OIC chief praises Uzbekistan’s cultural and scientific heritage

OIC chief praises Uzbekistan’s cultural and scientific heritage
Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha acknowledged Uzbekistan’s socioeconomic progress. (Supplied)
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Updated 01 June 2024
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OIC chief praises Uzbekistan’s cultural and scientific heritage

OIC chief praises Uzbekistan’s cultural and scientific heritage
  • Taha meets Uzbek Senate Chairperson Tanzila Narbaeva in Tashkent

RIYADH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha met with Chairperson of the Senate of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbaeva in Tashkent recently, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

During the meeting, which covered various regional and global issues on the OIC agenda, Taha praised Uzbekistan for its rich cultural and scientific heritage, and emphasized that the OIC City of Tourism award — awarded to Khiva in Uzbekistan for 2024 — recognizes the government of Uzbekistan’s efforts to develop the tourism sector and showcase that heritage.

He expressed appreciation for Uzbekistan’s hosting of the 12th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers in Khiva on June 1 and 2, which will, Taha said, “significantly contribute to promoting tourism and cultural exchange among OIC member states.”

Taha also acknowledged Uzbekistan’s socioeconomic progress, noting its significant efforts toward regional socioeconomic integration.

Regarding Palestine, the OIC chief stressed the efforts being made to halt Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, as well as the need for an immediate ceasefire and the provision of adequate and sustainable humanitarian aid to Gazans.

On Afghanistan, Taha commended Uzbekistan’s role in promoting peace, security, stability, and socioeconomic development, as well as providing humanitarian assistance.

Taha and Narbaeva also discussed the OIC’s initiatives to counter Islamophobia and anti-Islamic sentiments, emphasizing the importance of promoting Islamic principles of peace and tolerance through education, interfaith dialogue, and media outreach.

Additionally, the meeting addressed socioeconomic and developmental programs focused on education, scientific cooperation, sustainable development, and the alleviation of poverty.

Cultural cooperation was also discussed, with an emphasis on preserving and promoting the heritage of OIC member states through publications, exhibitions, and cultural exchanges.

Narbaeva expressed Uzbekistan’s support for various OIC initiatives, highlighting its active collaboration with the OIC in fields ranging from culture and heritage to the empowerment of youth and women.

While in Uzbekistan, Taha also met with the country’s foreign minister, Bakhtiyor Saidov, and discussed a wide range of international issues.


Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 

Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 
Updated 25 July 2024
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Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 

Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed Al-Khuraiji participated on Wednesday in the Second Consultative Meeting Enhancing Coordination of Peace Initiatives and Efforts in Sudan, the Saudi Press Agency said.

During the meeting held in Djibouti, he reiterated the Kingdom’s continued efforts to resolve the Sudanese crisis, and its welcome and openness to international efforts and initiatives aimed at achieving peace in Sudan.

Al-Khuraiji said that the US and the Kingdom facilitated talks between the Sudanese parties in Jeddah, resulting in signing of the Jeddah Declaration to protect civilians in Sudan.

He expressed Saudi Arabia’s keenness on the return of security and stability to Sudan and urging the Sudanese parties to give priority to wisdom and self-restraint, and to show flexibility and respond to positive and humanitarian initiatives.


ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea

ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea
Updated 25 July 2024
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ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea

ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea

TAIF: In Saudi Arabia's western province of Makkah, the Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil viewpoints overlook rare scenes of the Red Sea shore with its blue waters, which astounds tourists who also experience the divine beauty of Taif's peaks and mountains. 
At more than 2,560 meters above sea level, Mount Daka, located in the heart of Ash Shafa, can be seen from the natural viewpoint of Shams Al-Assil, from which one can observe the sparkling waters of the Red Sea. The mountain is one of the destinations that tourists and visitors seek to reach to experience its breathtaking nature. 

At more than 2,560 meters above sea level, Mount Daka is one of the destinations that nature-lovers seek to reach to experience its breathtaking nature.  (SPA)

Mount Daka's enchanting and attractive environment is replete with different kinds of wildlife that live under the shades of juniper, acacia, sidr and salam trees, and in its granite rocks. Rain and fog may form over it, and its flowers and aromatic plants are a safe haven for swarms of bees that produce honey. 
The mount is a highly sought-after spot in the Sarawat Mountains range because of its abundant land and the animals that inhabit it, including rock hyraxes, ibex, rabbits, and Arabian leopards. 

