Misk Foundation participates in Youth 20 Summit

Time: June 25, 2019  

The Youth 20 Summit (Y20) is a global youth conference bringing together young experts from the G20 to discuss global youth issues. (Twitter)
  • The center also organized a workshop for young ambassadors from the G20 countries, which reviewed “Future of Work” research

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, represented by the Initiatives Center at the Misk Foundation, participated in the Youth 20 Summit (Y20) in Tokyo.
It adopted recommendations to be presented to G20 leaders meeting in Japan at the end of June, after agreeing on the development of three main areas including global trade, environment and business, and future work.
The Youth 20 Summit (Y20) is a global youth conference bringing together young experts from the G20 to discuss global youth issues through several proposed policies for G20 leaders.
The Initiative Center at Misk Foundation selected four young men and women representing civil society in the Kingdom to participate in the summit, where the sessions witnessed the consensus of all participants on the importance of developing these fields according to scientific and technical developments.
The center also organized a workshop for young ambassadors from the G20 countries, which reviewed “Future of Work” research.

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Abha airport through the lens of Misk interns

Time: June 20, 2019  

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Saudi Arabia’s promising young media practitioners had Abha airport in focus through a photoshoot supervised by Arab News’ head photographer Ziyad Alarfaj.

Saudi Arabia’s promising young media practitioners had Abha airport in focus through a photoshoot supervised by Arab News’ head photographer Ziyad Alarfaj.
The work of the young photojournalists was part of their internship at Arab News organized in collaboration with Misk Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers the Saudi youth.
The photojournalists are also offered a unique opportunity to get hands-on training in the leading newspaper’s headquarters in Riyadh, as well as its bureaus in Dubai and Jeddah.
Participants will attend sessions that cover online and print journalism, media design and photography.
They will be coached by the company’s award-winning senior editors and department heads.

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SaudiArabia records largest jump in CFA candidates

Time: June 17, 2019  

  • registrations grew by 21 percent in Egypt, 26 percent in Jordan and 25 percent in Saudi Arabia

LONDON: The number of Saudis enrolling for chartered financial analyst (CFA) exams has jumped by a quarter — more than in any other Gulf state.

It coincides with a push to develop the Kingdom’s financial services sector as part of the Vision 2030 blueprint for economic and social reform.

CFA Institute, the global association of investment management, said that more than 250,000 candidates have registered for the upcoming Level I, II and III CFA exams — one of the most popular qualifications for investment professionals.

“Pursuing the CFA credential is a very rigorous process, with less than one in five candidates successfully completing the process to earn the charter,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO, CFA Institute. “We are gratified to see the record number of candidates willing to put in the work continue to grow each year. Especially in new markets around the world where finance plays such a vital role in building strong economies.”

The Middle East had a strong representation in the global mix, with 6,004 investment professionals from eight GCC and Middle East countries enrolling for the CFA exams — up 5 percent on last year.

Registrations grew by 21 percent in Egypt, 26 percent in Jordan and 25 percent in Saudi Arabia.

The UAE continues to see the largest number of new candidates in the Middle East, with 2,136 individuals registering for the exam.

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Saudi Arabia’s Education Ministry pumps $500m into public school projects

Time: May 22, 2019  

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SR500 million will be spent on building education “complexes.” (Photos/ Supplied)
  • 30 institutions for students in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh will be built

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is spending more than $500 million on building education “complexes” that will serve 90,000 students in major urban centers.

The Education Ministry, represented by the government-owned Tatweer Buildings Co., on Tuesday, signed an agreement with Al-Mabani Real Estate Co. to build 30 institutions for students in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh.

The agreements include a short-term plan to establish 10 complexes across the three cities with a combined intake of 30,000 students. These will cost around SR800 million ($213 million) and are expected to be completed in 2022. There is also a long-term plan to set up 20 complexes for 60,000 students costing SR600 million. The complexes will be at locations approved by local authorities.

FASTFACT

•The education complexes will serve the needs of 90,000 students in the Kingdom.

•Initially, 10 complexes will be built in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh at a cost of SR800 million.

