RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Health launched a new emergency hotline, Life-Saving Line, which lets Saudis reach specialized teams and medical consultants around the clock.
It provides medical guidance to health practitioners and members of the public, coordination on emergency cases and toxicology consultations.
Through this service, the ministry is continuing to provide services at the national level to health facilities across both public and private sectors.
The Life-Saving Line will involve a team of specialists receiving and sorting calls, and directing callers to specialized consultants to ensure medical decisions are made in record time. In addition, the service allows callers to follow the progress of emergency patients up until their transfer to hospitals and other medical facilities.
Teams staffing the hotline can direct callers to a large number of medical specialists covering 12 disciplines.
MAKKAH: Archaeological discoveries in the Kingdom have led Saudis to learn ancient languages like Thamudiyah, Musnad, Lihyaniyya, and Safaiyyah so they can decipher inscriptions and carvings on rocks to unlock the secrets of the past.
Saudi universities have dedicated courses for these languages and ways to learn them, which is having a positive impact on exploratory trips and enhancing the historical richness of Saudi Arabia. This academic and linguistic development has also helped to raise awareness about the importance of heritage and fully studying it.
Dr. Jasir Al-Herbish, CEO of the Saudi Heritage Commission, told Arab News that the Kingdom had a heritage that was rich and rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations.
He said that learning ancient languages like Thamudiyah and Musnad was a journey into past eras.
He said archaeology departments at Hail University, King Saud University, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University focused on these areas and that, through these programs and courses, the goal of learning about the past could be achieved. The curricula provided a theoretical platform, he added, while the student would be responsible for applying what he had learned through fieldwork while studying archaeology whether at an undergraduate level or on a postgraduate program.
He said: “The abundance of information on the internet is a catalyst and a self-guiding channel to decipher the codes and unveil the secrets of the languages for those interested. The interest of a group of specialists has also helped in raising awareness and transmitting expertise in all that is related to heritage and civilizations. Added to this, there is the role of exploratory trips, and published and circulated research that has helped to arouse the curiosity of those interested.
“Gradually, the circle is expanding and it is becoming common behavior, and the rock inscriptions are becoming a memory and an album of tales that are resisting erasure and oblivion due to the qualifications that specialists in Saudi Arabia enjoy globally, which makes them acquire the know-how and knowledge to decipher the secrets of these languages.”
He said there were bachelor’s degree programs to teach ancient languages at the archaeology departments of KSU, Hail University, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. There was also the Kingdoms Institute at the Royal Commission for AlUla, an international center for archaeological knowledge and research offering a deeper and more specialist experience.
Local studies indicate the presence of rock inscriptions and carvings in more than 5,000 Saudi sites. These places have thousands of carvings and archaeological inscriptions, and they are preserved through raising awareness about their importance, protecting and rehabilitating them, in addition to monitoring them.
Dr. Fouad bin Daifallah Al-Maghamisi, who specializes in the history of Madinah, said that the Arabian Peninsula had many carvings and inscriptions. They were preserved on mountain slopes and in valleys, while others were on rocks.
He said: “Studying geographical locations that include inscriptions, writings, or drawings from a topographical perspective is not an easy thing, because we are dealing with a social culture that has vanished and that does not have a cognitive or historical source other than what ancient people left behind. And what is more difficult is to try to study them from various aspects and try to know what these symbols, inscriptions, writings, or drawings really mean.”
He added that, due to the large number of languages and the diversity of writings, the Nabataeans reverted to using Aramaic to carve their inscriptions and that Aramaic was derived from the mother language Arabic.
However, some ancient inscriptions showed the extent of the impact on them from civilizations they had come into contact with like Greek and Latin, which indicated that these inscriptions had spread across a wide area, leading people to assume that this language or writing was widespread and common during that historical era.
He said the question on how to learn ancient languages like Thamudiyyah, Musnad, or Lihyaniyya remained a valid one as it was material to ancient history and was one of its sources. It was necessary to decipher its codes and read it according to a systematic and scientific specialization as a historical event would rely on it.
He also said that the inscription was a reliable source and that was why history departments, archaeology departments, and archaeologists had dedicated a large number of studies for specialists and others who were interested.
However, as Saudi Arabia had a large number of these inscriptions and carvings, it was imperative to have learning sessions and workshops to prepare young people who were interested in this field, he said.
RIYADH: Saudi aid officials agreed on a deal to dig 241 surface wells in Niger to help provide water for around 629,000 people. The accord was signed in Riyadh by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s assistant general supervisor for operations and programs, Ahmed bin Ali Al-Beez.
Abdullah Al-Muallem, director of KSrelief’s health and environmental aid department, said that the wells project involved fitting manual pumps that could reach depths of 20 to 30 meters as part of an initiative to provide water that was safe for drinking and other uses.
He added that preventing diseases caused by polluted water helped toward stabilizing communities while improving supplies for agriculture and livestock farming would boost Niger’s economic development.
RIYADH: Dozens of diplomats and a host of special guests attended an event in Riyadh to mark International Mother Language Day.
The annual event, which falls on Feb. 21, aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism around the world.
At the Embassy of Bangladesh in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter, Dr. Mohammad Javed Patwary, the South Asian county’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, hosted a gathering for about 45 diplomats, including nine ambassadors, as well as officials from the UN office and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
He said in his welcome speech that many languages, and their related cultural heritage, were disappearing from the world and called for everyone to do more to protect them.
