JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed the possibility of issuing Umrah and visit permits to residents coming from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, who obtained a visitor visa for the purpose of tourism through the Eatmarna app.
This comes as part of efforts to facilitate the arrival of pilgrims from all countries around the world, enrich their experience and raise the quality of services provided to them within a variety of solutions and options, in order to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the ministry said in a statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency.
The ministry said that those who obtained visitor visas for the purpose of tourism from residents of GCC countries, as well as those who obtained visas to enter the Schengen countries, the US, and UK, can, before coming to the Kingdom, book appointments to perform Umrah and visit holy sites using the app.
The procedures for the arrival of pilgrims to perform Umrah this year included several types of visas available to those who obtain them to perform Umrah, including visas for family visits for residents inside the Kingdom, personal visits to Saudi nationals, electronic tourist visas, and tourist visas upon arrival for holders of other types of visas.
Umrah pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom can choose the package of services through the “Maqam” platform, in addition to booking through local agencies approved in the pilgrim’s home country.
JEDDAH: Under the Saudi law of cybercrimes, pranksters can face a punishment of SR5 million (more than $1.3 million) and three years in prison, according to a law expert.
Dr. Majed Garoub told Arab News that posting pranks on social media is a crime in Saudi Arabia, and it is classified as a violation of the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law.
“The punishment for such crime ranges from SR500,000 to SR5 million or imprisonment from six months to three years. However, both penalties can be applied, depending on the nature of the violating content.”
• Saudi law expert Dr. Majed Garoub said: ‘The punishment for such crime ranges from SR500,000 to SR5 million or imprisonment from six months to three years. However, both penalties can be applied, depending on the nature of the violating content.’
• Speaking about the difference from a legal perspective between the pranks that some people post on social media and what we see on television, Garoubs said that pranks on social media are different from those on TV as the latter present comedy shows.
• Hasan Faleh Al-Nahsi, a Saudi social media influencer, said that some social media users make pranks to collect as many followers as they can.
He added that posting pranks on social media is a violation even if it is a prank that has consent.
“A crime is a crime. We now have a law that criminalizes these activities and considers them as offensive. It is also considered a crime if someone reposts, likes or retweets a prank,” Garoub said.
Giving his personal opinion, the lawyer believes that anyone who reposts, likes or retweets a violating content should be penalized with the maximum punishment. However, he said that legal punishment takes the circumstances of every violation into consideration.
Garoub justified his point of view by saying that the first violator might have committed the content under the influence of certain emotional factors or be unaware of its negative effect, but the one who retweets or reposts it should have watched the content, reaffirming his belief in the content.
As for juvenile violators, Garoub said that young people are treated differently.
“The authorities require them to appear for investigation through a certain mechanism that takes into consideration their age and the presence of their guardians. There are special courts, youth detention centers for the offenders who are still underage,” he said.
He added that investigators and judges also consider the age of the violator and apply the punishments and imprisonment decisions to match their age and their illegal acts.
Speaking about the difference from a legal perspective between the pranks that some people post on social media and what we see on television, Garoubs said that pranks on social media are different from those on TV as the latter present comedy shows.
“Legally, the two are different. The TV shows are subject to the regulations of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media while the violations posted on social media platforms are subject to the Anti-Cyber Crime Law,” he said.
Hasan Faleh Al-Nahsi, a Saudi social media influencer, said that some social media users make pranks to collect as many followers as they can.
“Some of them also think that it is a means to please their followers, and that has become a phenomenon on social media. However, people should be aware that these activities are unlawful. Awareness campaigns should also be conducted to warn social media users against the negative impact of these illicit activities,” Al-Nahsi told Arab News.
According to Khaled Al-Zahrani, a specialist in psychology, social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok and many others, have attracted various segments of society of both genders and different age groups for different reasons.
“Many young and adult social media users have found these social media applications a place to seek fame and even an income. For these reasons, these users sometimes tend to talk about controversial issues or tackle them in a funny way. Their goal is to gain followers and increase the view numbers of the materials they produce or publish,” Al-Zahrani said.
Al-Zahrani said that these people’s legal knowledge about cybercrimes is limited. They may also be unaware of the society’s cultural background, and this is perhaps because they are exposed to different sources of cultures and information and they think such things are accepted in Saudi society.
“These people are controlled by the rules of the social media platform they are using, which they will be penalized for in case they violate them,” he said.
In the case of others, Al-Zahrani said, some of those who produce prank content may be trying to market themselves as comedians. “However, the goal is money,” he said.
JUBAIL: Young Saudis will receive training in advanced technologies, including robot and game programming, at a “digital carnival” kicking off in Jubail Industrial City on Sunday.
The five-day carnival at Al-Fanateer Cultural Center is organized by the Lifelong Learning Committee of the Royal Commission for Jubail, in cooperation with the Tuwaiq Academy, under the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones.
