RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed this week 140 tons of food baskets in Somalia, benefitting 12,000 individuals.
This is part of KSRelief's project to support food security in Somalia, which targets distributing more than 2,800 tons of food baskets to benefit some 255,000 people of the needy, displaced and afflicted people from drought.
KSRelief also continued distributing food and shelter aid to those affected by the floods and the most needy families in Sudan. As many as 1,170 food baskets were distributed on Tuesday in Sudan, benefiting 9,183 affected people.
Indulge Thyself — where sustainability is always on the menu
The region’s first zero-waste private fine-dining restaurant is tackling food wastage with ‘sustainable practices and culinary methods’
Updated 24 min 6 sec ago
JEDDAH: Indulge Thyself is a zero-waste private fine-dining restaurant and catering service established to demonstrate that following sustainable practices need not compromise on quality and taste.
The region’s first such operation, Indulge Thyself promotes innovative environmental solutions by using leftovers and organic waste to create natural compost.
According to the General Food Security Authority, about SR40 billion ($10.6 billion) worth of food is wasted every year in the Kingdom, or about a third of the total produced. It is an issue that requires awareness and sustainable solutions to maintain our planet’s health.
Indulge Thyself is based on an ideology that always keeps the bin in mind. It was conceived from a desire to create innovative and quality dishes while demonstrating respect for the environment.
The restaurant was founded by Saudi chef Yasmin Hamza and her sous chef Hawazen Zahran who believe that there is space for sustainability in the fine-dining culinary world. The restaurant is run by Hamza and her team of female chefs.
On the topic of environmental responsibility, Hamza told Arab News that it “must stem from the understanding that we are nature, when we begin as humans to understand that our separation from our environment is merely an illusion, we can then start to initiate action as we are of this earth.”
• Indulge Thyself offers private fine-dining experiences and catering service.
• The restaurant’s organic waste and leftovers are composted and turned into plant fertilizer, which is then used in growing produce.
Explaining the restaurant’s sustainability ethic and strategy, Hamza added: “We promote an array of sustainable practices and culinary methods ensuring that we have no waste; like sourcing local farm-to-table produce and using a head-to-tail cooking method, fermentation, pickling, as well as using reusable packaging and more.”
At Indulge Thyself, organic waste and leftovers are “composted and turned into plant fertilizer, which is then used in growing our own fruits and vegetables,” she added.
From the filtered tap water to avoid plastic bottles, to the use of upcycled materials for the interior design, Indulge Thyself pays attention to sustainable and eco-friendly choices.
The dining experience at Indulge Thyself involves a sequence of dishes that take the guest on an international culinary journey — featuring some of the best cuisines while honoring core sustainability values, such as by sourcing 95 percent of the ingredients from local produce.
Hamza commented on the restaurant’s name, saying: “We wanted to show people that you could indeed ‘Indulge Thyself’ in a fine-dining setting whilst incorporating respect to our produce and awareness of our surroundings.
“We can confidently say that we currently offer the best fine-dining food and beverage experiences and catering services in Saudi Arabia.”
With a professional background as a fashion designer focused on sustainability, Hamza decided to shift focus toward the culinary industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sustainability remained a core value in that transition: “It was only natural that I would entrain my business’ core value in sustainability as it is truly my passion.
“I worked with my cousin in the kitchen for a day and I was hooked. The energy, speed, creativity, and quick feedback fit really well with my personality. I then decided to expand my culinary skills and work with some of the best fine-dining and Michelin-star restaurants worldwide,” Hamza explained.
She worked at The Samuel in Copenhagen, Silo London, KOL London, and The Sea, The Sea in London.
Indulge Thyself offers private fine-dining experiences for two people, and also 10 to 20 with three experiences, and the option of five to eight courses. The restaurant also has a catering service.
Promoting sustainable practices also takes center stage in Hamza’s collaborations with other projects and companies. She recently participated in a culinary class for children at the Islamic Art Biennale. There was also a catering tie-up with Cartier, and a collaboration during Ramadan with Kia Corporation and the Waste Lab, a woman-owned composting company based in Dubai.
For the Kia “Cycle of Life” initiative, Hamza hosted a farm-to-table iftar at Indulge Thyself to celebrate the region’s environmental advocates.
Speaking on the collaboration, Hamza added: “Serving iftar to sustainability influencers and seeing them enjoy it and give raving feedback was a highlight in our career.
“To top that off, it was all filmed for the anti-food waste campaign and launched all over the Middle East to highlight our efforts in combating food waste … that was a very rewarding feeling for our whole team.”
An interesting fact that Al-Theeb revealed was that people from all walks of life living in the Arabian Peninsula had the freedom to engrave their thoughts, feelings, poetry, or curses on rocks
Updated 23 min 37 sec ago
MAKKAH: Many monuments in the Arabian Peninsula have been found bearing inscriptions in the Thamudic, Nabataean and Safaitic languages invoking evil upon those who try to tamper with or obliterate them.
