Commander of Royal Saudi Air Force reviews preparations for Red Flag 2022 exercise in US – Arab News
RIYADH: Gen. Turki bin Bandar, commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force, visited King Abdulaziz Air Base in the Eastern Sector to review preparations ahead of a mixed joint exercise in the US, the Kingdom’s defense ministry said on Wednesday.
The commander inspected the RSAF group that will be participating in the Red Flag 2022 exercise, which will be held at the Nellis Air Force Base in March, with a number of modern combat F-15SE aircraft, with all its air, technical and support crews.
Gen. Turki bin Bandar then listened to a briefing from the commander of the participating RSAF group and met with the participants. He urged them to make full use of this exercise to improve their performance during combat missions to the fullest extent, and called on them to adhere to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Lt. Col. Talal bin Abdulaziz bin Bandar, the commander of the RSAF group participating in the exercise, said the drill aims to exchange military and technical expertise between the participating forces in real scenarios, in addition to simulating international modern threats.
RIYADH: Hovering a few feet above the ground, flying weightlessly and defying the laws of gravity is attracting women to practice the art of aerial yoga.
In an aerial yoga class, similar poses to yoga done on the mat are performed, but instead of using your body weight to support yourself, you use a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling.
Sarah Farhoud, a Saudi aerial fitness freelancer and yoga teacher, was introduced to aerial yoga classes while she was in medical school. “I used to go to do yoga and relax, and for a change, I decided to take an aerial class, and I never looked back,” Farhoud told Arab News.
She loved the sport so much that she became a freelance instructor in 2016 and has been taking aerial fitness classes in multiple studios across Riyadh.
The high demand was after 2017 when it was permitted to open licensed ladies’ gyms. I got the TOT (the Training of Trainers) from Cirque Fitness USA. Today, we have 508 certified instructors in aerial hammock, silks, and hoop by aerial arts in Saudi Arabia.
Roa Al-Sahhaf, Aerial yoga instructor
“Girls are interested, and they like the challenge. They trust the hammock, and they do not fear being upside down. They are encouraged to take harder poses and they trust their bodies. I think the new generation is more courageous and excited,” she said.
The hammock is designed to help you increase your flexibility and strength while enabling you to perform more difficult poses without putting additional strain on your shoulders, spine or head.
“If your life is stressful, try aerial yoga as a way to break up your routine and rediscover the joy of being upside down, using the fabric to lift you to the other side, or using it as a swing. I’ve attended many classes where everyone is laughing and giggling because they’re having a good time, and you can allow yourself to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment,” Farhoud said.
She believes that Vision 2030 will encourage more studios to open and make sports more inclusive and accessible for everyone by opening parks and community centers.
Roa Al-Sahhaf, an aerial yoga instructor, was in Paris when she was introduced to aerial yoga and decided to take it back home.
“I tried aerial for the first time in Paris, and when I came back to Saudi Arabia I couldn’t find it anywhere in Jeddah, so I decided to open one in Jeddah. It started as a home studio, and then I started giving classes to other gyms. Eventually, in 2018, I opened my own studio named Aerial Arts in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Sahhaf told Arab News.
Al-Sahhaf noticed that there was a high demand for the sport, but there were not enough instructors.
“The high demand was after 2017 when it was permitted to open licensed ladies’ gyms. I got the TOT (the Training of Trainers) from Cirque Fitness USA. Today, we have 508 certified instructors in aerial hammock, silks, and hoop by aerial arts in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
Al-Sahhaf said that many people enjoy trying new things and that aerial yoga can be more popular than traditional yoga due to its greater difficulty and the enjoyment people gain from it.
“Aerial is like a water sport. It’s good for people who are not flexible or who have roughness in the knees or fragility in the disc. It’s good for people who can’t do any kind of sport because the hammock lifts so much weight off them,” Al-Sahhaf said.
“It’s like doing an exercise with another person, and by the end of the session we always give a meditation (exercise) so they can be tangled around the hammock and meditate,” she said. “It gives them a great feeling.”
Yoga is gaining popularity as a fitness trend in Saudi Arabia, and the Ministry of Commerce approved the teaching and practice of yoga as a sport in the Kingdom in November 2017.
“The facilities have improved a lot in the fields of licensing, support, sponsorship, and we are happy with this,” Al-Sahhaf said.
RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the general-supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, held talks with the UN Assistant Secretary General and the Executive Director of the Global Executive Leadership Initiative Panos Moumtzis in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
During the meeting, Al-Rabeeah, who is also an adviser at the Royal Court, was introduced to the Global Executive Leadership Initiative and its role in developing leadership and executive skills in international humanitarian work.
They also discussed aspects of joint cooperation in this field.
Moumtzis praised the work and humanitarian and relief activities that the Kingdom offers through KSrelief, which contribute to alleviating the suffering of the needy and affected people around the world.
The KSrelief chief also held talks with Ahamed Nazeer Zainulabdeen, Sri Lankan minister of environment and foreign investment promotion, to discuss the latest developments in humanitarian and relief projects provided by the Kingdom for the Sri Lankan people, which have so far reached 11 projects in various sectors. The two sides also discussed aspects of cooperation between them to serve humanitarian and relief works in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan minister also praised KSrelief’s distinguished humanitarian work.
