Saudi entrepreneurs aim to boost quality of life

The event gave the startups a chance to introduce themselves and the services they offer to potential customers before they launch. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 12 January 2019
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Saudi entrepreneurs aim to boost quality of life

  • 17 Saudi startups showcased in Makkah event

MAKKAH: Seventeen startup businesses, the development of which was supported by Saudi investment company Wadi Makkah’s Nomo incubator, were introduced to the public this week during a showcase titled Rabi’ Al-Wadi (The Valley’s Spring).
Each startup organized various activities during the event, which took place on Jan. 9 and 10, reflecting the services they offer, many of which are aimed at families and improving social responsibility. These included workshops, competitions, consultations, lectures and bazaars.
One of the workshops, titled “Be Your Own Beauty Consultant,” offered women between the ages of 18 and 50 advice on choosing the right outfit to achieve the perfect look and introduced them to techniques for successful shopping and closet arrangement. “The Little Robot” workshop, meanwhile, introduced children between the ages of 5 and 14 to robotics. They were shown how to assemble a robot and then given the chance to compete in a robot building contest.
Other activities included support and advice sessions for mothers about raising children, and an introduction to the mechanisms and benefits of the “Economy of Communion,” an international initiative that aims to tackle social problems by creating businesses designed to become integral parts of their communities.
Dr. Talal Al-Maghribi, the acting CEO of Wadi Makkah, said that the event is designed to help startups incubated by Nomo begin to make a lasting contribution to society and, through the workshops and activities presented by qualified professionals, educate people about ways in which they can improve their lifestyles.
“Seventeen of the startups of Wadi Makkah’s incubator have not yet entered the market and will stay in the incubator for 10 more days,” said Al-Maghribi. “The work of some of these startups is focused on community leadership, while others provide Hajj and Umrah services, in addition to consulting firms for workshops, and auto parts.”
He added that the event gave the startups a chance to introduce themselves and the services they offer to potential customers before they launch.
Wadi Makkah begins an incubator program every six months to develop new businesses, Al-Maghribi said, not all of which make it to the market. Of those that do, some have enjoyed remarkable growth, he added.
The successfully launched businesses include one that provides social media analysis services to ministries, and another that analyzes congestion at Saudi airports. Some have also attracted investment from international companies.


Saudi Arabian doctors save lives around the world with Albalsam International

Updated 17 min 5 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian doctors save lives around the world with Albalsam International

  • Specific teams are chosen for each trip based on the needs of the country in question, says team leader Emad Bukhari

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian nonprofit Albalsam International Organization and its team of surgeons have reportedly provided medical assistance to 2,524 patients in six different countries, including Yemen and Tanzania, it announced recently.

Albalsam, which opened in Switzerland in 2017 under the leadership of Saudi cardiologist and executive director Dr. Emad Bukhari, provides free medical services to underprivileged citizens around the world. 

The organization has seven teams specializing in different areas of medicine: Cardiovascular medicine and surgery; ophthalmic medicine and surgery; pediatric medicine and surgery; cardiac catheterization; pediatric urology; intensive care; and respiratory care.

Bukhari cites Qur’an 22:77 — “O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good — that you may succeed” — as the inspiration behind the organization.

“By the grace of God first, and then by the hard work and devotion of my team and the generous assistance of those who donate to us, we are able to do good in service of humanity,” Bukhari told Arab News.

In numbers

560 cases of eye patients.

2,524 recipients.

46 surgery for children.

Specific teams are chosen for each trip based on the needs of the country in question, he explained: “If we are urgently needed to perform surgeries, we’ll send a larger surgical team of about 10 people. If we are sending doctors to offer training or teaching, we might send four.” The necessary resources for each trip are donated by various hospitals.

The doctors do their utmost to ensure that they are able to provide follow-up care for their patients too, and monitor their recovery. 

“We do not go anywhere unless we know we have the full means to offer the proper care,” Bukhari said. 

“We ensure that the local medical teams can carry on the treatment after we leave, training them ourselves if we have to, and we even follow up on the phone or over Skype, if necessary.”

To date, the organization has provided services including open-heart surgery, cardiac catheterization therapeutic intervention surgery, cardiac ultrasound diagnosis, cataract surgery, and various pediatric surgical procedures.

Bukhari said that the organization treats all patients equally, regardless of race, creed or gender.

“Islam teaches us that saving a single life is like saving all of humanity, and that is how Albalsam contributes to the growth and expansion of its work and puts its own mark on humanitarian action.”