RIYADH: The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority foiled an attempt to smuggle 2,015,116 million Captagon tablets at Al Haditha port in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
According to authorities the tablets were found during a routine inspection of one of the vehicles entering Al-Wadiah port carrying Tomatoes and Pomegranate.
Amphetamines are largely used by young men and teenaged boys across the Middle East – but the money raised through the sale of all narcotics is not only used to further supply of the illegal drugs trade, but to fund other organized crime and terrorism.
Authorities stated that one person was arrested, and the General Directorate of Narcotics Control is after the other offenders inside the Kingdom.
The Kingdom vs Captagon
Inside Saudi Arabia's war against the drug destroying lives across the Arab world
Saudi surgeon who gave Gaza’s conjoined twin new lease of life fearful about her fate
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of KSrelief, separated Haneen from twin sister in 2018 in marathon surgery
Whereabouts of the six-year-old unknown following destruction of her hometown, northern Gaza, in Israeli military action
Updated 14 sec ago
RIYADH: Five years before Israeli forces bombarded the Gaza Strip in one of the most intense escalations of force the region has witnessed, one baby girl was given a new lease of life.
Baby Haneen, who was born on Oct. 21, 2017 as a conjoined twin with her sister Farah, underwent surgery at the King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital in Riyadh at less than two months old.
The complex surgery to separate her from her sister, who sadly did not have the necessary organs to live and was thus treated as a parasitic twin, would take up to 15 hours to complete and was led by pediatric surgeon Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, who had already carried out 44 successful twin separation procedures.
As of 2023, as part of the Saudi Program for the Separation of Conjoined Twins for poor families, Dr. Al-Rabeeah has evaluated more than 134 sets of conjoined twins, and separated 59 sets of twins from 24 countries, with a success rate close to 100 percent.
“We brought a smile on the face of the parents of those twins, and we managed to take (Haneen) back to Gaza in 2018,” Dr. Al-Rabeeah, who is also the supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, said in the latest episode of the Arab News show “Frankly Speaking.”
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund reported in May this year that Haneen, now six years old, was alive and thriving, despite health issues including the loss of a leg and kidney problems.
“Despite her challenges, Haneen has a positive outlook on life. She loves playing with other children, attending kindergarten, singing, and helping her mother with housework. She always greets people with a smile and brings positive energy to her family and those around her. Haneen dreams of becoming a doctor in the future and helping children,” the PCRF site read, adding that Haneen had joined their amputee program, which helps children with amputations living in the Gaza Strip.
However, with much of northern Gaza — Haneen’s home — destroyed by Israeli military action, Dr. Al-Rabeeah fears the worst.
“Now, I am not sure as of today whether Haneen is alive, whether her parents are alive, or all of this work that has been done by Saudi Arabia has been lost,” he said. “It’s painful for me until I secure that Haneen and her parents are alive.”
Saudi Arabia’s AlUla, Kenya’s Space for Giants sign deal to enhance natural reserves
The partnership aims to protect biodiversity in AlUla, reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon storage capabilities
Updated 03 December 2023
JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate has partnered with Kenyan-based Space for Giants, an organization specializing in environmental conservation, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
The partnership aims to protect biodiversity in AlUla, reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon storage capabilities in AlUla’s natural reserves.
Over the next three years, the two parties will work together to design and implement joint activities focused on managing, protecting and monitoring biodiversity and natural environments.
These efforts will align with international standards and support the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative, which was launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2021 to promote climate action, and with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The partnership includes providing nature conservation groups in the authority’s natural reserves with the necessary equipment, systems and capabilities to protect areas and ensure the health and safety of rangers.
It will also look to develop means and techniques of communication between nature protectors to enhance their capabilities to preserve reserves and share data quickly.
The partnership also includes developing the management of the reserves to enable them to achieve the requirements of the IUCN Green List certification by 2025, as well as working to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon storage.
Both parties are also keen to promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism model in AlUla, SPA said.
