Saudi Arabia unveils national strategy to promote nation’s heritage

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Heritage Commission CEO Jasser Al-Harbash speaks during the launch of Saudi Arabia's National Strategy for Culture in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Heritage Commission CEO Jasser Al-Harbash explaining the aim to develop the nation’s culture as a lifestyle during the launch of Saudi Arabia's National Strategy for Culture in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Updated 30 September 2021
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Saudi Arabia unveils national strategy to promote nation’s heritage

  • The Heritage Commission will work to implement 150 projects as part of efforts to develop the sector
  • The vision for the strategy is to celebrate Saudi ‘heritage as a national and global cultural wealth’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Commission unveiled its strategy for the development of heritage sector during a ceremony in At-Turaif district in Diriyah on Wednesday.

Jasser Al-Harbash, the commission’s CEO, said the strategy complements the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plan and the objectives of the wider National Strategy for Culture to develop the nation’s culture as a lifestyle, for economic growth, and to enhance the nation’s international standing. He added that in developing the strategy the commission had worked with partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

The launch ceremony, held under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah, the minister of culture and chairman of the Heritage Commission, included a tour of the historic At-Turaif district, which is one of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in Saudi Arabia. The others are Historic Jeddah, Hegra, the rock art of Hail, the rock art of the Hama Cultural District, and the Al-Ahsa Oasis.

In addition, eight Saudi cultural elements are included on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and there are more than 8,000 registered archaeological sites in the Kingdom. All of these important national assets require a comprehensive strategy for their care, preservation and development. As part of its research for the development of the strategy, the commission reviewed the work and operational models of seven nations and eight heritage organizations.

The vision for the strategy is to celebrate Saudi “heritage as a national and global cultural wealth,” and its mission includes “protecting, managing and enabling innovation and sustainable development of the components of cultural heritage.”

The main pillars of the strategy include protecting and preserving cultural wealth and archaeological sites and their effective management; promoting research and development of talents specializing in heritage; using the latest digital technologies in the heritage value chain; establishing appropriate rules and regulations and issuing licenses; working extensively with the private sector; providing funding and support for international agencies; creating public awareness about cultural heritage; and developing extensive local and international partnerships.

It identifies 33 initiatives relating to these strategic pillars, including the promotion of Arabic language, poetry and calligraphy, as well as Saudi artisanal brands, traditional food, music, art and sports, and the preservation and restoration of archaeological sites in the Kingdom.

In addition it includes plans for the introduction of professional training programs in heritage-related fields, the development of a road map for heritage research and enhanced research capabilities, the use of digital technologies to identify and manage assets, the development of digital visitor experiences, the launch of a social-networking program for heritage, efforts to attract private-sector financing and public-private partnerships, and the launch of a major heritage marketing strategy.

In all, the commission will work to implement 150 projects as part of the new strategy.


Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.


12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 May 2024
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12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

  • A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan Region

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 12 Yemeni nationals for attempting to smuggle 266kg of qat through the borders of Asir region, state news agency SPA reported.
The items were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, SPA said on Friday.
A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan region. Border authorities said the suspects were arrested and the seized items were transferred to relevant authorities for further action.

Mostly chewed by users, Qat is a mild stimulant and illegal across most of the Arab world.

The government has urged citizens and residents to report any information they have regarding drug smuggling or sales to the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Reports can be made by calling 911 for Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 for other regions. Alternatively, information can be emailed to [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Friday with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris.

The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them as well as improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two officials also discussed the current situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister’s Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.