Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees

Update Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees
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Saudi ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi, UNRWA’s Under-Secretary-General, Philippe Lazzarini and Dr. Ahmad Abu Holie, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization sign MoU in Amman. (Abdulrahman Shalhoub/ Arab News)
Update Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees
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Saudi ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi, UNRWA’s Under-Secretary-General, Philippe Lazzarini and Dr. Ahmad Abu Holie, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization sign MoU in Amman. (Abdulrahman Shalhoub/ Arab News)
Update Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees
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Saudi ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi (C), UNRWA’s Under-Secretary-General, Philippe Lazzarini (R) and Dr. Ahmad Abu Holie, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization sign MoU in Amman. (Abdulrahman Shalhoub/ Arab News)
Update Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees
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Saudi ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi, UNRWA’s Under-Secretary-General, Philippe Lazzarini and Dr. Ahmad Abu Holie, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization sign MoU in Amman. (Abdulrahman Shalhoub/ Arab News)
Update Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees
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Saudi ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi, UNRWA’s Under-Secretary-General, Philippe Lazzarini and Dr. Ahmad Abu Holie, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization sign MoU in Amman. (Abdulrahman Shalhoub/ Arab News)
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Updated 24 October 2022

Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees

Saudi Arabia’s $27 million pledge to UNRWA provides relief for Palestine refugees
  • Contribution is part of a larger pledge by the Kingdom to help Palestine

AMMAN: Saudi Arabia on Sunday donated $27 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the organization’s operations in the Palestinian territories.

The donation came as part of the Kingdom’s 2018/2019 pledge to support the agency’s core services with a donation of $50 million. The contribution is part of a larger pledge by the Kingdom, which has been one of the agency’s top donors for decades, to help the UNRWA continue to provide critical services to the 5.6 million Palestine refugees in the region.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Saudi Ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, and Dr. Ahmad Abu Holie, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and head of the Department of Refugee Affairs.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Sudairi said that the Saudi presence was and still is at the heart of the Palestinian cause, as the Kingdom’s position on the Palestinian issue is considered one of the main constants of Saudi foreign policy since its establishment by King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud, who was the first supporter and advocate for the Palestinian people.

“Saudi Arabia’s firm stance toward the Palestinian cause has continued until the rule of King Salman and his crown prince. The king has announced the official Saudi position on numerous occasions, which was reiterated recently by the Kingdom’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, at the 77th UNGA in New York a few weeks ago, that the Palestinian issue is at the forefront of the Kingdom’s concerns, and the Kingdom supports the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights, including the establishment of their independent state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.

“Support from the Kingdom and its institutions contributed to the ability of the UNRWA to maintain its vital services for Palestine refugees over decades,” said Lazzarini. He added that the agency has experienced difficulty maintaining funding due to the unpredictability of donors, and that over the past decade, “the attention on this part of the world has declined.”

The Kingdom has donated more than $1 billion to the UNRWA in the past decade, enabling the agency to continue to provide essential services to Palestine refugees.

“What the agency has experienced over the last 10 years has stagnated the overall resources. The donation will help us keep our activities running but the struggle will continue,” said Lazzarini, adding: “Events like today give us hope to succeed, to go through, but this is not an answer to a longer-term (solution). What we need to see is a reactivation of the peace process.

“This support by the Kingdom is one of many as part of its commitment to the Palestinian cause and refugees in Palestine,” said Abu Holie, adding: “The contribution came at a time when we’ve seen in the past year a decline in aid by some countries and others who retracted their donations. The donation by the Kingdom will contribute to providing services and we call on other countries to meet their commitments.”

Since 1999, contributions provided by Saudi Arabia and its humanitarian and development entities have exceeded $5.2 billion, including support to the Palestinian Authority and direct aid to various sectors, including health, education, infrastructure and more.

“Saudi Arabia and Jordan have been devoted to supporting the Palestinian cause in various fields for decades, through partnerships with the UNRWA, Jordan, Palestine and other parties. The historical cooperation relationship with the UNRWA is to reaffirm our continuous support for its services and appreciation of its role toward supporting Palestine refugees,” said Al-Sudairi.