RCU is developing natural reserves throughout AlUla Governorate, which include Sharaan, Al-Gharamil, Wadi Nakhla, Harrat Al-Zaben and Harrat Awairid, each of which is characterized by distinctive plants, organisms, and geological features.
The reserves extend over an area exceeding 12,000 sq km, constituting more than 50 percent of the land area of Al-Ula governorate.
The nature reserves are patrolled with 154 AlUla nature conservancy staff who have completed an 18-month training program.
Tokyo governor looking forward to ‘exciting’ World Expo in Riyadh
Japan will pass baton to Kingdom after Osaka hosts global event in 2025
Saudi Arabia, Japan can learn from each other on green issues, Gov. Koike Yuriko says
Updated 03 December 2023
DUBAI: The governor of Tokyo hopes World Expo 2030 in Riyadh will be an exciting and sustainable event with the potential to “surprise the world.”
Speaking to Arab News Japan on Saturday, Gov. Koike Yuriko offered her best wishes to Saudi Arabia after Riyadh this week won its bid to host the prestigious event.
“I’d like to congratulate the Kingdom,” she said. “And I hope the Expo … would be an exciting one (and) make the people of the world surprised.”
Japan will pass the Expo baton to the Kingdom after Osaka hosts the event in 2025. Speaking on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, Koike said she hoped the event in Riyadh would be a “sustainable one.”
Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region and Japan should learn from one another and collaborate in order to achieve decarbonization and other green initiatives, the governor said.
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE are producing countries, while Japan is a buying one. Both regions already collaborate and can share knowledge and initiatives to seek the best ways to save the great climate,” she said.
Tokyo’s first female governor, Koike also spoke about the plans and initiatives in place to make the city greener.
“To tackle climate change in Tokyo is very challenging,” she said. “Our timeline is to curb CO2 emissions by 2030 and (achieve) net zero by 2050.”
As 70 percent of Tokyo’s CO2 emissions come from residential property, Koike said the city would implement a new policy in 2025 requiring all new buildings to install solar or renewable energy equipment.
“This is the very first regulation that requests people, or especially house-builders, to set solar panels or solar cells.”
Next year, Tokyo will host the SusHi Tech summit, which aims to make Tokyo a smart city and promote a digital economy. The event will also encourage startups to come up with new initiatives to help Tokyo achieve its green goals.
On the situation in the Gaza Strip, Koike said she was “anxious” for the Palestinian people.
“I have asked a Japanese company, which runs the sanitary goods products in that area, to send their products to children and women in Gaza,” she said. “The Japanese government previously supported building a school for deaf children. But that was bombed many years ago.”
Koike said she hoped the crisis could be resolved as soon as possible.
Saudi Arabia’s cultural renaissance embraces metal music
Local band Immortal Pain fulfills growing appetite for genre among Saudi music lovers
Updated 03 December 2023
JEDDAH: Saudi metal band Immortal Pain delivered a loud and lively concert at Comic Con Arabia in Jeddah, with a huge crowd of fans cheering and singing along with them.
Friday night marked the second performance of the band at the convention. They have been in the rock and metal scene since late 2005, starting with two members and later doubling.
In a previous interview with Arab News, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Emad Ashoor said the band started with only him and the lead guitarist Rasheed Attar. Later, drummer Moayad Al-Shammari and bassist Anan Al-Sabban joined the group, and just last year, they signed a contract with Saudi recording company Wall of Sound: Dark Mode.
The Jeddah-based band has been throwing mini-concerts across the Kingdom. They have also released original music and are working on releasing more to their Saudi, Arab, and international audiences.
While they previously spoke to Arab News about their origins, this time the members shared insight into the dynamic of the group and how they work together on making their songs and music videos.
It all begins with inspiration.
“The four of us gather, talk about our latest encounters in life and how we felt,” said the drummer Al-Shammari. “Then we express everything in music. We let our instruments talk for us.”
