Saudi students club in London holds public speaking competition for children 

The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The ‘Little Speaker’ contest was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Updated 27 July 2023
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Saudi students club in London holds public speaking competition for children 

Saudi students club in London holds public speaking competition for children 
  • ‘Little Speaker’ contest allowed children to talk in English, Arabic
  • Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan was the topic for the 40 contestants 

LONDON: The Saudi Students Club in London recently concluded a public speaking competition organized for the children of the Kingdom’s scholarship students residing in the UK.

The “Little Speaker” contest, which was sponsored by the Saudi cultural attache in the UK, saw around 40 children aged 8 to 12 take part. They had the option to deliver the same speech on the Kingdom’s development and Vision 2030 plan, in either English or Arabic.

The children had one month to prepare for the competition via weekly sessions that trained them in different aspects of public speaking, with the deadline for submissions on June 20, said Reem Kharji, president of the Saudi Students Club in London.

The contestants from across the UK were shortlisted to 15 at the end of June. They passed through to the final stage and delivered their speeches at a ceremony in the capital last week, where the five winners were also announced. The first-place winner received £200 ($258), the second received £150, while winners three to five received £100 each.

“Saudi students in the UK are the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia in the UK, so we are trying to raise this in the younger generation to be proud of our country,” Kharji told Arab News.

She added that there are around 30 Saudi student clubs across Britain which hold regular events at universities, where members can talk about their country and its culture.

“One of these events is starting to prepare the younger generation to be speakers in the future, because we know the importance of these kinds of events to raise the confidence of these children to be representatives in the future,” Kharji said.

The Saudi cultural attache in the UK, Dr. Amal bint Jameel Fatani, said: “I’m responsible for all our scholarship recipients, which are about 12,000 students, but they all come with their families and it’s very important to the government and to myself that we not only help them to get their degrees but support them while they’re away from their families, support their children, and help their elderly.”

Fatani said it was important for Saudi students to get the “utmost experiences” from their presence in the UK, so they are “experiencing both the knowledge that they have gained while abroad and also the experience of their family as a unit.”

Fatani said they hold multiple events for children, including one in Newcastle that taught them how to code, and are looking to hold more in the future. There would soon be a symposium held with sessions and workshops organized by children for children, she added.

“I just want them to feel that whether they win today or not, they still have something to look forward to because with that age, it’s not easy to face that I did not win and you really don’t want to break their spirits,” Fatani said.

The children were evaluated by a specialized judging committee, according to five criteria — diversity of tone of voice, hand movement, use of pauses, looking at the camera, and soundness of language. The committee was made up of five students studying different subjects at various UK universities.

“It’s not an easy job to decide who can win the first or the second position in this competition, but we are proud of all of them and they are doing a great job,” said Abdulaziz Alothman, one of the judges.

“We hope and wish to see them in the near future also doing something amazing for Saudi Arabia around the world,” added Alothman, who is president of the Saudi Students Club in Leeds and studying medical education at Leeds University.

He added that one of the key advantages of holding such events is that it brings together children and members of the Saudi student community from across the UK, which allows them to network and learn from each other.

Twelve-year-old Yazeed Alharbi, who moved to Nottingham from Madinah in 2016, won third place for his performance and strong elocution.

“I talked about Saudi Arabia in general and all the projects which aim to make Saudi Arabia richer, more popular, and make people want to go and see Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Alharbi, who has previously taken part in drawing and Qur’an competitions in the UK, also highlighted the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, which he said has been set up by the Saudi government and aims to promote tourism and “improve the economy globally.”

He added: “I’d like my country to become very popular (and) in school I always talk about Saudi Arabia and my teacher is like, OK, I really want to go there.”

The first prize went to 9-year-old Jumanah Alharbi, who moved from Riyadh to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, four years ago.

“I feel really (overjoyed) because I’ve won first place and I needed to practice a lot to win first place. And I needed to work hard and make sure that I pronounced the words correctly,” she said.

Alharbi, who aspires to be a space scientist because she wants to know if life exists beyond Earth, said that in her first presentation she spoke about how the government has set up Vision 2030 which will make her country “better and smarter.”

In her second presentation, she spoke about imagination, friendship, kindness and that anything is possible, she said.

“They tell you that dreams don’t just come true on their own and it takes hard work and it takes the importance of friendship as well.