Saudi Arabia’s DGDA announces its official opening to the public on Dec. 4

Saudi Arabia’s DGDA announces its official opening to the public on Dec. 4
Updated 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s DGDA announces its official opening to the public on Dec. 4

Saudi Arabia’s DGDA announces its official opening to the public on Dec. 4
  • DGDA Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo told Arab News: “Three hundred years ago, the birthplace of the Kingdom was Turaif

RIYADH: The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has announced the official opening of the UNESCO World Heritage site At-Turaif and the Bujairi Terrace to the public on Dec. 4.

The DGDA on Monday held a special gala dinner at Bujairi Terrace for a number of World Travel and Tourism Council delegates who were present in Riyadh for the 22nd WTTC Global Summit.

The summit is taking place for the first time in the Kingdom in Riyadh from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center.

Uniting a wide range of key industry players, this year’s edition of the WTTC Summit showcased Saudi Arabia’s pioneering efforts to reshape the world’s tourism map in a still-recovering, post-COVID world. As one of the industry’s largest events, the annual forum aspires to implement travel sustainability on a global scale.

The At-Turaif and Bujairi Terrace opening gala dinner was attended by Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chair of WTTC Arnold Donald, President and CEO of WTTC Julia Simpson, Group Chief Executive Officer of DGDA Jerry Inzerillo, and a broad list of other high profile industry leaders.

In the upcoming week, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, the home of the first Saudi State, and dine at some of the world’s finest Michelin-star restaurants at the Bujairi Terrace.

Visitors will take a step back in time as they walk through the mudbrick palaces and pathways of At-Turaif that perfectly highlight the traditional Najdi architecture.

As a part of its opening, At-Turaif will offer 75-minute guided walking tours in both Arabic and English that will take visitors through the original seat of power, built in the 1700s, of the Kingdom’s Al-Saud family.

Upon its opening, visitors will be able to explore At-Turaif's Salwa Palace, a 10,000-square-meter complex whose first phases were built by Mohammed ibn Saud, the first ruler of the First Saudi State.

At-Turaif's palaces, pathways and detailed carvings in the Najdi architecture provide a glimpse into the past and a reminder of the origin of Saudi Arabia.

Along with the announcement of At-Turaif's opening, the DGDA will also host a variety of activities for the public, including theatrical performances, an Arabian horse show, calligraphy sessions, mudbrick-making shows and Saudi coffee experiences.

On Al-Nuzul Street, 13 buildings will host daily immersive theatrical performances that will take visitors back in time to experience life in At-Turaif during the First Saudi State.

Following the opening At-Turaif, Diriyah is also set to host a calendar full of events and activities for the public during the winter 2022 season.

Bujairi Terrace is also set to open its doors to the public on Dec. 4 with the aim of becoming the foremost luxury dining destination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Located in Wadi Hanifah, Bujairi Terrace will offer 20 restaurants and coffee shops, several of which are Michelin-star restaurants, including Chez Bruno, Hakkasan, Long Chim and Tatel, overlooking At-Turaif.

Some of the international brands located in Bujairi Terrace include Angelina, Brunch & Cake, Café De Lésplanade, Cova / Cova Pasticceria, Flamingo Room, Joe & the Juice, Sarabeth’s and Villa Mamas.

Some of the local brands include TAKYA, Altopiano, Somewhere / Somewhere Dessert Bae, Sum + Things, and Hi.

Built from the same mud, water and straw used to construct At-Turaif, Bujairi Terrace will merge culture, history and luxury through live shows, historical programs, interactive entertainment and traditional performances from Saudi artists and musicians.

Earlier this week, some 1,500 employees at the DGDA put their signatures on mud bricks to be used to restore At-Turaif, the original home of the Saudi royal family and the country’s first capital.

DGDA Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo told Arab News: “Three hundred years ago, the birthplace of the Kingdom was At-Turaif. We give all our love and praise to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, to restore At-Turaif, which was built by Saudis brick by brick, but no one knows their names.

