TAIF: Visitors from all over the Kingdom and the Gulf are flocking to Taif this summer to get respite from the heat and rejuvenate in the region’s mountains.
The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape, several of which are also working farms or have beautiful gardens planted with the famous Taif roses and wild plants including basil, al-baitran, and marjoram.
Tourists and visitors can also stay in cozy, rural hostels made of old stone ornamented with carvings and sculptures of animals, where they can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys of Taif, which are home to a variety of rare birds.
The city and other nearby areas such as Al-Hada and Al-Shifa are also famous for their fruits.
The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season. Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.
Besides basking in nature, visitors to Taif can also visit museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, a strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles.
KSRelief concludes voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh
Updated 04 October 2022
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
Updated 04 October 2022
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.
The purpose of the forum is to contribute to raising and developing awareness toward cultural heritage, as well as to protect it from extinction
Updated 04 October 2022
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.
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
Focus on play and not competition, says agency designing programs
Multiple sports for ages 4-10 including dance, yoga, gymnastics
Updated 04 October 2022
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.
“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.
“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.