The digital carnival is in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which seeks to qualify one programmer for every 100 Saudi citizens by 2030.
Saad Al-Harbi, Head of the Lifelong Learning Committee in Jubail Industrial City
It aims to inspire and train young people in modern technologies, hone professionals’ technical skills, and implement technical programs for Jubail Industrial City residents.
Saad Al-Harbi, head of the Lifelong Learning Committee in Jubail Industrial City, said that the digital carnival is in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in digital transformation, which seeks to qualify one programmer for every 100 Saudi citizens by 2030.
• The five-day carnival at Al-Fanateer Cultural Center is organized by the Lifelong Learning Committee of the Royal Commission for Jubail, in cooperation with the Tuwaiq Academy, under the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones.
• Training programs and technical events will be available for all age groups, along with activities to help improve the tech capabilities of the next generation through Tuwaiq Academy programs.
It also falls in line with the Human Capability Development Program, and the concept and objectives of learning cities, the most prominent of which is creating an educational community, expanding the use of modern learning technologies, and contributing to sustainable development and entrepreneurship.
Training programs and technical events will be available for all age groups, along with activities to help improve the tech capabilities of the next generation through Tuwaiq Academy programs for juniors and professionals.
Al-Harbi said that the junior section will offer seven training programs: The ABCs of programming, artificial intelligence, robot programming, digital manufacturing, game programming, mobile application programming, and cybersecurity.
The professional section will offer four programs: Understanding the internet and website programming, building applications, building websites, and an introduction to interface design and user experience.
JAKARTA: Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim, Saudi minister of economy and planning, met with Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs, in Jakarta, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
They discussed issues of common interest and ways to strengthen bilateral relations. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the G20 development ministerial meeting hosted by Indonesia on the island of Belitung.
During the two-day high-level forum, Al-Ibrahim underlined the Kingdom’s steadfast commitment to renewing global cooperation and achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
He said the G20 meeting was an opportunity to work more closely together and put forward concrete actions to support developing countries and foster inclusive, resilient and socially, economically and environmentally sustainable recovery efforts.
He added that as the world’s fastest-growing economy, the Kingdom is proud to renew and reaffirm its commitment to achieving these goals.
“International cooperation is a key priority for the Kingdom, and we remain more committed than ever to work closely with our international partners to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs,” he said.
“To do this, we must restore faith in the multilateral framework. We are fully aligned with the G20 ministerial vision statement’s claim that multilateralism is not an option but a necessity if we want to create a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable world.”
Saudi Arabia has already taken steps to accelerate its path to achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
Rapid and decisive measures taken by the Kingdom have enabled it to limit the economic impact of COVID-19, which set the foundation for today’s robust growth.
Alaa Zaher Q. Al-Ban is the chair of the interior design department and assistant professor at Dar Al-Hekma University.
The decorated academic is also an adviser, consultant and expert for multiple national initiatives in the Kingdom. She has a multi-disciplinary design background in interior design, architecture and planning.
Al-Ban was also the dean of Dar Al-Hekma University’s school of design and architecture from 2020 until 2021.
Prior to her contributions to Dar Al-Hekma University, she was a partner and head of the interior design department at the Abdulkader and Abdullah Gadilbalban Co. for Trading and Construction, where she worked for nine years.
She completed her Ph.D. degree in design and planning with honors in a record time of just three years at the University of Colorado, Denver, US.
In 2010, she was awarded a master of fine arts degree in design from the California College of the Arts.
She achieved a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Dar Al-Hekma University, Jeddah.
Among some of her other achievements were receiving the Dar Al-Hekma Award for outstanding performance in both 2011 and 2019.
She has also served as a jury member for the Jeddah Award for Creativity KSA in 2021, and the American University of Sharjah, in the UAE, in 2019.
Al-Ban supported the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans by speaking at the INDEX Design Talks at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, where distinguished guests discussed Saudi Arabia’s futuristic design and training the next generation of Saudi workers.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center recently signed an agreement to provide emergency food assistance to those affected by floods and to people in dire need in Sudan.
The agreement was signed by the assistant supervisor general of KSrelief for operations and programs, Ahmed bin Ali Al-Baiz, at the center’s headquarters in Riyadh.
Through the project, 30,515 food baskets will be distributed in Darfur, Sennar state, Al-Manaqil district, Jazirah state, and the city of Berber, helping 183,490 individuals.
This new project is one of the many humanitarian and relief projects provided by the Kingdom, represented by the center, to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people following torrential rains and floods, and to support their food security.
Recently, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit called on the international community to help Sudan in the aftermath of the floods that have recently swept vast areas of the country, causing substantial damage and resulting in numerous deaths.
The secretary-general of the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization, Saleh bin Hamad Al-Tuwaijri, also called on humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to the Sudanese people.