On the unusual places or moments that can inspire, Al-Shammari said: “One day, I was passing by a construction site, and the sounds of wrecking and drilling inspired me somehow and I made a song based on the noise of the construction site.”
Ashoor, gifted with a poetic sense, takes over the next step of writing the lyrics.
So far, they have been writing lyrics in English, but they all agreed they were open to the challenge of writing in Arabic and were eager to experiment and evolve with their music.
The four of us gather, talk about our latest encounters in life and how we felt. Then we express everything in music. We let our instruments talk for us.
Moayad Al-Shammari, Immortal Pain drummer
Once the lyrics are in place, they decide upon a melody and arrange the song, deciding which riff goes first and which follows. The lyrics are recorded last.
When asked about the difficult times they have encountered throughout their career, the four agreed that starting was tough as metal music was considered a Western genre and was not popular locally. Although they have supportive families, they said it was hard for them to find an audience at the very beginning.
Their audience gradually increased from a few people to several dozen, and by the time they played at Comic Con last year and this year, they had amassed about 1,000 music fans.
“Rock and metal are both on the rise contrary to what Gene Simmons and the likes of KISS might think. They can go ahead and retire if it’s getting too loud,” bassist Al-Sabban joked when asked about the metal scene in the Kingdom.
“But the local and global scenes are growing,” he said, adding that Metallica would be playing in the Kingdom next week. “As we all know, when Saudi Arabia gets involved, it’s going to be bigger and better.”
When MDLBeast announced that Metallica would be performing in Saudi Arabia, fans from across the Middle East and North Africa bought tickets to see the legendary metal band.
Immortal Pain also told Arab News exclusively that after only releasing singles, they are officially going to record their first full album first thing next year. They also revealed that in 2024, they will hit the road on a tour across the MENA region, throwing concerts in the Kingdom, the UAE, and Egypt.
Al-Shammari proudly added that they have also received an invitation to perform in Germany, and while nothing is yet confirmed, they are hoping things will work and they will hold an international concert.
For updates about the band, follow their Instagram @immortal_pain_official.
Saudi Arabia showcases crafts, culture at Milan exhibition
The Saudi Company for Crafts and Handicrafts will display its most notable craftwork, while the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts will exhibit work from 12 of its students
Updated 02 December 2023
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is participating in the Artigiano in Fiera exhibition in Milan, Italy, which runs from Dec. 2-10. The Saudi pavilion, overseen by the Ministry of Culture, will showcase various aspects of the country’s culture and rich national heritage.
According to a report by the Saudi Press Agency, participating organizations include the Saudi Heritage Commission, the Culinary Arts Commission, the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts, and the Saudi Handicrafts Company.
The pavilion will also highlight Arabic poetry’s relationship to Italian culture. A selection of Arabic verses will be translated into Italian and hung on murals at the entrance.
The Heritage Commission will showcase the creative ingenuity of 25 artisans and the traditional handicrafts and crafts that have long been a source of pride for the nation.
The Saudi Company for Crafts and Handicrafts will display its most notable craftwork, while the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts will exhibit work from 12 of its students.
Twelve chefs from the Culinary Arts Commission will be on hand to provide the public with a live cooking demonstration of popular delicacies from across Saudi Arabia. A traditional restaurant will offer coffee and traditional produce, too.
The Royal Institute of Traditional Arts will exhibit work from 12 of its students at Artigiano in Fiera exhibition in Milan, Italy, until Dec. 10.
The Theater and Performing Arts Commission, meanwhile, will present shows involving 13 traditional performing arts.
Saudi Arabia’s participation in Artigiano in Fiera is a component of the Ministry of Culture’s efforts, in cooperation with other cultural organizations, to represent the Kingdom in international forums in line with Saudi Vision 2030’s aims is to promote worldwide cultural exchange.
As part of the 2023 Year of Arabic Poetry project, the ministry is focusing on the Kingdom’s interest in “intangible cultural heritage,” such as the relationship between Arabic poetry and Italian culture.