KSrelief provides aid in Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan

KSrelief distributed 1,700 bags of winter provisions to the needy groups in the Loralai district of Pakistan’s Balochistan. (SPA)
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Updated 26 November 2021

KSrelief provides aid in Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan

BALOCHISTAN: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center recently distributed 1,700 bags of winter provisions to the needy groups in the Loralai district of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, benefiting 11,900 people.
In Yemen, KSrelief’s mobile medical clinics recently provided treatment to 351 patients in the Hajjah governorate. Meanwhile, Al-Jada Health Center outlets in the governorate provided treatment to 1,270 people in a week.
In Jordan, KSrelief continues to provide medical services to Syrian refugees in Zaatari camp, with its clinics there recently treating 529 patients in a day.


Saudi Arabia ranks second for world’s happiest people — Ipsos global survey

Updated 20 March 2023

Saudi Arabia ranks second for world’s happiest people — Ipsos global survey

  • Results show 86% of residents in Saudi Arabia are 'very or rather happy'
  • China came in first with 91% and the Netherlands ranked third with 85%

Saudi Arabians are the second happiest group of citizens in the world according to a new survey.

The results of the new Ipsos global survey showed that 86 percent of residents in Saudi Arabia say they are “very or rather happy.”  

This put Saudi Arabia second out of the 32 countries that were polled.  

China came in first with 91 percent, and the Netherlands third with a 85 percent, followed closely by India at 84 percent, and Brazil 83 percent.  

Meanwhile, respondents from Hungary, South Korea and Poland reported the lowest, ranging from 50 to 60 percent.

The US hovered around the middle of the pack, with 76 percent.

The survey found that on average, nearly three in four adults described themselves as “happy.”  

With 73 percent of people on average saying they “happy,” the survey shows that global happiness has gone up by six points since last year.  

Globally, people say they are most satisfied with their relationships with their friends and family.


Aiming to benefit science, Saudi Arabia unveils its space mission

Updated 20 March 2023

Aiming to benefit science, Saudi Arabia unveils its space mission

  • The commission announced that the two astronauts would carry out 11 pioneering experiments in microgravity during flight
  • The results of which would help to enhance the Kingdom’s global position within space exploration and service to humanity

RIYADH: The Saudi Space Commission has revealed the tasks and scientific research that will be conducted during the journey of Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Al-Qarni as part of a mission to the International Space Station later this year.

The commission announced that the two astronauts would carry out 11 pioneering experiments in microgravity during the flight, the results of which would help to enhance the Kingdom’s global position within space exploration and service to humanity.

Saudi astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi. (SPA)

Officials noted that the Saudi tests in space would range from human research and cell science to artificial rain in microgravity.

In the artificial rain experiment, water vapor will be condensed on plankton and salt atoms in microgravity to simulate the cloud seeding process that is used in Saudi Arabia and other countries to increase precipitation rates.

Led by Dr. Ashraf Farahat, the trial is for the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and will help scientists and researchers devise new ways to provide suitable conditions for humans — including the work of artificial rain — to live in space colonies on the surface of the Moon and Mars.

HIGHLIGHT

In addition to 11 pioneering experiments, three educational awareness studies will be conducted aboard the International Space Station in real time with students throughout Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Mawhiba, Riyadh Schools, and Misk Schools.

The experiment will also contribute to improving researchers’ understanding of rain-seeding technology, which will contribute to increasing rainfall in many countries.

To better understand the impacts of being in space on human health, Saudi Arabia’s Nebula Research and Development, led by Dr. Bader Shirah, is conducting six experiments aboard the ISS, which will be performed by the astronauts.

Saudi astronaut, Ali Al-Qarni. (Photo/@AstroAli11)

The tests will utilize novel neuroscience tools including measuring blood flow to the brain and the brain’s electrical activity, assessing intracranial pressure by non-invasive assessment of the pupil of the eye, and monitoring changes in the optic nerve over time.

Improved monitoring of neurological health may help make spaceflight safer in the future and allow for the development of rapid, non-invasive monitoring, as well as early interventions and the development of countermeasures.

Blood and bio-sample specimens will also be taken to examine multiomic biomarkers related to spaceflight and to map changes in the length, structure, and epigenetics of chromosomes and telomeres.

The cell science experiments led by the world-renowned King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center and its team of scientists, Dr. Khalid Abu Khabar, Dr. Wijdan Alahmadi, and Dr. Edward Hitti, will be investigating the inflammatory response of human immune cells in microgravity.

