Sacked KFH boss: Roaches have been there for 15 years

Updated 25 June 2015

Sacked KFH boss: Roaches have been there for 15 years

JEDDAH: The sacked director of King Fahd Hospital here has claimed that he warned the Health Ministry five months ago about the cockroach infestation at the convalescence center of the facility, but nothing was done to correct the situation.
Hammad Shogaa said he wrote a letter to the ministry highlighting the poor conditions at the facility and demanded that patients be transferred to Al-Thagher hospital, a local publication reported.
He claimed ministry officials ignored his request, but after the video showing cockroaches inside the center went viral, they made him the scapegoat for the situation.
“I sent a written letter to the Minister of Health Khalid Al-Falih informing him that I have been victimized because I did not receive a legitimate response to my letter about the status of the recovery center,” said Shogaa.
In his letter addressed to the minister, Shogaa wrote that he has served the ministry for 31 years and holds seven medical qualifications from Saudi Arabia, Britain and Canada, and is “well known for his experience, knowledge, loyalty, sincerity, success and devotion to his work.”
He claimed in his letter that all staff at the Health Affairs Directorate and ministry “had known for more than six years that the center needed to be closed because of the rundown facilities.”
According to Shogaa, former Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabeeah ordered the immediate closure of the center and the establishment of a new 100-bed facility at the hospital two years ago.
He said there have been cockroaches for more than 15 years at the convalescence center, with the full knowledge of all managers at the directorate and hospital. This is why he demanded patients be transferred to Al-Thager Hospital and the center shut down.
Meanwhile, the health department in Jeddah said that the Director of Health Affairs Mubarak bin Hassan Zafer held a meeting to form a working group that would oversee the transfer of patients to other hospitals in Jeddah, as per the instructions from the health minister. Patients needing extended convalescence care would be transferred to the new building in Al-Mossaidia after the completion of its restoration, he said.
An investigative committee had found that a patient’s room that appeared in the videoclip had been closed for two weeks, but was reopened due to a lack of beds. When the cockroaches were discovered, the patient was transferred to another room.
Al-Falih has warned that all hospitals must make sure that their facilities are clean to avoid heavy penalties.


Climate change inspires prestigious Saudi art exhibition

We hope visitors would be inspired by the works they see, says Hamza Serafi, head of the curatorial committee at the Saudi Art Council. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 29 min 47 sec ago

Climate change inspires prestigious Saudi art exhibition

  • The seventh ‘21,39 Jeddah Arts’ event addresses the global environmental crisis under the title ‘I Love You, Urgently’

JEDDAH: The seventh 21,39 Jeddah Arts is back in town, addressing the global environmental crisis under the title “I Love You, Urgently.” Based at the Saudi Art Council’s hub in Jeddah, it parades the work of local artisits.

Muhammad Hafiz, vice-chairman of Saudi Art Council, emphasized the importance of art in complementing societies, and how it is now being carried out by the state. He said: “This year we’re supported by the Ministry of Culture, who have kindly reached out to support us.”
Maya El Khalil, the curator of “I Love You, Urgently” paid tribute to Frei Otto, the masterful architect who has painstakingly contributed to memorable sights in the Kingdom and has been the inspiration for this year’s concept.
“In our part of the world, for the time being, these concerns (sustainability of the environment) aren’t a priority,” she said during the press conference to launch the exhibition.
 “It was interesting to see the artists go through a long process of research and study, building their awareness of their surroundings,” she said.
Hamza Serafi, head of the curatorial committee at the Saudi Art Council, said that they hoped visitors would be inspired by the works they see.
He thanked the curator for choosing Frei Otto, one of the pioneers of biomimicry — the imitation of nature.
“With that humane concept, the artists started expressing their feelings about how they see nature; some went into architectural forms, filming, music; it’s really diverse,” he said.
Visual artist Marwah Al-Mugait is one of 21 artists who have participated in the main exhibition this year, making her third appearance thanks to the Saudi Art Council.
Al-Mugait’s creation can be sensed upon entry to the cavernous venue, where women’s chants can be heard. Upon inspection, behind a lavish white curtain, a video filmed in Riyadh is playing across a curved wall where a group of women come together in self-expression and self-preservation, before they huddle against an ancient tree and embrace it.
“This year is exceptional because of the theme; I’m so happy and honored to work with Maya El Khalil, who presented the concept of biomimicry,” Al-Mugait told Arab News.

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The exhibition hosts visits from schools organized by the Ministry of Education.

Al-Mugait began to work toward unseen elements to display “multi-layered emotional details” in her work in order to depict the senses rather than what meets the eye. Initially, the Riyadh-based artist felt anxious about applying this new concept to her background in film and performance.
 “Throughout my research, I was driven towards the topic of the defense mechanisms of species, plantations and human beings, specifically Mimosa pudica, which closes in on itself whenever a predator is trying to touch it,” she explained.
Al-Mugait also drew inspiration from the way bees deal with predators who attack their hive, during which they perform a shimmering wave collectively.
As she struggled to translate these mechanical moves into a body language that conveys how humans can defend themselves from inner and outer harm, psychological harm and abuse, she came across Movers in Riyadh, and two of their choreographers helped her shape her performance.
Al-Mugait chose 14 female dancers to depict empowered women, two Jamaican-British and 12 Saudis. “I wanted to trace that power which you cannot see with my camera, along with their interaction with nature. That moment when they hug the tree at the end is similar to the one you would get from a mother.”
During the first week of 21,39 Jeddah Arts, a forum will be held with talks and panel discussions by the curator El Khalil and the artists of “I Love You, Urgently.”
The exhibition is open to the public, and also hosts visits from schools as part of educational trips orchestrated by the Ministry of Education, said Hafiz.
The event will run from January 28 to April 18, with further exhibitions taking place besides “I Love You, Urgently,” including “Architecture of Tomorrow: Frei Otto’s Legacy in Saudi Arabia,” which pays tribute to the inspiration behind this year’s theme, and “Sculpting Spaces — Architectural Desert Dwellings for AlUla”.
The Saudi Art Council is a non-profit initiative founded in 2014 by a number of art enthusiasts, and has been supportive of local artists and art movements in the Kingdom.