Doha Horticultural Expo 2023 hosts Saudi Day with cultural performances

International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
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International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
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International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
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International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
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International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
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International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
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Updated 06 January 2024
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Doha Horticultural Expo 2023 hosts Saudi Day with cultural performances

International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha celebrated ‘Saudi Day’ in the presence of Saudi and international officials. (SPA)
  • Speakers highlighted the Kingdom’s successes so far in its efforts to achieve sustainability and preserve natural resources
  • They also praised other related achievements under the Saudi Vision 2030 national development and diversification plan

RIYADH: The 2023 International Horticultural Expo in Doha hosted a special “Saudi Day” on Friday, which included performances and activities that embodied the folklore, heritage, history and achievements of the Kingdom.

Guests at the celebration, which took place at the event’s Expo House, included the Saudi ambassador to Qatar, Prince Mansour bin Khalid; the Qatari minister of municipality, Abdulla Al-Subaie, and ambassadors and other representatives of countries taking part in the expo, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Mansour Al-Mushaiti, the Saudi deputy minister of environment, water and agriculture, said the Kingdom’s participation in the expo is affirmation of its global leadership in all fields relating to its efforts to achieve sustainability and preserve natural resources.

 


 

He praised the achievements made under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 national development and diversification plan, particularly in farming, including the provisions of the Agricultural Development Fund through loans and long-term facilities for strategic projects worth SR50 billion ($13.3 billion).

Al-Mushaiti also highlighted the Kingdom’s pioneering role in the field of energy and its continuing journey toward sustainability, through the launch of local and international initiatives related to clean energy, the reduction of carbon emissions, increasing green spaces, and sustainable waste management.

He said that before the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, less than 4 percent of the Kingdom’s total land area was designated as nature reserves and conservation areas. A target was set to increase this to 15 percent by 2030; in fact the figure has already reached 16 percent.

The Kingdom, in cooperation with the G20, established a platform to discuss international water issues, and its work continues during the group’s meetings, Al-Mushaiti added. The establishment of the Global Water Organization was announced in Riyadh in September to stimulate innovation in technical solutions to water-related challenges, and to help ensure water issues are at the top of the international agenda, he said, adding that the Saudi Fund for Development has provided financing of more than $6 billion to countries on four continents.

In addition, Saudi Arabia achieved first place in the electronic and mobile government services maturity index for 2022, Al-Mushaiti said, and is now held up as a pioneering model for the world in efforts to bridge the digital divide, especially its success in developing digital infrastructure accessible by 99 percent of the population.

Saudi Arabia also ranked second in terms of digital competitiveness among G20 countries, according to the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, and fourth globally in its readiness for digital regulations, the deputy minister added.

He noted that active participation by Saudi women in the country’s labor market already exceeds the target of 30 percent set by Vision 2030, an achievement he said reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to empowering women.

Saleh bin Abdul Mohsen bin Dakhil, the general supervisor of the Kingdom’s participation at the expo, thanked Qatar for hosting and organizing the event and for its efforts in providing the optimal atmosphere in which to showcase the Kingdom’s achievements.

He also congratulated the Saudi leadership and people for the success of the nation’s winning bid to host World Expo 2030 in Riyadh.

He said of the Horticultural Expo: “The Kingdom’s participation in this global event presents a sustainable vision based on comprehensive development and achieving a balance between the environment, agriculture and water.

“It also comes based on a commitment to achieving the goals of Vision 2030, which is consistent with the exhibition’s slogan — ‘Green Desert, Better Environment’ — to contribute to exploring and adopting innovative solutions to combat desertification.”

He added that the Saudi pavilion at the event has attracted more than 400,000 visitors from all over the world with the dazzling diversity of its content, which reflects the richness and variety of the Kingdom’s natural splendor and terrains.

The pavilion offers an innovative digital showcase of the Kingdom’s agricultural and environmental sustainability projects, its best practices and innovations, and more than 80 successful projects and initiatives related to the main objectives of the expo.