More specifically their research will be focused on changes in messenger ribonucleic acid (needed for protein production) decay, a process that can turn inflammation off. In addition, response to therapy is mimicked by utilizing the same cellular model. The crew will take RNA samples for analysis on ground, where the investigators will monitor RNA expression patterns, and hopefully thousands of mRNA half-lives will be measured.

Results are expected to contribute to a better understanding of space health and uncover biomarkers or potential therapies for inflammatory diseases in both space and on Earth.

In addition to these experiments, three educational awareness studies will be conducted aboard the ISS in real time with students throughout Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Mawhiba, Riyadh Schools, and Misk Schools.

The objectives will be to enhance students’ knowledge of space science and its contribution to improving the quality of life on Earth, by juxtaposing their terrestrial-based experiments to the ones being conducted in real-time by the Saudi crew on the ISS.

Students will be able to see at first-hand how the experiment environment can have a real effect on results. The real-time interaction will ensure that students have access to the Saudi crew live as they perform their experiments together, one on Earth, and one in space simultaneously.

The efforts by the Saudi Space Commission are designed to prepare future astronauts and engineers, through quality education and training programs, participation in scientific experiments, international research, and future space-related missions – all of which will contribute to raising the status of the Kingdom and to achieving the goals of Vision 2030.


Iran foreign minister says to meet Saudi counterpart in near future

Updated 19 March 2023

Iran foreign minister says to meet Saudi counterpart in near future

  • Iran’s FM Hossein Amirabdollahian says three locations proposed for meeting with Saudi counterpart
  • Amirabdollahian says working to stabilize the Middle East region in cooperation with Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Sunday he will meet his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan “in the near future”, adding that three locations have been proposed for the meeting.

Amirabdollahian made it clear that based on the latest messages exchanged with Saudi Arabia, Iran also announced its readiness to reopen the two embassies. 

“We agreed with Saudi Arabia on visits by technical delegations for both embassies in preparation for their opening,” he added.  

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on March 10 to re-establish relations and re-open embassies within two months after years of hostility, following talks in China.

On Yemen, the Iranian minister said that the situation in Yemen is an internal matter, but added that “we are working to stabilize the region in cooperation with Saudi Arabia.” 

“We will not accept any threat to our security from neighboring countries,” he said.


Arab women urged to tell their stories as London awards celebrate inspiring females

Updated 19 March 2023

Arab women urged to tell their stories as London awards celebrate inspiring females

  • There are no set categories for the annual awards and they are selected every year
  • This year’s theme 'Tell Her Story' was part of organizer’s 'Unlock Her Future' campaign

LONDON: Arab women are being encouraged to tell their stories to break down stereotypes associated with abuse and violence, and help empower and inspire younger female generations.

The Arab Women of the Year Awards, which is organized by the London Arabia Organization, held a lavish ceremony in the UK capital on Wednesday to recognize and celebrate remarkable achievements made by Arab women during the past year, in the presence of British and Arab royalty, diplomats, ministers, and industry leaders.

Dr. May Chidiac, a journalist and former Lebanese minister, received the Achievement in Media Activism Award for her work spanning nearly four decades, and for founding the May Chidiac Foundation Media Institute — a nongovernmental organization dedicated to research and education on media, human rights, democracy, and social welfare issues.

Chidiac, who survived a horrific assassination attempt by car bomb in Jounieh, Lebanon, in 2005 and returned to work as a broadcast journalist in 2006 after undergoing more than 40 surgeries, said that she was humbled to have received the award.

She told Arab News: “I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this recognition because seeing so many Arab women celebrated today, so many famous faces we met from different sectors — we can go from politics, activism, journalism, space, technology, to influencers — that means we are putting our finger in this world wherever women are achieving success stories.”

There are no set categories for the annual awards and they are selected every year to celebrate outstanding women and their achievements, regardless of their background or chosen field.

 

 

Kuwaiti Dr. Nada Al-Shammari, partner and chief inspiration officer at Orbital Space — a UAE-based company that works to make space accessible for everyone — received the Achievement in Innovation Award and is the first female to be recognized by the organization in the space field.

She said that in the last 10 years there had been a rise in the number of Gulf Cooperation Council-based private companies entering the space sector with the potential of becoming pioneers, and a lot of the companies were made up of Gulf youth.

Al-Shammari said: “We hope to engage the youth through space missions and space engagement activities to get passionate about, get connected with space and be the future of space leaders, not only for our region but the whole world.”

She added that Orbital Space — as a member of the private sector — had been pioneering with the Kuwaiti and Emirati governments to engage and widen the circle of participation to get more people into the space sector.

