Who’s Who: Khulood Al-Mani, peace ambassador for the UN Peace Ambassador Foundation

Khulood Al-Mani
Khulood Al-Mani
Short Url
Updated 27 November 2023
Follow

Who’s Who: Khulood Al-Mani, peace ambassador for the UN Peace Ambassador Foundation

Khulood Al-Mani

Khulood Al-Mani was appointed a peace ambassador for the UN Peace Ambassador Foundation earlier this month by the foundation’s board of trustees.

This year, she became the first Saudi to be appointed as a senator of the World Business Angels Investment Forum, an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

Al-Mani is a professor and expert in digital transformation in artificial intelligence systems, entrepreneurship, innovation and start-ups, and a founding member of the Saudi Association for Engineering Innovation and Research at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Born in the US, she completed her early education in California and part of her middle schooling in Virginia.

Al-Mani obtained a Ph.D. in computer science from Loughborough University in the UK. In 2018, in cooperation with the university’s research center, she created a virtual tech accelerator digital platform for small and medium enterprises.

She is a founding member and investor in Forward Angel Investment along with a group of partners from Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf. The venture provides financial support, training and partnerships to digital entrepreneurs and startups worldwide.

She also worked for several years as a professor at King Saud University and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh.

Al-Mani has won a number of awards locally and globally. She was ranked first in the world among the top 32 thought leaders in the field of technology, AI, robotics and data science by the Mobile World Congress 2023 in March. Last year, she was listed among the 50 most powerful global thought leaders in AI and was awarded the Global Technical Thought Leadership Medal.

In a statement to Arab News, Al-Mani said: “I hope to support the Saudi government on the current leadership of artificial intelligence by creating the appropriate ecosystem for these entities and companies to thrive and grow.”

She noted that this will provide new technology graduates with greater career opportunities and will also improve the quality of life in large cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah by “meeting the real daily needs of citizens and visitors.”

 


Waad campaign provides more than 800,000 training opportunities for Saudis

The ministry is keen to provide more opportunities for the development and enhancement of skills for all Saudi beneficiaries.
The ministry is keen to provide more opportunities for the development and enhancement of skills for all Saudi beneficiaries.
Updated 25 sec ago
Follow

Waad campaign provides more than 800,000 training opportunities for Saudis

The ministry is keen to provide more opportunities for the development and enhancement of skills for all Saudi beneficiaries.
  • SABIC, Saudi Telecom Company and Arab National Bank achieved more than the campaign’s targets for the next three years in the course of 2023

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development’s national training campaign Waad has achieved 74 percent of its target numbers.

The campaign aims to offer 1,155,000 training opportunities by the end of 2025, as part of the ministry’s strategy to support and train national cadres in partnership with the private sector.

The initiative provided about 863,675 training opportunities for national cadres in 2023, with the second half of the year giving some 670,000 opportunities.

SABIC, Saudi Telecom Company and Arab National Bank achieved more than the campaign’s targets for the next three years in the course of 2023.

The regional meeting series started in Arar city in the Northern Borders, allocating 35,000 training opportunities for the region.

The second meeting took place at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in the Eastern Province. This was attended by the region’s governor and the deputy minister of human resources and social development for labor, and 100,000 training opportunities were offered.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, through Waad, aims to advance the job market and achieve Saudi Vision 2030 targets by supporting, qualifying and training national cadres. It has set seven criteria for national facilities’ participation in the campaign, notably training 12 percent of Saudis annually.

The ministry is keen to provide more opportunities for the development and enhancement of skills for all Saudi beneficiaries, as part of its aim to achieve a vibrant society and a distinguished working environment.

 


Saudi Arabia launches Madak competition to inspire Arab youth in space sciences

The Madak competition aims to enhance the culture of research and innovation and inspire generations.
The Madak competition aims to enhance the culture of research and innovation and inspire generations.
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Saudi Arabia launches Madak competition to inspire Arab youth in space sciences

The Madak competition aims to enhance the culture of research and innovation and inspire generations.
  • Called “Space Madak,” the competition is aimed at students in the Arab world between the ages of 6 and 18
  • Winning entries will have the opportunity to journey to the International Space Station by the fourth quarter of 2024

RIYADH: The Madak competition, which was launched on Sunday by the Saudi Space Agency, aims to enhance the culture of research and innovation and inspire generations to engage in the space sciences.