“Just dream big and let your curiosity guide you, but don’t let anyone stop you and believe in yourself.”

 


GCC, Uzbek officials meet ahead of ministerial meeting

GCC head, Jasem Albudaiwi, is pictured with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent.
GCC head, Jasem Albudaiwi, is pictured with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent.
Updated 14 April 2024
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GCC, Uzbek officials meet ahead of ministerial meeting

GCC head, Jasem Albudaiwi, is pictured with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent.
  • Officials discussed preparations for the second ministerial meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the GCC and Central Asian countries

RIYADH: The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jasem Albudaiwi, met Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed preparations for the second ministerial meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the GCC and Central Asian countries.

The meeting, scheduled to be held on April 15 in Tashkent, will gather ministers of foreign affairs from the GCC and Central Asian countries.

Albudaiwi said GCC countries attach great importance to their relations with Central Asian nations, stressing that holding the joint ministerial meeting less than a year since their first summit is a testament to these countries’ keenness to advance relations at all levels and in all fields.

According to Albudaiwi, discussions are expected to focus on political coordination and collaboration in investment and economy, mainly digital economy, and green energy security and use.


Saudi officials attend meeting of auditors in Tanzania

The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau.
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi officials attend meeting of auditors in Tanzania

The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau.
  • IIA is looking forward to expanding its work in developing professional standards and raising awareness of the roles of the internal audit profession

RIYADH: The board of directors at the Institute of Internal Auditors has convened its second meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau and chairman of the board of directors at the Saudi Institute of Internal Auditors, and other members of the board at the IIA.

The meeting looked at the notable activities of the current year and discussed agenda items. Several recommendations and decisions were made.

The body is looking forward to expanding its work in developing professional standards and raising awareness of the roles of the internal audit profession.

It aims to keep up with the world’s technical and professional advances, and progress the development of the profession and its practitioners.

It also bids to develop future strategies that will lead the field toward broader horizons in line with ongoing technological developments.

The IIA has served as the world’s premier professional reference for all aspects of the internal audit profession since its establishment in 1941.

Headquartered in Florida, the organization is tasked with providing comprehensive educational and professional development opportunities; establishing professional practice standards and guidelines; administering certification programs; conducting research; and disseminating and enhancing knowledge related to internal audit and its appropriate role in oversight, risk management, and governance for practitioners and stakeholders.


Pakistan PM receives MWL chief in Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif receives Muslim World League chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa in Islamabad.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif receives Muslim World League chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa in Islamabad.
Updated 14 April 2024
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Pakistan PM receives MWL chief in Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif receives Muslim World League chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa in Islamabad.
  • Pakistan attaches utmost importance to its strong relations with the Kingdom which are rooted in common faith and values, Sharif said
  • MWL chief also held talks with Qazi Faez Isa, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan

RIYADH: Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif received Muslim World League chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa in Islamabad, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Sharif commended the MWL’s “global efforts in unifying the words of scholars, clarifying the true message of Islam, and confronting Islamophobia,” the organization said.

The two officials discussed topics of common interest and Islamic-related work.

Pakistan attaches utmost importance to its strong relations with the Kingdom which are rooted in common faith and values, Sharif said.

He praised the league’s efforts to clarify the reality of Islam and confront Islamophobia, and stressed his country’s continued support for its efforts inside and outside Pakistan.

In a separate meeting during an official visit to Pakistan, the MWL chief also held talks with Qazi Faez Isa, chief justice of the Supreme Court. The two discussed several issues related to general constitutional principles and their subordinate legislation.


Swiss music to be highlighted at Riyadh concert

Swiss artists Marc Aymon and Milla Besson. (Supplied)
Swiss artists Marc Aymon and Milla Besson. (Supplied)
Updated 14 April 2024
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Swiss music to be highlighted at Riyadh concert

Swiss artists Marc Aymon and Milla Besson. (Supplied)
  • Marc Aymon and Milla Besson performing at event

RIYADH: The Swiss Embassy in Riyadh — in cooperation with the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise — is hosting a music concert on April 18 at the Cultural Palace in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter. It aims to showcase French-language Swiss music through performances by Swiss artists Marc Aymon and Milla Besson.

Born in 1982 in Sion, Switzerland, Aymon has released four albums and his music has reached audiences across South America, Iran, the US, Africa, and the French-speaking world. Aymon has performed at various concerts and festivals, including the Paleo Festival in Nyon in 2006 and 2013.

