Saudi youth are main assets of the Kingdom, says CEO of FII Institute – Arab News


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ALULA: Saudi Vision 2030 has given youth the tools to achieve their goals for the next decade, the panel discussion entitled “How Youth Will Build the Next Decade” agreed.
The session was part of the Hegra Conference of Nobel Laureates and Friends 2022 held at Maraya Concert Hall on Sunday.
Richard Attias, curator of the Hegra Conference, and CEO of the Future Investment Initiative Institute, said that Saudi youth are the main assets of the Kingdom.
“The young people are not the future; they are the present; they are the main asset of the Kingdom. We are talking about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom of energy. The energy is not oil; the energy is the young Saudis,” he said.
Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Prince Turki bin Faisal said youth are well represented at the conference.
“Saudi youth are well represented here through Mawhiba, but also through various universities that send their students here, KAUST and other universities contributing to the discussion. Not only will they learn from the discussion here, but also I think they will be contributing to the results of this conference,” he told Arab News.
Prince Turki highlighted that a grand conference such as this is because of Saudi Vision 2030.
“The fact that we have the sterling collection of the winners of the world prizes, not just the Nobel Prize, but also the King Faisal Prize, the UNESCO Prize and other prizes, the Pulitzer Prize, all together in one place to discuss how to contribute to the welfare of humanity is the most amazing accomplishment and it is due to the Vision 2030,” he said.
“If it were not for that vision, all these people would not be here. We’re grateful to his Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman for proposing the vision and, of course, to Prince Badr bin Farhan, the head of AlUla Commission. And I will not forget to mention Amr Al-Madani in his work for setting up this magnificent edifice, and all thanks go to Richard Attias for organizing this conference.”
Attias said that the youth of our current generation has an amazing power on social media.
“They are using social media as a platform for raising their voices. They are all very well educated now all over the world because they have access to knowledge thanks to precisely the internet,” he told Arab News.
“They’re not shy anymore; when they have a belief, they fight for that belief in all countries, in all continents. Not only about climate change, they are fighting for access to education, financing to become entrepreneurs, for healthcare, all social support and benefits that they need to have. I see that this young generation is probably one of the most powerful generations in the history of humanity,” he added.
Pointing to the youth in the Kingdom, he said he has known Saudi Arabia for the past 25 years and has seen their vibrance.
“I mean it. The young people are so articulate, so committed, so proud of what the Kingdom is achieving,” he said.
“They’re supporting the leadership, I see how the females of the Kingdom are so committed, and definitely, they are running the show now. They are very inspiring.”
Nobel laureates and other prominent prize-winners gathered for a three-day retreat at Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site to identify actions that can be taken to help humanity thrive in the 21st century.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia denounced on Sunday statements made by the suspended spokeswoman of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
The Kingdom’s foreign ministry also welcomed the BJP’s decision to suspend the spokeswoman, reiterating Saudi Arabia’s position calling for the respect of beliefs and religions.
The ministry stressed its rejection of any violation of Islamic symbols as well as the infringement of the symbols and important figures of all religions.
Nupur Sharma was suspended on Sunday in response to comments she made during a TV debate about the Prophet Muhammad.
Sharma’s comments prompted complaints from several other Muslim countries, including Qatar and Kuwait.
RIYADH: Mediation is of great importance to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the world is in dire need of it to resolve conflicts, the OIC’s secretary-general said on Sunday.
Speaking at the fourth OIC conference on mediation titled “Experiences and Prospects,” Hissein Brahim Taha said member states have a strong commitment to resolving conflicts in a peaceful and lasting manner because “60 percent of the conflicts in the world occur in the OIC zone.”
This “conference is being held at a critical juncture, and at a time when the world is in dire need of mediation, dialogue, and negotiations to resolve conflicts,” Taha said.
He added that the OIC had succeeded in mediating conflicts in southern Philippines, southern Thailand, Sudan, Chad, and Afghanistan.
It has also played an important role in supporting international efforts aimed at establishing peace in Somalia, Guinea, and Iraq, the OIC chief added.
“We have played an important role in addressing the tense situation faced by the Muslim community in Sri Lanka due to some organized activities against Muslims by Buddhist monks in the wake of the brutal suicide attacks on churches and hotels on April 21, 2019,” Taha said.
