JEDDAH: Authorities in Makkah and Madinah have erected new, high-quality tents as part of their preparations to welcome pilgrims to the holy sites for the upcoming Hajj season.
Fitted with a special cooling system, the facilities will provide visitors with a pleasant and safe environment in which to perform their rituals, as well as offering all the support services they need.
Makkah Municipality said it had created 28 service centers, which will be fully staffed and equipped, while the Municipality of Madinah said it too had completed its preparations and was ready to implement its operational plan for the Hajj season.
Authorities in Madinah said they had recruited more than 9,900 people and would use over 800 pieces of equipment to help deliver their plan, which is focused mainly on the central area, residential neighborhoods, mosques, historical sites, markets and event zones.
They said they had also inspected fuel and service stations, barbershops and women’s hair salons, markets and street vendors to ensure high levels of hygiene.
Plans had also been put in place to tackle any emergencies that might arise during the pilgrimage season, the authorities said.
NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia on Thursday called on the international community to reform multilateral cooperation frameworks to better take into account the concerns and needs of all states, including developing countries.
“We need more-influential and more-effective multilateral mechanisms … and international development that will be supported as we work toward a world that is more just and more peaceful,” said Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly session in New York, at a ministerial meeting to prepare for the Summit of the Future in September 2024. The UN describes the upcoming summit as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance global cooperation to tackle critical challenges, address gaps in global governance, reaffirm existing commitments, including to the UN’s charter and Sustainable Development Goals, and establish a multilateral system better positioned to positively affect people’s lives.
Prince Faisal said the summit aims to help overcome the challenges that undermine global hopes for a better future, and stressed the need to reaffirm shared principles and intensify consultations to agree a mutual vision that can “improve the world for our populations.”
UN bodies need to be included in the reforms process, he added, in particular the Security Council, which “must be expanded and more representative in nature,” and that implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through international partnerships must be high on the list of topics for discussion at the event next year.
“The Global Sustainable Development Report for 2022 noted the significant progress made by the Kingdom because we have prioritized sustainable development as a priority for the Saudi Vision 2030,” the prince told the meeting.
“The Kingdom is working tirelessly, through its membership in international organizations and blocs, to revitalize the path of development in relations between countries, to support better understanding and better cooperation.”
He said constructive relationships that rely on dialogue to resolve differences, and cooperation in establishing security and stability, offer a path toward achieving comprehensive development.
“International cooperation frameworks must be facilitating and supportive of partnership and cooperation, resistant to the pressures of competition and polarization, and discouraging any calls that spread hatred between peoples, disrespect for religions, and fuel extremism and terrorism,” said Prince Faisal.
The summit will also take into account the comprehensive nature and specificity of human rights concepts, he added, while also addressing inherent rights such as the rights to development and food, preservation of the pivotal role of the family, and reject of contempt for or belittlement of religions.
Thursday’s meeting provided an opportunity for ministers to set out their visions and priorities for the Summit of the Future, and to outline their expectations for the action-oriented outcomes that can be achieved when the heads of state and government meet next year.
The summit aims to build on a two-day Sustainable Development Goals summit that took place on Monday, and breathe new life into the multilateral system so that it can deliver on the promises of the UN Charter and the organization’s 2030 agenda for a sustainable future.
“The Summit of the Future is a unique opportunity to help rebuild trust and bring outdated multilateral institutions and frameworks into line with today’s world, based on equity and solidarity,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“But it is more than an opportunity; it is an essential means of reducing risks and creating a safer and more peaceful world.”
During the summit, UN member states are expected to adopt a Pact for the Future that covers five main issues: sustainable development and related financing; international peace and security; science, technology, innovation and digital cooperation; youth and future generations; and transforming global governance.
Saudi Snapchat designer creates special National Day filter lenses
Maha Al-Dosary draws inspiration from objects, world news, daughters’ imagination to create immersive augmented reality experiences
Updated 36 min 28 sec ago
RIYADH: To mark Saudi Arabia’s 93rd National Day, Maha Al-Dosary, a certified Snapchat Lens Developer and Ambassador, created special filter lenses meant to capture the essence of the occasion.
Al-Dosary, who is also a wife and mother, has been able to seamlessly balance her roles while nurturing her interests in Augmented Reality lens development on Snapchat.
“I designed a simple lens that embodies the national identity for the 93rd National Day where I animated several pictures using scripts provided by Lens Studio. The lens works when you click on the missile as it launches upward and then the picture becomes clear,” she explained.
Lens Studio, an AR development tool by Snap, is designed to empower artists and developers to craft immersive AR experiences for Snapchatters worldwide.
Al-Dosary’s work exemplifies the growing influence of AR technology, and she believes that it can enhance various aspects of daily life, including e-commerce.
As of 2022, the Ipsos Augmentality Shift Study commissioned by Snap Inc. found that the number one reason people use AR is not for fun but for shopping.
The fast-growing field of AR technology offers the opportunity to merge the physical and digital worlds while fostering connections with friends and colleagues.