Called “Space Madak,” the competition is aimed at students in the Arab world between the ages of 6 and 18. The winning entries will have the opportunity to journey to the International Space Station by the fourth quarter of 2024.

The competition comprises three tracks: the arts track targets students aged 6 to 11, the botany track from 12 to 14, and the engineering track from 15 to 18.

Supervised by Rayana Barnawi, the first female Saudi astronaut, who conducted 14 experiments aboard the ISS, the competition is a collaboration between the Misk Foundation and the Ilmi Science Discovery & Innovation Center.

Barnawi said the competition is a “unique opportunity for students in the Arab world to participate in a journey of discovery and innovation,” and will expand the horizons of young and ambitious generations while stimulating their creativity.

The objective of the competition is to cultivate skills and abilities among students in the Arab world and motivate them to explore the wonders of space.

It aims to enhance students’ critical and analytical thinking skills through the presentation of an experiment focused on studying the impact of the microgravity environment on plant growth.

The competition also aims to boost problem-solving skills by tasking participants with designing scientific experiments within a microgravity environment.

SSA CEO Mohammed Al-Tamimi said that the competition was open to all students in the Arab world, enabling them to explore a new horizon in space science and enhance their scientific skills to help enrich the space arena with pioneering contributions.

He added that Saudi Arabia, a leader in the space field, reaffirmed its commitment to stimulating creativity and excellence in the domain, both regionally and internationally.

Registration for the competition is open until April 30 at https://ssa.gov.sa/en/initiative/?path=/initiatives-1/madak-competition/

Established in 2018, the SSA was created to bolster the Kingdom’s standing as a leading regional and international center in the field of space. Its primary objectives revolve around space science and exploration, creating new opportunities within the industry while nurturing local talent to foster growth and advancement for the benefit of the nation and humanity.


Over 6m worshippers flock to Prophet’s Mosque in one week

People walk in the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. (File/SPA)
People walk in the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. (File/SPA)
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Over 6m worshippers flock to Prophet’s Mosque in one week

People walk in the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. (File/SPA)
  • The statistics issued by the authority showed that 647,790 individuals visited the tomb of Prophet Muhammad
  • Additionally, 298,397 visitors performed prayers at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa

RIYADH: The General Authority for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque announced that the latter welcomed a total of 6,000,247 visitors last week, an achievement facilitated by high-quality services that enabled the crowds to perform their prayers smoothly, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The statistics issued by the authority showed that 647,790 individuals visited the tomb of Prophet Muhammad. Additionally, 298,397 visitors performed prayers at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa, following organizational procedures that regulated crowd movement and designated specific prayer times for both men and women.

The authority also reported that 16,506 elderly people and individuals with disabilities were able to use electric carts provided to ease their access to the Prophet’s Mosque, while 114,532 visitors benefited from guidance services, which assisted them in navigating the various exhibitions, museums, and other areas. A total of 147,735 visitors benefited from translation services, and 12,205 sought information at the Prophet's Mosque’s library.

More than 5,400 people visited exhibitions and museums, while 30,140 used transportation services. Additionally, 146,429 gifts — including copies of the Qur’an, umbrellas, prayer mats, incense burners, flowers and sweets — were offered to visitors.

Over 160,000 bottles of Zamzam water were supplied to visitors, and 142,007 iftar meals were distributed in corridors of the mosque designated for people who had been fasting.


Ukrainian envoy praises Saudi Arabia’s ongoing aid efforts

Ambassador of Ukraine to Saudi Arabia Anatolii Petrenko   hosts an exhibition to showcase the resilience of the Ukrainian people
Ambassador of Ukraine to Saudi Arabia Anatolii Petrenko hosts an exhibition to showcase the resilience of the Ukrainian people
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Ukrainian envoy praises Saudi Arabia’s ongoing aid efforts

Ambassador of Ukraine to Saudi Arabia Anatolii Petrenko   hosts an exhibition to showcase the resilience of the Ukrainian people
  • Ukrainian Embassy in Riyadh hosts exhibition on defending homeland

RIYADH: Ambassador of Ukraine to Saudi Arabia Anatolii Petrenko extended his gratitude to the Kingdom for providing “vital” humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine as the Russia-Ukraine conflict entered its third year.

“The help of the Saudi people has been absolutely vital … and I reiterate it on every occasion to deliver a message of gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and all Saudi people for their generosity and kindness being extended to the Ukrainian people these difficult days,” Petrenko told Arab News.

