Biden visit ‘pivotal’ for alliance and global stability: Princess Reema

Biden visit ‘pivotal’ for alliance and global stability: Princess Reema
Princess Reema bint Bandar. (AFP/File)
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Updated 15 July 2022

Biden visit ‘pivotal’ for alliance and global stability: Princess Reema

Biden visit ‘pivotal’ for alliance and global stability: Princess Reema
  • Critical US-Saudi challenges are food and energy security, states ambassador to Washington
  • Kingdom invests billions to boost domestic and world economic growth, envoy writes in Politico

LONDON: US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia is “pivotal” for developing the American-Saudi partnership and ensuring mutual, and global peace and prosperity, according to the Kingdom’s ambassador to Washington.

“It has been almost 80 years since the founder of my country, King Abdulaziz, met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lay the foundation for a postwar Middle East,” Princess Reema bint Bandar stated in an opinion article published by Politico on Thursday.

“Since that day, our two countries worked together to defeat Soviet communism, guarantee global energy security, contain a revolutionary Iran, repel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and, more recently, destroy Al-Qaeda and Daesh,” she wrote.

Princess Reema added that the Kingdom and the US need to do a great deal more as partners “in these very perilous times.”

“As my nation develops, so too, must the US-Saudi partnership. And that is why the upcoming visit by President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia is so pivotal. For our relationship to deliver peace and prosperity for both of our peoples and the wider world, we must redefine the contours of the next eight decades of this critical alliance.

“Long gone are the days when the US-Saudi relationship could be defined by the outdated and reductionist ‘oil for security’ paradigm. The world has changed and the existential dangers facing us all, including food and energy security and climate change, cannot be resolved without an effective US-Saudi alliance,” she said.

Princess Reema said the Kingdom is no longer just a global leader in energy, but also in sustainable development.

“Through hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in education, technology, economic diversification and green energy, we have launched a transformation agenda that is unlocking the enormous potential of our young men and women.”

She said that Saudi women enjoy legal guarantees of equal pay and nondiscrimination in the workplace, and “some Western countries have not taken such steps.

“Today, Saudi women outnumber men in our institutes of higher education, and women represent the same share of entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia as they do in the United States.”

She said they are entering sectors such as construction, mining and the military, and are creating companies, becoming CEOs and assuming top government posts, “empowered by a government determined to see us succeed.”

She recalled her appointment as the first Saudi woman to an ambassadorial post, and noted that what is happening for women in the Kingdom is a “success story we hope others will emulate.”

Princess Reema said the Kingdom was promoting tolerance and interfaith dialogue to achieve greater regional stability.

“Saudi Arabia is indeed reconceiving how we express ourselves and engage with the world as a society and a culture.”

She also said that, if managed responsibly, Saudi Arabia and the US “can lead a global transition to renewables, while catapulting the Middle East into a new hub for global supply chains.”

She called for more cooperation on counterterrorism and cracking down on terrorists, but said more should be done than just tackling this danger.

“We must offer the people of this region greater hope for the future, and that is why our reimagined partnership encompasses cooperation from emerging technologies to joint space exploration. Given Saudi Arabia’s status as the cradle of Islam, the reverberations will be felt from Nigeria to Afghanistan.”

“The past couple of years have demonstrated the inherent volatility of our age, from global pandemics to food, energy, and supply chain crises.” She added that Saudi Arabia is “approaching these challenges with a new mindset,” as it believes “that the global transition to renewables can happen only if we all work together to manage this transition in a manner that ensures energy security and global economic growth.”

She also said that the Kingdom has embraced the transition to green energy, is committed to net-zero emissions by 2060, and aims to shift more than half of the energy industry to renewables by the end of this decade.

“These are commitments once deemed unimaginable for the world’s central bank of oil.”

Princess Reema said “there have been some turbulent waters in the US-Saudi relationship,” in reference to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, but said that the partnership has “emerged from this terrible tragedy stronger, with stricter safeguards to make sure such an atrocity never happens again.”

This incident should not define the relationship going forward, and “what occurred is not what we do.”

She concluded by saying that she is “sure that great crises will face us, some of which we have no way of predicting. But our two great nations must confront the unknown with confidence. And we should tackle today’s biggest challenges — from deadly epidemics and food insecurity to the responsible transition to renewables — with the same zeal with which we once contained communist aggression and threats to global energy production.

“By working together we can build the future we all dream of, a future our youth can be proud of, a future we all deserve.”

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KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh

KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh
Updated 04 October 2022

KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh

KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh

RIYADH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) concluded on Saturday the voluntary medical program to combat blindness and its diseases in Nawabganj Town, Bangladesh. 
The project came within ‘Noor Saudi Arabia’ voluntary program.
Since its beginning, the KSRelief’s voluntary medical team has medically examined 4,610 cases, distributed 1,616 glasses, and performed 519 successful cataract surgeries.
This campaign is part of the voluntary projects, implemented by the KSRelief in several countries, with the aim of providing treatment to people with limited income.


KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon

KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon
Updated 04 October 2022

KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon

KSRelief distributed food baskets in Pakistan, Sudan and Lebanon

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) continued to provide assistance to people in disaster-hit areas and refugee camps.
Various relief aid was distributed to those affected by the floods in Pakistan with as many as 1,360 food baskets distributed, which benefited 9,520 people.
These efforts come within the Saudi relief airlift operations that have been dispatched, under the directives of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
Similarly, KSRelief distributed 455 food baskets in Khartoum, Sudan – or translated to 2,503 individual recipients – as part of programmed efforts to help needy families in the country this year.
KSRelief also distributed on Saturday 675 food baskets in the Arsal region of Lebanon, which benefited 3,375 people under the food security effort for Palestinian and Syrian refugees as well the host community there.


SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen

SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen
Updated 04 October 2022

SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen

SDRPY participates in Mahri Forum in Yemen
  • The purpose of the forum is to contribute to raising and developing awareness toward cultural heritage, as well as to protect it from extinction

Al-MAHRA, Yemen: On Mahri Language Day, the Mahri Forum was held at Qishn School, Al-Mahra governorate, with the participation of the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen.

The purpose of the forum is to contribute to raising and developing awareness toward cultural heritage, as well as to protect it from extinction.

The SDRPY participation comes with reference to strengthening ties between both countries, as well as supporting culture in Yemen.

“We wish Yemen all the best, and may it recover within a secure, prosperous, and stable environment. May Yemen be able to contribute to the projects and initiatives hosted by the SDRPY, which amounted to 224 programs and initiatives in total, including more than 50 projects in Al-Mahra, with the purpose of improving its daily life and raising the efficiency of infrastructure in various sectors,” said Abdullah Basilman, director of the SDRPY’s program office in Al-Mahra.

Mahri is a Semitic language like Soqotri and Shehri, among others. SDRPY aims to contribute to the revival of the Mahri language and avoid its extinction through its participation in the forum.


Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims

Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims
Updated 03 October 2022

Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims

Tawqeer initiative launched for elderly pilgrims

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, represented by the social, voluntary and humanitarian services, has launched the “Tawqeer” (elderly care) initiative, through which several programs and services are provided for elderly people to enable them to perform rituals in ease and comfort, enriching their experience.

Two Holy Mosques chief Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais affirmed the presidency’s keenness to provide the best social, voluntary and humanitarian services to pilgrims while applying preventive measures, following health instructions and providing visitors with a safe and healthy environment in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.


Saudi Arabia’s children now have holistic sports program for skills development

Saudi Arabia’s children now have holistic sports program for skills development
Updated 04 October 2022

Saudi Arabia’s children now have holistic sports program for skills development

Saudi Arabia’s children now have holistic sports program for skills development
  • Focus on play and not competition, says agency designing programs
  • Multiple sports for ages 4-10 including dance, yoga, gymnastics

RIYADH: A local organization, Sports Hub KSA, is designing tailor-made sports programs for children that emphasize play and skills development rather than competition, and which encourages the involvement of parents.

Simon Muller, CEO and co-founder of Sports Hub KSA, said of the approach to programs: “We want to give children a chance to do sports differently than in a school environment. There’s no pressure, it’s not in 45 minutes the teacher doesn’t have to teach something specific … the children can play in the time frame that they are with us.”

Sports Hub KSA is a Saudi Arabia-based agency that specializes in creating and delivering sports programs for stakeholders such as Inspire Sports, schools, families, and individual children aged between four and 10.

This year, for example, Inspire Sports organized a summer camp program, one of the first in the Kingdom after COVID-19, allowing children to interact with others their age.

Unlike other sports programs, Inspire does not urge competition or being the best, it rather sets a foundation for children to develop their skills while enjoying multiple activities and sports in one session.

Sports Hub KSA is a Saudi Arabia-based agency that specializes in creating and delivering sports programs for stakeholders such as Inspire Sports, schools, families, and individual children aged between four and 10. (Supplied)

“It’s a mix of sports, multi-sport is the core of our concept, it isn’t one single sport, children always need to explore different things and one sport can get boring after four or five sessions,” Muller said.

Muller believes that it is important to play with children especially “those aged between four and 10, as it is way more important than specializing in one sport.”

There can be five to eight sports or games in a session such as athletics, dodgeball, basketball, football, gymnastics, dance and yoga. “We are more focused on the game rather than the sport. “It’s very interesting that the children are interested in many different things.”

Muller said that yoga, which was done at least once a week, was quite popular in the program.

The three-hour summer program only offered apples, bananas, and water. “We just want to set examples and offer something healthy during our sessions to influence other parents and see what we are offering. We are also using social media channels to promote healthy eating,” he said.

Muller said that inclusivity is a major aspect of their programs, so the role of parents is important and coaches encourage them to be involved and present during sessions.

“Inclusion is a very important aspect of what we are doing, we don’t want to exclude anyone. We try to have games for children of different levels and age and development stages to have fun together,” Muller said.

“We are totally aware that what we are doing is something new and we as a company are new and we also know that trust is the most important thing for parents when they decide to send their children to programs, especially when the children are so young,” he said.

“Inclusion is a very important aspect of what we are doing, we don’t want to exclude anyone. We try to have games for children of different levels and age and development stages to have fun together,” CEO and co-founder of Sports Hub KSA said. (Supplied)

“So, we have open days where families can come with their children and just try it and see what we are doing but we also invite the parents all the time. The doors are completely open so parents can come in and see what we are doing at any time of the program,” he said.

“Everything is important at a young age, between three and six it’s very clear in the scientific world that this is the most important age in developing certain behaviors and having a positive association with certain things,” Muller said.

“The ultimate goal is that the children are with us, especially in the age group of four to nine, are with us for two to three years, and not just summer. When they spend couple of hours with us every week, their fundamentals are way more developed than other children that don’t have that opportunity,” he said.

Muller believes it is important for children in their early years to try different things. After the initial first few years enrolled in the sports program, children will then be able to choose the sports that they love.