•The first phase will be completed in 2022.

•In the later phase, 20 more complexes are planned at a cost of SR600 million.

Tatweer CEO Fahd Al-Hammad said the agreement represented opportunities for investors interested in building and operating high-quality education infrastructure with “state-of-the-art designs.”

Al-Mabani’s managing director, Abdulrahman Al-Ahmed, said the agreement supported the ministry’s strategy to develop the public sector schools environment through the establishment of complexes.

The agreement was signed under the patronage of Undersecretary of the Minister of Education Dr. Saad Al-Fuhaid and in the presence of Mohammed bin Eid Al-Otaibi, director general of education at the ministry.

Earlier this year, Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said Saudi Arabia was making efforts to improve the quality of its education sector’s infrastructure by encouraging public-private partnerships.

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Saudi students win big at US science fair

Time: May 19, 2019  

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A team of 20 Saudi students took part in the Intel ISEF fair in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo/Social media)
  • The students represented the King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) at the science fair, which drew about 1,800 finalists from more than 80 countries

RIYADH: Five Saudi students were among major prize-winners at a leading US science and engineering fair that brought together finalists from around the world to compete for awards in innovative research.
A team of 20 Saudi students took part in the Intel ISEF fair — the world’s largest pre-college science competition — in Phoenix, Arizona, from May 12-17.
Winners of major prizes were Abdullah Al-Sannan and Dima Al-Melhem, who won fourth place for their environmental engineering project; Wud Al-Saadoon, who won fourth place for a project involving chemical energy; Haya Al-Tuwaijry, who won fourth place for a botany project; and Shawq Al-Madani, who won third place for an environmental engineering project.
The students represented the King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) at the science fair, which drew about 1,800 finalists from more than 80 countries.
Three special prizes were also awarded to the Saudi scientific team. Al-Madani won a scholarship from the University of Arizona; Al-Saadoon won a special prize offered by United Technologies and Noorah Al-Dosari received a special award from NASA.
Saud bin Saeed Al-Mathami, Mawhiba secretary-general, congratulated the students and praised Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) for its sponsorship of the Saudi team.
He highlighted the importance of the strategic partnership between Mawhiba and SABIC in supporting and training gifted and creative students under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020.

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Landmark Arabia, EFE to train Saudi women in retail

Time: May 04, 2019  

Nearly 50,000 women have graduated from EFE programs across the MENA region.

Retail and hospitality group Landmark Arabia has signed a partnership agreement with Education for Employment (EFE) — Global, an organization linking unemployed youth to skills and job opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa.

As part of the agreement, the retail conglomerate will fund a bespoke program that provides training and placement to 50 women aged 18 to 25 from less privileged backgrounds.

Despite Saudi women accounting for 58 percent of university students, they comprise only 16 percent of the workforce. One of the main reasons for this is the disconnect between skills needed and the requirements of current and future jobs. The Landmark-EFE program seeks to address this issue by providing demand-driven job training.

Nisha Jagtiani, group director, Landmark Group, said: “Enabling Saudi women to become more economically independent by participating in the labor market has always been a priority for our group. At Landmark Arabia, more than 66 percent of our Saudi national workforce are women who are taking on prominent retail positions in our company.”

“In alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030, we are committed to employing and training Saudi women in the retail sector,” Jagtiani added. “Our partnership with EFE is a step closer toward implementing our plans in this direction, he said.”

Dima Najim, managing director of EFE-UAE, said: “Nearly 50,000 young women have graduated from EFE programs across the MENA region. Through this partnership with Landmark Group, EFE will be able to raise awareness among young women in Saudi Arabia and across region about the potential of jobs in the retail sector”

Amr Abdallah, Gulf programs director of EFE, said: “More than 53 percent of our Saudi program graduates since we started in Saudi are women and we are pleased to support the Saudiazation efforts through the provision of our different programs.”