Hattan bin Samman, secretary-general of the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, was guest of honor at the event. Ibrahim Elziq, the World Health Organization’s representative to Saudi Arabia, and Amina Al-Hajri, OIC director-general for cultural, social and family affairs, also attended as special guests.
Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama, the dean of the diplomatic corps and Djibouti’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and Sri Lankan Ambassador Pakeer Mohideen Amza also spoke at the meeting.
They stressed the importance of people learning their mother language to protect their heritage and promote cultural diversity.
They also warned of the scarcity of technological support for multilingual education, and called upon all countries to promote and maintain cultural heritage and diversity through the practice of language.
The speakers also noted Bangladesh’s contribution to the recognition of Feb. 21 as International Mother Language Day.
The theme of this year’s event — “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities” — seeks to promote the role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.
As well as the discussions, the day was celebrated with the showing of a documentary film and songs sung in different languages.
JEDDAH: A group of acclaimed Saudi and international photographers have joined forces for the launch of a new exhibition project in the Kingdom.
The inaugural edition of Jeddah Photo 2022, running at Athr Gallery until March 17, will be showcasing a variety of images including some of the earliest photographic experiments, modern classics, and innovative contemporary artworks.
Under the title “The Time is Right,” this year’s event aims to raise awareness about the fragile balance of humans’ relationship with the natural world.
Organized by the Saudi Art Council and supported by the Ministry of Culture’s Museums Commission, the exhibition will take place annually to promote the medium of photography in the country.
Curated by editor and photographic consultant, Zelda Cheatle, the presentation includes works by leading picture takers from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Arab world along with those of established Saudi artists such as Manal Al-Dowayan, Mohammed Al-Faraj, Marwah Al-Mugait, Moath Alofi, and Fahad bin Naif.
Photos by a selected shortlist of emerging Saudi snappers have also been included among the exhibits.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, visitors can take part in a variety of activities including guided tours and meetings with the photographers.
Addressing the opening ceremony audience, Cheatle said: “The first edition of Jeddah Photo celebrates photography with ‘The Time Is Right,’ an exhibition that places the very best of Saudi and international artists within the canon of the contemporary arts, heralding a fresh and dynamic response to the photographic medium.
“In all its various forms, the exhibition proposes different ways of seeing and being in the world, looking at and raising awareness on the fragile and delicate balance that is required for our coexistence with nature.
“The curatorial direction which brings these artists together is their awareness of the fragility of life on Earth, our place within it, how we perceive our role and responsibilities, and how ‘The Time is Right’ to be aware of these issues,” she added.
In a pre-recorded speech from Australia, chief executive officer of the Museums Commission, Stefano Carboni, said: “The commission under the Saudi Ministry of Culture is proud to support ‘The Time is Right’ which is dedicated to the medium of photography, a form of artistic expression that is now widely acknowledged to be one of the driving forces in contemporary art.”
He pointed out that the proliferation of institutions, museums, and museum departments dedicated to photographic arts over the last 50 years highlighted the cultural significance and potential of the medium.
He noted that the works of the photographers participating in the Jeddah exhibition carried strong messages through analogue and digital pictures, black-and-white and digitally enhanced color shots, and photos taken on iPhones and some of the most sophisticated cameras.
Elham Dawsari’s photo display, “Tales of Sisterhood in Hospitality 2021,” explores the human condition of Riyadh’s 1980s and 1990s pre-internet women of middle and lower economic classes. She also focuses on the relation between urban landscaping and social conditioning specific to the women.
Saudi-based professional photographer, Helmy Alsagaff, became the first winner of the exhibition’s annual photography award, established by the Museums Commission to recognize emerging photography from Saudi Arabia.
Religious leaders in Southeast Asia have praised the “fruitful” visit to Thailand by a Muslim World League delegation, where MWL Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa met with Buddhist officials and visited Islamic sites around the country.
During the visit, Fatoni University in Thailand’s Pattani Province awarded Al-Issa with an honorary doctorate in the presence of government, community and academic leaders, as well as researchers and students.
Islamic officials said that the visit “confirms the true image of Islam,” which embodies awareness, an understanding of human diversity and the need for cooperation to achieve common interests.
The honorary doctorate came in appreciation of Islamic missions that have served Islam and the truth of its teachings, officials said, especially in a region known for its religious and ethnic diversity.
Islamic religious leaders in Thailand hailed the values and messages promoted in a lecture delivered by Al-Issa at Chulalongkorn University, titled “The Alliance of Civilizations.” The lecture was received warmly in local circles, and was praised by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Chulalongkorn University will publish the contents of the lecture, noting that it “clarified the course of Islamic civilization” toward other civilizations and addressed important topics.
Al-Issa also visited Thailand’s Islamic council, where he met the president of the council and members, including prominent Thai Muslims. During a meeting there, topics of common interest were discussed, and Al-Issa noted Thailand’s “national harmony,” saying that the presence of Islam had “strengthened” it through religious and national awareness.
The MWL secretary-general also met with the head of the Buddhist leadership in Thailand, who expressed his appreciation for the visit.
Al-Issa delivered a lecture at the Islamic council titled “Religious Tolerance and Building Bridges,” drawing a large audience that included officials from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The leadership of the council expressed its appreciation for the contents of the lecture and approved its publication.
Al-Issa also visited the historic Ton Son Mosque in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, to meet with eminent Islamic officials. The religious site was founded in 1610 and is the oldest mosque in the country.