“We have intervened to correct the discriminatory policies and practices adopted by the government of Sri Lanka to cremate the corpses of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, which are incompatible with the rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka,” he added.
Taha thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the conference and praised all efforts made by the Kingdom as OIC host country and the chair of the 14th session of the Islamic Summit.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance and Governor of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Mohammed Al-Jadaan said Sunday Saudi Arabia had always shown interest in being involved in humanitarian and development efforts in Muslim countries.
He was speaking during the Islamic Development Bank Group Annual Meetings held under the theme “Beyond Recovery: Resilience and Sustainability”, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
During his participation in the 47th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IsDB, Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia, since its inception, has always shown interest in being involved in humanitarian and development efforts in Muslim countries, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 
“The Kingdom has been offering all kinds of support, at the bilateral level and through regional and international organizations,” he said during his participation in the 47th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IsDB.
He indicated that such efforts, undertaken by the Kingdom under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reiterated the interest of the Kingdom’s leadership and people in supporting the development process in the Muslim world.
Al-Jadaan pointed out that the world is currently facing geopolitical and economic challenges, which compel the countries of the IsDB Group to step up the level of cooperation and coordination in order to reverse the adverse effects of inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions on the economies of the region.
He also stated that the world in general and the Muslim World in particular, are facing many challenges, which require continued efforts to strengthen the Bank’s institutional and integration efforts.
In addition, there is a need to establish performance indicators that contribute to monitoring and evaluating the level of the Group’s performance, as well as providing support for financial sustainability, he added.
During his participation in the Governors’ Roundtable Meeting, Al-Jadaan urged the IsDB Group to develop an urgent and comprehensive plan to proactively address the challenges of food security in the member countries. He also confirmed the Kingdom’s readiness to provide technical support in this field to expedite the fulfillment of this effort.
Al-Jadaan indicated that the Kingdom’s government, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince, realize the need to strengthen efforts to achieve global climate targets. To this end, the Kingdom has launched several initiatives and projects within the framework of the Middle East Green Initiative.
He called on the Bank Group and member states to support such initiatives and make the best use of the benefits they offer in order to address global climate challenges.
The minister of finance stressed the importance of increasing investments in human capital development by improving the quality of education and health, and providing an enabling and stimulating environment for youth and entrepreneurs which is a key driver of human development; calling on the IsDB Group to adopt the tenets of human development as a long-term strategy.
JEDDAH: Historic Jeddah has undergone many renovations of its buildings. However, some unpainted patches reveal oceanic materials still a part of their structure today.
Sea mud, coral limestone and coral reef extracts were used as building materials over 500 years ago.
Abdullah Al-Hodaif, owner of Al-Hodaif Museum, a six floor center and one of the tallest buildings in Al-Balad, said that homes were known for their decorations, ornaments, and inscriptions.
“Hijazi houses in Historic Jeddah are a mirror that reflects the culture of the residents of those houses, and traditions that affected and influenced the formation of the houses,” he told Arab News.
The building stones used in historical homes are coral limestone extracted from the coral reefs along the Red Sea coast, and some were brought from what was then Al-Ruwais beach — Al-Ruwais neighborhood today.
• The building stones used in historical homes are coral limestone extracted from the coral reefs along the Red Sea coast, and some were brought from what was then Al-Ruwais beach — Al-Ruwais neighborhood today.
• Wood was used as a basic material, and can be seen in the entrances to the main houses in various forms, as well as in the wooden window coverings called ‘roshan,’ which are decorated with Islamic inscriptions and earthy colors.
“As for the materials used in the construction, sea mud is used, and it is brought from the bottom of the ‘40th Lake’ and was used as an alternative to cement,” Al-Hodaif said.
He explained that wood was used as a basic material, and can be seen in the entrances to the main houses in various forms, as well as in the wooden window coverings called “roshan,” which are decorated with Islamic inscriptions and earthy colors.
“Roshans show the characteristics of the ancient Arabs in not leaving the house exposed to passers-by outside, and preserving the privacy of the house, where the design of the windows is based on meandrous patterns that combine aesthetics and techniques to provide ventilation while blocking vision from the outside,” said Al-Hodaif.
