Cities turn green and white for National Day

Cities turn green and white for National Day
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Cities turn green and white for National Day
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Cities turn green and white for National Day
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Cities turn green and white for National Day
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Updated 24 September 2014

Cities turn green and white for National Day

Cities turn green and white for National Day

Saudi cities are going green and white with the nation's flags and banners on lampposts in the main streets and highways, and citizens wearing their national colors proudly, to mark the founding of the country 84 years ago.
Students in the capital were clear what green meant to them. “It symbolizes growth, new life and peace. It represents spring, youth and determination, which makes us feel great about our beloved Kingdom,” said one student.
“The national flag is green with the white Arabic testimony of our faith — there is no god worthy of worship except the Almighty Allah and Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is His messenger,” another student said.
As part of the national celebrations, hotels in Riyadh are also going green. Some have special programs lined up, including having staff greet guests wearing thobes in the colors of the national flag.
In addition, retailers in the capital are selling clothing and flags in national colors. A sales executive at a city hypermarket told Arab News that the items include green-colored stationery, clothes, balloons and toys.
Schools in Asir have the National Day celebrations in full swing, with around 1,300 schools for girls and boys participating over the past few days in contests, and singing patriotic songs.
Madinah education department officials, led by Director-General Nasser Abdulkarim, have also launched various celebratory events. Abdulkarim congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin for helping the country to achieve its economic success.
Marzooq bin Hamad Al-Zaydi, the director of Al-Nassiryah primary school, said the events organized included poetry contests, debates for students, seminars and lectures, and art workshops.
The Makkah municipality has linked up with Rawad Media to have special events at King Abdulaziz Sports City. Mamdouh Salem, artistic director of the gathering, said the 14 events include traditional dances, songs, paintings by artist Khalid Jamali and poetry by Abdul Rahman Al-Harthy.
“There will also be a very special film about the founding of the Kingdom and the country's achievements from the time of founder King Abdul Aziz to the current era of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. This is to educate the youth about the country's history,” he said.
In Jeddah, Saudi students have already brought some cheer to patients at hospitals by distributing fruit, flowers and Saudi flags, and singing folk songs. Khalid Abdullah, a high school student, said: “It feels good to see them momentarily forget their suffering while we played some music. They enjoyed our stay.”
Ahmed Al-Harbi, a school director, said: “Volunteering provides young Saudis the opportunity to serve the community, get exposure and gain rewards. It also inspires them to become doctors and nurses and make a difference in the lives of patients.”
Jeddah will host a series of cultural events including laser shows and musical programs by famous Saudi singers.
Osama S. Tayyib, rector of King Abdulaziz University, formally launched National Day celebrations on Monday on the university's campus with several foreign guests. Tayyeb praised the Kingdom's rulers for helping the country become a safe and prosperous nation.
The Jeddah municipality has organized a series of mega events "that will reflect the national spirit,” said Ali Saeed Al-Ghamdi, a member of the organizing committee and senior municipal official, on Monday. He said that the municipality has already set up 3,000 flags and 1,000 electric signboards with pictures of the country's leaders.
Popular Saudi singers Abdul Majid Abdullah, Raba Saqr, Rashed Al-Majid and Rashed Al-Farsi are holding concerts at the corniche, he added. The fireworks backed by international companies will be displayed at Obhur Junoobiya, Obhur Shimaliya, Central Corniche, Nawaras roundabout, opposite the Hilton Hotel and East Corniche. The landmark fountain will operate for six hours with a multicolored laser and sound system.
In Wadi Al-Dawasir in the Najd region, students aged 9 to 12 of the Nuayma Qur’anic School decorated the dialysis ward at a local hospital with Saudi flags and cheered up patients with gifts, flowers and sweets. Several scouts of the school volunteered to celebrate the National Day as part of their community service.
School principal Abu Dahash said a community assistance initiative at local hospitals is part of an international scout's project. “To celebrate the day, we planned this unique program to introduce youngsters to the Islamic values of helping others and to enhance their involvement in community services.”
In the Eastern Province, Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif is sponsoring National Day celebrations on Tuesday at Sultan bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center (SciTech). Many events and fireworks displays will be held.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 4 min 41 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.