Saudi king receives letter from Kuwait’s crown prince

Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed bin Abdulkarim Al-Khuraiji receives the letter on the king's behalf from Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. (Supplied)
Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed bin Abdulkarim Al-Khuraiji receives the letter on the king's behalf from Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi king receives letter from Kuwait’s crown prince

Saudi king receives letter from Kuwait’s crown prince
  • They discussed the further development and enhancement of bilateral ties

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday received a letter from Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in which he highlighted the strong bilateral relationship that binds the countries and their peoples, and suggested ways in which it might be supported and enhanced in various fields and at all levels.

The message was presented to Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji in Riyadh during his meeting with Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

During their talks they discussed the further development and enhancement of bilateral ties, and exchanged views on other issues of common interest.

 

 


Souq from life of Prophet Muhammad located in Makkah

Souq from life of Prophet Muhammad located in Makkah
Updated 9 sec ago

Souq from life of Prophet Muhammad located in Makkah

Souq from life of Prophet Muhammad located in Makkah
  • Habasha was a major Arab market during pre-Islamic, early Islamic eras

JEDDAH: A Saudi scientific team has located the site of an ancient souq in the Makkah region that served as one of the most important Arab markets during the pre-Islamic and early Islamic eras.

Dubbed Souq Habasha, the site was discovered in cooperation between the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, the Ministry of Culture and its Heritage Commission.

Souq Habasha was an ancient seasonal Arab market and one of the largest in the Tihamah region west of the Arabian Peninsula. The souq was held every year for eight days starting on the first day of Rajab in the Islamic calendar, and was annually held until the Islamic year 197 (813 A.D.).

Fahd Al-Samari, secretary-general of the foundation and head of the scientific committee of Souq Habasha, delivered a statement in a video that was published on Darah’s official Twitter account.

He said: “Documenting historical information must be within a specific methodology. Therefore, the department has entered a number of experiences in documentation, such as documenting the Okaz market, and some sites from the Prophet Muhammad’s biography in the Kingdom. The Habasha market will be an ancient historical and cultural asset for the Kingdom.”

Abdullah Al-Zahrani, a member of the Souq Habasha scientific committee, said: “This collaboration project was made to locate the souq and it is a good example of joint cooperation between many parties as well as researchers, historians, geographers and prophet’s biography experts who will add a lot to verify this site.”

Studies and research projects have attempted to trace the location of the market for more than 40 years, with field sites proposed by the committee finally being inspected last year.

Abdullah Al-Welaie, another member of the Souq Habasha scientific committee, said: “We worked on drawing complete caravan routes, including the coastal road, the Tihama road, peaks of the Sarawat Mountains, as well as the Elephant road. Four tracks were drawn on accurate maps that really helped determine the location of the market and were then handed over to historians.”

Historians said that the market was mentioned in the biography of the Prophet Muhammad, who had taken part in the souq to trade before his mission.

The team conducted studies, verified sources and carried out an archaeological survey, following up discussions with qualified sources to determine the location of Souq Habasha.

Historical markets in the region were typically located in areas with an abundance of water, rainfall and grazing land. Accordingly, Souq Habasha was located on the southern bank of Wadi Qanuna in Ardiyat, a coastal city in the Makkah region.

It is positioned in the middle of a vast floodplain, bound by the Al-Durbat mountains to the east, Al-‘Irm mountains to the west stretching for five km, and Umm Al-Rimth mountains to the south, in a vast area where water sources and plant cover are prominent.

The market also passes through Al-Janad street, which served as one of the most important landmarks in determining the location of the souq.

Souq Habasha offers experts the chance to examine ancient economic, literary and cultural activity, with its integration into Okaz market — which has been revived — becoming a prominent cultural event in the Kingdom and providing benefits in the scientific, cultural and tourism fields.


Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 

Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 
Updated 46 min 44 sec ago

Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 

Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 

RIYADH: Unique challenges that startups in the Kingdom face when trying to secure funding will be the subject of a panel discussion on the final day of the LEAP 2023 conference on Thursday.

“The Road to Success: The Journey of Saudi Pre-seeds Starting to Get Funded” will also explore the outlook for startups in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.

Elina Idrisova, regional director of Digital Transformation, who will be part of the panel, told Arab News that the sessions will be about “how government is supporting these initiatives in order to accelerate the transformation and technology adoption.” 

Successful Saudi software startup Elevatus will be included in the discussion. 

Idrisova said that accelerators in Saudi Arabia are actively supporting and mentoring early-stage startups to help secure funding.

The Kingdom is planning to invest more than $25 billion to expand the technology ecosystem, the regional director said.

She said that the session will also discuss ways Saudi startups can attract global investors and scale worldwide.

“I also want to highlight the exceptional support of accelerators and programs such as Venture Studios and different university research centers, which help startups to get more deep research and to understand the market well, to get to know how to conduct the right assessments and to create the product that’s really needed by the market,” she said. 
 


Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 

Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 
Updated 08 February 2023

Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 

Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 
  • The agreement was signed by Turki Al-Jawini, director general of the fund, and Rashid Al-Sharif, president of the University of Hail
  • Turki Al-Jawini: We look forward to contributing to the development of the skills and capabilities of the Kingdom’s citizens

RIYADH: The Saudi Human Resources Development Fund and the University of Hail have signed a cooperation agreement to support graduates of the future “with the aim of increasing their competitiveness in the labor market and raising the employment rate.”

The agreement was signed by Turki Al-Jawini, director general of the fund, and Rashid Al-Sharif, president of the University of Hail, on the sidelines of the Liaqaat Hail Forum, which was held under the patronage of Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad, the governor of the Hail region.