“It also acts as a barrier to reduce the amount of dust carried by wind entering towards the house, by colliding with the large wooden facades, and it reduces the wind speed and reduces the sand grains falling through the small openings in the roshan,” he added.
Tour guide Bandar Al-Harbi said coral limestones were one of the essential building materials for Jeddawi houses. “People back then used materials from their environment. Locals call it ‘mengabi’ stone,” he said.
“Jeddawi houses in particular became registered as a heritage site (with) UNESCO in 2014. Over 600 houses are still here, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made generous donations to restore these buildings in 2018,” Al-Harbi added.
The second essential material was wood, despite Jeddah not having many trees “or agricultural prosperity due to lack of sweet water,” he said.
“This means that wood was also a rare material. People imported wood from outside Jeddah and the nearest valley to get wood from was Fatimah valley,” Al-Harbi added.
The highest quality wood would come from India and East Asia, “which withstood hundreds of years.”
A Roshan is a wooden window covering decorated with Islamic inscriptions and earthy colors. Common among old Arab houses, Roshans “combine aesthetics and techniques to provide ventilation while blocking vision from the outside.” They also act as a barrier to reduce the amount of dust carried by wind entering the house.
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, hosted the Fourth OIC Conference on Mediation in Jeddah on Sunday.
The two-day conference is being held in the Kingdom for the first time. The previous three rounds were held in Turkey.
Under the slogan “Experiences and Prospects,” the event was attended by the members of the diplomatic corps, heads of delegations and representatives of OIC member states.
The two-day conference includes five different sessions with more than 20 expert panelists in the field of mediation from around the world. They will discuss various issues, including the role of the OIC and its member states in the field of mediation, partnerships with international and regional organizations, as well as mediation from a humanitarian perspective.
Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji reviewed aspects of the Kingdom’s leading role in mediation to resolve disputes at all Arab, Islamic and international levels.
He said: “This conference comes at a time full of events that afflict the whole world and that affect international peace and stability. The Kingdom, however, believes that stability, peace and security are the sources of progress, development and prosperity for people.”
Al-Khuraiji added: “Complex and urgent issues within countries of the Islamic states and the world are in urgent need of a successful solution and more effective means which can be adopted through several methods, including the need for concerted efforts of the organization and regional and international partners, to find the best solutions to this matter in order to address all those challenges and risks.
“And this shall occur by investing in a diplomatic approach to resolve various conflicts through peaceful solutions and negotiations.”
OIC Secretary-General Hussein Brahim Taha stressed the importance of mediation to OIC states.
Taha said: “Mediation is of great importance to OIC as the fourth session of the Mediation Conference is being held at a critical juncture, and at a time when the world is in dire need of mediation, dialogue and negotiations to resolve conflicts.
“60 percent of the conflicts in the world occur in the OIC zone, so the OIC member states have a strong commitment to resolving the outstanding conflicts in a peaceful and lasting manner.
“The OIC succeeded in mediating the conflicts in southern Philippines, southern Thailand, Sudan, Chad and Afghanistan. It played an important role in supporting international efforts aimed at establishing peace in Somalia, Guinea and Iraq.
“We have played an important role in addressing the tense situation faced by the Muslim community in Sri Lanka due to some organized activities against Muslims by Buddhist monks in the wake of the brutal suicide attacks on churches and hotels in 2019.
“We have intervened to correct the discriminatory policies and practices adopted by the government of Sri Lanka to cremate the corpses of the victims of the COVID-19 epidemic, which are incompatible with the rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka.”
Taha added: “The relevant ministerial decisions have reaffirmed the commitment to enhance awareness in the OIC region regarding the benefits of mediation as a cost-effective tool to prevent and resolve conflicts peacefully.”
He said: “We need to integrate mediation into the scope of the organization’s work and activities, and build capacity in supporting activities and establishing partnerships between the OIC, the UN and other regional organizations.”
The two-day conference includes five different sessions with more than 20 expert panelists in the field of mediation from around the world.
They will discuss various issues, including the role of OIC and its member states in the field of mediation, partnerships with international and regional organizations, as well as mediation from a humanitarian perspective.
At the end of each session, heads of OIC member states will put forward their interventions, and each panelist will present related suggestions and solutions.
 

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