On Feb. 15, the Saudi aid agency KSrelief initiated a humanitarian mission to deliver essential aid to the people of Ukraine, with flights operating from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to Rzeszow Airport, located near the Poland-Ukraine border.

“We have the next plane tomorrow and this is going to be tremendously important for people who are displaced in central and southern regions of Ukraine,” the ambassador said.

On Friday, KSrelief’s ninth cargo plane departed from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, carrying 80 tons of relief materials, including generators and baby food canisters.

“This is an impressive logistical operation — 18 planes with so many appliances, generators, baby foodstuff, all currently being delivered to Ukraine literally as we speak,” Petrenko said.

“For us, this is a matter of principle that Saudi Arabia always supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in accordance with international law, in accordance with key principles of the UN charter, and at the same time the Kingdom provides vital humanitarian assistance.”

Ambassador of Ukraine to Saudi Arabia Anatolii Petrenko   hosts an exhibition to showcase the resilience of the Ukrainian people in defending their lands. (Supplied)

The ambassador emphasized that the two countries continue to uphold their economic cooperation, adding that Ukrainian companies are entering Saudi markets, and Saudi companies are still operating successfully in Ukraine.

“This is impressive, and we join our efforts in moving forward with a peace formula, which is the plan to reestablish lost peace in Ukraine,” he explained.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian Embassy hosted an exhibition to showcase the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people in defending their lands.

“On Feb. 24, two years ago, everyone in Ukraine was shocked; no one could believe it happened, but immediately, every Ukrainian realized that we had to stand up and fight otherwise we would vanish as a nation,” the envoy said.

“Our exhibition here is to showcase how we fight, how we are supported by our friends and the international community, and how we gradually build our domestic defense industry,” Petrenko added.

The ambassador delivered a speech at the exhibition along with the Ukrainian Defense Attache Col. Roman Muzychenko.

“Saudi Arabia, our host nation, consistently supports Ukraine in accordance with the key principles of the UN charter,” the ambassador highlighted during his speech.

“This exhibition is to show the resilience of the Ukrainian people and (our) determination to protect our own lands, to secure a future for Ukrainian generations, and to defend our choice of life and foreign policy,” he added.

The ambassador explained that the exhibition showcases the support Ukrainians are receiving, how they are fighting, and how they are developing their capacities. It highlights that “Ukrainians will not compromise on their national security interests in any way,” he added.

Petrenko concluded the interview with Arab News with a final message, stating: “Ukraine wants peace, but that peace must be just and lasting and in accordance with international law and every Ukrainian is more than focused and more than determined to continue to defend the country … remembering that this is our future and this is in our hands.”


Saudi project clears 727 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 727 Houthi mines in Yemen
Updated 25 min 46 sec ago
Follow

Saudi project clears 727 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 727 Houthi mines in Yemen
  • Project Masam is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia at the request of King Salman, which has cleared routes for humanitarian aid to reach the country’s citizens

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Project Masam cleared 727 mines in Yemen — which had been planted by the Houthi militia — between Feb. 17 and 23.

Overseen by the Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief, the project’s special teams destroyed 587 items of unexploded ordnance, 134 anti-tank mines, and six anti-personnel mines.

The explosives, which were planted indiscriminately by the Houthis across Yemen, posed a threat to civilians, including children, women and the elderly.

Project Masam is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia at the request of King Salman, which has cleared routes for humanitarian aid to reach the country’s citizens.

The demining operations took place in Marib, Aden, Jouf, Shabwa, Taiz, Hodeidah, Lahij, Sanaa, Al-Bayda, Al-Dhale and Saada.

A total of 433,333 mines have been cleared since the start of the initiative in 2018, according to Ousama Al-Gosaibi, the project’s managing director.

These include 275,354 items of unexploded ordnance, 143,512 anti-tank mines, 8,001 improvised explosive devices, and 6,466 anti-personnel mines.

The initiative trains local demining engineers and provides them with modern equipment. It also offers support to Yemenis injured by the devices.

About 5 million people have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of the conflict in Yemen, many of them displaced by the presence of land mines.

Masam teams are tasked with clearing villages, roads and schools to facilitate the safe movement of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The project’s contract was extended for another year in June 2023 at a cost of $33.29 million.