Aymon and Besson recently gave an exclusive French-language interview to Arab News in which they told of their love of Swiss culture.

Aymon said: “It (Swiss culture) represents the authenticity of nature, elegance, precision, and quality.

“Swiss culture is inspiring just about everywhere. It’s a wonderful country to leave and return to. I believe in movement. I like to be a Swiss artist who arrives on time, who is very precise and fussy, but who doesn’t hesitate to change all the plans and go through the window when all the doors remain closed.”

His passion for music has been recognized on European and global stages. He added: “It’s a passion for memory, for archives, for the emotions we all share.

“I fell in love with an old song from 1890 and thought it was beautiful before I knew it was part of Switzerland's heritage.”

Aymon will be performing for the first time in Saudi Arabia with Besson.

He added: “We’re going to be playing in a magnificent auditorium, a very large room equipped with a great sound system.

“I’m looking forward to unplugging my guitar, in total acoustic mode, (and) asking people to stop filming us with their phones to experience a moment of disarming simplicity.”

Besson, who was born in 2000, is a Swiss singer-songwriter who has been collaborating and composing with singers Aymon and Jeremie Kisling, and the duo Aliose, since 2019.

She said: “We all have important encounters that shape our lives. Marc Aymon was the first person to take my music seriously, to see in me what I didn’t dare to see, and to offer me my first stages and studio experiences. He helped me to make my mark, to become solid and free artistically.

“This is my first time in Saudi Arabia and Riyadh. Like any first time there’s a certain mystery and excitement about it. I'm looking forward to discovering this new country, its people, and its culture.”

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on April 18 and free tickets can be obtained from https://dqa-et.e-ticket.app/events/9bac8509-623a-4696-b0ee-e1f988982f2a.


UNICEF hails KSrelief’s role in advancing education in Yemen

UNICEF hails KSrelief’s role in advancing education in Yemen
Updated 14 April 2024
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UNICEF hails KSrelief’s role in advancing education in Yemen

UNICEF hails KSrelief’s role in advancing education in Yemen
  • Over 800,000 children thriving through Saudi educational support, reports UN fund

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, through its aid agency KSrelief, has allocated $6.2 million to support approximately 827,000 children in Yemen, ensuring their access to quality education opportunities. This initiative was undertaken in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

UNICEF recently noted that the funding provided by KSrelief has facilitated access to public and private education for girls and boys from vulnerable groups, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Peter Hawkins, the fund’s representative to Yemen, said: “One in every four primary school-aged children in Yemen is currently out of school. Moreover, educational outcomes for those able to attend do not align with their age.

“Thanks to contributions from partners such as KSrelief, UNICEF continues to address the educational needs of vulnerable girls and boys in Yemen.”

The funding enabled over 527,000 children to participate in national final exams for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Additionally, 300,000 male and female students received school bags and recreational supplies, aimed at motivating them to return to school while alleviating the financial burden on their families.

Moreover, the Kingdom’s support through KSrelief has enhanced teaching and learning practices in classrooms by training 7,520 male and female teachers across 17 governorates.

Additionally, hygiene supplies were distributed to 71,956 children and 120 schools.

KSrelief’s assistance also facilitated UNICEF’s outreach to nearly 4.9 million individuals, including caregivers, through the implementation of five awareness campaigns. Outreach activities reached approximately 26,000 community leaders and officials, as well as 2,500 families.

KSrelief remains a steadfast partner of UNICEF, providing continuous funding for life-saving interventions that enable UNICEF to address the most critical needs of vulnerable children in Yemen, SPA stated.

Meanwhile, in Yemen’s Hajjah governorate, KSrelief’s mobile medical clinic rendered essential medical services to 2,072 beneficiaries in one month. The clinic’s diverse services included treating patients for epidemiological diseases, providing emergency care, and offering internal medicine and reproductive health services.

In the Saada governorate of Yemen, KSrelief’s ongoing projects aim to address the primary healthcare and water needs of displaced individuals in the Razih district. In one month, medical clinics operating under this initiative treated patients for various ailments, including epidemic diseases, emergencies, internal medicine issues, and reproductive health concerns.

The project also provided nursing services, surgical assistance, and medical referrals, alongside conducting waste disposal programs and supplying potable water to the district.