Saudi project clears 784 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 784 Houthi mines in Yemen
The explosives, which were planted indiscriminately by the Houthis across Yemen, posed a threat to civilians, including children, women and the elderly. (Supplied)
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Updated 12 February 2024
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Saudi project clears 784 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 784 Houthi mines in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Project Masam cleared 784 mines in Yemen — which had been planted by the Iran-backed Houthi militia — between Feb. 3 and 9, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday. 

Overseen by the Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief, the project’s special teams destroyed 623 items of unexploded ordnance, 129 anti-tank mines, 29 improvised explosive devices, and three 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 431,838 mines have been cleared since the start of the initiative in 2018, according to Ousama Al-Gosaibi, the project’s managing director.

These include 274,113 items of unexploded ordnance, 143,266 anti-tank mines, 8,001 improvised explosive devices, and 6,458 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.


The 44th King Abdulaziz Qur’an competition begins in August

The 44th King Abdulaziz Qur’an competition begins in August
Updated 17 April 2024
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The 44th King Abdulaziz Qur’an competition begins in August

The 44th King Abdulaziz Qur’an competition begins in August
  • Total prize pool of SR4m in prestigious event

RIYADH: The 44th King Abdulaziz International Competition for the Memorization, Recitation, and Interpretation of the Qur’an begins in early August in Makkah, the Saudi Press Agency has reported.

The prestigious event, which attracts contestants from around the globe, offers a total prize pool of SR4 million ($1.07 million).

The competition is divided into five categories: memorization of the entire Holy Qur’an, with accurate recitation and intonation following the seven rules of recitation; memorization of the Qur’an along with interpretation of its terms; memorization of 15 juz (parts) of the Qur’an with proper recitation and intonation; memorization of five juz with correct recitation and intonation; and a category for shorter lengths of memorization with corresponding recitation and intonation requirements.

In the first category, the top three winners will receive SR500,000, SR450,000, and SR400,000.

The event’s closing ceremony will be held at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh expressed gratitude toward the Kingdom’s leaders for their dedication to the Qur’an, adding that the competition showcased the country’s commitment to promoting its values among Saudi Arabia’s youth.
 


Saudi students shine at European math Olympiad

Saudi students shine at European math Olympiad
Updated 17 April 2024
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Saudi students shine at European math Olympiad

Saudi students shine at European math Olympiad
  • Olympiad is an international math competition for high school girls with a passion for the subject beyond the standard curriculum
  • Saudi students Fatimah Hassan Buali from Al-Ahsa and Retaj Al-Saleh from the Eastern Province earned a bronze medal and a certificate of appreciation, respectively

RIYADH: Two Saudi students excelled in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad held in Georgia from April 11-17.

The Olympiad is an international math competition for high school girls with a passion for the subject beyond the standard curriculum. This year, 212 students from 54 countries participated.

Saudi Arabia, represented by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) and the Ministry of Education, won two medals in the event.

Saudi students Fatimah Hassan Buali from Al-Ahsa and Retaj Al-Saleh from the Eastern Province earned a bronze medal and a certificate of appreciation, respectively.

This is the Kingdom’s 12th participation in Mathematical Olympiad. Over the years, Saudi students have won two gold, six silver, and 13 bronze medals, as well as seven certificates of appreciation.

Mawhiba’s Secretary-General Amal bint Abdullah Al-Hazzaa said that the students’ successes highlight the integration between Kingdom’s institutions and its commitment to advancing young talents through education and training in line with international standards.

She praised the cooperation between Mawhiba and the Ministry of Education, a partnership that aims to develop Saudi human capital in line with the National Transformation Program and Saudi Vision 2030.

Mawhiba, in strategic collaboration with the Ministry of Education, operates the Mawhiba Program for International Olympiads, preparing Saudi teams for such competitions. This includes advanced training and curriculum development, aligning with the annual Saudi scientific teams’ participation in international competitions. 

The Saudi girls participating in the Mathematical Olympiad underwent intensive training to develop their scientific skills, and were nominated to participate based on their results in the training forums held by Mawhiba.


Saudi FM receives Armenian counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan receives his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan receives his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 17 April 2024
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Saudi FM receives Armenian counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan receives his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
  • During the meeting, the two officials reviewed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen and develop them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Riyadh on Wednesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, the two officials reviewed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen and develop them in various fields. 

They also discussed the latest regional and international developments and efforts made with regard to them.


Culinary caravan is a chance to savor Saudi Arabia’s food heritage

Culinary caravan is a chance to savor Saudi Arabia’s food heritage
Updated 17 April 2024
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Culinary caravan is a chance to savor Saudi Arabia’s food heritage

Culinary caravan is a chance to savor Saudi Arabia’s food heritage

RIYADH: A flavor of Saudi’s rich culinary heritage is delighting tastebuds in Najran, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Hosted by the Culinary Arts Commission, a mobile exhibition showcasing national dishes and desserts is currently offering visitors an immersive experience at King Fahd National Park, in the scenic Saqam forest.

The event, which runs until April 20, puts two iconic delicacies — jareesh and maqshush — in the spotlight, presenting them in innovative and enticing ways.

Jareesh is a savory dish of cracked wheat, cooked slowly with vegetables and tomato sauce. The addition of lamb is optional. Maqshush is a buckwheat dessert topped with ghee, honey, dates, molasses or sugar.

Visitors to the culinary arts caravan can explore the essence of Saudi cuisine through activities such as live cooking demonstrations, where they watch the dishes being prepared and then enjoy freshly cooked samples.

Jareesh is a savory dish of cracked wheat, cooked slowly with vegetables and tomato sauce. (Supplied)

The exhibition is part of the commission’s National and Regional Dishes Narratives initiative, which is dedicated to cataloging and celebrating local culinary gems. Designating jareesh and maqshush as national culinary treasures highlights their significance as part of the Kingdom’s dining culture.

The caravan embarked on its journey in November last year, starting in Riyadh and traversing Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk, Jouf, the Northern Borders, Hail, Qassim and the Eastern Province. Its stop in Najran marks another milestone, with upcoming visits to Jazan, Asir and Baha concluding the seven-month odyssey.

Its aim is to deepen appreciation of local heritage, forge stronger connections with Saudi culinary traditions across generations, and provide visitors with an unforgettable culinary experience while instilling pride in national dishes.

The National and Regional Dishes Narratives initiative has also designated official dishes for the regions. Marqooq was chosen for Riyadh, saleeg for the Makkah region, Madini rice for Madinah, bakila for Jouf, and malehiy for the Northern Borders.

Al-Maqnah bread was picked for the Baha region, kubaybat for Hail and raqsh for Najran. Kaleja was selected to represent Qassim, Al-Hasawi rice for the Eastern Province, Al-Mughash for the Jazan region, Al-Sayadiyah rice for Tabuk and Al-Hanith for Asir.

The event, which runs until April 20, puts two iconic delicacies — jareesh and maqshush — in the spotlight, presenting them in innovative and enticing ways. (Supplied)

 


Saudi, UN officials discuss aid efforts in Sudan

Saudi, UN officials discuss aid efforts in Sudan
Updated 17 April 2024
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Saudi, UN officials discuss aid efforts in Sudan

Saudi, UN officials discuss aid efforts in Sudan

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the Saudi aid agency KSrelief, recently met with Clementine Nkweta-Salami, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the International Conference for Sudan and Neighboring Countries, organized by France and the EU in Paris.

Discussions focused on matters of mutual interest related to the relief and humanitarian situation in Sudan, along with key topics on the conference’s agenda.

Al-Rabeeah highlighted the humanitarian efforts undertaken by Saudi Arabia through KSrelief in Sudan.

He said that 13 aircraft carrying supplies had been sent to Sudan, while 43 humanitarian projects worth more than $60 million had been implemented in the country and neighbor states in partnership with international, UN, and local organizations.

Additionally, the center dispatched 20 medical volunteer teams to Sudan.

Nkweta-Salami commended the efforts of the Kingdom in aiding the Sudanese people in need. She expressed hope for continued bilateral cooperation to further support humanitarian initiatives in Sudan.

On Monday, KSrelief signed two agreements with the World Food Programme, worth $1.4 million, to treat and prevent malnutrition across Sudan and South Sudan.

The agreement aims to prevent nutritional deficiencies among children, and pregnant and nursing women by providing food aid and nutritional supplements.

The funding will help more than 35,000 children, and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers affected by conflict, economic shocks, and climate events.