A statement from the fund said the agreement was a strategic partnership “to achieve their common goals of training, qualifying and employing the university graduates and students expected to graduate, of both sexes, and job seekers, in an effort to develop their skills and provide them with individual and basic skills and experience, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

The fund provides financial and training support under the agreement, along with incentives to the employment office at the university and its employees, through programs such as “Subol,” the vocational development and guidance platform; “Doroob,” the national e-training platform; “Tamheer,” the on-the-job training program; and “Taqat,” the national labor portal.

Al-Jawini said: “We are keen on holding forums that will develop and empower national capacities, ensuring sustainable employment and motivating the private sector to contribute to Saudization. This will contribute to raising Saudization rates and supporting the participation of national cadres in various fields and specializations of the labor market.

“We look forward to contributing to the development of the skills and capabilities of the Kingdom’s citizens, enabling them to find job opportunities, and to invest optimally in human capital, in compliance with the directives of our wise leadership, and in line with development plans to support the national economy.”


KSrelief launches charity campaign to help those affected by quake in Turkiye and Syria

The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launches the charity campaign in Riyadh on Wednesday. (KSrelief)
The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launches the charity campaign in Riyadh on Wednesday. (KSrelief)
Updated 08 February 2023

KSrelief launches charity campaign to help those affected by quake in Turkiye and Syria

The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launches the charity campaign in Riyadh on Wednesday. (KSrelief)
  • A total of SR25 million ($6.7 million) had been donated to the campaign at the time of writing
  • The confirmed death toll from the world’s deadliest quake in more than a decade has passed 11,000

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center launched a charity campaign on Wednesday to help those affected by a devastating earthquake which hit southeast Turkiye and northern Syria on Monday.

The confirmed death toll from the world’s deadliest quake in more than a decade has passed 11,000.

The campaign was launched via KSrelief’s Sahem Platform, and the center will work with several Saudi agencies and ministries to support the affected and injured in Syria and Turkiye.

Donations can be made through the Sahem app and website, or via transfers to a bank account designated to the campaign.

The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said the campaign includes the implementation of various programs, including the launch of an air-bridge during the coming hours to deliver shelter, health, food, and logistical aid to those affected.

Rescue, rapid intervention, and emergency medical teams will travel to the afflicted countries and will work with Saudi volunteer teams to alleviate the suffering of those who have been afflicted by the quake, Al-Rabeeah explained.

He added that shelter, food, and health materials will be provided according to the humanitarian need identified by assessment teams.

A total of SR25 million ($6.7 million) had been donated to the campaign at the time of writing, Al-Ekhbariya reported.


New deal to boost Saudi creative sector

New deal to boost Saudi creative sector
Updated 08 February 2023

New deal to boost Saudi creative sector

New deal to boost Saudi creative sector
  • KPMG, Al-Mashtal enter strategic partnership to nurture young talent for sustainable creative economy
  • Al-Mashtal strives to impact not just the community, but the creative economy as a whole in leading incubations and programs on a national level and beyond

RIYADH: KPMG Professional Services and Al-Mashtal Community House and Creative Incubator recently announced a strategic partnership, marking a new era of collaboration between two industry leaders that signals a promising future for Saudi Arabia’s creative sector.

The nature of KPMG’s involvement is to provide professional support for Al-Mashtal in growing their business not only creatively but sustainably. Al-Mashtal will also act as a liaison between entrepreneurs and KPMG specialists and mentors to transform their passion into a viable and actionable business.

Ebrahim Baeshen, office managing partner at KPMG, told Arab News: “Our role here comes to ensure that they (Al-Mashtal) succeed not only by introducing a great idea, or a great product, but by making it sustainable.”

As a creative and community house, Al-Mashtal is dedicated to nurturing the talents of young and emerging Saudi creatives to harness a sustainable creative economy within the region.

Sohaib Zafir, CEO of Al-Mashtal, told Arab News: “Corporations aren’t generally concerned with creative ventures, but KPMG have a great interest in creating social impact within communities.”

The partnership with Al-Mashtal is just one of the initiatives under KPMG’s IMPACT plan, which aims to maximize the influence of environmental, social, and governance on communities to maintain a culture of support and progress.

“Through that program, we have different initiatives … at times we fund, we give money to charity, at times we help by giving lectures, by building materials similar to (Al-Mashtal) and help them by bringing our experts to educate entrepreneurs, to teach them and let them know how to manage a business and do all these things,” Baeshen said.

The incubator has slowly become a hub for local creatives to gather, share ideas, and present various creative initiatives through their hosting of consistent panel discussions, networking sessions, music performances, and more.

It also recently partnered with the Saudi Design Festival to bring the “Brand Your Neighborhood” design challenge. The initiative allowed local creatives to build urban branding and design concepts in Riyadh, Jeddah, and the Eastern Province.

Through Al-Mashtal’s incubation programs that take an educational approach to helping entrepreneurs develop their startups, KPMG will be providing consultations on professional skills, like financing and accounting, and personal soft skills, such as negotiation and pitching.

Al-Mashtal strives to impact not just the community, but the creative economy as a whole in leading incubations and programs on a national level and beyond.

“Our goal isn’t to become legends or be the best, but rather move the sector along. Al-Mashtal will become more than happy if we have competitors, because that creates sustainability within the industry,” Zafir said.

The creative house has been gradually setting the blueprint for drafting the infrastructure of creative incubation within the Kingdom. It acquired the first creative incubation business license in the Kingdom.

KPMG and Al-Mashtal first collaborated in 2021 on a project that proved fruitful for both parties. Baeshan said: “We know great things about Al-Mashtal because we started with them … it’s a great success story even for us to see them succeeding in what they're doing.”