“Now we are building the new Diriyah, transforming it, using the same material, same mud, same straw, same palm trees, but now we know everybody’s name.

“So the next 300 years of this will be built by all these people and will remain very emotional and very special to them.”

The DGDA aims to develop the birthplace of the Kingdom into a world-class tourism, entertainment and cultural destination. Upon its completion, Diriyah will be a $50 billion giga-project featuring some of the world’s most luxurious restaurants and hotels built in the traditional Najdi architectural style.

This is merely the first phase of Diryah’s opening. Once complete, Diriyah will offer more than 150 fine-dining restaurants and premium cafes, 28 luxury hotels and resorts, and 400 luxury and lifestyle brands.

 


Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Award to launch Derayah Forum next year

Fahad Al-Maghlouth, Secretary-General of the award committee. (Photo/Saad Al-Dossari)
Fahad Al-Maghlouth, Secretary-General of the award committee. (Photo/Saad Al-Dossari)
Updated 9 min 8 sec ago

Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Award to launch Derayah Forum next year

Fahad Al-Maghlouth, Secretary-General of the award committee. (Photo/Saad Al-Dossari)
  • The forum targets citizens and residents in the Kingdom, including families, specialists and institutions — governmental, civil and non-profit

RIYADH: The Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Award for Excellence in Social Work announced it will hold the Derayah Forum under the title “What if…How do you act?” for three days beginning Jan. 3, 2023.

Over 60 government and private institutions will participate.

Dr. Fahad Al-Maghlouth, secretary-general of the award, said that the aim of the forum is to improve the quality of life through a positive social environment based on awareness, prevention and intervention.

Prince Saud bin Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Saud Al Kabeer, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and member of the Board of Trustees for the award. (Photo/Saad Al-Dossari)

The forum seeks to achieve its objectives by enabling individuals to navigate life’s challenges through awareness-raising workshops on security and safety, financial planning, information technology, legal matters and psychological health, among other topics.

The forum targets citizens and residents in the Kingdom, including families, specialists and institutions — governmental, civil and non-profit.  

Prince Saud bin Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer, vice chairman of the executive committee and member of the award’s board of trustees, described the forum as empowering, stating that it will equip people with basic knowledge and skills to face obstacles with competence and confidence.

It will also introduce them to their legal rights recognized by the Kingdom and contribute to achieving Vision 2030 goals by raising the quality of life.

 

 


World-class line-up of speakers announced for Riyadh Philosophy Conference

Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan. (Supplied)
Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan. (Supplied)
Updated 20 min 9 sec ago

World-class line-up of speakers announced for Riyadh Philosophy Conference

Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan. (Supplied)
  • Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan, the commission’s CEO, told Arab News: “Its influence goes beyond academic communities with this year’s topic showing the philosophical link between knowledge and exploration

RIYADH: In international line-up of top speakers has been announced for the second annual Riyadh Philosophy Conference, starting on Thursday.

The Saudi Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission revealed the influential names due to address the three-day gathering at the King Fahad National Library.

The event, which runs until Dec. 3, aims to tackle issues affecting the future of humanity with intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, writers, and historians from around the world exploring a range of topics under the title, “Knowledge and Exploration: Space, Time, and Humanity.”

Speakers will include Alejandra de la Merced Fernandez, from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste in Argentina, Joseph Cohen, associate professor of philosophy at University College Dublin, Norbert Frischauf, chief technologist and partner at SpaceTec and founder of the Austrian Space Forum, Nicolas de Warren, research professor of philosophy at Penn State University in the US, and Dr. Bjoern Gerd Freter, lecturer in world philosophy at the SOAS University of London.

Regional philosophers addressing the conference will include Abdullah Almutairi, head of the Saudi Philosophy Association, Dalia Toonsi, the founder and general manager of the Baseera educational consultancy, and Mishaal Ashemimry, special adviser to the chief executive officer of the Saudi Space Commission and the first female aerospace engineer among Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan, the commission’s CEO, told Arab News: “Its influence goes beyond academic communities with this year’s topic showing the philosophical link between knowledge and exploration.

“It highlights philosophy as a field of study that is relevant not only to philosophers but scientists, historians, and astronomers.”