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Young Saudis optimistic about future, Arab Youth Survey shows

 Time: May 01, 2019  

About 80 percent consider Saudi Arabia as an ally in the political sphere, with the US polling second highest as an enemy (59 percent), behind only Iran (67 percent). (File/Shutterstock)
  • Approval ratings higher than the average in the MENA region, according to 11th annual poll
  • Interviews with 3,300 young Arabs reveals that they want their governments to help them secure decent and affordable lives

DUBAI: The 2019 edition of the Arab Youth Survey by Asda’a BCW offers a snapshot of 200 million aspirational young adults tackling the opportunities and challenges of modernity, but also seeking the reassurance of traditional structures and overwhelmingly concerned with their own well-being.

Perhaps the most eye-catching of the Dubai’s PR consultancy’s findings, released on Tuesday, is that while most young people across the Gulf, North Africa and the Levant want to see reform of their traditional religious institutions, which most see as “holding them back” in the modern world, they also want their governments to remain providers of most of their basic requirements — not just essentials such as security, education and health care, but also subsidized energy housing and even financial handouts.
Above all, they are concerned with securing a decent and affordable life for themselves and their families in an era of high unemployment and dwindling job opportunities in the traditional government sector.
The 11th annual survey is based on 3,300 interviews with Arabs between the ages of 18-24, split equally between men and women, in January this year. Asda’a BCW also offered Arab News a look at Saudi responses specifically.
Young Saudis share the concerns of many of their age-peers across the region, but they expressed a new-found spirit of optimism in light of the Vision 2030 strategy, which Sunil John, president of Asda’a BCW, said was “transforming the economy and creating job opportunities.”
About 93 percent of young Saudis said they thought the Kingdom is headed in the right direction, with 83 percent believing the economy is on the right track. Notably, three-quarters (75 percent) told the pollsters that they expect to have a better life than their parents.
Approval ratings among Saudi youth for their government’s policies were higher than the average in the MENA region. A huge 89 percent said they believed Vision 2030 would succeed in securing the economic future, while 83 percent said government policies were right for them and their peer group, a good 30 points higher than the positive feeling toward governments across the region.
Saudi youth were outliers in some other respects, too, apparently more willing to stand on their own feet. Another feature of the survey was that despite the drive of governments to cultivate entrepreneurial young people, many still believe it is the state’s job to provide cheap energy, jobs, housing and even debt relief.
A detailed look at the country breakdowns showed that young people in the Kingdom were less likely than those in other Arab countries to expect these services to be officially provided to all citizens.
Another feature of the survey, as in past years, was some fairly dramatic differences in opinion by young people in three main sub-regions within MENA. In education, for example, only 20 percent of Gulf youngsters were unsatisfied with the quality provided by the country’s educational system. This level of dissatisfaction rose to 53 percent in North Africa and 73 percent in the war-torn Levant. Not surprisingly, many more Levant youngsters would rather be educated in the West than their peers in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia figured prominently in the survey in other ways, too. When young Arabs were asked which countries had grown in prominence in regional and international affairs, 37 percent named the Kingdom as the biggest gainer in influence this year.
A majority of them consider Saudi Arabia as an ally in the political sphere. Iran is seen as an enemy by an overwhelming majority (67 percent).
Only a tiny minority in the region believed that the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi would have any long-term negative impact for the Kingdom in Arab or international eyes.
If young Saudis were not Saudi, they would probably want to live in the UAE, the pollsters found. For the eighth year running, the Emirates topped the ratings for the preferred place of residence, chosen by 44 percent of those polled, followed by Canada and the US.
Reasons for the UAE’s popularity hark back to the basic self-interest of young Arabs: They like the range of work opportunities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the UAE is safe and secure, and it offers generous salary packages.
Jihad Azour, the International Monetary Fund’s regional head for the Middle East, hit the nail on the head when he delivered the keynote address at the survey launch. “If there is one cause we should focus on, it is youth unemployment. All economic policies fail if they cannot deliver on unemployment,” he said.

