RIYADH: Saudi Arabia offered a $10 million contribution to confront the threat posed on the Safer oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, the government’s aid body, KSRelief, announced on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia has always supported the efforts of the United Nations to confront and avoid the potential economic, humanitarian and environmental threats that the oil tanker could cause, KSRelief said.
An oil spill could cause a major environmental and navigational disaster that threatens the Red Sea coast, fishing communities, international navigation and the entry of food and fuel, and life-saving supplies to Yemen, KSRelief warned.
This would exacerbate the humanitarian situation and threaten the countries bordering the Red Sea, the aid body said.
Saudi Arabia has warned that if oil leaks from the Safer tanker, which contains more than one million barrels and has not been maintained since 2015, the world will witness the largest environmental disaster that threatens underwater life, fisheries and biodiversity as a result of the oil spill.
The decaying ship is thought to have around 1.14 million barrels stored aboard in total, and has been left to rust for six years amid the Yemeni civil war, after it was converted into a floating storage facility.
The necessity of activating collective action to protect the oceans was highlighted during the commemoration of the United Nations World Oceans Day, on June 8, the KSRelief statement said.
“The oceans are one of the main sources of food and the biggest ally in the face of climate change, and the Kingdom is following international developments in this regard within the framework of conserving the most important marine resources and ecosystems,” the statement said.
According to KSRelief, several meetings and discussions were held with the international community to support the rescue plan of the Safer tanker, and support the efforts of the UN to find the appropriate plan to neutralize the potential danger.
Saudi Arabia also called on the UN to take the necessary measures to ensure the prevention of oil leakage and transfer it to a safe place.
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is launching the Smart Pilgrim app this year to further utilize technology in its services.
The app allows pilgrims to communicate with their service providers and report any violations to the ministry, which has pledged to handle the remarks and complaints without delay or leniency towards any violating Hajj service providers.
Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj and Umrah Services Hisham Saeed said that the upcoming Hajj season will witness an expansion in the Hajj smart card services, in addition to launching three basic apps to better serve pilgrims.
Saeed, who is also the ministry’s spokesman, told a local TV channel that its technical plans would add to the experience of this year’s pilgrims.
“The Hajj and Umrah Ministry has a call center that receives the pilgrims’ inquiries, complaints, and suggestions round the clock. In addition, a pilgrim can download the smart pilgrim app, which has many services, to his or her smartphone and chat with their Hajj service provider to report any violation or file a complaint,” he said.
He added that if the issue is not solved in a timely manner, the complaint will automatically be redirected to the operation center at the Hajj and Umrah Ministry, which will immediately task a team to go to the place of the violation and take corrective measures.
The move comes after the 21st Scientific Forum for Hajj, Umrah, Visit Research was inaugurated in Madinah last month, focusing on the digital transformation in the Hajj, Umrah and Visit System.
The forum explored three main issues: the governance of digital transformation in the Hajj and Umrah system, applying digital transformation to improve the services provided to pilgrims and visitors to the two holy cities and developing decision-making processes to support services.
RIYADH: A historic love story, passed down from generation to generation, has taken the stage at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
“Jamil and Bouthayna,” set in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, is a theatrical musical production that tells the legendary tale of the poet Jamil bin Ma’amar, who fell madly in love with Bouthayna bint Hayyan.
As one of the many events hosted by the Ministry of Culture, “Jamil and Bouthayna” has left crowds speechless with its costumes and choreographed performances, born in the deserts of AlUla.
Two Riyadh, natives Areej Ahmed and Alanoud Bandar, came to see the musical on the opening night. The two friends shared their excitement with Arab News.
“I honestly really enjoyed the show, there wasn’t a single moment where I felt bored or became distracted. Every scene was very captivating and I advise people to come see,” Ahmed said.
“To be honest, I liked it, but it has some vocabulary and music that is dominated by the Jordanian, and not the Saudi, dialect,” Bandar told Arab News.
The performance originally premiered in AlUla in February 2020 at the Maraya Concert Hall as part of the Winter at Tantora Festival.
Fatima Hassan, an Eastern Province native, traveled from Alkhobar just to see the musical on its Riyadh opening night.
“Honestly, the trip was exhausting and I left my husband and children to attend the show,” she said. “The first show was in AlUla and it was too far away to travel so I could not attend.”
She told Arab News that she was thrilled when she discovered the musical was coming to Riyadh.
“I fell in love with the love (story) set in the Arabian Peninsula in AlUla, between Jamil and Bouthayna, and I loved the performance of the actress Amel Bouchoucha, who is the one behind the show,” she said.
The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre troupe brought the love story to life, with its lead performers, Algerian actress Bouchoucha and Syrian actor Samer Ismail, playing Jamil and Bouthayna.
The opening night, which saw the use of poetry, musical composition, video projection, heritage costumes, singing and choreography to portray the story, came to a close with a standing ovation from the audience.
The show will run until June 14 at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University’s Blue Hall with tickets ranging from SR75 ($20) to SR350.
JEDDAH: After a number of years of competing in various local autocross competitions, Afnan Almarglani recently became the first Saudi woman to hold an autocross and safe driving skills trainer license.
Her journey in the sport began when her motor sports-mad brother brought home a brand new PlayStation when they were growing up. The two competed in video games such as Gran Turismo 3, a racing title.
“From when I was young, I used to see my older brother Fahd interested in sports cars, modifying them and buying car parts from abroad. We used to race with each other in video games. I was so fascinated by cars, by the shape of the cars, the sound of engines and how they were driven incredibly fast. I played the game every day until it got to the point that I couldn’t beat my own fastest lap times,” she said.
Almarglani works in biomedical engineering. She previously took part in the first women’s race in Saudi Arabia during time off from her work at a project management office at the Ministry of Health.
