Feathers fly at falcon festival

Professional falconers and falcon owners took part in four qualification rounds on Friday on the fourth day of the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival. (SPA)
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Updated 01 December 2023
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Feathers fly at falcon festival

  • The birds and their owners were battling it out in the 400-meter Al-Melwah competition
  • The star performer in the first round of the Gear Pure Category for Professionals was Amin bin Abdullah Al-Mallah

RIYADH: Professional falconers and falcon owners took part in four qualification rounds on Friday on the fourth day of the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival.
Organized by the Saudi Falcons Club and held in Malham, north of Riyadh, the birds and their owners were battling it out in the 400-meter Al-Melwah competition.
The star performer in the first round of the Gear Pure Category for Professionals was Amin bin Abdullah Al-Mallah, who took first and third places with his birds 0016 and 0018. Barghash bin Mohammed Al-Mansouri took second place.
In the second round of the Gear Pure Qarnas Category for Professionals, Armizan bin Abdullah Al-Dousari took first place with his bird Mutrib, followed by Amin bin Abdullah Al-Mallah with Duja and Al-Mansouri with Samdan.
Falconer Nour bin Ghazay Al-Mutairi won the third round of the Qarmousha Gear Category for Professionals with Al-Rafiha, followed by Abdulhadi bin Abdullah Al-Mutairi with SM and Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Mansouri with Al-Quri.
In the fourth round of the Qarmousha Gear Qarnas Category for Professionals, falconer Amin bin Abdullah Al-Mallah took all three of the top spots with his birds Al-Qahira, Al-Diriyah and Jim. The winning bird set a best time of 16.987 seconds.


SnowBlast KSA brings winter wonderland to Riyadh

Updated 12 sec ago
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SnowBlast KSA brings winter wonderland to Riyadh

  • 30 Olympic and world champions are competing in Kingdom’s first freestyle skiing championship

RIYADH: It is not every day that one can go skiing in Riyadh, and SnowBlast KSA has brought exactly that to the capital, alongside a championship that began on Wednesday as part of Riyadh Season.

Located near the Kingdom Arena zone, north of Riyadh, the area has been transformed into a winter wonderland with over 500 tonnes of snow. The venue features freestyle skiing slopes, family-friendly games, and a series of events accompanying the SnowBlast KSA Cup, the first skiing competition in the Kingdom.

The two-day championship, which concludes on Feb. 29, has brought together over 30 Olympic and world champions in freestyle skiing. This includes Olympic champion Su Yiming who secured two golds in the men’s snowboard slopestyle and Big Air contests at this year’s National Winter Games in China. The 20-year-old, who dominated the FIS World Cup in Beijing last December, is maintaining his momentum.

“I am really happy to be here in Saudi for the snowboarding competition and look forward to it,” Su told Arab News.

Tanner Hall, who has won several awards in freeskiing and 11 medals at the X Games, also spoke to Arab News about coming to Saudi Arabia. “It’s the first time that we come to this part of the world, and we are hoping to put on a show that you guys will like. It’s exciting to come here … and start expanding the horizon of the sport.”

Hall said female athletes will also be invited to compete in the future.

Activities for visitors include being able to participate in snowball fights, building snow people, and attending theater and light shows.


Princess Seetah award honors pioneers in social work

Updated 4 min 59 sec ago
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Princess Seetah award honors pioneers in social work

  • Minister announces eight winners of prestigious Saudi accolade in Riyadh

RIYADH: Eight community partnership leaders have received the 11th Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Award for Excellence in Social Work.

Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi announced the winners of the prestigious Saudi accolade in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Established in 2012 by royal decree, the Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Foundation for Excellence in Social Work encourages and supports community upliftment programs.

The award aims to encourage competition among pioneers of social work, and to support excellence in social work both locally and internationally.

A total of 1,177 candidates applied for the 11th award. Among them, 95 advanced to the scientific evaluation stage, and 15 to the final judging stage. Following thorough screening and field visits for each candidate, the judging committee selected eight winners.

Al-Rajhi, chairman of the board of the foundation, praised the award, highlighting its societal value and pioneering role and alignment with the ministry’s objectives for community development, national initiatives and innovation.

A number of princes and individuals interested in social work attended the ceremony for the Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Excellence Award for Social Work in Riyadh. (Supplied)

Princess Nouf bint Abdullah bin Saud Al-Kabeer, chair of the foundation’s executive committee, said that the award was in line with the state’s direction in social work.

She stressed the award’s pivotal role in fostering and motivating creative work while adopting ideas, initiatives and projects for regional development in social, humanitarian and charitable work within the Kingdom.

Princess Nouf praised the award’s diverse partnerships with government, non-government and civil society organizations. These partnerships enhanced the award’s objectives, especially in empowering young individuals and improving their skills.

Dr. Fahad Al-Maghlouth, the foundation’s secretary-general, said that the common goal was to serve the nation and enhance citizens’ lives.