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Youth pillars of reform plan, future of Saudi Arabia

Time: April 24, 2019  

The Kingdom has responded positively to many of the resolutions recommended during the meeting. (SPA)
  • A survey last year showed that 92 percent of young Saudis interviewed expressed a positive view of the outcome of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030

RIYADH: Young people in Saudi Arabia are the pillars of the country’s reform plan and the future of the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal as saying.
The prince said that 70 percent of the country’s population were aged between 15 and 35, and that young people and sports were two key elements of the Vision 2030 reform plan.
“We rely heavily on the programs offered by the state in various fields of sports, the arts and entertainment for young men and women, and I hope that we always offer the best to Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and the Islamic world.”
The prince was in Cairo, attending a meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers of Youth and Sports. He said in a press statement that the Kingdom put forward many proposals throughout the year and that ministries responded positively to youth activities.
“The Kingdom has responded positively to many of the resolutions recommended during the meeting,” he said, adding that he hoped Arab youths would benefit from the outcome of these recommendations and meetings.
SPA reported last week that young Saudis were being trained to deal with the international media as part of a project to promote the Kingdom around the world.
A survey last year showed that 92 percent of young Saudis interviewed expressed a positive view of the outcome of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.

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Saudi students invent robot to improve solar panel efficienc

Time: April 20, 2019  

The technology addresses the problem of decreased efficiency in the production of electricity by photovoltaic solar panels caused by harsh environmental conditions. (Photo/Social media)
  • The device boosts productivity from 70% to 80%

TAIF: Two students at Taif University in Saudi Arabia have invented a robot that improves the efficiency of solar panels by more than 14 percent by keeping them clean and dust free.
The technology developed by Ahmed Fayez Ahmed Mohammed and Ahmed Ali Zayed Oudha, who are studying electrical engineering, addresses the problem of decreased efficiency in the production of electricity by photovoltaic solar panels caused by harsh environmental conditions, including the build up of dust, which can be particularly problematic in desert environments.

To counter this, they created a high-performance, cost-efficient smart robot that prevents the accumulation of dirt and dust on the panels.
It has sensors that allow it to move across the surface of the panels and accurately detect and remove any buildup. They also prevent the robot from wasting energy operating when the panels are not generating power — for example at night or on cloudy days. The cleaning mechanism uses cylindrical brushes and a high-performance fan.
The students worked on the project under the supervision of Dr. Mohammed Salahuddin Mohammed Suleiman and Dr. Musleh Al-Harthy, the dean of the engineering faculty.

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Saudi youth must be on crest of wave for change

18/04/19

I have noticed recently that in every social setup the most dominating conversation in the room is “the wave of change in Saudi Arabia,” where the youth have become seekers of knowledge and innovation in a bid to ride the wave.

However, the real question is why has the Kingdom developed from a society that had always been programmed into a certain system, into one that is moving out of its comfort zone in the pursuit of growth?

I genuinely believe that young people have matured to understand the potential we have as a country and when this type of awareness hits home, not even the sky is the limit.

Nevertheless, the reality is that change is never easy. Some heavyweight challenges are in the pipeline and the youth will require patience.

History reveals that Saudi Arabia is not alone in meeting the challenge of change. In every developed country in the world, whether in Europe, Asia, the US or the Middle East, there was always a point where change seemed almost impossible. But then suddenly the struggle and patience paid off. The UAE is a prime example.

It is crucial that the country invests not only in the economy but also in its human relationships with the rest of the world, with the Saudi youth riding the crest of the wave.

Nada Al-Tuwaijri

The world perceives the UAE as a well-advanced country with huge economic potential in areas such as entertainment, science, culture, medicine and technology through its many strategic partnerships in key global markets. And it would seem the country has always been that way.

Yet the perception reflects enormous efforts to position the UAE on the global stage and proves that change is possible in a relatively short time with the right mindset, collaboration and sense of unity.

It is reassuring to know that the UAE shares the same values, culture and beliefs as Saudi Arabia which also has very similar potentials.

Regardless of the similarities the Kingdom might share with neighboring countries, Saudi Arabia has its own unique identity.

As the nation travels on its historic journey of change, it is only a matter of time before it reaches its desired level of growth. It is crucial that the country invests not only in the economy but also in its human relationships with the rest of the world, with the Saudi youth riding the crest of the wave.

 

• Nada Al-Tuwaijri is an adviser at the Saudi Ministry of Media.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view

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