Royal Saudi Air Force chief reviews preparations for Cobra Warrior 2022 exercise in UK – Arab News
RIYADH: Maj. Gen. Talal bin Suleiman Al-Ghamdi, the deputy commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force, visited King Fahd Air Base in the Western Sector to review the preparations for a joint military exercise in the UK, the Saudi defense ministry said on Thursday.
Cobra Warrior 2022 will take place at the Coningsby air base in England in March. A number of Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon combat aircraft will participate, along with their air, technical and support crews.
Al-Ghamdi was briefed on progress by the commander of the participating air forces group, Col. Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Rajhi. He also met the participants and urged them to make full use of the exercise to improve their combat and support skills. He also called on them to adhere to all COVID-19 precautions.
Al-Rajhi said the exercise aims to enhance cooperation between the Royal Saudi Air Force, the UK’s Royal Air Force and forces from other participating countries, encourage the exchange of expertise and develop joint efforts in planning and implementation to deal with a variety of threats using an electronic warfare environment that simulates reality.
RIYADH: The Local Content and Government Procurement Authority will organize the first Local Content Forum on Sept. 5 and 6, with the participation of more than 45 major national companies, private-sector establishments and government agencies.
The forum is to be held in Riyadh and will review national achievements and initiatives in developing local content, strengthening strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors, and reviewing investment opportunities that will develop local content in local sectors.
CEO of the Authority Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Semari said that the forum represented one of the authority’s strategic initiatives and aimed to be a platform for raising awareness, exchanging experiences and empowering local capabilities by activating partnerships and investment opportunities. The forum would contribute to the concept of local content and highlighting success stories in the public and private sectors.
Al-Semari said that the forum would help to consolidate the impact of local content and the spread of its culture as a key participant in enhancing local capabilities for the development of the national economy. It would focus on reviewing opportunities for developing local content, the latest practices, and methods used in localizing industries, transferring knowledge, and exchanging experiences between large companies and small and medium companies. 
The forum program would include seven dialogue sessions in which a group of senior executives of leading national companies would participate. The dialogue sessions would discuss the impact of local content on the national economy, government efforts in developing local content, as well as successful experiences. 
In addition, it would discuss the future of Saudization, the most important sectors, and promising opportunities for local content to enhance the robustness of supply chains.
The forum would also include an accompanying exhibition in which government agencies and national companies would participate. 
Those interested in attending the forum can register through the link:
RIYADH: More than 100,000 Umrah pilgrims have arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah since the beginning of the Islamic new year on July 30, Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
As of Aug.29, 101,109 pilgrims had arrived in the holy city with 5,452 arriving on Sunday at Madinah airport.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that a total of 268,529 pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom via air since July 30, and 29,689 by land.
Indonesians made up the majority of pilgrims with 127,789 performing Umrah since July 30, followed by 90,253 pilgrims from Pakistan, 54,287 from India, 36,457 from Iraq, 22,224 from Yemen, and 12,959 from Jordan.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques makes great efforts to develop the services provided to Umrah pilgrims and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque, SPA said.
RIYADH: The supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center met with Pakistan’s ambassador to the Kingdom in Riyadh on Monday.
During the meeting, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and Ameer Khurram Rathore discussed topics of common interest related to humanitarian aid and relief.
The ambassador expressed his admiration for KSrelief’s humanitarian work and its relentless efforts to help needy people and countries around the world.
The center has so far dispatched three convoys of essential food items to 17 flood-hit areas across Pakistan as the country experiences a record unbroken cycle of monsoon rains. The third convoy was delivered last Monday.
Since mid-June, rains and floods have affected 33 million Pakistanis, damaged one million homes and killed at least 1,061 people.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sent a cable of condolences to Pakistani President Arif Alvi due to the tragic loss of life after floods swept across a number of regions in the Islamic country, the Saudi Press agency reported early Sunday.
“As we share with you the pain of this affliction, we send to Your Excellency, the families of the deceased and the Pakistani people, our deepest and sincere condolences,” the king said, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a similar cable to the Pakistani president.
The death toll from widespread flooding in Pakistan has topped 1,000 since mid-June, as the country braced on Sunday for fresh surges from swollen rivers in the country’s second-largest province of Punjab.
Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have burst riverbanks and swallowed bridges, washing away villages and fields across the country. The National Disaster Management Authority said 119 people were killed in rain- related incidents over the weekend.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday requested international help in tackling the flood damage as rescuers attempt to free thousands who are stranded in flood-ravaged areas. Sharif who blamed the “horrors of climate change” for the tragedy said the scale of this flooding is worse than that in 2010, when nearly 2,000 people died.
RIYADH: The first global movie operator in the Kingdom, AMC Cinema, lined up several top comedians to entertain audiences at the ongoing Stand-Up Comedy Night at King Abdullah Financial District last Thursday, for a fun night of laughter and community building.
The “Live at AMC” event, with a new alternative content platform, Smile Entertainment, welcomed Canada’s Allyson June Smith, Britain’s Joe Jacobs, and a surprise performance by Pakistani-born Briton Rehman Akhtar.

“I’m really excited because this gives them the opportunity to see something different. To see international people who are coming into Saudi Arabia to perform in the Kingdom. This is a huge opportunity for Saudi Arabia to get the average-circuit comedian to come to Saudi Arabia, have a great experience, and to give free publicity about the great experience that they’ve had here,” the event’s host, Saudi’s Mishal “Meesh” Samman, told Arab News before the show.
AMC’s Stand-Up Comedy Night will return next month
 The event was yet another attempt by the General Entertainment Authority to bring a wide range of shows to the Saudi public. AMC’s Stand-Up Comedy Night will return next month, featuring acclaimed acts from the Kingdom and the wider region, as well as celebrated international performers.
“It will be ongoing inshallah. We have more shows planned at AMC and we now have multiple requests from other venues in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar to produce stand up regular comedy shows.
“We think the time is right to move forward and we want the international comedians we bring over to leave with positive impressions of receptive Saudi audiences and become Ambassadors for the Kingdom in spreading the word. The shared, joyful experience of laughing together really is a way to bridge differences and cultures and comedy is a wonderful medium to achieve this.
We also want to work in parallel and in collaboration with the growing local stand up comedy circuit to support this form of popular entertainment and encourage Saudi youth to consider live performing art in all its forms as a potential career path,” said Peter Howarth-Lees, founder and partner of Smile Entertainment.
“I think it’s fantastic that Saudi Arabia has opened up so much that they’re allowing outside comedians to come into the country and perform their stand-up comedy in English,” Samman said. “Let’s not forget that there is a huge expat community here and people who do understand and like English comedy.”
The host introduced Smith, the first female comedian to take the stage at a live stand-up show in Saudi Arabia, who took jabs at popular singers, riffed on finding love, and warned against anyone with the name “Allyson.”
Smith said she was honored to be the first to bring female-centered comedy to the Kingdom, and hopes to inspire Saudi women with her work.  
“I’m very grateful that I get to be a part of this, that I get to be this person. I really hope that maybe someone saw what I did and realized that you can do that. It’s a profession and it’s a job,” she told Arab News.
“What was really nice was getting up on that stage and seeing so many other sisters looking at me and just laughing and loving it. This experience was just phenomenal and I hope that everyone appreciated it because the more support we get from people, the more we’ll be able to do more of this,” Smith said.
Smile Entertainment is one of the pioneers of live stand-up comedy in Saudi Arabia, having created an underground scene before entertainment was embraced by the nation.
Smile Entertainment is one of the pioneers of live stand-up comedy in Saudi Arabia, having created an underground scene before entertainment was embraced by the nation.
This was their second show in collaboration with the GEA, the first being before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, coming back and doing our first show (after COVID-19), I must tell you, seeing how things are (so) smooth, how the General Entertainment Authority was beyond supportive. I remember the days when we couldn’t even apply for a permit to do the show and we had to do it underground, it’s like the difference between night and day,” co-founder of Smile Entertainment, Abeer Al-Fouti, told Arab News.
Bringing in seasoned international talent to perform on a Saudi stage and training local talent was a big goal for the AMC and Smile.
“We have a lot of talent that is not developed, so mixing, matching, and creating a space where people can always practice is important. This is how they grow and become big,” Al-Fouti said.
“In a time where division is really big, I’m happy to be part of a solution, which is culture, that brings people together. Through laughter, we can forget about all our problems and just be happy and be together … It’s important to us,” Al-Fouti added.


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