Saudi envoy: Kingdom guarantees rights of people with disabilities

Fri, 2017-03-10

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia takes care of persons with disabilities, following the principles and provisions of Shariah, which enjoins protecting these people, as manifested in the many legislative and non-legislative measures, said Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Wasil, Saudi ambassador-designate to the EU in Geneva and the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN.
The envoy made his remarks last Friday in the speech he delivered on behalf of his country during the annual session of the Human Rights Council, which focused on persons with disabilities.
Al-Wasil said, “The Kingdom’s regulations ban any discrimination against persons with disabilities” whose rights are guaranteed by the state, including their right to health care and rehabilitation services.
He said the Kingdom also encourages institutions and individuals to contribute to charitable works to aid people with disabilities, consistent with international standards. He added: “The Kingdom’s accession to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol made it part of the country’s regulations.”
Al-Wasil highlighted the Saudi government’s efforts to help persons with disabilities achieve independence and to integrate them in society.
“The government is also keen to offer them the opportunity to participate in the political life, either through appointments or through fair election,” Al-Wasil said.

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Malaysian minister urges closer cooperation between Saudi and Malaysian publishers

Mohammed Rasooldeen
Fri, 2017-03-10

RIYADH: Malaysian Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid on Wednesday called for closer cooperation between Saudi and Malaysian publishers to boost the printing of publications in both countries.
Malaysia was the guest-of-honor country at the Riyadh International Book Fair 2017.
Saudi and Malaysian publishers have an important role to play in the development of society by delivering quality publications, Khalid said.
He expressed happiness that he was visiting the Kingdom soon after the visit of King Salman to Kuala Lumpur, adding that the monarch’s visit is a reflection of strong and steady bilateral relations.
Khalid said his government is deeply honored that Malaysia was the guest-of-honor country at the book fair.
He added that the future of any country depends on its youth, and that reading will make them useful members of society.
The Malaysian pavilion at the book fair was represented by 20 publishers displaying more than 400 books, 60 percent of them children’s editions. There were 83 representatives from Malaysian publishing houses present.

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Saudi general: Internet recruiting of young people by terrorists is ‘most dangerous’

Mohammed Al-Sulami
Fri, 2017-03-10

JEDDAH: Brig. Gen. Prince Faisal bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Saud, lecturer at Al-Imam University in Riyadh, said that terrorists’ material capabilities are not equal to those of states and terrorists, whether individually or within organizations, can never eliminate states.
His statements were made in a lecture delivered on Thursday at King Faisal Conference Center at King Abdulaziz University.
Prince Faisal stressed that “the effect of terrorism on the political dimension of national security lies in weakening the confidence of citizens in their country and endangering its independence and sovereignty.”
He also brought attention to the dangerous trend of terrorists resorting to the Internet to brainwash susceptible people.
Brainwashing has two elements: Targeting and instigating, the prince pointed out.
Terrorist groups choose young people, usually in the 15-to-25-age range, to recruit them to carry out terrorist operations.
The targeted groups are most often socially marginalized, the poor and the less educated who harbor hostility toward the state. Also targeted are people with mental problems.
The traditional brainwashing process consists of four stages, the prince said.
The first is isolating the targeted people with whom terrorists start forging ties and whom they teach hatred toward the West, in addition to instilling false patriotism.
During the second stage, the instigators works to change the ideology of the targeted people through the use of images and videos that charge the ruler with infidelity.
The third stage targets individuals and accuses the state and other citizens of being infidels and in which they are required to swear allegiance to the “emir” of the terrorist group.
The last stage of the process is that of confirmation of affiliation, and it includes taking the targeted persons to the areas under the influence of the group and forcing them to undergo military training.
“Some terrorist organizations resort to lone wolves, fearing lack of seriousness on the part of the targeted persons or to avoid having many people caught by security officers. A would-be member is assigned a limited terrorist act that he usually carries out alone, but these operations often fail,” Prince Faisal said.

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Organization of Islamic Cooperation warns of growing famine in Somalia

Arab News
Fri, 2017-03-10

JEDDAH: The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said the group is viewing the spread of famine in Somalia with deep concern.
The OIC reports that signs of a famine has started to show in Somalia and the Horn of Africa region after a severe drought and shortage of rainfall.
The organization stated that the famine is threatening the lives of more than 17 million people in the Horn of Africa. A drought is starting to affect Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
Half of Somali’s population — about 6 million people — is in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
About 110 people died in Somalia in the past two days from cholera and famine caused by the ongoing drought, said Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali in a statement on March 4.
The OIC’s office for Coordination of Humanitarian and Development Action in Somalia estimates that 50,000 people left Somali villages for the capital Mogadishu since last month.
The OIC General Secretariat said it shares with other humanitarian partners deep concern about the level of international response to the eventuality of famine in Somalia.
The country suffered from famine between 2010 and 2012, which led to the deaths of 260,000 people.
The OIC General Secretariat warned about the consequences of the slow humanitarian intervention and highlighted the need for swift intervention, “before it is too late.”
The OIC General Secretariat appealed for help to the international community.
The UN secretary general recently said that the UN agencies are in urgent need of $4.4 billion by the end of March. The UN announced that 1.4 million children are on the verge of imminent death because of famine in four countries: Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, where 20 million people face catastrophic conditions.

