Saudi cybersecurity authority holds awareness campaign amid cyberthreats – Arab News
RIYADH: The National Cybersecurity Authority staged an exhibition in Riyadh on Monday to raise awareness of its work and the need to protect the Kingdom’s computer networks and systems from attack.
The event, titled “Mobile Exhibition for Awareness of Cybersecurity” and aimed primarily at employees of national authorities, featured four pavilions covering everything from hacking methods and improving cybersecurity awareness, to consultations, discussions and the role of the NCA.
The authority said the event “comes within the framework of its strategic role in raising awareness of cybersecurity to protect the vital interests of the Kingdom, sensitive infrastructure, and government services and activities.”
It also sought to raise the level of awareness among workers “in order to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information … review hackers’ methods, as well as supporting authorities in promoting the values of preserving national security and personal data.”
Saad Haj Bakry, professor of computer engineering at King Saud University, said: “The challenges to the safety of cyberspace are countless and they come from many sources. 
“But protection measures that can reduce or eliminate these challenges are also great. These are usually expressed by cybersecurity governance controls that should be used at the individual level, the organization level, as well as the country level.”
The internet was central to e-government and e-commerce services, social networks and working from home, Bakry said.
“The success of cyberspace in all these activities depends upon its safety, which is the protection of its security.”
He added: “Since its establishment in 2017, the NCA has been highly active in finding, recommending and implementing ways to protect cyberspace in Saudi Arabia. As a result, in 2020, Saudi Arabia ranked second among 193 countries in the ITU Global Cybersecurity Index.”
RIYADH: More than 50 local and international experts and specialists attended a workshop at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to discuss the implementation of the Saudi Green Initiative’s plans to plant 10 billion trees.
The event was organized by the National Center for the Development of Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification in cooperation with KAUST’s Center of Desert Agriculture. The participants included representatives of the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, as well as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

The workshop considered a number of scientific topics and themes, including agriculture in various environments, scientific methodologies for the cultivation and rehabilitation of land, and the urban factors such as roads, government and commercial buildings, public parks and mosques.
It also looked at mechanisms for the afforestation of cities and the environmentally friendly development of urban environments and green belts using the latest international technologies and expertise.
Participants discussed the role of road networks and railways in afforestation projects and efforts to reduce desertification, along with ways in which abandoned farms can be exploited using recycled water and collected rainwater to help achieve afforestation and food-security goals.
The workshop was part of a Saudi Green Initiative research project to assess the situation in the Kingdom with respect to the afforestation plans, determine future needs, develop processes for field surveys, come up with rules for the development of digital-mapping efforts, and establish a geospatial platform for afforestation across the country.
The aim is to develop a comprehensive strategy for afforestation, and an executive plan to manage partnerships across various sectors and organizations to help achieve the objectives of the Saudi Green Initiative.
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.


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