This year’s theme was chosen by the commission to create a convergence of science and philosophy. Discussion topics will include ethics in exploration, the dilemmas of artificial intelligence, the complexities of space diplomacy, and how these issues will shape the future of humanity.

Alwan said: “I am delighted to see a roster of world-renowned academics, scientists, and philosophers at the forefront of their fields, speaking at the second-ever Riyadh Philosophy Conference.

“We look forward to seeing them lead pioneering conversations to address the countless questions that arise from the rapid scientific development we see in society today.

“We hope that the outcomes and discussions taken from this will be used to ensure a positive impact on humanity,” he added.

The conference will feature lectures, panels, discussions, seminars, and workshops designed to be inclusive and open. There will also be activities and workshops for young people, including a debating competition for college students.

The event will also provide a chance for young people to engage in discussion with international academics, along with a space for children and young adults to engage in critical thinking activities around the theme of the conference.

 


Saudi Fashion Commission discusses sustainability with industry leaders

Saudi Fashion Commission discusses sustainability with industry leaders
Updated 28 November 2022

Saudi Fashion Commission discusses sustainability with industry leaders

Saudi Fashion Commission discusses sustainability with industry leaders
  • Commission announces launch of new center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology focused on sustainability in textile science

RIYADH: The Saudi Fashion Commission hosted a virtual meeting on Thursday with experts and entrepreneurs to discuss sustainability in fashion.

The public was invited to attend the event, which examined the concept of sustainability and its role in the sector, as well as sustainability strategies and initiatives. 

During the meeting, the commission expressed its aim to support and stimulate the fashion community while also improving all stages of production involved in the industry, from design to product sustainability. 

It also said that it is working on several sustainability initiatives such as the second edition of its “GFX Swap Shop Riyadh” and the launch of a new center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to innovate sustainable solutions and technologies in textile science. 

The virtual meeting is part of a series of meetings organized by the commission to establish the best standards and practices to promote the Kingdom’s fashion sector.

 


Austrian Embassy in Riyadh hosts concert promoting cultural diplomacy 

Austrian Embassy in Riyadh hosts concert promoting cultural diplomacy 
Updated 28 November 2022

Austrian Embassy in Riyadh hosts concert promoting cultural diplomacy 

Austrian Embassy in Riyadh hosts concert promoting cultural diplomacy 
  • The concert featured performances by violinist Daniel Auner, his mother Irina Auner, who played the piano, and Ehab Abdin, who played the oud
  • The guest list comprised a diverse group of figures from music lovers to professionals in the cultural sectors of Saudi Arabia, from ambassadors to influencers

RIYADH: Austrian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Georg Postinger hosted the concert “Orient meets Occident,” blending Saudi and Austrian influences in a night of music and cultural celebration, on Sunday in Riyadh.

The concert featured performances by violinist Daniel Auner, his mother Irina Auner, who played the piano, and Ehab Abdin, who played the oud. 

“We are witnessing something that is a little bit of an attempt at something new,” Austrian Ambassador Georg Postinger told Arab News of the concert, which he described as a “merger” between East and West. 

The ambassador stressed the importance of holding events that promote cultural understanding and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Austria. 

“You can kind of describe it as cultural dialogue,” Postinger said.

The concert began with classical Austrian music, which was followed by traditional Arabic sounds with oud player Abdin.

The guest list comprised a diverse group of figures from music lovers to professionals in the cultural sectors of Saudi Arabia, from ambassadors to influencers.  

The Auner mother-son duo played music from Fritz Kreisler and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with each performance followed by an explanation of the history and inspiration behind the music.

Following the Austrian set, Abdin performed traditional Saudi oud music, playing Farid Al-Atrash’s “Albi wa Muftahu” and Salim Al-Masri’s “Lamma Bada Yatathana,” among other pieces. The performance was met with a standing ovation from the audience.

“It’s a very wonderful feeling performing here, especially with the beautiful response from the audience,” Abdin said. 

Postinger said that the Austrian Embassy aims to continuously host events that promote cultural exchange and cooperation.