RIYADH: NEOM, the sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia, launched a re-greening initiative on Sunday to plant 100 million native trees, shrubs, and grasses by 2030.
As part of its program to rehabilitate at least 1.5 million hectares of land, NEOM’s initiative will see the return of 100 million native trees, shrubs and grasses by 2030 to aid the restoration of degraded land and repair of wildlife habitats.
The initiative was announced at the International Exhibition and Forum for Afforestation Technologies being held in Riyadh, and will be carried out in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification.
The CEO of NEOM, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, said: “Protecting the natural landscape and ensuring the coexistence of human and natural habitats is integral to NEOM’s vision.”
He continued: “By launching the NEOM Re-greening Initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, we are well underway to becoming a leading contributor to the conservation and preservation of one of the world's outstanding natural environments.”
The CEO of the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, Dr. Khaled Alabulqader, said the new initiative launched by NEOM “will have a great impact in supporting efforts aimed at protecting the environment, promoting nature, and ensuring its sustainability, and directly contributing to the objectives of the Saudi Green Initiative.”
NEOM is participating in the International Exhibition and Forum for Afforestation Technologies as the main sponsor, as part of its efforts to provide sustainable solutions to the most urgent global environmental challenges and aid the Kingdom in delivering its 10-billion-tree-planting initiative, Saudi Green Initiative.
KSRelief provides food baskets, educational courses in 5 different countries
More than 20,537 people benefited from the 2,939 food baskets and 216 tents distributed by KSRelief in Pakistan
Updated 05 October 2022
DUBAI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has continued its humanitarian efforts in Pakistan by providing aid to people affected by the recent floods that hit the country.
More than 20,537 people benefited from the 2,939 food baskets and 216 tents distributed by KSRelief in the country on Tuesday, reported Saudi Arabia’s state agency SPA.
Similarly, 3,000 food baskets were handed out to Rohingya refugees in Balukhali camp in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar, benefiting 15,000 people in total.
In Lebanon, KSRelief also distributed 500 food baskets which benefited 2,500 Syrian refugees.
The efforts came as the relief center also signed a joint agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) to meet the nutritional needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
By completing the second phase of the initiative, KSRelief’s program managed to benefit 53,110 refugees in Jordan at a cost of $6 million.
The agreement was co-signed by Ahmed bin Ali Al-Baiz, Assistant General Supervisor of the KSRelief for Operations and Programs, and Karin Manente, the Director of Public Partnerships and Resourcing at the WFP.
Meanwhile, KSRelief delivered 10 training courses to teachers in literacy centers in Yemen’s Aden, Abyan and Hadhramaut.
These courses come as part of the International Literacy Day celebrated within KSRelief’s project, which also trains teachers on how to educate students and people with disabilities.
The humanitarian and relief center also concluded an entrepreneurship course in Yemen’s Al-Mahra Governorate, to support and empower youth in the area.
All initiatives carried out in various countries around the world fall within Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian and relief projects, implemented by KSRelief, to enhance the economic situation and improve the income of people in-need.
Saudis amplify bustling music scene with Jeddah’s Makan Music Center
Jeddah will be ‘one of the biggest cities for music,’ says DJ
Updated 05 October 2022
JEDDAH: With a vibrant arts and culture scene, music has been an essential element in the social renaissance of the Kingdom. Following social reforms, many musicians surfaced to showcase their talent in the music industry.
Taking the opportunity, Makan Music Center in Jeddah opened its doors in 2018 as a small music center to teach aspiring musicians.
Abdulaziz Obaid, the CEO’s assistant, told Arab News that 2018 was “a powerful beginning for music learners and hobbyists.”
“In the beginning, we only had one room with all the instruments from deejaying to electric guitars and drums. Once we saw that there is a huge demand for music education in Jeddah, we moved to a bigger place to have separate rooms for each instrument class,” he said.
He added: “We can find musicians everywhere now from restaurants to shopping malls. There is also huge competition in this field,” he said.
Obaid said Jeddawis have a thirst for music events and appreciate everything from Asian to Western content.
“Jeddawis are the ‘people of music’ and are very active in the music scene,” he said. “We also have a large number of musicians visiting from Riyadh and they ask about Makan and want us to open a branch there,” he added.
Hasnain Sheikh, a drumming instructor at the center, grew up in a family of musicians that inspired him to go in to the music field.
“Growing up, my father was a musician. He played the piano and he was also into production. We had room in our home … like wherever we moved from apartment to apartment, we (always) had a studio room, and his friends used to come over to jam and play music. I grew up looking at that and wanting to also take part in the art,” Sheikh told Arab News.
“Music has always been a part of my life, like other people play video games or play sports. I was at home playing music,” he added.
Sheikh takes the responsibility of being a drummer seriously. He believes it is important to spend time and know your instrument “rather than just knowing the basics as every little details goes into account.”
DJ instructor Mohammed Darweesh, also known as Code Dee, aspired to be a music teacher during his youth.
