Nation united in condemning cowardly bombing wave

SHOCK WAVES: The debris of the car involved in the Qatif suicide attack and, centre, people panic after the bombs go off. The mangled body of the attacker in Jeddah.
Updated 05 July 2016
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Nation united in condemning cowardly bombing wave

RIYADH: The Council of Senior Scholars has vehemently condemned Monday’s bombings and sent out a clear message to terrorists: “You failed and lost.”
Challenging the troublemakers, the council tweeted: “Wherever you try, you will find us united under one flag. Praise be to God Almighty who saved His worshippers.”
Denouncing the brutal act of terror, the council tweeted a Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) condemning perpetrators of such acts: “Whoever kills himself or others by any means will be punished on the Day of Judgement.”
Reacting to bombings in Jeddah, Qatif and Madinah, Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said these terrorist acts “would only solidify our resolve to defeat attempts to undermine our national unity.”
Ahmad Abu Elghait, Arab League secretary-general, said the bombings, which targeted Saudi security, are another proof that terrorism has no religion, stressing that those behind the attacks had no respect for the holy month or the holy place.
Salman Al-Ansari, founder and president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, told Arab News that the “abhorrent” attack in Madinah shows the true face of terrorism.
“What else, when the holy city is not free from a terror attack?”
The timing of the attacks on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, also raises suspicion of involvement of a foreign hand, he said.
“The destabilizing behavior of Iran to disturb peace in the region and its threats strengthen doubts about its plot to fan sectarianism in the Kingdom,” he said.
He also alluded to Iranian generals threatening the Kingdom with consequences. “Their cells are operating now using handlers from Daesh,” he said.
Majed Abdullah Alhedayan, a senior columnist and a legal consultant at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “I condemn the suicide attacks in strongest terms.”
Speaking to Arab News, he said: “The perpetrators of these crimes have not even spared Madinah, one of the two holiest places in Islam. They cannot be Muslim. They are just inhuman.”
United against the scourge of terrorism, a wide cross-section of Saudi society unanimously condemned the terrorist violence.
Mohamed Alkhunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council, told Arab News: “We condemn all types of terrorism, be it in our country or in any other part of the world, as terrorism is contrary to the teachings of Islam.”

Abdullah Inayat, co-founder and media relations director at the W7 communications, described the crime as deeply disturbing, and said terrorist attacks are strictly prohibited in Islam and contradict its values.
“This terrorist act targeting innocent people during the last days of Ramadan while the Muslim Ummah is getting ready for Eid Al-Fitr cannot be committed by Muslims,” he said, adding that people committing such abominable acts have total disregard for human life.
Abdullah Zeyad, a student, said: “One after another, terrorists strike in big cities worldwide, and now suicide explosions in Madinah and Jeddah are deeply disturbing. It is cruel and inhuman to kill anybody. Perpetrators of terrorism have no religion.”
Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was at the Prophet’s Mosque when he heard a blast just as the call to sunset prayers was ending and people were breaking their fast. Many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, but then he felt the ground shake.
He says “the vibrations were very strong... it sounded like a building imploded.”
Earlier, a Qatif resident told AP that the bomber detonated his suicide vest Monday evening when most residents of the neighborhood were at home breaking the fast.
The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed there were no casualties or injuries among the consular staff. The embassy said it remains in contact with Saudi authorities as they investigate the attack.


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2019

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject