Saudi wildlife center records first rare shrew sighting 

The Dhofar shrew feeds on invertebrates and seeds, relying on its strong sense of smell, and consumes food throughout the day due to its high metabolic rates. (SPA)
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Updated 19 December 2023
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Saudi wildlife center records first rare shrew sighting 

  • Dhofar Zababah species, scientifically known as Crocidura dhofarensis, is native to the Dhofar region and the eastern part of Yemen, adjacent to Oman
  • Dhofar Zababah thrives in dense, moist plant environments, such as agricultural areas, where it digs and burrows around water channels and damp soil

JEDDAH: The Saudi National Center for Wildlife has recorded the first sighting of a rare species of shrew in the Kingdom’s southwest.

The Dhofar Zababah species, scientifically known as Crocidura dhofarensis, is native to the Dhofar region and the eastern part of Yemen, adjacent to Oman.

National Center for Wildlife CEO Mohammed Ali Qurban said that the documentation is an extension of the center’s efforts to protect ecosystems and preserve biodiversity — one of its key strategic goals.

Qurban highlighted the center’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable ecological system by maximizing research activities.

He said that the latest sighting, along with other discoveries like extinct hunting cheetah skeletons found in the north of the Kingdom last year, reflects the center’s progress in protecting natural habitats and enriching ecosystems.

The Dhofar Zababah thrives in dense, moist plant environments, such as agricultural areas, where it digs and burrows around water channels and damp soil.

It has one of the fastest heart rates among wild mammals, reaching up to 450 beats per minute. The white-toothed shrew feeds on invertebrates and seeds, relying on its strong sense of smell, and consumes food throughout the day due to its high metabolic rates.

The shrew is characterized by its small size, measuring no more than 12 centimeters in length and weighing about 10 grams.

It features a long, pointed snout with long straight hair, a short tail with a broad base that narrows towards the back, small eyes and short ears, and soft light brown fur.

The documentation of the species is a significant scientific and environmental development for the Kingdom, reflecting the center’s efforts to protect and sustain ecosystems, and preserve biodiversity.


Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

  • The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia

RIYADH: The Kingdom and North Macedonia have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on Islamic affairs, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia.

Hefzi also serves as non-resident ambassador to North Macedonia, and was representing the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

In a press statement after the signing ceremony, Hefzi said the Kingdom supports all efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for Muslims worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place on Sunday in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, and was attended by various government representatives.


KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

  • Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian agency KSrelief has delivered food and other aid to thousands of vulnerable people in Syria and Sudan.

In operations carried out on Friday in the Idlib region of Syria, KSrelief distributed 1,078 food baskets and hygiene kits for 6,468 individuals, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

This was a part of the second phase of a project aimed at supporting people affected by the 2024 earthquake in northern Syria.

Also on Friday, in the northern state of Sudan, KSrelief provided 600 shelter bags for 3,450 individuals as a part of an ongoing aid project.

Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide, the SPA reported.


KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief carried out 40 orthopedic surgeries in Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate from July 13 to 20.

The operations, overseen by seven specialists, were a part of a volunteer medical project in the Seiyun district, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project.

In addition, they conducted a workshop on orthopedic surgery and knee injuries for 15 doctors.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project. (SPA)

Meanwhile, KSrelief’s Supervisor-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah met with the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed ways to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Harneis commended Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian and relief efforts in the war-torn nation.


Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

RIYADH: Members of Saudi Arabia’s Masam Project removed 989 explosive devices from various regions of Yemen in the third week of July.

This included five anti-personnel mines, 46 anti-tank mines, 935 unexploded ordnances, and three explosive devices, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The Masam Project has now cleared 2,840 mines since the beginning of July in Yemen. In total, it has removed 451,908 explosive devices since it began operations in the country.

The SPA reported that these devices had been planted indiscriminately across the country to harm people, including children, women and the elderly.


Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

  • Kingdom has now won 77 awards in total at the annual mathematics competition

RIYADH: The Kingdom won six medals at the 65th International Mathematical Olympiad 2024 held from July 15 to 21 at the University of Bath in the UK, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The annual competition had teams of up to six contestants attempting to solve three complex problems in two exams of 4.5 hours each, over two consecutive days.

Hadi Al-Aithan from the Al-Ahsa education department won a silver medal. Bronze medals were won by Youssef Bakheet (Yanbu), Mohammed Rabie (Madinah), Muath Al-Qahtani (Eastern Province) and Ahmed Al-Shehri (Riyadh).

Mohammad Al-Ghamdi from the Eastern Province received a certificate of appreciation.

The Saudi Arabia team participated under the auspices of the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, or Mawhiba, and the Ministry of Education.

Saudi Arabia’s participation is a part of the Mawhiba International Olympiad program, one of 20 initiatives offered annually based on advanced curricula and other development programs.

These initiatives offer gifted students an opportunity to develop their skills in collaboration with local and international partners, the SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia has now won 77 awards at the annual competition including 12 silver and 46 bronze medals, and 19 certificates of appreciation.