Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 June 2021
Hatem Samman joined Amazon in January 2021 as head of public policy for Saudi Arabia.
His work with Saudi government agencies and key officials aims at building strong strategic socioeconomic and business relationships in the Kingdom in line with Vision 2030.
Samman previously served as a senior policy adviser at the G20 Saudi Secretariat and as chief economist and strategy adviser at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, now the Ministry of Investment.
In an earlier role, he was director and lead economist of the Ideation Center at Booz & Company’s (now Strategy &) think tank in the Middle East.
He was also vice president of credit administration at Riyad Bank, and director of regulatory affairs and strategic planning at the Saudi Telecommunications Co.
Among several other positions he has held over the years, Samman served as a fellow at the University of Minnesota and consultant at the World Bank.
He has published several academic articles in prestigious journals including the International Journal of Applied Economics and the Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, and has written commentary for several newspapers, including the Financial Times.
He is also the co-author of numerous publications, including “How to Succeed at Education Reform: The Case for Saudi Arabia” and “the Broader GCC Region” (2008), and “Meeting the Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic Strategy” (2010). Samman holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in political economy and public policy from the University of Southern California.
King Salman sends cable of condolences to Indian president after landslides
King Salman expressed his wishes that the missing would return safely
Torrential downpours have lashed India’s western coast in recent days, sparking landslides near Mumbai
Updated 56 min 41 sec ago
RIYADH: King Salman sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to the president of India after 119 people died in monsoon-triggered landslides and building collapses.
More than 135,000 people have been evacuated and dozens are still missing.
In the cable to Ram Nath Kovind, the king said “We share the pain of this affliction with you and we send you, the families of the deceased and your people, our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy.”
He also expressed his wishes that the missing would return safely.
Torrential downpours have lashed India’s western coast in recent days, sparking landslides near the financial capital Mumbai and causing the worst floods in decades in the resort state of Goa.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 497,965
A total of 8,155 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far
Updated 24 July 2021
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 14 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,256 new infections on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 280 were recorded in Riyadh, 244 in Makkah, 170 in the Eastern Province, 150 in Asir, 107 in Jazan, 59 in Madinah, 47 in Hail, 41 in Najran, 25 in the Northern Borders region, 23 in Tabuk, 21 in Al-Baha, and six in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 497,965 after 1,155 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 8,155 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 24 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.
Saudi Arabia says pilgrims don't need COVID-19 test, isolation after Hajj
Nearly 24 million people in Saudi Arabia received a jab against COVID-19
Updated 24 July 2021
JEDDAH: Pilgrims returning home from Hajj do no need to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or isolate upon arrival, said Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Affairs Dr. Abdullah Asiri.
“Some returnees from Hajj this year are asking about the need for COVID-19 tests or isolation upon their return to their families,” he said. “Since all pilgrims and Hajj workers received vaccines, there is no need for examination or isolation, unless they show symptoms of coronavirus disease within the first two weeks.”
Meanwhile, 92 percent of those who said they would get the vaccine did so. “The three most important motives that persuaded the hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccines are: First, conviction and family support after one or more members have taken the vaccine. Second, national and societal sense of responsibility, and finally, economic reasons,” Asiri added.
According to a report by Kaiser Family Foundation titled “Vaccine Monitor: In Their Own Words, Six Months Later,” people who did not get the vaccine were either teenagers because of their parents’ convictions, the least educated in society, ethnic minorities, or those who do not have health insurance.
515,693 Total cases
10,742 Active cases
“There are three main reasons for refusing the vaccine: Fear of side effects, doubt about the adequacy of studies about the vaccine, and believing that there is no need for a vaccine,” Assiri added.
Speaking of the delta variant, Assiri said: “Delta reformulates the calculations; immunity from natural infections is no longer sufficient and completing the two doses has become a necessity.”
He added that the worst of the pandemic was over in countries that provided vaccines to most of their residents. “We will not witness, God willing, a return to waves of severe disease and deaths.”
The total number of people in the country who have to date received a jab against COVID-19 has reached 23,848,177, including 1,426,140 who are elderly.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 11 more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday, taking the overall toll to 8,141.
There were 1,247 new cases, meaning that 515,693 people in the country have now contracted the disease. A total of 10,742 cases remained active, of which 1,383 patients were in critical condition.
Of the new cases, 263 were in Riyadh region, 211 in the Eastern Province, 209 in Makkah region, and 68 in Madinah region.
In addition, the Ministry of Health said 1,160 patients had recovered from the disease, increasing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 496,810.
Saudi Arabia had so far conducted 24,195,410 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 90,128 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Among them, Taakad (make sure) centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual. Tetamman (rest assured) clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Who’s Who: Mohsen Al-Qurashi, general manager at Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development
Updated 24 July 2021
Mohsen Al-Qurashi has been the general manager of localization paths at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development since October 2019.
He is in charge of overseeing National Transformation Program initiatives related to future work patterns (freelancing, teleworking, and flexible working hours), supervising the issue of ministerial decisions related to these patterns, and launching platforms for these future work patterns.
He was project control and reporting manager at the National Housing Co. from 2017 to 2019, managing the support team tasked with the delivery of service excellence by championing change and promoting best practices.
He was a project manager at the Social Development Bank between 2013 and 2017 and led the creation of the first SMEs care center, Dulani, in Saudi Arabia.
He designed and ran a tailor-made SME mentoring program, Wajihni, for 120 recipients and assisted the counseling of 60 SMEs in the areas of finance and marketing research.
Between 2012 to 2013 he was the office manager of Kilpatrick Townsend Law Firm in Riyadh, where he developed procedures and governance plans.
Between 2010 to 2012, he was a research assistant at the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue. Between March 2009 and April 2010, he was a planning officer at the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization.
He has a higher diploma in mentoring for small businesses from King Saud University and a bachelor’s degree in science, business administration, and quantitative methods from King Saud University.
Saudi passports chief visits 911 operations center in Makkah
Updated 24 July 2021
MAKKAH: The director general of passports, Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya, visited the Unified Security Operations Center (911), a unit of the National Center for Security Operations (NCSO) in Makkah.
He was received by the commander of the NCSO, Brig. Gen. Walid bin Suleiman Al-Tuwyan.
Al-Yahya was briefed on the center’s sections concerned with receiving communications and how to deal with them, and relaying them to the relevant authorities with accuracy, high quality and in several different languages.
He also learned about the mechanism of dealing with all the various communications received around the clock and processing them in record time.
Al-Yahya valued the efforts exerted by the employees of the 911 center, praising the available capabilities that would contribute to the development of work in accordance with the precautionary measures, extending his thanks and appreciation to all workers.