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Chinese business leaders expected to be briefed on bright prospects in Saudi mining sector during king’s visit

Rodolfo C. Estimo Jr.
Fri, 2017-03-10

RIYADH: Top industry leaders expect that Chinese investors will be briefed on the prospects of the local mining industry during the upcoming visit of King Salman to China.
Abdullah Al-Meleihi, board member of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI), stressed the importance of encouraging foreign and local investors to infuse capital in the local mining sector.
He said this would result in a massive capital infusion to develop the Saudi mining industry.
Saleh Al-Sultan, business consultant in the public and private sectors, said the Saudi mining sector is promising and faces bright prospects. He added the Kingdom is rich in mineral resources.
However, Al-Sultan suggested that aside from Chinese business leaders, investors in other countries included in King Salman’s itinerary should also be invited to provide capital in the Saudi mining sector.
Al-Meleihi, who is also the chairman of the Al Ramez International Group, said Chinese business leaders are expected to be invited by the Saudi business delegation to visit the Kingdom for investment purposes.
He said that the field of mining in the Kingdom is wide and explorations have shown that there are huge mineral resources of copper, aluminum, gold and other minerals.
He said, “This is a solid platform that enhances the path of Saudi Vision 2030 and serves as a channel to diversify and generates money as well as providing jobs and opportunities for diverse industries.”
He said that the mining sector will create numerous jobs and generate more than SR97 billion ($28 billion) in annual revenue at a time when studies have shown that Saudi Arabia owns 6 percent of uranium reserves in the world.

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YouTube makes Jeddah its 1st FanFest destination in Mideast

Fri, 2017-03-10

JEDDAH: YouTube has chosen Jeddah for its first ever FanFest event in the Middle East on Friday, as Saudi Arabia is home to the biggest number of YouTube consumers per capita in the world.
FanFest, which gathers local YouTube stars to perform live in their home countries, will have famous Saudi talents on stage at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
They include Omar Hussain, Badr Saleh, Hatoon Al-Qadhi, and siblings Nojoud and Moha Al-Shammari.
The siblings joined YouTube’s “millionaires club” after they each reached 1 million subscribers on YouTube channels, as did Fahd Sal.
YouTube on Thursday rewarded them with the “gold play button,” which they give YouTubers on such an occasion.
Nojoud has been vlogging (posting video blogs) on YouTube for only a year and a half, yet she has become one of the top 10 influencers on YouTube in the Middle East.
She appears in videos with her two brothers, whose nicknames are Moha and Lofan. They vlog (video blog) about their travels and daily life. She also has her own solo videos that target a female audience.
“What made me get to this stage (and win the gold play button) is my brothers’ support. They were always there to support me every step of the way,” she told Arab News on the sidelines of YouTube’s press conference in Jeddah on Thursday.
Watch time in Saudi Arabia grew by 50 percent last year, comprising a third of all watch time in the Arab world, said Diana Baddar, head of YouTube Partnerships for the Middle East and North Africa.
“We look at the content that’s being created out of Saudi. It’s very different, and not something you’d find on television,” Baddar told Arab News.
She said those who started more than five years ago created “a hotbed of creativity” for all those who have come up in the past five years.
She said Saleh became the first YouTube millionaire three years ago. “People are finding content that’s appealing to them, and we hope this continues,” Baddar said.
“By the end of the year, I foresee probably a doubling of millionaires from Saudi, and we’ll continue to support that.”
She added that YouTubing in Arabic is helping to build up “the repertoire of Arabic content. The fact that we’re exporting from Saudi is a phenomenon that I’m very proud of.”
The attractive local content, and the high usage of mobile phones in Saudi Arabia, are among the important factors making YouTube popular in the Kingdom.
Another factor is having a very young population “who are enthusiastic adapters of new technology and new culture,” said Stephen Nuttall, head of YouTube in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“With the ongoing adoption of modern technology here (in Saudi Arabia), with mobile networks getting ever faster, we’re going to see sustained growth in the future, and it’s really exciting,” he told Arab News.
Nuttall said authenticity and positive creative energy are the common thread among YouTube creators.
“Comedy in Saudi Arabia is very strong. The comedy videos work incredibly well. I think knowledge, the factual content, learning and inspiration (also) work incredibly well.”
Nuttall said the growth in viewership makes advertisers increasingly recognize YouTube as a place to build a brand.
This allows YouTube creators to “create more higher-end quality content as you go, so there will be more compelling content for people to watch.”
YouTube, which was established in 2005, is opening a space in Dubai that is the first in the Middle East, and the 11th in the world, for content creators in the region to learn, connect and create.