One such Thamudic inscription, dating between the end of he first century AD to the fourth century AD, was found by a Saudi citizen named Khalid Al-Fraih in the Tabhar area northwest of Tabuk, which is dotted with many ancient inscriptions and monuments.
People from all walks of life living in the Arabian Peninsula had the freedom to engrave their thoughts, feelings, poetry, or curses, on rocks contrary to those who lived in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt, where inscriptions were exclusively written by the leaders or those who with a high status.
Professor of ancient Arabic writings, Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, told Arab News that this Thamudic inscription is written on the facade of one of the mountains of Wadi Tabhar. “What is interesting is that they used curses so that evil befalls … those who distort and sabotage … it. This type of curse is well known in the Thamudic, Nabataean, Palmyrian and Safaitic inscriptions.”
People who inhabited the area centuries ago were pagans who indulged in idol worship.
“This curse was written, most likely, to intimidate and scare away those who want to destroy their god … and the purpose of intimidation by cursing is to maintain and keep what has been written,” he said.
In order to prevent others from attacking their rocks, they used to write on them words of threat, curse and intimidation of the wrath of the gods. The fear was real and people would then refrain from destroying the rocks.
Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, Professor of ancient Arabic writings
Al-Theeb also revealed that the writings and inscriptions on rocks were similar to published material that we see today. “If two people disagree or a problem occurred between them, they would usually attack the rock of others. In order to prevent others from attacking their rocks, they used to write on them words of threat, curse and intimidation of the wrath of the gods. The fear was real and people would then refrain from destroying the rocks.”
An interesting fact that Al-Theeb revealed was that people from all walks of life living in the Arabian Peninsula had the freedom to engrave their thoughts, feelings, poetry, or curses on rocks, contrary to those who lived in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt, where inscriptions were exclusively written by leaders or those who with high status.
The professor stressed that these inscriptions are very important as they depict the history of previous civilizations, and should be monitored and documented by specialists to preserve them.
Australian assistant foreign minister to visit the Middle East, discuss global challenges
Watts highlighted that his mission in the Middle East is to build global partnerships needed to meet global challenges
Updated 04 June 2023
RIYADH: Australia’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts is set to visit Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Lebanon on a mission to expand Australia’s foreign policy and “build global partnership” in “targeting global issues.”
On Sunday Watts tweeted: “Australia has global interests — like trade and investment, international security, and humanitarian cooperation.
“So while our foreign policy is focused primarily on our own region, we’re also actively pursuing our interests around the world.”
Watts, who has served in the role as part of the Albanese government since 2022, highlighted that his mission in the Middle East is to build global partnerships needed to meet global challenges.
Among the topics up for discussions on his tour are national and regional security issues and ways of strengthening economic and business ties.
Before visiting Saudi Arabia the minister will travel to Lebanon to discuss continued cooperation on counterterrorism and transnational crime.
He also hopes to discuss economic challenges and opportunities along with seeking updates on the investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion.
During his time in the Saudi Arabia, Watts will attend the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition Against Daesh, which he told Arab News would enable him “to engage with some of the 86 nations committed to eradicating extremist-terrorism.”
During the meeting, Watts aims to exchange views on regional security with coalition partners.
“I will reaffirm our commitment to the bilateral relationship, supported by growing trade and investment ties and shared G20 membership,” Watts said.
“I will also discuss the regional impact of key issues including climate change, humanitarian challenges emanating from regional conflicts, and cooperation in multilateral settings to strengthen the rules-based order.”
The Kingdom will be hosting the meeting as part of its international efforts in combating terrorism.
“Australia and Saudi Arabia have an important relationship that is underpinned by strong trade and commercial ties, shared membership of the G20, and cultural and religious links,” Watts told Arab News.
“I want to extend my sincere thanks to Saudi Arabia in supporting the safe evacuation of many Australians from Sudan to Jeddah. I wish to also thank Saudi Arabia for their efforts towards bringing an end to the conflict, including Saudi mediation between Sudanese factions to secure ceasefires and humanitarian access,” he added.
Following his time in Saudi Arabia the minister will then visit the UAE.
The minister said the “United Arab Emirates is a valued partner and a hub connecting Australians and Australian freight to the world.”
During his visit he hopes to discuss ways to further enhance the “already-close trade ties” and “highlight Australia as a reliable and reputable partner in two-way investment and as a provider of vocational, technical, and tertiary education,” he said.
Watts also hopes to use the visit as an opportunity to thank Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their efforts to assist in Australians evacuated from Sudan.
“This visit will be an opportunity to thank both governments for their support and efforts to end the conflict,” he said.