“I like teaching people, it’s been one of the things I wanted to do since I was a kid. I wanted to be a teacher. I like sharing information, especially if it’s about my passion,” said Darweesh, who joined the center five months ago.
He became a DJ in 2015 with a particular interest in the underground scene, between minimal breaks, house and deep techno.
Speaking about his experiences from the underground music scene, Darweesh said people in Jeddah are always hungry for music events.
“There are so many people in all the events. There are very talented people who were hidden and now are coming up because of the revolution of Saudi music,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful thing and Jeddah is going to be one of the best cities for music in Saudi Arabia.”
International literary experts discuss heritage preservation at Saudi book fair
The event played a prominent role in the ‘renaissance of literature, culture, science, and the arts’ in the Kingdom
Updated 04 October 2022
Ghadi Joudah Rahaf Jambi
RIYADH: Literary experts from around the world have been gathering in Saudi Arabia to help further cement the Kingdom’s position on the global heritage map.
Writers, publishers, and translators are among the delegates taking part in events and discussion sessions being held under the umbrella of the Riyadh International Book Fair, running at Riyadh Front until Oct. 8.
The fair’s program includes dialogue platforms, interactive lectures, and workshops covering art, reading, writing, publishing, bookmaking, and translation.
Chief executive officer of the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission, Dr. Mohammed Alwan, said the event had made significant contributions to the Saudi literary scene and played a prominent role in the renaissance of literature, culture, science, and the arts in the Kingdom.
He described the fair as providing a cultural bridge to understanding others and being a major contributor to the national cultural movement.
Day five of the gathering witnessed six panel discussions, one titled “Saudi Arabia on the world heritage map.”
Saudi archaeological discoveries have recently drawn international attention and experts took to the stage to talk about the Kingdom’s future capabilities, its components, and its growing status as a global leader in heritage preservation.
Ibrahim Aglan, a college research professor at the faculty of letters and human sciences in the Moroccan capital Rabat, said culture was multi-faceted. “It’s a way of life, a way to enhance the Kingdom’s international standing, and economic prosperity.”
Acting general manager of the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, Rehaf Gassas, said: “The society is considered an arm of government bodies and agencies in preserving heritage and implementing specialized projects in this field.
“Whatever we do on our part as researchers, the community remains the sole owner of the heritage, knowing how it flowed and changed from generation to another, and how it is practiced.”
General manager of the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s intangible heritage, Ebtisam Al-Wehaibi, told delegates that the ultimate goal was communication between peoples.
She said: “It is amazing that we can get to know other people’s cultures and heritage and create a dialogue; that instead of looking for differences, you look for similarities.”
Al-Wehaibi noted that Saudi Arabia had been among 20 countries that got together after World War II to establish the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
“In 2020, the Kingdom joined the executive board of UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee,” she added.
Meanwhile, a workshop run by Al-Yamamah University law professor, Dr. Muhammad Al-Sudais, looked at the role of the law in protecting cultural heritage.
He said: “With regard to the legal aspect, the Kingdom presented a wonderful model in the matter of preserving heritage.” And he pointed out that over recent years the Ministry of Culture had introduced a range of rules and regulations related to antiquities, museums, and urban heritage.
Al-Sudais noted that the Saudi Heritage Commission had added the 70-year-old oil Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline), built during the reign of King Abdulaziz, to the national register of industrial heritage, adding that the Kingdom’s urban heritage register provided an important source of information for research centers.
“The Kingdom is very interested in excavating antiquities and preventing licensing except for the authorities designated by the system.
“It also specified that it is not permissible for any person, whether a citizen or not, to sell antiquities and engage in any activity related to the import and export of antiquities without obtaining a license from the commission,” Al-Sudais said.
Saudi Arabia reports 155 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
Updated 04 October 2022
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia reported 155 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the total number of cases in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic grew to 816,975.
The authorities also confirmed three new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 9,360.
Of the new infections, 59 were recorded in Riyadh, 28 in Jeddah and 12 in Madinah. Several other cities recorded fewer than 10 new cases each.
The ministry also announced that 124 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic to 804,033.
It said that 3,582 COVID-19 cases were still active, adding that 7,368 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to more than 44 million.
The ministry said that of the current cases, 39 were in critical condition.
More than 68 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign began, with over 25 million people fully vaccinated.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Education Ministry will celebrate World Teachers’ Day, which falls on Oct. 5 each year, under the theme “The transformation of education begins with the teachers,” with three days of events, programs and activities in schools and education departments.
A special celebration at the ministry's headquarters in Riyadh will feature a performance of “The Vision’s Teacher” operetta, and an activity titled “For Teachers and Students.”
Activities in schools will allow students and teachers to express gratitude for the role of the teacher in the growth and development of learners.
Education departments, offices and schools in all regions and governorates will honor teachers by devoting the school radio program to presentations highlighting the role of teachers.
The ministry has praised the role of teachers in building generations by establishing and strengthening positive initiatives.