At more than 2,560 meters above sea level, Mount Daka is one of the destinations that nature-lovers seek to reach to experience its breathtaking nature.  (SPA)

Saudi Arabia’s coastal reforestation program on track 

Saudi Arabia’s coastal reforestation program on track 
Updated 25 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s coastal reforestation program on track 

Saudi Arabia’s coastal reforestation program on track 
  • Some 13 million mangrove seedlings had been planted so far since the launch of the ambitious coastal forest cover program a year ago
  • The program aims to plant 100 million mangrove trees along the Kingdom's Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts by 2030

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is on track to reach its target to plant 100 million mangrove trees by 2030, in line with the Saudi Green Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Some 13 million mangrove seedlings had been planted so far since the launch of the ambitious coastal forest cover program a year ago, said a progress report of the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification (NCVC) carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Mangroves work in concert with coral reefs and seagrass beds to keep coastal zones healthy, say marine scientists. (SPA)

Most of the projects are currently being carried out along the Kingdom's Red Sea coast, with Jazan province topping the list at 5.5 million seedlings. Makkah province followed with 2.4 million seedlings; Madinah, 2 million; Tabuk, 1.5 million; and Asir, 1 million. 

In the Kingdom's Arabian Gulf coast, the Eastern Province has planted 500,000 so far, according to the report. But before the formal launch of the project along the Arabian Gulf, the center noted that 700,000 seedlings had already been planted, including 200,000 on Ras Abu Ali Island, in Jubail governorate, and 500,000 in Al-Wajh governorate. 

"The project includes fencing and caring for the seedlings, to protect them from algae and seaweed, and protecting the sites from grazing and encroachment," the SPA reported.

In the western province of Asir, the NVCV and the Asir Region Development Authority (ASDA) launched on Wednesday the campaign “Mangrove Restoration” on the province's coasts as part of the activities of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, which is observed annually on July 26.

Mangrove planting in Asir region's Al-Barak governorate. (SPA)

The campaign started by planting 500 mangrove seedlings on the beaches of Al-Barak governorate, with Al-Barak Gov. Abdullah bin Ali bin Muhya and Mayor Nasser Saeed Al-Shahrani leading the event.

"The initiative is intended to raise awareness about the importance of planting and protecting mangrove forests, educate society about the importance of mangroves and their positive impact on the environment, highlight the role of these trees in the climate change crisis and in mitigating global warming...," said the report.

Mangroves, working in concert with seagrass beds and coral reefs, keep coastal zones healthy, say marine scientists. 

They have been found to provide essential habitat for thousands of species, stabilize shorelines, prevent erosion and protect communities from waves and storms.

"An estimated 75 percent of commercially caught fish spend some time in the mangroves or depend on food webs that can be traced back to these coastal forests," according the American Museum of Natural History.

Many countries suffering from severe mangrove destruction, are suffering from continuing decline in their fish catch.


Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology

Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology
Updated 24 July 2024
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Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology

Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology

RIYADH: Hamed Al-Rafidain, who works in HR, drives a fuel-guzzling 4 X 4, as many in Saudi Arabia do — but his other car is electric.

Al-Rafidain, 39, is part of a small but growing electric vehicle consumer base in the Kingdom, which aims to become a hub for the technology.

“What drove me to buy electric was financial considerations,” said Rafidain, who spends up to SR2,000 ($530) a month on fuel for his off-road vehicle. “Maintenance costs are also lower compared to a conventional vehicle, with no oil changes.”

For a little over $53,300, he bought a BYD mostly for short trips within the capital. Driving outside Riyadh was a “gamble, especially since the infrastructure is still underdeveloped,” Rafidain said.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the PIF, owns 60 percent of electric car maker Lucid and South Korea’s Hyundai plans a factory in the Kingdom. The Saudi brand CEER, launched in 2022, expects to start production in 2025. Eventually Saudi Arabia aims to produce 300,000 electric cars a year.

Meanwhile Chinese giant BYD is expected to dominate the Saudi market, since its global rival Tesla has no dealerships in the Kingdom.
Electric car sales tripled last year to nearly 800 and salesman Hassan Mohammed expects more this year. “More than one car brand has opened its doors in the Kingdom and now offers after-sales service, which has encouraged consumers,” he said.


Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 

Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 
Updated 24 July 2024
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Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 

Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent letters of condolences to Kuwait’s Emir Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah over the death of Sheikh Jaber Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah, the Saudi Press Agency said Wednesday.

The Crown Prince also sent a separate letter to Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah.

Sheikh Jaber died at the age of 71 and will be buried after Thursday’s Maghrib (Sunset) prayer, Kuwait’s news agency said.