Bin Dakhil said Saudi Arabia’s leaders have developed an ambitious vision for improving the quality of life in the country and ensuring a better future for its youth. At the forefront of this are the Saudi and Middle East Green Initiatives, he added, through which the Kingdom is exerting great effort to achieve a sustainable, green future by turning the ambitious goals of Vision 2030 into tangible reality.

The 2023 International Horticultural Expo in Doha began on Oct. 2 last year and continues until March 28.


KSrelief contributes $10m to World Food Programme to support Ukrainians

KSrelief contributes $10m to World Food Programme to support Ukrainians
Updated 5 sec ago
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KSrelief contributes $10m to World Food Programme to support Ukrainians

KSrelief contributes $10m to World Food Programme to support Ukrainians
  • Saudi donation will help provide 50m meals in institutions supported by UN agency
  • WFP: ‘We’re grateful that KSrelief chose to support a vital component of our emergency programmes in Ukraine’

KYIV/RIYADH: Saudi aid agency KSrelief has contributed $10 million to the UN World Food Programme to support Ukrainians affected by war with daily hot meals in 1,200 institutions nationwide.
The agreement was signed by KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain.
Saudi Arabia’s donation will help provide 50 million meals in institutions supported by WFP such as hospitals, shelters for internally displaced persons, orphanages, and psychiatric and geriatric facilities.
Many of these institutions have faced increased strain and budget shortfalls due to the war and massive internal displacement.
“We’re grateful that KSrelief chose to support a vital component of our emergency programmes in Ukraine, which provides relief to the most vulnerable Ukrainians while also strengthening the local institutions and organizations that care for them,” Marianne Ward, WFP country director in Ukraine, said in a statement.
Ahmed Al-Baiz, KSrelief’s assistant supervisor general of planning and development, said in a statement: “We are pleased to be part of this important emergency programme to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the affected population in Ukraine.
“KSrelief humanitarian assistance will provide lifesaving food assistance to the most vulnerable communities throughout the country.”
The contribution will enable WFP to procure and deliver approximately 7,600 tonnes of food commodities, including flour, pasta, buckwheat, oatmeal, peas, sugar and oil — all of which are bought inside Ukraine to support the local economy and food systems.
These commodities are complemented by other foods bought directly by the institutions to prepare nutritious daily meals for residents and people under their care.
Over the next six months, WFP plans to provide food assistance to 210,000 vulnerable Ukrainians through its institutional feeding program.
The KSrelief contribution will cover approximately 67 percent of the program’s needs, supporting 140,000 Ukrainians.


Saudi FM stresses GCC-Central Asia cooperation for regional stability

Saudi FM stresses GCC-Central Asia cooperation for regional stability
Updated 34 min 5 sec ago
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Saudi FM stresses GCC-Central Asia cooperation for regional stability

Saudi FM stresses GCC-Central Asia cooperation for regional stability
  • Prince Faisal addressed the second GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue ministerial meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign visa-exemption deal for diplomatic, special passport holders

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Monday emphasized the importance of promoting the interests of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Central Asian states so the two regions become safe, stable and prosperous, offering hope for a better future for all.

Prince Faisal was speaking at the second GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue ministerial meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

In his speech he affirmed the importance of continuing to strengthen coordination and consultation between GCC countries and Central Asian states based on joint values, interests and historical ties, noting the broad growth in relations over the past years.

Prince Faisal pointed out the broad consensus between GCC countries and Central Asian states on the importance of achieving peace, promoting negotiated solutions and supporting security, stability and development.

He emphasized the importance of joining efforts to ensure the Palestinian people’s internationally recognized rights and to achieve peace through negotiation, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the principles of international law.

The Saudi minister also highlighted the ongoing efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region, as well as the need to pursue a sustainable ceasefire, lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and ensure the delivery of humanitarian and relief assistance.

He called for the forced displacement of Palestinians to cease and emphasized the need for the international community and the UN Security Council to permanently stop Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people.