Also on Tuesday, Al-Rabeeah met with Kuwait’s ambassador to Yemen Falah Al-Hajraf, who also thanked the center for its relief efforts in the war-torn country.
MAKKAH: The Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, Misk, has launched the second Youth Voice Program, which aims to engage young Saudis through an enrichment program focusing on developing their communication skills.
The program also aims to refine cognitive, dialogue and intellectual capacities, and enhance the spirit of active citizenship.
Through the program, Misk seeks to develop the personal abilities of young people, enhancing their self-confidence and enabling them to deal with difficult situations and build coherent and solid arguments using communication skills.

Dima Al-Sheikh, director of community engagement, global affairs and research at Misk, told Arab News that the foundation had sought since its establishment to involve young people in leadership, decision-making and community participation at the international, regional and local levels.
Dima Al-Sheikh said that through the program, Misk had found that the graduates of the program last year were now leaders and influencers in the organizations to which they belonged.
The program will be held virtually and will end with a certificate of completion ceremony for the participants. It will enable participants to conduct a debate facilitated by Misk to activate the role of young people as influential citizens in finding solutions and ideas for the community’s challenges.
“We identified several difficulties that young people face in communication and dialogue, the most important of which is expressing thoughts in an effective way,” Al-Sheikh said.
“After engaging with young people through channels that Misk has conducted in many programs, the Youth Voice platform contributes to qualifying young people with basic communication skills to help them acquire debate skills, which is an essential skill of the 21st century because it helps in improving listening and argument-formation skills.”
She said that the method of dialogue was usually seen as body language, proposition method, linguistic richness, or the physiological readiness to stand on the stage. However, the technique of arguments and debate helped young people to present their thoughts constructively.
Al-Sheikh said that young people sought security for themselves, their jobs, knowledge and behavior. “The Youth Voice Program lives up to these aspirations in assisting young people by representing themselves and their community through many issues that preoccupy them as young people.”
There were thousands of trainees in the program, and some of them were nominated based on the articles they submitted and the videos they recorded, she said.
“Accordingly, we select hundreds of representatives from each city, where they are given intensive courses to adopt issues that do not concern them only as individuals but also concern a large segment of young people. There are cultural, historical, educational, social and other issues through which they can get enough space to express them efficiently.”
Al-Sheikh said that through the program, Misk had found that the graduates of the program last year were now leaders and influencers in the organizations to which they belonged.
“They have also become leaders of some volunteer campaigns and non-profit organizations, and they have a sense of active citizenship that we want many young people to acquire. We have noticed beautiful results that are now bearing fruit through beautiful communication among young people,” she said.
Those wishing to join the program should register through the Misk foundation’s website.
RIYADH: More than 100,000 students have applied to the University of Jeddah for the new academic year through an electronic portal.
The official spokesperson of the university, Al-Hijaz Al-Thaqafi, said that the number of applicants to the university had reached 100,300 students.
The university’s Deanship of Admission and Registration has finished sorting and processing the admission applications based on the number of students allowed in each program by the University Council.
More than 7,021 male and female students have been accepted into the undergraduate program.
About 1,260 students have been accepted into the diploma program of the Applied College, which offers programs that keep pace with the changing aspirations of the labor market such as tourist guidance, environmental protection technology, and hotel and hospitality management.
For the first time, more than 427 male and female students, who were unable to enroll in the bachelor’s programs due to limited numbers, have been accepted in qualifying programs in the evening shift.
If the students passes with high GPA, they would be given an opportunity to enroll in one of the regular programs.
Students have also been enrolled in other programs such as science and innovation, sports, the Holy Qur’an, and culture and arts.
JEDDAH: Saudi National Center for Wildlife officials on Tuesday announced new hunting-season dates for parts of the Kingdom.
Wild hunting will be allowed in designated areas from Sept. 1 to the end of January in line with rules on the sustainable use of natural resources and the preservation of biodiversity and ecological balance.
Regulations surrounding the five-month hunting period have been based on experts’ advice relating to the latest research, data, and studies of international wild hunting standards and best practices.
The NCW warned against hunting within the boundaries of cities, villages, farms, and rest houses, near population centers, or close to military and industrial facilities.
Only sustainable wild hunting will be allowed for 25 specified species in the fall season and four types in the winter season, with details listed on the NCW’s official Twitter account.
Animals that can be hunted included rock doves, chukars, bluethroats, tree pipits, and Eurasian thick-knees in the fall, and Eurasian skylarks, corn buntings, black redstarts, and water pipits during winter.
Hunting licenses and permits can be obtained via the Fitri platform at
Center officials pointed out the importance of hunters sticking to the regulations that permanently prohibit the hunting of endangered animals, birds, and birds of prey.
Hunting will only be permitted using an air weapon licensed in the name of the user with other methods such as the use of shotguns, fishing nets, gases, water, and tracking devices prohibited.
The NCW warned against hunting within the boundaries of cities, villages, farms, and rest houses, near population centers, or close to military and industrial facilities.
Wild hunting has also been forbidden near to reserves and major projects, and within 20 kilometers of the shore along the Kingdom’s coastline.
The Ministry of Interior, represented by environmental security special forces and other authorities, will police the rules and violators will face prosecution.


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