The King Faisal Prize 2024 awarded to four scientists and Japanese Association

The King Faisal Prize 2024 awarded to four scientists and Japanese Association
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Updated 23 April 2024
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The King Faisal Prize 2024 awarded to four scientists and Japanese Association

The King Faisal Prize 2024 awarded to four scientists and Japanese Association
  • The service to Islam prize was awarded to the Japan Muslim Association
  • The event is the most prestigious in the Muslim world and recognizes outstanding achievements in services to Islam

Riyadh: The winners of this year’s King Faisal Prize received their awards at a glittering ceremony staged in Riyadh on Monday.

Held under the auspices of King Salman, Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar attended the ceremony, handing over the King Faisal International Award to laureates in its 46th edition.

The event is the most prestigious in the Muslim world and recognizes outstanding achievements in services to Islam, Islamic studies, Arabic language and literature, medicine, and science.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, founder and trustee of the King Faisal Foundation and chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, said: “This award carries a prestigious name in a great country ... to honor science and scientists from various corners of the world who have contributed to presenting scientific research and inventions that have advanced humanity and served mankind.

“This honor always comes primarily for scientific achievement without considering any geographical, racial, religious, or sectarian considerations, hence the prize has gained appreciation from universities and scientific centers in various parts of the world,” Prince Turki added.

The service to Islam prize was awarded to the Japan Muslim Association for its care for the affairs of Muslims in Japan and interest in Muslim youth through education.

The selection committee also decided to grant the award to Dr. Mohammad Al-Sammak of Lebanon, for his early and continuous contributions in promoting Islamic-Christian dialogue, his hard work in strengthening relations and communication with others, and his active participation in dialogue conferences regarding the relationship between Islam and other beliefs, in addition to his presidency and active membership of many establishments, bodies and associations concerned with tolerance and peace.

The Islamic Studies prize was granted to Dr. Wael Hallaq, writer of “Islamic Systems and their Contemporary Applications,” a professor at Columbia University in the US, who succeeded in providing a scientific reference parallel to the traditional Orientalist writings influential in international universities, which appeared in his many works and have been translated into many languages, and his success in building a guide to the development of Islamic legislation throughout history.

Dr. Jerry Roy Mendell, a US national and a professor at Ohio State University, was granted the medicine prize for his work in screening, early diagnosis, and treatment of patients suffering from spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, osteochondrodystrophy, as the first researcher to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of high-dose adeno-associated virus gene transfer therapy for spinal muscular atrophy type 1 patients, a globally approved treatment.

Dr. Howard Yuan-Hao Chang, another US national, won the science prize for his pioneering contributions in explaining the role played by non-coding RNA in the regulation and function of genes. He developed innovative means to identify regulatory sites within DNA. These discoveries have had a great effect on the field of molecular biology and genetics, and a great role in understanding complex human diseases.

The selection committee for the King Faisal Prize for Arabic Language and Literature, whose subject this year was “The Efforts of Establishments Outside the Arab World to Spread the Arabic Language,” decided to withhold the award for 2024 “as the nominated works did not meet the award’s criteria,” according to a statement.

The King Faisal Prize was established in 1977 by the King Faisal Foundation. It was first granted in 1979 to recognize individuals and establishments and their outstanding achievements in its five categories.


Training courses for Hajj and Umrah workers begin

An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday. (SPA)
An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday. (SPA)
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Training courses for Hajj and Umrah workers begin

An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday. (SPA)

RIYADH: An initiative offering 100,000 training opportunities to workers serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims began on Sunday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

As part of the Rafid Al-Haramain initiative, 100,000 workers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors will be trained to ensure that the services they offer are of the highest quality and leave a lasting positive impression on visitors to the Kingdom.

The initiative is being organized by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and Makkah’s Umm Al-Qura University.


Three ibex born in King Abdullah National Park

Three ibex born in King Abdullah National Park
Updated 6 min 19 sec ago
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Three ibex born in King Abdullah National Park

Three ibex born in King Abdullah National Park
  • The release of the ibex aims to preserve and enhance Saudi Arabia’s biodiversity

RIYADH: Three ibex were born in King Abdullah National Park’s Red Rock Zone after Soudah Development, a Public Investment Fund company, released 23 ibex into the wild last year in collaboration with the National Center for Wildlife.

The release of the ibex aims to preserve and enhance Saudi Arabia’s biodiversity.

It marks a significant milestone in joint reintroduction and conservation efforts, aligning with the Saudi Green Initiative and Vision 2030’s environmental goals.

The two newborns were delivered by two adult ibex, and the third was delivered by a two-year-old ibex.

Soudah Development is closely monitoring a herd of nine ibex to ensure the population’s health and to study their habitat preferences.

“The successful births of the ibex signify a major step forward in our mission to reintroduce endangered species and revitalize the ecosystem within the region,” said Saleh Aloraini, CEO of Soudah Development.