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Saudi pavilion opens at Berlin tourism expo

Arab News
Fri, 2017-03-10

BERLIN: Adnan Boustaji, Saudi deputy head of mission to Germany, on Wednesday opened the Kingdom’s pavilion at the 2017 Berlin Stock Exchange for Tourism.
Also present at the opening were the acting cultural attache in Berlin, Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Saleh, and the acting vice president for marketing and programs at the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage, Abdullah bin Abdulmalik Al-Morshid, who briefed Boustaji on the pavilion’s activities.
Boustaji expressed admiration for the pavilion, which highlights the Kingdom’s tourist sites and history, and stressed the importance of participating in the global forum, the largest of its kind in the world.
He highlighted Saudi efforts to promote tourism and its cultural heritage, and stressed the need to increase tourism investment in the Kingdom via cooperation with global companies in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
Boustaji highlighted the Saudi Embassy’s keenness to cooperate with the tourism authority, which he thanked for its role in preparing the pavilion.
He also thanked Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage, for enabling the Kingdom to participate in the exhibition.
Al-Morshid said the Kingdom’s participation “projects a distinctive image of the Kingdom and its tourism and heritage attributes, while increasing the quality of tourism products to meet demand at competitive prices.”
The annual exhibition is an “important opportunity to educate the world about the heritage of the Kingdom and its cultural depth, as well as about the cultural renaissance it is currently witnessing,” he added.
The authority will work at the pavilion to promote tourism among Muslims in many countries, he said.
Participants at the pavilion include Saudi Arabian Airlines, the General Authority for Civil Aviation, King Abdullah Economic City, the National Program for Conferences and Exhibitions, the Guest Houses Co., and several hotels and tourism companies.
Visitors at the expo from around the world can learn more about tourism investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
Saudi students on scholarship in Germany and other European countries can obtain information and printouts about tourism in the Kingdom, which will enable them to promote an accurate and positive image of their country in their areas of study. Al-Saleh urged all scholarship students to visit the expo to benefit from the experience.
More than 200 countries are participating in the exhibition, which covers an area of 160,000 square meters and houses 10,000 exhibitors, including companies and authorities specializing in travel, tourism, aviation, transportation and investment.
The event will be covered by 3,000 journalists. Workshops, lectures and sessions are being held on the sidelines, as well as conferences on travel and tourism.

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Only certified Madinah service providers should be dealing with tourists: SCTH

Yusuf Mohammed
Fri, 2017-03-10

MADINAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) issued warnings against dealing with individuals who market tourism services, entertainment centers, hotels and parks without a license issued by SCTH.
SCTH Madinah Director General Khalid bin Hussein Al-Shahrani said the commission will conduct inspections of centers, commercial complexes, resorts, hotels and parks to ensure that the system is under control.
The commission also organizes domestic and foreign visitor tours. It is also responsible for tourist accommodation bookings in and outside the Kingdom, and making sure that tourism market service providers are licensed.
“SCTH seeks, through the field trips, to control unlicensed practices that make citizens and residents victims of fraud and deception by offering them non-existent gifts, programs, tourist offers and others,” he said.
Al-Shahrani urged commercial and entertainment centers to deny access to unlicensed marketers of tourism services.
Al-Shahrani asked citizens and residents to cooperate with SCTH by reporting any unlicensed practices and tourism activities to the phone number 19 988.
“The SCTH asks all dealers in tourism services to disclose the licenses issued by the commission,” he said.

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6 of 7 suspects who attacked security men in Jeddah arrested

Mohammed Al-Sulami
Fri, 2017-03-10

JEDDAH: A police manhunt for seven men suspected of attacking on Tuesday a police officer for preventing them from driving their all-terrain vehicles at the corniche resulted in the arrest of six suspects.
The alleged attackers were identified as Majid Sadiq Alrushaidi, an 18-year-old Saudi national and the alleged assailant who ran over the policeman; Husain Abdulkareem, a 25-year-old Chadian national, who holds no personal identification card; Haroun Adam Kooper, a Nigerian and holder of a residency card; Yacoub Ahmad Mohammad Abdulfatah, a 28-year-old Yemeni national, who holds a visitor’s card.
The men reportedly confessed their crimes with the participation of Wajdi Naser Ali Basabreen, a 24-year-old Yemeni national, and illegal resident in the Kingdom; and Hassan Ali Musa, a 20-year-old Chadian national, also an illegal resident.
The police spokesman said that security authorities will not be tolerant and will not allow any actions or practices that would disrupt public order, endanger the safety of people, or cause chaos. They warned anyone who might attempt to undertake such actions that sanctions will be firmly taken against them.
He called on the other suspected attacker to surrender to the authorities and warned other parties against harboring him. He also urged citizens to report any information they have on the case.
Makkah police spokesman Col. Atti bin Attiah Al-Quraishi said the incident occurred at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. While the security authorities in Jeddah were on duty in the Jeddah Corniche area, they spotted several motorcyclists disturbing the public order and threatening the safety of picnickers.
“When the authorities addressed the situation, the offenders attacked one of the security members and deliberately ran him over with the motorbike,” Al-Quraishi said. “The bikers also attacked one private security guard when he tried to help the security member. Their actions resulted in injuries among the security members, who were moved to the hospital for treatment.”

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