Prince Faisal also met with his Uzbek counterpart, Bakhtiyor Saidov, and the two signed a reciprocal visa-exemption agreement for holders of diplomatic and special passports.

The parties held official talks during which they discussed ways to strengthen cooperation, as well as opportunities for further bilateral and multilateral cooperation on issues of mutual interest.


Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry

Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry
Updated 15 April 2024
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Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry

Gulf Cinema Festival showcases region’s rich cultural tapestry

RIYADH: The fourth Gulf Cinema Festival, which runs until April 18, is currently taking place in Riyadh.

Organized by the Saudi Film Commission under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the minister of culture and chairman of the commission’s board of directors, the event brings together several pioneers of Gulf cinema.

Dignitaries, cultural and media figures, as well as prominent activists and influencers in the film industry, are also taking part.

The festival’s schedule features film screenings, interviews and workshops, giving visitors the chance to explore the film industry from the perspectives of both makers and critics.

Film Commission CEO Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Qahtani delivered the culture minister’s speech at the start of the event. In it, Prince Badr said: “This edition of the festival represents a crucial milestone in cultural cooperation among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and embodies our leadership’s commitment to enhancing collaboration among us.

“This festival reflects the strong connection between ambition and the cultural strategy of the GCC countries, which play a significant role in enhancing cultural exchange, expanding infrastructure, drawing inspiration from successful experiences, and encouraging Gulf talents to offer more.”

The opening ceremony also featured a film highlighting the depth of Gulf cinema and the festival’s contribution. It is hoped the event will enrich national cinema, providing creative platforms for talented individuals to showcase their work and share their experiences.

A rich and diverse program is planned across the five days, with the screening of 29 films — including feature-length, short films and documentaries — produced by renowned Gulf filmmakers across various categories.

Specialized training workshops will cover topics such as “How to make an impactful documentary film” by Abdulrahman Sandokji, “The relationship between the music composer and the film director” by Mohammad Haddad, and “Art, writing and script development” by Mohammad Hassan Ahmed.

Discussion sessions include “Challenges of producing adapted films,” “Film festivals in Gulf countries,” “Support funds and joint financing,” “Independent films and small budgets” and “The experience of exhibition platforms in the Middle East.”

Gulf filmmakers are also competing for nine awards recognizing various aspects of filmmaking such as directing, photography, music and acting.

The festival aims to promote the growth and development of the regional cinema industry while honoring prominent Gulf cinema figures who have contributed significantly to the global cultural scene. It also fosters cultural and knowledge exchanges among those taking part.


KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries

KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries
Updated 15 April 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries

KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries

RIYADH: Saudi charity KSrelief distributed 1,930 food parcels on Saturday to displaced families in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. 
The initiative, part of the group’s food-security support project in Sudan, benefited 12,236 individuals, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The assistance comes within the framework of a series of relief and humanitarian projects implemented by Saudi Arabia through KSrelief to help conflict-hit areas, SPA added.
In Lebanon, KSrelief provided health care services to Syrian refugees and their host community in Arsal town of Baalbek Governorate. 
The Arsal Health Care Center received a total of 3,422 patients and offered 6,128 services from various health sections such as clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, nursing and the community and mental health program. 
In Yemen, KSrelief continues its implementation of the water supply and environmental sanitation projects across several districts. If February, KSrelief pumped 36,207,000 liters of usable water and 3,194,000 liters of potable water into Hajjah Governorate.
Additionally, the center carried out 237 transportation operations to remove waste from displaced camps.
In Saada Governorate, KSrelief pumped 290,000 liters of potable water and another 290,000 liters of usable water, benefiting 30,100 people.


Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke with the prime minister of Iraq on Sunday, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

During their phone call, Prince Mohammed and Mohammed Al-Sudani discussed developments in the region and increasing escalation against the backdrop of the crisis in the Gaza Strip and its repercussions.

They also dissussed the importance of making the necessary efforts to prevent the situation from worsening and ways to spare the region from the risks of escalation, SPA added.