“This development not only reflects our dedication to conservation but also highlights our unwavering commitment to the Saudi Green Initiative.”


Saudi ambassador to Guinea sees off first group of Hajj pilgrims from country

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi sees off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi sees off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims.
Updated 26 May 2024
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Saudi ambassador to Guinea sees off first group of Hajj pilgrims from country

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi sees off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims.
  • Al-Rashidi said the Kingdom was fully prepared for Hajj

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Guinea Fahad Al-Rashidi on Sunday saw off this year’s first group of Guinean Hajj pilgrims heading from Conakry to the Kingdom.

Al-Rashidi said the Kingdom was fully prepared for the pilgrimage, during which millions of pilgrims from various parts of the world will perform their rituals in the best possible manner, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ambassador said that due to God’s grace and the generous care and directives of the Saudi leadership, the Kingdom had mobilized its resources, personnel, and capabilities to ensure the comfort, security, and safety of pilgrims.


Indian Hajj pilgrims take train from Jeddah to Makkah

Indian Hajj pilgrims take train from Jeddah to Makkah
Updated 26 May 2024
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Indian Hajj pilgrims take train from Jeddah to Makkah

Indian Hajj pilgrims take train from Jeddah to Makkah

JEDDAH: Traditionally, all pilgrims arriving at Jeddah International Airport travel to Makkah by buses provided by Saudi authorities. This year, however, special arrangements have been made by the Consulate General of India in Jeddah, in tandem with the Saudi authorities, for some Indian pilgrims to travel via the Haramain High Speed Railway from Jeddah airport to Makkah.

About 32,000 Indian pilgrims will benefit from this exclusive service, reducing travel time by half thanks to the train’s maximum speed of 300 kph.

To commemorate the historic occasion, India’s ambassador, Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, and Consul General Mohd Shahid Alam accompanied Indian pilgrims on the inaugural journey from Jeddah airport to Makkah on Sunday.

The pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom on a Saudia flight from Mumbai.

They were joined by Khaled Al-Harbi, senior vice president of operations at Saudi Arabia Railways, as well as officials from the ministries of Hajj and Umrah, and transport.

This is the first time Saudi Arabia is transporting a limited number of Hajj pilgrims directly from Jeddah airport to Makkah by train.

This year, 175,000 pilgrims from India will participate, with 140,000 organized through the Hajj Committee of India. 


KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO

KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO
Updated 26 May 2024
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KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO

KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO
  • Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah urges international action amidst humanitarian crisis

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor-general of Saudi aid agency KSrelief, said he wants to boost the partnership with the World Health Organization to improve and coordinate response efforts, ensure all resources are allocated efficiently, and enable communities to become more resilient and independent.

Speaking at a session titled “From Crisis to Opportunity: Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,” at the 77th World Health Assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, Al-Rabeeah thanked the WHO for efforts to address the humanitarian crises in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including conflicts, migration and economic instability.

He said that the Saudi leadership made intensive and generous efforts to alleviate the suffering of millions of people in need in the region and around the world, particularly children, women and vulnerable groups.

Al-Rabeeah said that the total humanitarian assistance provided by Saudi Arabia to the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean exceeded $1.4 billion. He added that KSrelief recently announced a $500 million contribution to efforts to eradicate polio over the next five years.

He mentioned that the center provides comprehensive health treatment and support services in humanitarian emergencies.

Furthermore, KSrelief has implemented various volunteer programs in the medical sector as part of its relief and humanitarian endeavors, including 298 projects worth over $46 million in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Al-Rabeeah urged all parties in conflict areas to ensure that relief aid providers are allowed to deliver aid in a safe and effective manner.

When aid delivery is prevented and attacks on humanitarian workers and hospital staff are allowed, he said, those in need suffer even more. The situations in the Gaza Strip and Sudan are clear examples of this, he added.

Al-Rabeeah said that KSrelief works closely with its partners to overcome challenges and ensure the safe delivery of aid even under the most difficult circumstances. For instance, during the siege of Taiz in Yemen, the center used airdrops to deliver assistance and even resorted to camels to deliver medical supplies, oxygen cylinders and other urgent items to remote mountain locations where health services were either very limited or unavailable, he said.

In Gaza, the center succeeded in assisting with the area’s current challenges.

“Restricted access to Gaza has led to severe shortages of food, water, medical supplies and other much-needed items,” he said, urging restrictions be changed to save lives, especially those of children, women and the elderly.

Al-Rabeeah urged the international community to take decisive action to protect health facilities and humanitarian workers, and all authorities to abide by international humanitarian law.

He also called for involving healthcare workers in policy-making processes, to ensure that their expertise and experience are used to shape effective healthcare strategies.

Al-Rabeeah emphasized the crucial role of international collaboration in ensuring that all people in need have access to humanitarian assistance and medical care.