Man arrested in Jazan for transporting 10 illegal migrants

Man arrested in Jazan for transporting 10 illegal migrants
Illegal migrants trying to cross into Saudi Arabia from the Yemeni border are detained by Saudi Border Guards. (SPA/file photo)
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Updated 17 May 2024
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Man arrested in Jazan for transporting 10 illegal migrants

Man arrested in Jazan for transporting 10 illegal migrants
  • Saudi border guard land patrols also foiled an attempt to smuggle 30 kg of hashish into Al-Raboah, Asir

RIYADH: Al-Afwaj security patrols in Al-Arida, Jazan, arrested a Saudi citizen for transporting in 10 Ethiopians, who illegally crossed the Kingdom’s border in his vehicle.
The 10 Ethiopians were referred to the relevant authorities and, subsequently, to the Public Prosecution.
Media spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior’s Al-Afwaj Regiment said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.
Meanwhile, Saudi border guard land patrols in Al-Raboah, Asir, foiled an attempt to smuggle 30 kg of hashish.

Preliminary legal procedures have been completed, and the seized items were handed over to the relevant authority.
Elsewhere, Saudi Border Guard land patrols in Al-Aridah, Jazan, foiled an attempt to smuggle 140 kg of qat. Preliminary legal procedures have been completed, and the seized items were handed over to the relevant authorities.
Patrols of the General Administration of Mujahideen in the Eastern Province arrested a citizen for selling amphetamines.
Citizens and residents with information on drug smuggling or trafficking A few asked to  call 911 in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 in the rest of the Kingdom. They can also contact the General Directorate of Narcotics Control at 995 or email: [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


First Saudi pro boxer hails Kingdom’s rise as major force in global sports

First Saudi pro boxer hails Kingdom’s rise as major force in global sports
Updated 3 sec ago
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First Saudi pro boxer hails Kingdom’s rise as major force in global sports

First Saudi pro boxer hails Kingdom’s rise as major force in global sports
  • Ziyad Al-Maayouf tells the Mayman Show by Arab News he hopes he can inspire more young Saudis to take up the sport and follow in his footsteps
  • In the absence of any local boxing heroes from the Kingdom when starting out, he says he looked to Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao for inspiration

Riyadh: Saudi professional boxer Ziyad Al-Maayouf is proud that the Kingdom is establishing itself as a major force on the global sports stage.

During an interview with the Mayman Show by Arab News, the 23-year-old also spoke of his hopes that he is only the first of many professional boxers from Saudi Arabia, and told how his journey as a professional boxer began in 2010.

“It really started for me when one day I Googled ‘professional Saudi boxer.’ I found no one,” he said, adding that he then searched for just “Saudi boxer” and still found no results.

This is important, he added, because young people who aspire to careers in sports naturally look to their idols for inspiration.

“It’s even a lot better when your idols are people you can relate to, where your superheroes are people you could relate to,” he said.

But when Al-Maayouf went looking for someone with whom he could closely identify to inspire him in his boxing career he could not find anyone from his country.

“That’s where I said, OK, I think this is where I want to start competing,” he said. “I want to be the guy who, when you Google ‘professional boxer from Saudi Arabia,’ he comes up; and, you know, little did I know, the stars were aligning in the way they did.”

Al-Maayouf said he is very pleased to see sports initiatives form such an important part of Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s national development and diversification plan.

“The sport they choose to invest in the most, and powerfully, powerfully, like that, is boxing,” he said. “And then behind the scenes, there is a Saudi boxer that’s been training for over a decade, preparing and waiting for a moment like that. So I always say that my career aligns exactly with Vision 2030, you know?”

In the absence of any local heroes, Al-Maayouf said he has been greatly inspired by Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, in part because of what the fighter means to the people of his native country.

“The way that he is to the Philippines, they look at him as if he’s come from the sky,” he said. “It's like he is something else for them there. It is like he’s a prophet there (for) what he was for the Philippines, how he carried that weight on his back and how much he achieved while doing so.”

Al-Maayouf said he can relate to Pacquiao’s journey as a boxer who moved alone to another country to train, leaving his family and friends behind. He also respects the legendary fighter’s achievements outside of the ring, in particular his efforts to help promote his country and community.

“How he helped his people, how he introduced the world to the Philippines, you know?” he said. “And he was always announced as ‘the fighting pride of the Philippines.’ So I always wanted to be announced as ‘the fighting pride of Saudi Arabia,’ you know? ‘The fighting pride of the Arab world.’”

