YouTube Batala hub kicks off for first time in Saudi Arabia

YouTube Batala hub kicks off for first time in Saudi Arabia
Women participate in a panel conversation during the launch in Riyadh on Monday of the Batala, a new hub for female creators from the Middle East and North Africa.
Updated 30 October 2016

YouTube Batala hub kicks off for first time in Saudi Arabia

YouTube Batala hub kicks off for first time in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: YouTube on Monday launched a new hub called Batala (youtube.com/batala) just for female creators from the Middle East and North Africa, which featured more than 100 female creators from the region.
Announced during an event in Riyadh, the channel has more than 1,000 videos and is categorized by genres such as comedy, education, fitness, and many more. The hub will also highlight a new list of creators every month at the top of the channel.
“With the continuing growth of female content creators in MENA, we want to keep the momentum going. With YouTube Batala, discovering new creators and their work is now easier than ever. The hub highlights the work of some of our best creators in the region, and showcases high-quality Arabic content to YouTube’s 1 billion users,” head of YouTube Partnerships in the Middle East of North Africa Diana Baddar said.
“We continuously grow the amount of Arabic content that exists on YouTube, and that is due to the fact that all these creators that you see here today took the first step and got on to the platform,” she added.
“We are seeing on a day-to-day basis that more and more creators are opening their own channels, making content that interests them with the hope that it would interest other people, so we expect a growth in content creation in the region.”
YouTube Batala highlighted top creators from Saudi Arabia like Njoud Al-Shammari, a lifestyle YouTuber, Hatoun Kadi, owner of the Noon Al-Niswa channel, Al-Jauhara  Sajer, discusses fashion and beauty tip on her channel, Hissa Al-Awwad, who specializes in nail art, Amirah Al-Abbas, owner of the Qawareer channel, Rana Al-Ahmadi, a make-up artist.
The event also featured Enji Aboul Seoud, an amateur film critic from Egypt, and Haifa Bseiso, a travel vlogger from Palestine. It also featured top MENA creators such as Noor Stars and Hayla Ghazal, who each have more than 2 million subscribers.
The announcement comes as the supply and demand of female-related content continues to grow on the platform. In the Middle East and North Africa alone, the total number of hours spent watching female-related videos grew by 50 percent in 2015. While in Saudi Arabia, the Consumer Connected Survey found that 63 percent of Saudi females are motivated to watch their most recent online video sensation to be entertained or inspired.
YouTube Batala kicked off with morning panels/workshops lasting until 3:30 p.m., with female creators discussing challenges and opportunities for women and brand building on YouTube, and the importance of female-led content, the value of female presence in media, and how to deal with harassment.
Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, vice president for women’s affairs of the General Sports Authority, held an essential panel conversation motivating young women to build a better reality despite their frustrating surroundings/circumstances.
Princess Reema shed light on her 10KSA, an awareness campaign highlighting breast cancer.
“Batala, or heroine in today’s meaning, is the one who thinks about herself and others around her, and how to benefit others,” said Al-Saud.
Asked about Alf Khair, a social enterprise, founded by the princess, she said that there is nothing wrong with working and getting money in return. However, in today’s logic, if your work doesn’t benefit your society, it means it has no sustainability and scalability, and you want to develop it in order to succeed; but if you don’t develop it, it will remain a small business, which okay, too, but small business doesn’t benefit the whole society.
Al-Saud discussed problems facing women in the retail/sales sector, which led her to withdraw from the administration department at Harvey Nichols and head to Amsterdam to join the Think program school for creative leadership.
“The women in retail do not have the training that they need as women before entering the labor market,” she added.
The princess also pointed out the importance of the self-branding tool kit, “If you need to approach/achieve your goals in a certain area, your need to develop that area in yourself, and then go from self-branding to self-sufficiency.”
“Self-sufficiency is financial independence. The money in your hand today, is the money you will live on 10 years from now. Self-sufficiency teaches you how to invest in yourself and what your priorities are, and how to develop yourself to reach your desired distention.”
Talking about the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Al-Saud said that we want a healthy society and a healthy generation, “that’s my goal!“
She advised creators and those who wish to be content creators to focus on the product they are marketing, “you have a responsibility. Pick the product well, pick the project well, pick your program well, and pick your message well. Think about how to build a good reputation and bring something to the table. Find the hole in the market and focus on your essence.”
“I am very proud of what is happening, because where we were four years ago to where we are today, there has been a massive growth! We have thousands of channels in Arabic created by Arabic female content creators. That in itself proves that women haven’t found the content that interests them as much, so they felt the need to create it themselves,” Baddar said.
“Because we still haven’t reached the peak of Arabic content creation, these girls are stars in their own right, as people are hungry for Arabic content so they are driven to these channels,” she added.
The female-only YouTube Batala event exceed Baddar’s expectations, for today, “the region has such a large number of creators expressing themselves and talking about their journeys on the platform, and what we see here with all these people around us, it was the best opportunity, and it is not the last one in Saudi Arabia.”
Baddar revealed a coming YouTube event in early 2017, “stay tuned for something else that will impress you even more by the size of event compared to this one.”


Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 53 min 5 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 387,020
  • A total of 6,801 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 964 new infections on Friday.
Of the new cases, 402 were recorded in Riyadh, 215 in Makkah, 157 in the the Eastern Province, 39 in Madinah, 36 in Asir, 19 in Tabuk, 18 in Hail, 15 in Jazan, 12 in the Northern Borders region, 10 in Najran and seven in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 387,020 after 918 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,801 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 6.7 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saudi Arabia to date.


