Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria
King Salman of Saudi Arabia chaired a cabinet meeting, during which the Kingdom expressed solidarity for countries impacted by devastating earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria that killed over 5,000 people. (SPA)
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Updated 11 February 2023

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

RIYADH: The Saudi cabinet voiced its solidarity with Turkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes that ripped through the border area between the two countries killing thousands and injuring thousands more.

The statement was made during Tuesday’s weekly Saudi Cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman, as the death toll exceeded 5,000, with tens of thousands more injured.

But international agencies like the WHO said the casualty number would grow significantly to thousands more.

The Cabinet statement published via the state news agency SPA said “the Kingdom expressed its solidarity” with the countries impacted by the earthquakes.

The first quake – of a magnitude 7.8 - struck the border area between Turkiye and Syria at about 4a.m. local time on Monday causing buildings to topple to the ground, their occupants caught unaware as they slept.

The second – 7.7 magnitude - quake struck the same area shortly before 2p.m. local time as search and rescue workers dug frantically through the rubble to find survivors.

There were two further earthquakes of a magnitude 5.6 and 5.7 on Tuesday morning as well as 312 aftershocks since the first quake struck.

The Cabinet also praised the bilateral ties between the Kingdom and Iraq and reiterated the Kingdom’s support for efforts made by the Iraqi government to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for its people.

It also reviewed reports on regional and international conferences recently held in Saudi Arabia to keep pace with the rapid developments and contribute to finding solutions to global challenges.

Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 

Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 

Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 

RIYADH: Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Natural Reserve Development Authority is participating at the co-current Saudi Green Initiative Gallery and UN Climate Change Conference — COP28 — in Dubai, today. 

The reserve will showcase its drone-based program, the biggest of its kind, in protecting biodiversity in Saudi Arabia, for being more effective and efficient in environmental activities and having a lower carbon footprint, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. 

It has already contributed to raising the efficiency of environmental monitoring and protection teams by more than 220 percent.

Drones have also helped to cut carbon emissions by more than 66 percent by reducing dependence on fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

An interactive screen will also display details of the pioneering Vegetation Cover Evaluation Project, which uses remote-sensor technologies, as well as many initiatives dedicated to expanding the vegetation cover and afforestation. 

All of ITBA’s projects and initiatives are fully aligned with the national goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and dedicated to preserving the vegetation cover and biodiversity, including rare and endangered species, as part of broader environmental protection efforts.

The Saudi Green Initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions, plant 10 billion trees in the Kingdom over the next decades and protect 30 percent of the Kingdom’s land and marine areas by 2030, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

It is worth noting that IBTA spans more than 91,500 sq km, making it the second largest royal reserve in the Kingdom.

Known for its picturesque nature and biodiversity, the reserve is home to 138 wild species, including Rhim Gazelles, Oryxes, and more than 179 wild plants, including Ziziphus, Acacia and Arta trees.

International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 

International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 
Updated 6 min 2 sec ago

International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 

International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 

JEDDAH: The “Diriyah International Forum,” organized through collaboration between the Diriyah Gate Development Authority and the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, will be held from Dec. 10-11.

The forum, themed “Diriyah: A Meeting Point of Cultures,” will bring together a distinguished gathering of scholars, thinkers and researchers.

The two-day forum aims to encourage creative thinking and promote collaboration between different specialties and experiences, and promote a global cultural and tourist destination.

The focus will be on reviewing the architectural style of Diriyah, especially after the opening of the historic Turaif district, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and Bujairi Quarter, the destination for fine dining in Diriyah, among other heritage sites.

The main topics to be covered during the diverse sessions of the forum include three key themes.

The first, titled “Architectural and Artistic Intersections,” explores the influences that shaped the distinctive architectural character of the region, from traditional mud buildings to the incorporation of modern design elements.

The second theme is “Historical Intersections,” focusing on prominent figures and significant historical events that contributed to shaping Diriyah’s history

The third is “Exploring the Past,” addressing the importance of archaeological discoveries, including artifacts and remnants of settlements while highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The forum contributes to shedding light on efforts to protect and preserve the history and heritage of Diriyah and celebrate it.

KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 

KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 
Updated 11 min 50 sec ago

KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 

KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 

RIYADH: Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by Saudi aid agency KSrelief are en route to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday. 

The ambulances are carrying crucial medical supplies including biometric devices, oxygen devices, first aid kits, burn treatment kits, transport beds, splints and straps.

Rafah, overseen by Egypt, is the only crossing into Gaza not controlled by Israel.

KSrelief has finalized four cooperation agreements with international organizations to provide relief worth $40 million for Palestinians in Gaza.

On Thursday, the 24th Saudi relief plane departed from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to Al-Arish International Airport in Egypt.

On board the plane are 31 tons of aid supplies, including food, shelter and medical provisions. 

This initiative is part of an ongoing campaign dedicated to alleviating the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza.

Saudi Arabia and Brazil detail areas of joint cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Brazil detail areas of joint cooperation
Updated 20 min 43 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and Brazil detail areas of joint cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Brazil detail areas of joint cooperation

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday released a joint statement on the visit of President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to the Kingdom and the shared areas the two countries aim to enhance cooperation in.

On Tuesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received Lula at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. The Brazilian president was in the Kingdom from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29.

