Saudis give shelter to those affected by UK floods

Updated 09 December 2015

Saudis give shelter to those affected by UK floods

LONDON: The recent floods in Britain which caused power-cuts and loss of communications in a number of areas saw many Saudi scholarship students invite those whose homes were affected to stay with them.
Those who used Twitter as a means of communications invited friends affected by the floods to stay in their homes.
Khadija, a scholarship student in Lancaster, said there was a problem in communications except in a few areas of the city and many were not able to use Twitter or other social networks to keep in touch with friends.
She said she was very proud of the Saudi students who put their friends up in their flats.
Scholarship student Khaled Qassim said the Saudi students made a very thoughtful and considerate gesture to other students who might have had nowhere to go as a result of the floods.
Similarly, Dr. Zainab Al-Mutairi, studying in Leeds, said her home was open for all families in Lancaster until the problem was solved.
The head of the Saudi Students Association in Britain, Faris Al-Maliki, said the group acted to help those affected by the floods and called on all who are on scholarships to help.
According to the BBC, the floods led to power cuts in 42,000 homes and there still remain 300 properties without electricity.


Technical glitches on Absher prevent exempt Saudis from traveling abroad

Updated 27 September 2020

Technical glitches on Absher prevent exempt Saudis from traveling abroad

  • On Sept. 13, the Saudi government issued a list of categories of people permitted to travel outside of the Kingdom
  • However, only a few days after the announcement, many students, patients and other exempted residents were unable to apply due to a technical fault on Absher

JEDDAH: Absher, the “one-stop shop” web-portal for Saudi government services, has been experiencing technical glitches that have left many citizens and expats unable to travel, despite them meeting the “exceptional case” categories outlined by the Interior Ministry more than two weeks ago.
Earlier this year and as part of its response to COVID-19, the Saudi government suspended all international flights to and from the Kingdom in a move that has successfully reduced infections across the country.
On Sept. 13, the Saudi government issued a list of categories of people permitted to travel outside of the Kingdom. These include diplomats, humanitarian cases, Saudis who live outside the Kingdom for work or study, among others. To be able to leave the country an eligible individual must apply — with supporting documents — for a permit to the passport authority.
However, only a few days after the announcement, many students, patients and other exempted residents were unable to apply due to a technical fault on Absher.
“The option to request the permit suddenly vanished from the relevant page, so while you could access Absher you just couldn’t submit your request. I tried every day for nearly two weeks,” said a Saudi woman who holds residency in a neighboring country. She added that while there was no announcement, the only information that she read in the local press was that the service was facing technical glitches.
“Yesterday, they announced that Absher was back but said that new requirements were set,” she said. “These include providing a copy of the residency card abroad and proof that an applicant has lived out of the Kingdom for six months every year for the past three years. In addition they requested a copy of my tenancy contract.”
“I spent all day collecting the documents. When I tried to upload the PDF the first time it told me that the file was too big, so I went to find software to reduce the size and when I finally managed to do so, I couldn’t log in as the whole website was down with a message saying that it was either temporarily unavailable or that they were serving someone else,” she said.
Other people, including one Saudi cancer patient who is due to return for treatment in Germany, spoke of the same technical glitches. When Arab News tried to log on to verify earlier today, it was unable to with an automated message that said “currently we are serving others, please try again later.”  The problem seems to have been resolved for some users by 10 pm.