Saudi source reveals full details of MBS-Biden Khashoggi discussion

Saudi source reveals full details of MBS-Biden Khashoggi discussion
Short Url
Updated 16 July 2022

Saudi source reveals full details of MBS-Biden Khashoggi discussion

Saudi source reveals full details of MBS-Biden Khashoggi discussion
  • Crown Prince quizzed President about Shireen Abu Akleh, Abu Ghoraib: source tells Al Arabiya

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has told US President Joe Biden that what happened with Saudi citizen and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was ‘regrettable,’ during a meeting in Jeddah on Friday.

A senior Saudi official in attendance noted that the meeting between the prince and president was scheduled for an hour and a half but lasted for three, touching on a number of common issues.

The crown prince reminded Biden that while the two countries share some values, there would always be conflicting matters that must be respected nonetheless.

“If we assume that the US will deal only with countries that share 100 percent of its values and principles, then it will have no countries that deal with it except NATO countries,” he said, adding the two countries must coexist despite their differences.

This came during a discussion about the Jamal Khashoggi case, which was brought up briefly by the US president.

Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi’s death was “regrettable,” said the crown prince, confirming that the Kingdom had undertaken all the legal procedures.

Further procedures to prevent future mistakes were also put in place.

The source said that Prince Mohammed bin Salman noted that such incidents occured all over the world, and that journalists were killed elsewhere that same year.

The crown prince was cited as saying it was counterproductive to try to impose values by force, as was demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan – something the US has not succeeded he added.

The survivors of an entire family killed by a drone strike in Afghanistan in August 2021 is still waiting for justice, the prince added.

And he cited the US’ involvement in Abu Ghuraib as an example. He also referred to the killing of the US journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, questioning the measures taken by her government and other countries of the world.


On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time

On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time
Updated 13 sec ago

On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time

On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time
  • At the International Volunteer Exhibition, government and private agencies highlighted the opportunities for voluntary work they offer to all involved in education in Riyadh
  • Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the governor of Tabuk, announced the establishment of a volunteering unit in the region

RIYADH: In honor of the UN’s International Volunteer Day 2022 on Monday, Riyadh’s General Administration of Education staged a special event at its headquarters in the city.

At the Saudi and International Volunteer Exhibition, the slogan for which is “Giving of a Nation,” government and private agencies provided details of the opportunities for voluntary work they offer to all involved in education in Riyadh, students and staff, including 24 initiatives offered through the National Volunteer Platform.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that the exhibition is part of official efforts to encourage and enhance a culture of voluntary work in the educational community with the primary goal of reaching a total of 1 million volunteers. Authorities aim to achieve this by providing an appropriate environment that encourages the development of the voluntary sector, motivates people involved in education to volunteer, and increases the opportunities to do so.

The exhibition included information about the types of projects and the work they do, along with a “Team” pavilion highlighting the connection between the aspirations of the Saudi people and community-volunteer activities offered by schools and women’s charities.

In addition to displays by government agencies, the exhibition included information from nonprofit organizations such as Al-Waleed Philanthropies and the World Organization of the Scout Movement about their work as part of the wider effort to build capacity and increase the scale of the Saudi volunteer sector by 47 percent within a decade.

According to the organizations, nearly half a million people in the Kingdom last year donated their time and effort to voluntary community service, and their work helped to provide social safety nets for vulnerable groups and address global challenges such climate change, access to education and the promotion of gender equality.

Volunteers in the country are provided with training and other programs in line with national values to ensure the quality of voluntary work and efficiently harness the energies of communities, officials said.

According to Al-Waleed and WOSM, their volunteer programs have forged links and partnerships with universities across the Kingdom. Among their activities is a collaboration with Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, and King Khalid University to empower the next generation of volunteer leaders through scouting. It aims to encourage 500 Rover Scouts to volunteer for efforts to help 100,000 young people, and more universities are expected to join the initiative the near future.

The Athar Health Volunteering Society marked International Volunteer Day, the theme of which this year is “Solidarity Through Volunteering,” by highlighting its recent achievements. It said it aims to promote a culture of volunteering through its provision of health-awareness, educational and support services through community partnerships.

Sultan Al-Zahrani, the society’s secretary-general, said that it implemented numerous initiatives this year with the help of more than 20,000 volunteers. In addition to thus a further 3,000 volunteers donated 50,000 hours of work to other activities, the economic value of which was estimated to be more than SR6 million ($1.6 million).

Athar said it is working with partner organizations with the goals of achieving 1 million volunteers and increasing the non-profit sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product by more than five percent, according to SPA.

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture celebrated International Volunteer Day the presence of Deputy Minister Mansour Al-Mashaiti.

