hajj and Umrah seasons, and the syndicate is always working on creating and establishing an institutional framework for this association that has made a dramatic difference in transport in Makkah to bring comfort to pilgrims who (earlier) struggled on dirt roads to reach Makkah.”

Mervat Habhab, a customer service specialist at the syndicate’s information center, said that women’s roles had become more noticeable and significant.

“It is my mission to interact and address the situation of every beneficiary, based on their needs, and transport them to the relevant departments for a quick response and intervention. It is an honorable and wonderful mission to contribute to the service of pilgrims when those services were limited to men. In this prosperous era and these blessed days, I have the opportunity to play an important and active part as a woman from Makkah who loves God and her homeland.”

Habhab added that government support motivated them to improve their work performance every year.

Binan Basnan, another customer service specialist at the syndicate, said: “I am proud and honored to work in a great institution such as the General Cars Syndicate that serves pilgrims on their Hajj journey through receiving their inquiries and complaints. I am grateful that women now have more professional opportunities to participate and serve during Hajj. I hope to be rewarded (by God) and thank our government, which gave us these great opportunities.”