Inspired by Pacquiao, Al-Maayouf trained at the Filipino fighter’s gym when he moved to the US in 2019 to pursue his studies, majoring in psychology.

“I only applied to universities in Los Angeles because that’s where Pacquiao was,” he said. “That’s where Pacquiao’s gym was. That’s where his coach was. I wanted to go where Pacquiao did, so I did exactly that.

“On Aug. 4, 2019, I arrived in LA; on Aug. 5, I was in Pacquiao’s gym, training. And ever since, I could maybe count the weeks on my hand that I took off from training since 2019. Because when I moved, I realized that the decade I had been training before went out the window because, you know, we didn’t have the IQ, the knowledge.”

The Kingdom was still learning about boxing during that time, he said, and the sport was rarely even broadcast on TV.

“So the levels were completely different,” Al-Maayouf added. “I stayed there for a lot of years, just getting a beating every single day.”


‘Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative’ invites local participants to join fifth edition

Ithra has announced the opening of entries to participate in the fifth annual initiative “Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative.” (SPA)
Ithra has announced the opening of entries to participate in the fifth annual initiative “Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative.” (SPA)
Updated 11 min 3 sec ago
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‘Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative’ invites local participants to join fifth edition

Ithra has announced the opening of entries to participate in the fifth annual initiative “Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative.” (SPA)
  • “Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative” will be held from Nov. 1-23 in the Eastern Province

DHAHRAN: The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Ithra, has announced the opening of entries to participate in the fifth annual initiative “Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative,” which is centered on leveraging the rich heritage of culture and arts in the Eastern Province.

“Al-Sharqiya Gets Creative” will be held from Nov. 1-23 in several spaces within the Eastern Province, including activations at Ithra headquarters.

As in the last four iterations, local creatives in the Eastern Province will be invited to offer curated programming. This year, as in the past, they are soliciting entries from the corporate sector, education sector, culinary sectors, social sector, sports sector, arts sector, trade sector, and logistics sector.
The previous editions of the initiative surpassed 700 entities and establishments, with over 2,300 creative contributions, 55 strategic partners and five main partners.
According to the statement, the initiative seeks to strengthen the concept of social responsibility among entities and individuals to achieve integration and uplift the community and all its institutions. The initiative aims to create a qualitative shift in the creative culture and to create a welcoming environment that discovers and develops talents, helping to make the Eastern Province a destination for creativity and creative tourism in the Kingdom.
This open call seeks entries from local creatives and asks them to share their talent in a leadership role. Among the requests is to pitch an in-person workshop idea, propose a talk or any other relevant programming idea. Those who earn a spot within this initiative will become leaders during the 23-day initiative, in which the general public will be invited to attend.
Interested local leaders in the creative space are invited to apply via the online portal. Registration will remain open for the next month through the initiative’s page on the Ithra website.


Saudi Scouts Association issues maps for pilgrims

Saudi Scouts Association issues maps for pilgrims
Updated 44 min 43 sec ago
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Saudi Scouts Association issues maps for pilgrims

Saudi Scouts Association issues maps for pilgrims
  • Pilgrims can download the map application from the association’s website at www.scouts.org.sa
  • Several changes to the holy sites and the two central areas in Makkah and Madinah recorded and updated

MAKKAH: The Saudi Arabian Scouts Association has issued detailed and interactive maps to help pilgrims.

The maps include the Mina and Arafat areas, the central area of ​​the Holy Mosque and the Aziziyah neighborhood in Makkah, the entire city of Madinah, the central area of ​​the Prophet’s Mosque, the Al-Naseem neighborhood, and Batha Quraish.

Pilgrims can download the map application from the association’s website at www.scouts.org.sa.

The general leader of the public service camps, Nasser bin Ali Al-Anazi, said this year’s maps were issued after continuous field and office work carried out from an early stage. He praised both the team’s efforts and the support and follow-up that camp volunteers received.

Al-Anazi said several changes to the holy sites and the two central areas in Makkah and Madinah had been recorded and updated. The most important were the new developments in Mina, particularly the new residential towers.

The head of the guide maps committee at the camps, Eng. Waleed Khaled Felemban, said the inclusion of the Al-Naseem neighborhood and Batha Quraish were new this year. He said 150,000 layers were needed for the software used to ensure clear, easy-to-use maps.


Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddasah Metro Line’s nine stations opened for pilgrims

The Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddasah Metro Line’s nine stations were opened for Hajj pilgrims on Thursday. (SPA)
The Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddasah Metro Line’s nine stations were opened for Hajj pilgrims on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 49 min 49 sec ago
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Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddasah Metro Line’s nine stations opened for pilgrims

The Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddasah Metro Line’s nine stations were opened for Hajj pilgrims on Thursday. (SPA)
  • Pilgrims can now use the metro to move between the holy sites in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah
  • The service follows the end of a 90-day trial of the line, which Saudi Arabia Railways announced on Monday

RIYADH: The Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddasah Metro Line’s nine stations were opened for Hajj pilgrims on Thursday.

Pilgrims can now use the metro to move between the holy sites in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The service follows the end of a 90-day trial of the line, which Saudi Arabia Railways announced on Monday.

Seventeen trains are available on the line for pilgrims throughout the season.

Saudi Arabia Railways has completed all maintenance and upgrades to trains, stations, signaling and communication systems, and its operations and control center.

The company has contracted over 7,500 seasonal workers, including individuals fluent in English, Turkish, Indonesian and other languages.


Saudi Arabia embraces technology to deliver effective Hajj experience to pilgrims

Saudi Arabia embraces technology to deliver effective Hajj experience to pilgrims
Updated 13 June 2024
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Saudi Arabia embraces technology to deliver effective Hajj experience to pilgrims

Saudi Arabia embraces technology to deliver effective Hajj experience to pilgrims
  • SDAIA’s efforts during the Hajj season focus on providing data-driven capabilities and predictive analytics
  • Technologies have been leveraged to support government agencies working in Hajj

RIYADH: The Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence has deployed advanced data and AI technologies to streamline the entry process for Hajj pilgrims.

The SDAIA has this year equipped 14 entry points across the Kingdom — including airports, seaports, and land borders — with the necessary technical infrastructure to ease entry procedures, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

In addition, the body is backing the Makkah Route Initiative, partnering with multiple government bodies to implement the program in seven countries worldwide.

SDAIA’s efforts during the Hajj season focus on providing data-driven capabilities and predictive analytics, enhanced through continuous innovation in AI.

These technologies have been leveraged to support government agencies working in Hajj. The body has deployed a national technical team to secure communication circuits and ensure uninterrupted service in the regions of Makkah, Madinah, the Eastern Province, Tabuk, Al-Jouf, the Northern Borders, and Najran.

The SDAIA team is providing its services at various entry points, including King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Jeddah Islamic Port, Taif Airport, Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, the Empty Quarter, Al-Batha, Salwa, Ar Ruqi, King Fahd Causeway, Halat Ammar, Neom Port in the Tabuk region, Jadidah Arar in the Northern Borders region, Al-Haditha in the Al-Jouf region, and Al-Wadiah in the Najran region.

The SDAIA is providing technical support to border crossing points, sorting sites, and security control centers through the National Information Center, according to the SPA.

It operates in 78 locations in the holy sites, offering systems, services, and technical products while enhancing integration with other government agencies. This integration ensures the availability of pilgrims’ data before their arrival, reducing the time required for entry registration.

The SDAIA has set up a round-the-clock technical support center to handle reports and resolve issues for various sectors during Hajj. Mobile technical kits have been deployed to ensure swift response to problems at all entry points and preventive maintenance has been carried out on workstations and network devices at Hajj terminals.

The SDAIA has also overseen the infrastructure and data rooms in the reception halls for pilgrims. Additionally, biometric capture and registration stations have been established at border points, with devices prepared, programmed, and equipped with the approved software. Personnel from participating sectors have also received training on the new systems and updates.

The organization has introduced Banan, a mobile device that enables identity verification services through biometric data for agencies working in the field.

The SDAIA has also developed the Sawaher and Baseer platforms to help manage crowd sizes effectively at various Hajj sites. These platforms ensure each location does not get overcrowded, promoting a safer and smoother experience for pilgrims.

The authority has integrated many pilgrim services into the Tawakkalna app. Pilgrims can now manage everything from Manasik Gate procedures to displaying their pilgrim cards, and entry permits for vehicles and personnel working on Hajj, in collaboration with Public Security.

Additionally, the platform offers the Rescue Me service and features such as the digital Qur’an, prayer times, and qibla direction.