One of the difficulties which I faced was the criticism of our society, the fact that a girl enters the field of cars which is dominated by men. But now the situation is developing and changing.
Her blending of roles as a biomedical engineer and racer makes her unique, and her talent in both careers has allowed her to take opportunities that most women do not have.
Almarglani, who holds a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from a US university, told Arab News that her love and passion led her to work with sports cars, and that she chose to enter the field to gain experience.
She said: “Medical engineering is one of the most beautiful and rare disciplines in the world, because it combines engineering and medicine, which results in solutions to healthcare problems. Because of the amount of pressure and stress that I face in my work, I need to unload my energy, and enjoy and practice my hobby in motorsports.
“Alhamdulillah, we live in a great country with the decision to allow women to drive. So, I participated in the first women’s autocross championship and won second place in the qualifying round,” she added.
After her first foray into the sport, Almarglani took part in various local autocross championships held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. “After gaining experience and skills, I moved to a higher level in the autocross racing, which enabled me to take part in the Toyota Autocross Championship in Alkhobar, and I was able to win the best time in the women’s category.”
She also competed in the Speed Madness (Autocross) Championship in Riyadh’s Dirab Park, placing first.
When asked about the challenges she faces as a woman in motorsports, Almarglani said: “Like any hobby you practice, you need training and knowledge of the basics. In the beginning, it was somehow difficult for me, especially since there were no academies for women, but without the efforts and support of my colleagues in the circuit, I would not have reached this level I am at right now.”
She added: “One of the difficulties which I faced also was the criticism of our society, the fact that a girl enters the field of cars which is dominated by men. But now the situation is developing and changing, especially when women are becoming more involved in the sport of auto racing starting at a young age and training determinedly to become professional drivers.”
The other biggest challenge for Almarglani is finding sponsorship opportunities. “Motor sports is an expensive sport and finding a sponsor is very difficult, so to maintain that training and to have a good team, and a good car, requires a lot of investment and you need both if you want to do well. The way to find sponsorship is through exposure and by winning races,” she said.
Almarglani is often asked how her parents feel about the dangers of her sport. She said: “Of course, at first, they were concerned about me, especially that motor sports has risks, so the level of safety in it is high, and it is expensive in terms of preparing the driver and the car. After I explained to my family all the means of protection and safety, and after they observed my passion and happiness after each race, they supported me and told me to continue, and they were always in the first ranks to encourage me.”
Recently, the official account of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, via Twitter, congratulated Almarglani for obtaining a training license.
She said: “I feel indescribably proud that I was able to achieve one of my biggest ambitions, thanks to God, and then thanks to Vision 2030, which empowered Saudi women and made them able to move forward in writing their achievements.”
Almarglani’s goal is to support every woman who wants to enter motor sports and to build a professional women’s motor sports team to represent Saudi Arabia in the world championships. “To achieve this goal, I hope there will be sponsorships offered to me as well as other Saudi female drivers in order to participate locally and regionally, to represent our beloved country.”
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia reported 753 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the total number of cases in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic grew to 776,890.
The authorities also confirmed three new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 9,170.
Of the new infections, 295 were recorded in Riyadh, 121 in Jeddah, 98 in Dammam, 32 in Makkah, 30 in Hofuf and 25 in Madinah. Several other cities recorded fewer than 20 new cases each.
The ministry said that of the current cases, 98 were in critical condition.
The ministry also announced that 633 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic to 758,821.
It said that 8,899 COVID-19 cases were still active, adding that 25,999 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to nearly 43 million.
More than 66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign began, with over 25 million people fully vaccinated.
MADINAH: Saudi Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media Majid Al-Qasabi visited the International Exhibition and Museum of the Prophet’s Biography and Islamic Civilization in Madinah.
He was briefed on the contents of the museum, including technical models, atlases and encyclopedias.
Al-Qasabi expressed his admiration for the museum’s role in preserving Islamic heritage, praising its presentation in a modern documentary format.
He said that it confirms the Kingdom’s keenness to serve the Holy Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah, especially the biography of the Prophet. He added that it meets the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 in enriching the faith motive for visitors of the Two Holy Mosques.
The museum was launched last year under the supervision of the Muslim World League and is the first in a series of Islamic museums to travel around the world under the organization’s umbrella.
The museum was launched last year under the supervision of the Muslim World League and is the first in a series of Islamic museums to travel around the world under the organization’s umbrella. Located next to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the museum is open 24 hours a day, and is dedicated to the history of the Islamic world as well as the life of the Prophet.
Located next to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the museum is open 24 hours a day, and is dedicated to the history of the Islamic world as well as the life of the Prophet.
Earlier, Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman said that the contents of the exhibition and museum represent “a historical legacy from which to spread the correct Prophetic approach … to all parts of the world so as to demonstrate the tolerance and moderation of Islam.”
MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa said that the museum introduces the world to the Prophet’s life and Islamic civilization, in addition to highlighting the civilizational values in the Constitution of Madinah and the Makkah Document, both of which established the foundations for human fraternity and coexistence.
Recently, Al-Issa launched a traveling exhibition in Morocco showcasing the life of the Prophet and the history of Islam.
He revealed that the first edition of the exhibition would open to guests on July 25 at the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s headquarters in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, with the full support of the north African country’s King Mohammed VI.
The touring exhibition will employ the latest technology and display techniques to document the Prophet’s biography and Islamic civilization to Muslim as well as non-Muslim visitors.
The exhibition in Rabat will be presented in Arabic, English and French, and will have 10 sections employing technologies such as holographic imaging, virtual and augmented reality, interactive 3D displays, stereoscopics and educational panoramas.
Saudi Arabia offers $10 million for effort to address Safer tanker threat – Arab News