Al-Dosary draws inspiration from various sources, including pictures, objects, world news, and even the imagination of her daughters, underscoring the versatile nature of AR design.
“My girls are always telling me how proud they are of me and the job I do. They truly enjoy using the filters I design and are my biggest supporters,” Al-Dosary said with pride.
In 2022, Al-Dosary clinched the top spot in the Tunisia AI Hackathon in the Snap Augmented Reality Challenge. This competition, which focused on using SnapML to address UNICEF’s Sustainable Development Goals, attracted participants from 27 Middle East and African nations.
Al-Dosary’s journey into the world of Snapchat lenses had a humble beginning, with self-learning and limited English proficiency.
However, her curiosity and determination led her to become a certified Snapchat ambassador, trainer, content creator, and a leader of the Snapchat Lenses community in Saudi Arabia.
Sharing her message of encouragement for aspiring Snap lens creators, she said: “Success is one of the most beautiful things a person can achieve, but it requires effort and perseverance. Set your goals and strive to achieve them. Take advantage of quiet times and make use of the free educational materials available on the Internet.”
Snapchat is playing a pivotal role in transforming Saudi Arabia in alignment with Vision 2030. It not only showcases art, culture and entertainment but also fosters technological advancements in AR.
“We’ve been working on AR for nearly a decade. Snap has long had the ability to be ahead of the curve,” said Rayan Al-Zahab, AR developer relations lead at Snap MENA.
“We believe AR is the future of immersive customer experiences and are developing the technology to facilitate virtual try-ons, catalog browsing, showrooming, and much more.”
“Snapchat is committed to empowering Saudi youth by providing hands-on training in augmented reality and innovation through local events and Saudi AR experts,” Al-Zahab added.
As Snap continues to lead the way in AR innovation, it is evident that the future holds exciting possibilities for both creators and users of this immersive technology.
The device allows library and park visitors to benefit from the audio services provided in an accessible and easy way
The launch of the device is a continuation of the second phase launched by the commission this year in Al-Ahsa
Updated 21 September 2023
RIYADH: CEO of the Saudi Libraries Commission Abdulrahman Al-Asem has launched a device created from the audio library booths “Masmou” project at the King Fahd National Library Park in Riyadh.
The device allows library and park visitors to benefit from the audio services provided in an accessible and easy way.
The launch of the device is a continuation of the second phase launched by the commission this year in Al-Ahsa, to be followed by many devices in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province. It is also one of the strategic initiatives of the commission aiming to provide library services in gathering places.
Through “Masmou,” the commission seeks to introduce audio content and facilitate access to knowledge for different community groups in all regions of the Kingdom by providing audiobooks in distinctive locations, as well as reviving cultural heritage in an innovative way.
The idea of the audio library booths project was inspired by the telephone booths of the Ministry of Telegraph, Post, and Telephone in the 1980s and the 1990s, as they were commonly available and easy to use.
The “Masmou” booths allow users to listen to audio content via mobile phone, by browsing content according to duration, topic, most listened to, and other categories. Users can then choose the desired audio file, with the ability to listen to a short clip directly via the device or scan the QR code to listen to the entire audio file via mobile phone.
Manga Productions secures exclusive rights to distribute ‘Captain Tsubasa’ in MENA
Partnership ‘in line with our vision to inspire and nurture the heroes of tomorrow,’ says CEO Essam Bukhary
“Captain Tsubasa,” once adapted into Arabic as “Captain Majid” and a fan favorite in Arab countries since the 1980s, is renowned for its thrilling soccer matches and moving stories
Updated 21 September 2023
RIYADH: Saudi company Manga Productions has secured distribution and other rights for the Japanese sports anime series “Captain Tsubasa” in the MENA region.
In partnership with Tsubasa Corporation and Dentsu Inc., Manga Productions will manage the distribution, licensing and promotion of “Captain Tsubasa” season one and “Captain Tsubasa: Junior Youth Arc” season two.
Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, said the anime series has inspired readers and viewers for over 40 years.
“Our collaboration is an affirmation of Manga Productions’ commitment to broadening its portfolio and working with leading creative content companies. This partnership is in line with our vision to inspire and nurture the heroes of tomorrow,” he said.
Abdulaziz Alnaghmoosh, director of marketing, distribution and business development at Manga Productions, said the company recognizes the “deep love and nostalgia” fans have for the series.
“Captain Tsubasa,” once adapted into Arabic as “Captain Majid” and a fan favorite in Arab countries since the 1980s, is renowned for its thrilling soccer matches and moving stories. The series is set to attract a new generation of viewers.
Alnaghmoosh said: “Our collaboration aims to reignite a passion for soccer in the hearts of both new and old fans. We are thrilled to be a part of this project and to bring this work to the MENA region.”
“Captain Tsubasa,” created by Yoichi Takahashi, has sold over 90 million copies worldwide in both print and digital formats since it was first published in 1981.
The series follows the protagonist Tsubasa Oozora and a host of players as they engage in intense battles on the field and grow as characters through their rivalries.