Saudi Arabia must ‘confront power with power’ in Yemen, says expert

Saudi Arabia must ‘confront power with power’ in Yemen, says expert
Updated 16 April 2021

Saudi Arabia must ‘confront power with power’ in Yemen, says expert

Saudi Arabia must ‘confront power with power’ in Yemen, says expert
  • The Arab coalition destroyed five ballistic missiles and four explosive-laden drones launched by the Houthis toward Jazan on Thursday.

JEDDAH: The international community bears responsibility for prolonging the crisis in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia should not simply wait for the Iran-backed Houthis to cause a disaster, according to a Saudi expert in international relations.

Political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri said on Thursday that although a number of proposals had been put forward to put an end to Yemen’s ongoing conflict, there had been a lack of will from the international community to implement those initiatives.

“If the international community was honest, it would have (acted on) UNSC Resolution 2216, demanding the Houthis relinquish the arms they seized from military and security institutions and cease all violence. The international community is delaying taking action against the Houthis for its own interests,” Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“The international community’s regional interests are its top priority, not Yemen or the Yemenis,” he added.

Al-Shehri believes that, in the face of continued silence from the international community, Saudi Arabia should ‘confront power with power’ when dealing with Houthi attacks.

“We should not wait until the Houthis (cause) a disaster. We count on the Arab coalition and the Yemeni army, especially after the UN’s leniency with regard to putting pressure on the Houthis to accept diplomatic solutions,” Al-Shehri said.

He added that if attacks on the Kingdom continue, then Saudi Arabia should take military action. “The Houthis are using power and this power should be confronted with power. We have tried the international community for seven years, but unfortunately (nothing has been done).”

The Arab coalition destroyed five ballistic missiles and four explosive-laden drones launched by the Houthis toward Jazan, Al-Ekhbariya reported on Thursday.

Those attacks were the latest in a long line of hostile actions against the Kingdom by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

Jazan University was one of the targets, as well as other civilian sites protected under international humanitarian law, coalition spokesman Turki Al-Malki said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, adding that such actions amount to war crimes. He also said that the attacks originated from Yemen’s Saadah governorate and were a “continuation of the Houthis’ systematic and intentional hostile attempts to target civilians.”

The Houthis, who took over the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in 2014, have been widely condemned for their actions against the Kingdom.


62 Jeddah outlets shut for COVID-19 breaches

62 Jeddah outlets shut for COVID-19 breaches
Updated 16 April 2021

62 Jeddah outlets shut for COVID-19 breaches

62 Jeddah outlets shut for COVID-19 breaches

JEDDAH: Authorities in Jeddah have shut down 62 commercial outlets for breaching coronavirus disease (COVID-19) protocols.
Municipalities in the Kingdom have stepped up their efforts to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety measures designed to protect public health.
The municipality of Jeddah governorate carried out 4,219 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities and identified 166 violations for issues related to overcrowding and the failure to effectively use the Tawakkalna app.
Officials urged people to report any suspected breaches of COVID-19 regulations to the 940 call-center number.


Saudi students win four awards in European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi students win four awards in European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad
Updated 16 April 2021

Saudi students win four awards in European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi students win four awards in European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia ranked 16th of 55 countries in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO), which ended on Thursday, rising 10 places from last year and winning four medals.
Each country involved in the competition is represented by a team of four female mathematicians of school age, This year’s EGMO was hosted by Georgia, but held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia was represented by four students who have all been members of programs run by the King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) and have received thousands of training hours and attended several training camps.
In the past, Saudi teams have won 20 medals at the EGMO. This year, Rafaa Qanash from Jeddah won a silver medal, while Lara Munqal from Jeddah, Joud Bahwini from Yanbu, and Fatima Al-Ghanam from Al-Ahsa all won bronze medals.
All four students have been members of Mawhiba’s Program for International Olympiads and have received thousands of training hours and attended several training camps.
Mawhiba works in partnership with the Ministry of Education to qualify Saudis to compete in scientific Olympiads. Over 1,300 hours of training are provided annually to prepare students to participate.
The EGMO — launched by the UK in 2012, when 19 countries participated — seeks to encourage female students to compete in mathematics tournaments and to increase female representation in international Olympiads. Currently, only 10 percent of participants in math-based Olympiads are female.


Want to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah? Here are the procedures you need to know about

Want to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah? Here are the procedures you need to know about
Updated 16 April 2021

Want to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah? Here are the procedures you need to know about

Want to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah? Here are the procedures you need to know about
  • Saudi Arabia reported 10 more COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced the procedures for pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom to follow to perform the rituals.
Pilgrims need to go to a care center in Makkah six hours before performing Umrah to check the inoculation status according to the type of approved vaccines.
They will be handed their bracelet, which they must put on at the center. They will then be directed to the Al-Shubaikha gathering center. There, the pilgrims must present their bracelet to verify their data and their permit.
The ministry noted the need for the pilgrims to abide by the Umrah date and time period allocated to them.
The Kingdom began receiving pilgrims from abroad in mid-March, in accordance with requirements and controls set by the Ministry of Health as part of the precautionary measures set to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had previously confirmed the launch of the two updated versions of the apps “Eatmarna” and “Tawakkalna,” in cooperation with the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence.
Through these apps, Saudis and expats can reserve Umrah and visit and prayer permits inside the Grand Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, with permits being displayed only on the Tawakkalna app.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah emphasized the need to adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures, and to reserve permits through the approved official platforms.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 10 more COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 6,791.
The Ministry of Health reported 985 new cases, meaning that 402,142 people have now contracted the disease, of which 9,249 remain active.
It said 463 of the new cases were in Riyadh, 164 in Makkah, 140 in the Eastern Province and 30 in Madinah. In addition, 661 patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 386,102 recoveries.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted more than 16 million PCR tests, with 45,843 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell and breathing difficulties.
Appointments to either services can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their jabs of the coronavirus vaccine, with 6,607,384 people having been inoculated so far.