Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization meetings begin in Jeddah

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Hani bin Moqbel Al-Moqbel, Chair of the Executive Board, center, talks during the first day of the conference in Jeddah. (Supplied)
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Ministers and other representatives from 22 Arab nations gathered in Jeddah on Tuesday for the start of the 121st session of the Executive Council of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization. (Supplied)
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Ministers and other representatives from 22 Arab nations gathered in Jeddah on Tuesday for the start of the 121st session of the Executive Council of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization. (Supplied)
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Ministers and other representatives from 22 Arab nations gathered in Jeddah on Tuesday for the start of the 121st session of the Executive Council of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 May 2024
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Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization meetings begin in Jeddah

  • Participants discuss challenges Arab nations face in fields of education, culture and science, and potential solutions, including knowledge sharing and innovation
  • The 121st session of the organization’s Executive Council on Tuesday and Wednesday will be followed on Friday by its General Conference

JEDDAH: Ministers and other representatives from 22 Arab nations gathered in Jeddah on Tuesday for the start of the 121st session of the Executive Council of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization. The two-day session concludes on Wednesday and will be followed on Friday by the organization’s General Conference.

During the meetings, hosted by the Saudi National Committee for Education, Culture and Science, the participants will discuss important topics, initiatives and proposals related to knowledge sharing, scientific advancement, and innovation within the framework of the work of the organization, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the opening session, Hani Al-Moqbel, chairperson of ALESCO’s Executive Council, expressed deep concern about the ongoing crisis Palestinians face as a result of the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

He unequivocally condemned and rejected a senseless and brutal conflict that has claimed the lives of countless civilians, including women, children and the elderly, and denounced as unacceptable the destruction by the Israeli military campaign of hospitals, religious sites, schools, cultural institutions and other infrastructure.

The council, led by its Saudi presidency, expressed its strong condemnation of the continued aggression, occupation and forced displacement in Gaza. Al-Moqbel said that such expressions are not merely procedural or symbolic, they represent a forward-thinking approach to fostering Arab unity, upholding core principles and bolstering shared values. In this way, he added, Arab nations can effectively tackle challenges and overcome hurdles on their paths to advancement.

Mohammed Walad Amar, the director general of ALECSO, highlighted the organization’s commitment to the promotion of the cultural heritage of Arab countries on the global stage. In keeping with this vision, he said, ALECSO has worked with several countries with the aim of securing recognition of more of their cultural treasures on the highly esteemed UNESCO World Heritage List.

As an example of its active engagement in these efforts, he noted that ALECSO took part in the UNESCO Culture and Education Ministers’ Conference in the UAE in February.

Other topics discussed on the opening day included challenges that Arab nations face in the fields of education, culture and science, innovative potential solutions to the problems, and ways to forge new partnerships that can broaden the horizons of education and thinking.


King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj

Updated 9 sec ago
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King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj

  • The gesture is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah
  • Since its inception 26 years ago, more than 60,000 pilgrims have been hosted under the program

RIYADH: King Salman ordered the hosting of 2,322 Hajj pilgrims on Tuesday, including 1,000 family members of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israel or held in Israeli prisons.

1,300 people from over 88 countries and 22 family members of conjoined twins who were separated in the Kingdom will also be hosted for the pilgrimage, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The gesture is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance.

Since its inception 26 years ago, more than 60,000 pilgrims have been hosted under the program.

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikhb said the order reflects the Saudi leadership’s constant care for Muslims around the world and its efforts to strengthen unity and brotherhood among Muslims by bringing them together for Hajj at the expense of the king.

The minister said preparations to host these pilgrims have begun and a strategic plan has been developed.


Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 

Updated 29 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned on Tuesday the Israeli forces’ continued “genocidal massacres against the Palestinian people without deterrence” by targeting the tents of defenseless Palestinian refugees in Rafah.

The Kingdom holds the Israeli authorities fully responsible for what is happening in Rafah and all the occupied Palestinian territories, a foreign ministry statement read.

Israel’s military denied striking a tent camp west of the city of Rafah on Tuesday after Gaza health authorities said Israeli tank shelling had killed at least 21 people there, in what Israel has designated a civilian evacuation zone.

Earlier, defying an appeal from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israeli tanks advanced to the heart of Rafah for the first time after a night of heavy bombardment, while Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognized a Palestinian state, a move that further deepened Israel’s international isolation.

Saudi Arabia reiterated that the Israeli forces’ blatant violation of all international and humanitarian laws and norms, amid the silence of the international community, exacerbates the unprecedented Palestinian humanitarian catastrophe, and puts the credibility of international legitimacy institution at stake.

“The Kingdom stresses the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities to stop the massacres against the Palestinian people and hold those responsible accountable,” the statement concluded.

- With Reuters. 


Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding

Updated 28 May 2024
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Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding

  • Deal aims to advance media sector in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft Arabia in Riyadh on Tuesday covering several areas of cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Assistant Minister of Media Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, and Ziad Mansour, Microsoft’s executive vice president of data and artificial intelligence.

Bassem Al-Hazmi, the general manager of digital transformation and information technology and the general manager of cybersecurity, was also present, along with the President of Microsoft Arabia Turki Badhris.

Cooperation will include developing technical aspects in the areas of data analysis, self-learning, AI, security and privacy solutions, and various software and service development solutions.

It will aim to raise the quality of local media content and keep pace with global transformations to serve the future goals of the Ministry of Media.

The memorandum also bids to advance the media sector in the Kingdom, enabling it to contribute to the local economy while benefiting from the developments of AI and its multiple applications in the field of media.


Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Updated 28 May 2024
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Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Mansour Al-Babtain is the vice president of commercial partnerships and liaison at the World Defense Show.

A former fighter pilot, Al-Babtain has extensive experience working with high-level government figures and private-sector leaders.

He joined the WDS in April 2021. His current role is to oversee the sales, sponsorship and customer experience divisions, in addition to maintaining his liaison responsibilities with Saudi government entities including the General Authority for Military Industries and international delegations.

The department links WDS business owners with the appropriate government entities, ensures the security of the location and people prior to, during and following the show, and manages WDS committees.

From the initial show license to security support, Al-Babtain effectively manages the challenges of ensuring the smooth entry and exit of military supplies, technology, and personnel.

Having graduated from King Faisal Air Academy, he served 12 years in the Royal Saudi Air Force as a fighter pilot, squadron leader and tactical intelligence officer before moving to the Ministry of Defense and later to several government entities.

In addition to his degree in aerial sciences, Al-Babtain holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from Air University in Alabama and a diploma in diplomatic and political relations from the International Arbitration Commission in Cairo.
 


AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

Updated 28 May 2024
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AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

RIYADH: Intellectual property and artificial intelligence will be discussed at a regional meeting of the Arab League’s Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Department on Wednesday.

The virtual gathering, which will be hosted via video link, will include experts from the World Intellectual Property Organization and governmental intellectual property offices from several Arab nations, reported Saudi Press Agency.

Key topics on the agenda are optimizing intellectual property frameworks for AI development, the impact of AI on patenting processes, legislative efforts to address legal challenges, and implications of AI for copyright regulations.

Minister Plenipotentiary Dr. Maha Bakheet, director of legal affairs at the Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Department, said the meeting aimed to safeguard AI models through intellectual property mechanisms and enhance services.

It also hopes to drive service delivery and management progress within regional intellectual property offices.