Lula congratulated the crown prince on winning the bid to host Expo 2030.

The crown prince and Brazilian president reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them. They also exchanged views on current regional and international situations.

The two countries agreed to establish the Saudi-Brazilian Coordination Council to frame and enhance joint cooperation. The leaders also agreed to complete the initial procedures and activate the council with its committee members in the near future.

The crown prince and the Brazilian president discussed economic, trade and investment cooperation and reviewed the most prominent challenges of the global economy and ways to enhance and diversify intra-regional trade. They also discussed ways to intensify joint private-sector partnerships.

The leaders praised the results of the Brazilian-Saudi Investment Forum, held in Sao Paulo in August 2023, which saw the signing of 25 investment agreements between the two countries, valued at about $3.5 billion.

In light of the recent increase in bilateral trade between Brazil and Saudi Arabia, the two sides discussed ways to further expand trade and investment, and agreed to deepen the partnership in other key areas such as defense, science, technology, renewable energy, education, climate and space cooperation.

The leaders agreed on establishing a mechanism for dialogue on investments to stimulate and facilitate investments.

They also agreed on the need to strengthen negotiations between financial and investment agencies such as the Brazilian Development Bank and the Public Investment Fund, and the need to strengthen the stimulation of bilateral talks to facilitate investment and improve the business environment.

The leaders welcomed the signing of an MoU between the National Industrial Development Center and Brazil’s Vale to develop a factory and logistics center for the manufacture of high-quality iron pellets.

They also welcomed the signing of an MoU between the two countries’ energy ministries.

The two sides discussed the importance of strengthening cooperation in the agricultural, fishery and animal fields. They agreed on the importance of enhancing cooperation in aviation, food manufacturing and distribution, communications, technology, digital economy, innovation and space.

Other areas of enhanced cooperation included combating cross-border corruption crimes, judiciary and justice cooperation, transportation and logistics, health, global initiatives to confront current and future pandemics, education (working with universities to strengthen the exchange of academic, educational and research experiences).

The last areas of enhanced cooperation discussed included radio, television and news exchange, and training and cooperation in the cultural areas of museums, music, theater, performing and visual arts.

On Brazil’s presidency of the G20, the two leaders stressed the importance of giving priority to the three dimensions of sustainable development — economic, social and environmental.

They highlighted the importance of intensifying efforts to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution.

Hevolution demonstrates healthspan journey service at Riyadh summit

Hevolution demonstrates healthspan journey service at Riyadh summit
Updated 44 min 54 sec ago

Hevolution demonstrates healthspan journey service at Riyadh summit

Hevolution demonstrates healthspan journey service at Riyadh summit
  • ‘We’re not providing medical advice,’ vice president Dr. Sophia Pathai says
  • ‘It’s a snapshot for you to start to elevate … your healthspan journey’

RIYADH: The Hevolution Foundation demonstrated its new healthspan journey service at the Global Healthspan Summit.

Called Nafatha, the service comprises finger-prick and blood pressure tests, body composition analysis and a retinal scan.

The pop-up clinic was offered at the summit after the company was granted approval from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Ophthalmologist and Vice President of Medicine Dr. Sophia Pathai said Nafatha, which means window in Arabic, provided a “window into your health.”

“We’re not providing medical advice per se and we’re not providing medicines,” she said.

“We had to keep ourselves very much within the safety regulations. But what I’ve learned as I’ve been a physician for over 20 years is that you can have all the best technology in the world. But (it’s) you what’s really valuable indeed, what we found in the other is the personalized human touch.”

The process begins with a questionnaire about the client’s diet, lifestyle, sleep and stress that allows physicians to gain a better understanding of their health journey.

“It’s a snapshot for you to start to elevate, not your health, but your healthspan journey,” Pathai said. “If you have 45 minutes of your precious day to spend with us, we can offer you a 360 experience.”

Patients are told how stress levels can affect the body and receive a personal consultation with experts in biomedical nutrition and sports physiology.

“We know that stress is a key driver of aging,” Pathai said. “So, if you can measure it happening at the cellular level, we have a window into what’s happening at the organ level. And then what’s happening in our whole body.

“There are those who are very stressed and others who really know how to manage that work-life balance that we have these archetypes. With that information, we can understand how best to put you on your healthspan journey.”

Patients receive their results in downloadable reports with recommendations for exercise, sleep and nutrition that are localized to the Gulf region.

Pathai said: “The eye is the window to the soul. So, the retinal scanning gives that added dimension.

“We are complementing that with personalized retinal scanning by one of my colleagues from Heidelberg Engineering, who have developed a machine for looking at the back of the eye and we can detect very early who might have an increased likelihood of diabetes or even diabetic changes in the back of their eye.”

To support local Saudi talent, the Hevolution team hired local healthcare professionals to be a part of the Nafatha team.

Pathai said she was optimistic about the future.

“I think it’s so exciting that we can be almost futuristic in this aspiration where you could have a point of care testing that is looking at body parameters by parameters and elevate you on your healthspan journey.

“So many people, clients who went through who are thought-leaders, CEOs and members of the royal family said, ‘We would love to have this.’ So in my mind, it’s about scaling across and up. I would love to think about how this would be in Taif, Jazan and Dammam.”