The deputy of the ministry’s Department for Beneficiary Service and Branch Affairs, Ghanim Al-Jathan, said that this year it offered 2,500 voluntary opportunities in which more than 22,700 people took part. The general manager of the ministry’s General Department of Non-Profit Sector Organizations, Khaled Al-Mejlad, said it offered 6,000 volunteer opportunities in which 49,000 people took part. This amounted to 2.5 million volunteer hours and an economic return exceeding SR8 million.

Meanwhile, during a ceremony honoring the voluntary efforts of government organizations, charities and individuals, Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the governor of Tabuk, announced the establishment of a volunteer unit in the region.

“In recent years, there has been a remarkable and blessed activity for volunteer work in all regions, especially Tabuk, which makes us optimistic that the future will be better,” he said.

“On this occasion, we are pleased in the Emirate of Tabuk to announce the establishment of a special unit for volunteering, and it will provide support for everyone who wants to contribute to volunteer work and help direct and guide them.”

The UN introduced the International Volunteer Day in 1985 as an annual event that offers all countries to celebrate and enhance volunteer work, highlight and honor the efforts of those who take part in it, and encourage more people to get involved.

 


Young Saudi digital artist’s work showcased at major music festival

Young Saudi digital artist’s work showcased at major music festival
Updated 05 December 2022

Young Saudi digital artist’s work showcased at major music festival

Young Saudi digital artist’s work showcased at major music festival
  • MDLBeast Soundstorm event displays Ahaad Alamoudi’s falcon images on giant screen
  • It was one of three commissioned artworks displayed at the event through a collaboration between independent arts initiative Edge of Arabia and YallaSwap

RIYADH: A Saudi art student’s digital work has been showcased on a giant screen at one of the world’s biggest music festivals.

Ahaad Alamoudi’s colorful falcons creation went on display at the third edition of MDLBeast’s Soundstorm event held in the desert outside of Riyadh.

The moving digital images featured on a horizontal 128-meter screen near to the festival’s DownBeast stage.

Alamoudi, who is currently studying for a Ph.D. at the Royal College of Art in London, said the falcon was a traditional symbol that not only represented the transformations taking place in Saudi Arabia but also the importance of preserving the country’s natural environment.

The Jeddah-born artist’s work appeared alongside acts by top international music stars, Saudi DJs, and rap and hip-hop performers in the first presentation of its kind at the festival.

It was one of three commissioned artworks displayed at the event through a collaboration between independent arts initiative Edge of Arabia, and YallaSwap, a web3 platform bringing the next generation of digital content to the Arab world through digital collectibles, unique experiences, and community.

One of them, by Riyadh-based pixel artist KldPxl, aimed to capture the beauty and loneliness of the modern world through complex digital compositions such as empty gas stations and desert highways.

The artist told Arab News: “Music and art are two of my biggest passions and combining them in one project was especially rewarding.

“I felt really honored to have my work displayed at MDLBeast and potentially seen by over 100,000 local and international attendees.”

Also on display was the work of graphic designer Yusef Alahmad who specializes in Arabic typography with a focus on the cross-cultural aesthetics between the Western and Arab worlds.

Alahmad gained a master of fine arts degree in graphic design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and currently works as art director for Edge of Arabia.

YallaSwap founder, Bader Tazrouti, told Arab News: “The majority of visitors to MDLBeast are local Saudis and we wanted to provide them with local digital art to appreciate.

“We are a web3 marketplace for the Arab world localized through content. We were with top-tier local artists and through curation, with Edge of Arabia, we want to emphasize the local context for these creatives and their aesthetics.”

The works used the latest technology to try and push the boundaries of creativity, while adhering to tradition.

Edge of Arabia founder, Stephen Stapleton, told Arab News: “The works are surreal, technological, and exciting; a collision of past, present, and future and a reflection of what is happening in society.

“The work is made for the people, and this is why we chose these three artists — they want to reach the broader population through their art, not just the art crowd.”

Through their digital medium, the works aimed to reflect the electronic music experience — dizzying, escapist, and inspiring.

Similar to the growing community of Saudi electronic music stars and DJs, these contemporary artists are attempting to pay tribute to their country’s rich heritage while innovating and expanding through technology and contemporary culture.

The first YallaSwap meetup was organized in October in collaboration with Edge of Arabia, and Badiya Studio/Jazzy Spa Sounds, whose founders Warchief and Chindy performed at the DownBeast stage on the opening day of this year’s Soundstorm.


Yogasana Sports Championship concludes in Jeddah

Yogasana Sports Championship concludes in Jeddah
Updated 05 December 2022

Yogasana Sports Championship concludes in Jeddah

Yogasana Sports Championship concludes in Jeddah
  • Participants from all age groups displayed different “asanas”
  • Candidates were selected on the basis of their performance

JEDDAH: The first-ever Yogasana Sports Championship in Saudi Arabia concluded in Jeddah on Saturday at the University of Business and Technology with more than 112 participants from all across the Kingdom.

