Arab innovators shine in space exploration contest

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Above, Saudi astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Arab woman to orbit Earth. (SPA)
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Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi, left, and Ali Alqarni are flashed on a screen during their mission at the International Space Station last year. (SPA)
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The event marked the first anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s “Journey to Space” mission and was attended Saudi Space Agency’s CEO Mohammed Al-Tamimi. (SPA)
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Updated 21 May 2024
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Arab innovators shine in space exploration contest

  • Saudi Space Agency awards 10 winners in arts, botany, engineering

RIYADH: The Saudi Space Agency wrapped up its Space Madak competition on Tuesday by awarding 10 winning contestants prizes for their arts, botany and engineering projects.

Hailing from seven Arab countries, the winners were revealed at a ceremony hosted by the agency at the Communications, Space and Technology Commission headquarters in Riyadh.

The event marked the first anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s “Journey to Space” mission and was attended by the agency’s CEO Mohammed Al-Tamimi, officials, experts, and ambassadors from the winning students’ countries.

The competition, engaging ambitious Arab students, showcased their enthusiasm for space exploration and skills development.

The panel of judges comprised scientists, experts and space enthusiasts.

Following rigorous evaluation rounds, the top 10 contenders were chosen for their exceptional contributions.

In the arts category, winners included Yamen Al-Zaabi from Jordan, Preeti Sami from Egypt, Jawaher Farhan from Bahrain, Rafqa Mansour from Lebanon, and Aline Al-Issa from Saudi Arabia.

Sadan Al-Dosari from Saudi Arabia, Hooriya Basheikh from Morocco, and Fatima Al-Khabouriah from Oman won in the botany category.

Engineering-category winners were Abdulrahman Qattan from Saudi Arabia and Yara Reda from Syria.

The ceremony celebrated the winners and acknowledged the creative endeavors of more than 50 finalists, chosen from a pool of 80,000 submissions vying for prizes totaling SR500,000 ($133,320).

The winning projects will be showcased on the International Space Station, offering an opportunity to advance research, development, and innovation in space exploration while enriching Arab contributions in this field.

The competition represents a significant milestone in the Saudi Space Agency’s mission to support research, development, and innovation within the domain of space exploration.

With a focus on nurturing creative thinking among Arab students, the initiative aims to ignite curiosity about space and inspire breakthroughs in this burgeoning field.

The space mission, carried out by astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Al-Qarni, included 14 pioneering scientific experiments.

According to a press release issued by the agency, the mission was a part of the “Saudi Toward Space” program, aligning with the Kingdom’s focus on research, development and innovation driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Al-Tamimi praised the achievements of the SSA-HSF1, or Saudi Space Agency-Human Space Flight 1, mission. This was a major milestone in the Kingdom’s journey toward leadership in the space sector.

He said there were 14 research experiments conducted in microgravity, yielding valuable contributions to research, development and innovation.

Al-Tamimi said the mission helped foster national expertise and enhance cooperation with leading international institutions.

He added that the agency remained committed to supporting innovative projects.


KSrelief chief discusses aid efforts in Gaza with Palestinian ministers

Updated 7 sec ago
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KSrelief chief discusses aid efforts in Gaza with Palestinian ministers

RIYADH: The general supervisor of Saudi aid agency KSrelief, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah on Wednesday discussed the situation in Gaza with the Palestinian minister of health, Majed Abu Ramadan, and minister of social development, Samah Abdul Rahim Hussein Hamad.

Their meeting took place during “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza,” an international emergency conference that began in Jordan on Tuesday.

They discussed “the delicate humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and ways to deliver aid to those displaced there,” the Saudi Press Agency reported. They also exchanged views on the main topics addressed by the conference.

The Palestinian ministers thanked the Kingdom, as represented by KSrelief, for the aid and assistance it has provided to the people of Gaza to help alleviate their suffering during the current humanitarian crisis. They expressed their sincere appreciation in particular for support provided by Saudi authorities to healthcare efforts in the territory.


Saudi crown prince apologizes for not attending G7 summit in Italy

Updated 14 min 41 sec ago
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Saudi crown prince apologizes for not attending G7 summit in Italy

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman apologized for not attending the G7 summit set to take place on Friday in Italy due to “commitments related to supervising pilgrimage,” the Saudi state news agency reported on Wednesday. 

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Saudi leaders send condolences to Kuwait’s emir over victims of deadly fire

Updated 32 min 55 sec ago
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Saudi leaders send condolences to Kuwait’s emir over victims of deadly fire

  • 49 people were killed by a blaze south of Kuwait City that broke out around dawn on Wednesday in a 6-story building housing nearly 200 foreign workers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday sent a message of condolence and sympathy to the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, following a fire that killed and injured dozens of people in the country.

The king wrote: “We learned of the news of the outbreak of a fire in the Mangaf region, and the deaths and injuries that resulted from it, and we send to Your Highness, to the families of the deceased, and to the brotherly people of the State of Kuwait, our warmest and most sincere condolences.”

He also wished those injured a speedy recovery, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent similar messages of condolence to the emir and Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

Forty-nine people were killed when the fire ripped through a building housing nearly 200 foreign workers on Wednesday, the Kuwaiti government said. The blaze, which broke out in the six-story building south of Kuwait City at around dawn, left dozens injured, the health ministry added.

(With AFP)


Saudi Arabia extends condolences after fire in Kuwait kills 49

Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)
Updated 12 June 2024
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Saudi Arabia extends condolences after fire in Kuwait kills 49

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry extended the Kingdom’s condolences and sympathy to the families of those killed in a fire that ripped through a building in Kuwait on Wednesday.

The blaze, which broke out in a six-story building in the Mangaf area, south of Kuwait City, killed 49 and left dozens injured, the Kuwaiti health ministry said. 

The Saudi foreign ministry expressed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the government and people of Kuwait and its best wishes for the security and safety of Kuwaiti citizens and residents. 


Saudi authorities arrest 26 Hajj permit violators

Updated 12 June 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 26 Hajj permit violators

  • Offenders were attempting to transport 102 people

RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested 26 violators of Hajj regulations at the entrances to Makkah after they tried to enter without a valid permit, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Interior announced that the Hajj Security Forces had arrested nine residents and 19 citizens, who had attempted to transport 102 people on Tuesday.

The seasonal administrative committees of the General Directorate of Passports issued 26 administrative decisions against them, including a prison sentence for a period of 15 days for each carrier, and a fine of SR10,000 ($2,666).

The fine will be multiplied by the number of each violator transported, and the expatriate violators will be deported and prevented from entering the Kingdom, according to the legally specified periods after the execution of the sentence. Five vehicles used for transportation have also been confiscated.

The Ministry of Interior has called on all citizens and expatriates to abide by Hajj regulations and instructions so that pilgrims can enjoy safety, security and comfort while performing their rituals.