Anti-drug campaign targets 5 million students

Updated 15 December 2012

Anti-drug campaign targets 5 million students

Saudi Arabia has launched a major anti-drug awareness campaign, targeting all groups of society, specifically 5 million students.
Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Naif has approved the national strategic plan to combat drugs, which will be carried out in cooperation with 25 government and private agencies.
Abdul Elah bin Muhammad Al-Sharief, assistant director-general of the department for combating drugs, said the plan targets 5 million school and university students.
He said drug barons and mafias were targeting Saudi Arabia. “Saudi security agencies have been successful in foiling many attempts to smuggle drugs into the Kingdom.”
According to a report published by the Interior Ministry recently, it had arrested 634 drug smugglers and traffickers including 207 Saudis during the past three months.
Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the ministry, said the arrested criminals had attempted to smuggle various types of drugs worth SR 886.31 million.
Spelling out the different types of drugs seized from smugglers, Al-Turki said they included 7.4 kg of heroin, 10,623 kg of hashish, and more than 1.55 million amphetamine tablets.
The Kingdom's drug enforcement agency adopts two main ways to contain growing drug smuggling attempts and drug abuse cases: Arrest of smugglers and traffickers in addition to prevention of money laundering and enlightening the public against the dangerous effects of drugs.
“Drugs have become one of the major issues facing the world, including many Arab countries, despite the national, regional and international efforts to fight this social evil,” Al-Sharief pointed out.
He said the national anti-drug campaign, “For your sake”, aims at enlightening different groups of people including expatriates on the hazardous effects of drug abuse.
“We intend to deepen the religious and moral values among the public to keep them away from drugs and narcotics and inform them about the bad effects of drug abuse on family, society and economy,” Al-Sharief said.
The campaign intends to carry out a number of programs including the launch of a website with content in four languages (Arabic, English, Urdu and French) and another program to protect students from drugs.
“This year we intend to target 5 million students in 25,000 schools under 42 education departments for boys and 43 education departments for girls all over the Kingdom,” Al-Sharief said.
The department has set up another website (www.wiqaiya.com) providing a lot of information and articles aimed at enlightening the public on the need to keep away from drugs. The website is linked with social media.
“We also intend to organize a number of other programs as part of the campaign including a special television program and 13 exhibitions in different regions,” he said.
The department intends to produce 26 video programs, each with the duration of 45 minutes, with the participation of leading football stars and young Saudi soccer fans.
“Production of a cartoon film to enlighten students on how to behave nicely at school, home and with family and friends is another project,” he said.
The department also intends to distribute 2 million copies of a booklet on the harmful effect of using amphetamine narcotic tablets, heroin and hashish.
“We also intend to hold five youth forums during the year to enlighten young men and women on drug abuse,” he said.
Other programs include a regional symposium, a workshop for preventive measures, a major awareness program to be initiated by regional governors with the support of universities, 30 television series and a special program for women in nine regions including Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Qassim and Asir.
In an article published on wiqaiya.com website, Makkah Deputy Gov. Abdul Aziz Al-Khodairy highlighted the harmful effects of drugs on individuals, families and society.
“We need cooperation of all members of society, especially young men and women, to prevent drug smuggling and sales. If smugglers and traffickers see remarkable decrease in demand for drugs, they will stop bringing them to the Kingdom,” he pointed out.
Al-Khodairy cautioned students against the tricky methods used by drug agents to sell narcotic tablets like amphetamine, especially during examination times. He urged Saudi youth to take the lead role in fighting drugs and save the society from this danger.


Lebanese designer celebrates Saudi Arabia’s hidden treasure through art

Miriam El-Moula says she feels like she was born with art in her DNA.
Updated 18 November 2019

Lebanese designer celebrates Saudi Arabia’s hidden treasure through art

  • Miriam El-Moula marks Saudi Arabia’s culture and heritage through sustainable artworks

RIYADH: Defectless, a six-month-old lifestyle brand, is inspired by revealing hidden beauty. It started by highlighting the diversity of Saudi Arabia’s landscape. Unlocking the once-hidden treasures and memorializing them into contemporary and sustainable art pieces.
“I want to create pieces that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but that tell stories of people and places and inspire human progress,” 24-year-old artist Miraim El-Moula told Arab News.
“That is why I am so inspired by what’s happening in Saudi Arabia and the emergence of these new destinations. These destinations were hidden from the world. Now they are shocking the consciousness of many artists, me included, with the beauty of their nature, heritage, and people. They are worth being celebrated.”
Her designs are from four different regions in Saudi Arabia: Asir, AlUla, the Red Sea, and Riyadh. “That’s what I want to show people, that Saudi is not just a desert country. It is much more,” she said.
Hand sculpted from pure marble El-Moula’s latest creation is the Guardian of AlUla. “To me, the elephant rock is a natural wonder that stood the test of time. It is proof that nature is the ultimate artist.”

I love touching material and matching colors. Creating a new piece of art brings me internal happiness.

Miriam El-Moula

Inspired by the people of Asir and the community of the southern city, she recreated Asir Fortress in a contemporary handcrafted way. “I was inspired: On the one hand, the fortress represents the warriors who dedicated their lives to protect their lands, and on the other, Al-Qat pattern, engraved on it, represents the woman of Asir who enriched this community with their vibrant, colorful art.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Miriam El-Moula’s designs are from four different regions in Saudi Arabia: Asir, AlUla, the Red Sea, and Riyadh.

• Inspired by the people of Asir and the community of the southern city, she recreated Asir Fortress in a contemporary handcrafted way.

• She uses sustainable materials, such as concrete, to replicate the age-old corals. The center is covered with gold making it a beautiful centerpiece.

• A marble tray made out of gold bowls that represent the historic Diriyah buildings — home to the leaders of Saudi Arabia — when conjoined is a representation of the UNESCO heritage site.

“Red Sea Siglia” was created by her inspiration from the marine treasures of the Red Sea. “These coral reefs are 6,000 years old and irreplaceable. They are a gift to mankind that must be celebrated and protected.”
She uses sustainable materials, such as concrete, to replicate the age-old corals. The center is covered with gold making it a beautiful centerpiece.
A marble tray made out of gold bowls that represent the historic Diriyah buildings — home to the leaders of Saudi Arabia — when conjoined is a representation of the UNESCO heritage site.
El-Moula knew from the beginning she wanted to be a designer. As a schoolgirl, she was infatuated with art class and even skipped other classes in school in order to develop her beloved passion.
“I feel like I was born with art in my DNA,” she said. “I love to look at spaces and always have an opinion on how they can look better. I love touching material and matching colors. Creating a new piece of art brings me internal happiness.”
Her first art display will be at Winter of Tantoura in AlUla.