The one-day event was organized by the Saudi Yoga Committee to promote yoga as a competitive sport in cooperation with the Saudi Sports Ministry and in the presence of experts from the Asian Yogasana Sports Federation.

During the championship, participants from all age groups displayed different postures, known as “asanas,” and candidates were selected on the basis of their performance.

Participants came from various age groups, ranging from 6 years old to over 18.

Nouf Al-Marwaai, the Saudi Yoga Committee’s president, said that encouraging participation in yoga from an early age can foster a health-conscious society.

She said that she is proud of the launch of this tournament, the first of its kind in the region, and that it is reflective of the efforts of the Kingdom to promote the practice.

“Such competitions motivate youth to commit to regular yoga practice,” she added.

“Both the male and female referees who arbitrated the championship are from the first group of Saudi yogasana referees, whose graduation was celebrated by the committee shortly before the lunch of the tournament.”

The number of graduates in Riyadh included 19 women from several different regions in the Kingdom, while the number of graduates in Jeddah included 22 women.

The Saudi Yoga Committee has organized a training camp, hosted by the University of Business and Technology, a full week before the start of the tournament, with the aim of preparing participants for the championship, Al-Marwaai explained.

Yoga instructor Noura Nour, whose team traveled from Riyadh to participate in the championship, told Arab News that she is happy to see such an event held in Saudi Arabia. 

“Yoga has become increasingly popular in Saudi Arabia. As a yoga instructor, I have seen many people of all ages joining our classes because they realized that the sport of yogasana has many benefits for their health. I am sure that the Saudi Yoga Committee will take it to a higher level,” Nour said.

Hasan Al-Hajjaj from Qatif, who bagged third place in the recent Yoga International Championship organized by the UN, said that yogasana is booming in Saudi Arabia with the support of the Ministry of Sports and the Saudi Yoga Committee.

Rahi, a certified yoga instructor who participated in the championship, said: “I am so glad to be part of the first yogasana championship, and I am so happy to see yoga growing so fast in the Kingdom.”

Joud Sharaf, a 12-year-old yogi who represented the Saudi Yoga Committee at the UTS Festival for Artistic Yoga during the second edition of the Asian Games hosted by Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that she is enjoying yoga and hopes to improve in order to participate in international championships.


KSRelief distributes over 92 tons of food baskets in Marib

KSRelief distributes over 92 tons of food baskets in Marib
Updated 05 December 2022

KSRelief distributes over 92 tons of food baskets in Marib

KSRelief distributes over 92 tons of food baskets in Marib

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed 92 tons and 127 kilograms of food baskets in Yemen’s Marib governorate, benefiting 5,166 people.
This is part of the Food Security Support Project 2022, which is being implemented by KSRelief in Yemen and aims to distribute more than 192,000 food baskets weighing more than 20,000 tons to needy and affected families in 15 Yemeni governorates.
KSRelief also continued to implement its voluntary medical project for specialized surgeries in Gambia, which is being carried out from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.
Since the beginning of the campaign, the voluntary medical team has performed 105 surgeries.
Also, KSRelief distributed 1,644 winter bags in Pakistan, benefiting 11,508 people. 
This comes within the framework of the relief and humanitarian projects and voluntary programs being implemented by Saudi Arabia, represented by the KSRelief, for a number of brotherly and friendly countries.


HMS Hail commissioned into Saudi Arabia’s naval service

HMS Hail commissioned into Saudi Arabia’s naval service
Updated 05 December 2022

HMS Hail commissioned into Saudi Arabia’s naval service

HMS Hail commissioned into Saudi Arabia’s naval service
  • This is the third ship to be launched, following Al-Jubail and Al-Diriya, as part of the Sarawat project

SAN FERNANDO, Madrid: The Royal Saudi Naval Forces has commissioned into active service His Majesty’s Ship Hail at the Navantia shipyard in San Fernando, Spain, state news agency SPA reported.

This is the third ship to be launched, following Al-Jubail and Al-Diriya, as part of the Sarawat project of five combat ships aimed at improving the Kingdom’s maritime defense capabilities and interests.

Rear Admiral Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, together with other Saudi and Spanish officials hoisted the Saudi Arabian flag on the ship to mark its official commissioning into the naval service.

Sawarat is a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Military Industries company and Spain’s state-owned Navantia to build multi-purpose combat ships for the Saudi navy as well as localize 50 percent of military industries by 2030.

Under the joint venture, Saudi Arabia’s navy will also have its first Saudi system, nicknamed Hazm, that would contribute to localize military industries through transformation of technology and national staff intensive training

HMS Diriya, the second ship of the Sarawat project, is scheduled to reach Saudi Arabia early next year after having completed its training program in Spain.

The launch of the fourth and fifth ships, HMS Jazan and HMS Onaiza, will meanwhile take place in Saudi Arabia under the sponsorship of Saudi engineers who have received training in Spain.