She said: “I would like to see Kuwait getting much further into the space sector and supporting more private entities to come into the space sector, but I would also like to see the first Kuwaiti young woman moving toward becoming the first astronaut in Kuwait.”

This year’s theme was “Tell Her Story,” which is part of the organization’s “Unlock Her Future” campaign that sought to challenge institutions, organizations, and individuals to confront the harsh obstacles that face young Arab girls, such as violence against women in the form of honor killing and child marriage.

Young girls during the ceremony shared stories of comments and criticism they had faced and how the campaign was able to support them.

Omar Bdour, CEO of the London Arabia Organization, said he used to disregard stories of women being abused or harassed as the common conception was that it was the woman’s fault.

He added: “Now I have a young daughter and sometimes I wonder when I laughed about it, will someone laugh about the same comments [if they came from my daughter]? So that’s why I feel I need to change.”

Bdour said women are assaulted and raped in the West, but if they go to the police they are protected, whereas in the Arab world, “they will ask, are you sure you want to do this, why are you putting yourself through this, what were you wearing at that time, are you sure your family is going to be fine with it?”

He said he felt ashamed of how he used to think, and there was a need to think differently, while adding that he hopes to see other men also change their views.

Among those recognized for their achievements were Bahrain’s Sheikha May Al-Otaibi in education, Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush in diplomacy, Emirati Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Al-Nahyan in cultural development, former Jordanian Minister of Social Development Khawla Armouti in community service, Lebanese influencer and model Nour Arida in social impact, Yemeni mathematician Manahel Thabet in scientific development, and Syrian athlete Dima Aktaa in community spirit award.

Jordanian journalist Caroline Faraj, who won the Achievement in Media Award last year, said it was great to see all the new women achievers not only recognized in the Arab world, but also in London, and their stories heard in Britain.

Faraj, who is vice president and editor-in-chief of CNN Arabic, said: “This organization was able to find these people, these women, and also to give them a floor, to give them a voice, so I’m really happy that I was part of those who got the award last year, but also I’m happy that every year I’m getting to know more women and more achievers and more voices from the Arab world.”

She said it was important for women to tell their stories but it remained “a challenge” and as part of CNN Arabic’s 20th anniversary, the channel launched an initiative called “Her Story” last year to provide free training and coaching for women in telling their stories.

“Anybody should be able to tell their stories so that they are able to be heard,” she said. “We need to train ourselves not only to tell but also to listen [and] we should really work together to do it, and do it properly.”

 

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Who’s Who: Mohammed Abuazzah, Saudi brand marketing and stratcom leader

Updated 16 March 2023

Who’s Who: Mohammed Abuazzah, Saudi brand marketing and stratcom leader

Mohammed Abuazzah is a brand marketing and strategic communications leader with over 17 years of managerial and advisory experience for government, private and nonprofit organizations in the Kingdom.

Abuazzah is currently the chief public relations officer at Ceer Motors, the first electric vehicle brand in the country, which is a joint venture between the Public Investment Fund and Foxconn.

He served as the executive director of strategic marketing for the Ministry of Investment and Invest Saudi from late 2018 to early 2021.

Prior to that role, Abuazzah was the chief communications officer for the Doyof Al-Rahman Program, a Saudi Vision 2030 initiative. He also worked at the Ministry of Economy and Planning as a senior advisor and chief communications officer on the Saudi Vision 2030 communications team. 

In addition to this, he has advised and supported several initiatives and organizations in planning and implementing marketing and communication strategies, including the Misk Foundation, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, NEOM and the Mohammed Yousef Naghi Group.

Abuazzah has also worked as a senior general manager of marketing and strategic partnerships for Community Jameel at the Abdul Latif Jameel Group. 

During his tenure with the Abdul Latif Jameel Group, Abuazzah participated in planning and implementation for the Saudi Professional League, also known as Jameel League.

His body of work with the Abdul Latif Jameel Group was recognized with a series of awards such as the Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest Flagpole project in Jeddah and the Arab Social Media Influencers 2015 Award for job creation initiatives and influence on social media.

He was also a marketing and corporate communications manager at Knowledge Economic City from 2011 to 2013.

He has managed global campaigns in 10 countries and has led activities on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the UN General Assembly.

Abuazzah holds a master’s degree in marketing from Johns Hopkins University in the US and a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Business Technology in Jeddah. He has also earned several executive certifications in leadership development, creative transformation, innovation, experience management and filmmaking from Oxford, Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Manhattan Film Academy.

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