He said that the 11th award’s theme, “Community Partnerships in Meeting Humanitarian Needs,” reflected Saudi Arabia’s support for the social sector.

Al-Maghlouth also highlighted the award’s interest in human needs and its efforts to align with the state’s objectives, asserting that social responsibility was a collective obligation for all.

The excellence in national achievement award went to Mohammed bin Saleh Albuty, CEO of the National Housing Co., and Firas Aba Al-Khail, deputy general manager of business at the Human Resources Development Fund.

The excellence in Islamic endowment award went to Mansour bin Mohammed Al-Jumaih, deputy secretary-general of the Mohamed Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Jomaih Endowments Foundation.

The excellence in social work programs award went to Nora Al-Rashid, deputy chairperson of the board of the Abdul Moneim Al-Rashid Humanitarian Foundation.

Prince Sultan bin Salman received the award in the category of excellence for social work pioneers.

The corporate social responsibility award went to Mohammed Al-Abbadi, CEO of the transport and operators unit at Saudi Telecommunication Co., and Abdulmalik Al-Rajhi, chairman of the board of Hail Cement Co.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Mushaikeh, a former member of the Saudi Shoura Council, received the environmental sustainability award.


Klaija Festival boosts local economy with $5.3m in sales

Updated 7 min 40 sec ago
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Klaija Festival boosts local economy with $5.3m in sales

  • The 20-day event, which ended on Feb. 27, was held at the King Khalid Cultural Center

RIYADH: The 15th Klaija Festival in Buraidah has recorded SR20 million ($5.3 million) in sales, marking a boost to the local economy.

The 20-day event, which ended on Feb. 27, was held at the King Khalid Cultural Center.

Over 20,000 people visited the festival each day which is held annually to boost local entrepreneurship, cuisine and handicrafts.

Organized by the Qassim Chamber of Commerce, the festival featured participants from Gulf countries, along with 217 families and 20 craftsmen specializing in handicrafts.

In response to the increased demand and attendance, Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal had extended the festival by 10 days.

Nayef Al-Mansaleh, the executive director of the festival, said more than 700 young men and women from various organizations had supported the event.

The klaija dessert is one of the leading products of the region and has helped to create jobs for local producers. Klaija’s ingredients include wheat flour, sugar, lemon, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and molasses. The dough is stuffed with some of the ingredients and baked to a crisp.

Diplomats from Ghana, Finland, Algeria, Maldives, accompanied by their families, had attended the event in Buraidah earlier this month.


Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project

Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project

  • Ithra in Dhahran hosts event which includes Alexandria and Rabat
  • Goal is to read 500,000 pages and plant 5,000 trees in 3 Arab cities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture launches Thursday a three-day reading marathon and anti-desertification project, that will take place in three Arab cities.

Also known as Ithra, the center will host the event in cooperation with the Library of Alexandria and the Moroccan National Library. It will be held simultaneously in the Kingdom’s city of Dhahran, Alexandria in Egypt and Rabat in Morocco, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The center is promoting reading, especially in public libraries, and all three cities will ensure a tree is planted for every 100 pages read.

The aim is to have participants read 500,000 pages and plant 5,000 trees.

To plant the trees, the Ithra center is working with the National Center for Vegetation Development to Combat Desertification in Saudi Arabia, and authorities in Egypt and Morocco.

Each reader will receive a commemorative medal for participating.

Bronze medals will be awarded to those who read 100 pages, silver for 200 pages, and gold for 1,000 pages.

The first edition of the marathon was held inside the Ithra library, achieving 162,000 pages read and 1,622 trees planted. The second edition was also held in the Ithra library and two libraries in Riyadh and Tabuk, with 422,000 pages read and 4,222 trees planted.

The planting of seedlings took place in October in the Al-Ahsa National Park with the participation of several readers.


Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh

Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh

  • Saudi-Ukrainian relations, latest developments in Ukrainian-Russian war were discussed
  • Crown prince stressed Kingdom’s support for all international efforts aimed at resolving crisis

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Riyadh on Tuesday.

During their meeting, aspects of Saudi-Ukrainian relations were reviewed, and the latest developments in the Ukrainian-Russian war were discussed, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The crown prince stressed the Kingdom’s support for all international endeavors and efforts aimed at resolving the crisis and achieving peace, and continuing efforts to alleviate the humanitarian repercussions of the war. 

Zelensky wrote on social media platform X that he would discuss prisoners of war and deportees with the crown prince.

“The Kingdom’s leadership has already contributed to the release of our people. I am confident that this meeting will also yield results,” he wrote. 

The crown prince was involved in securing the release of 10 foreign prisoners captured in Ukraine in September 2022 which then enabled a major prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine.

The president added that he will discuss “promising areas of economic cooperation and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction” during his visit. 

Zelensky left Riyadh later on Tuesday evening and was seen off by deputy govenor of Riyadh Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz.