Yoga to be introduced in Saudi schools as a sport – Arab News
JEDDAH: Yoga will soon be introduced to schools in the Kingdom as a sport, the president of the Saudi Yoga Committee, Nouf Al-Marwaai, has said.
Al-Marwaai said there was cooperation with the Ministry of Education to introduce yoga to all schools in the country as part of the curriculum due to its multitude of health benefits.
Earlier this week, on March 9, there was an introductory lecture highlighting the cooperation between the SYC and the Saudi School Sports Federation and what would transpire from the nationwide collaboration on the future of yoga in schools.
The Ministry of Commerce approved the teaching and practice of yoga as a sport in the Kingdom in Nov. 2017.
• The Ministry of Commerce approved the teaching and practice of yoga as a sport in the Kingdom in Nov. 2017.
• The Arab Yoga Foundation educates people and society about the health benefits of yoga, promoting it through courses, seminars and conferences.
Al-Marwaai also said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that yoga was expanding in the Kingdom due to its significance for mental and physical health.
Wednesday’s introductory lecture was attended by school principals and physical education teachers from all stages of education, with the aim of mobilizing the strategy from the Ministry of Education and the SYC.
It also discussed the aspirations to raise the level of pupils’ sports participation at a local and international level, as well as advancing the health of young Saudis.
Certified yoga instructor and founder of Ananda Yoga Studio, Khalid Jama’an Al-Zahrani, told Arab News: “As I started to dive deep in yoga, I never stopped discovering its incredible benefits as is it a whole and transformative sport that leads its practitioners to a calmer and clearer mind and stronger and healthier physique.
Our school system in the Kingdom has always ensured that all its activities are aimed at contributing to the development of the students, from both physical and academic aspects, and I believe that introducing yoga to the Saudi education system is a nourishing and effective move.
Khalid Jama’an Al-Zahrani, Certified yoga instructor
“Our school system in the Kingdom has always ensured that all its activities are aimed at contributing to the development of the students, from both physical and academic aspects, and I believe that introducing yoga to the Saudi education system is a nourishing and effective move.”
Al-Zahrani said that having yoga at school would be an investment as it would lead to more educational reforms that would benefit children, their families and the community as a whole.
“We live in a technological era where everyone’s on their phones, tablets, devices, distracted from the present, which has a negative impact on our concentration. And so, we need to train our youngsters and ourselves to reflect on what is within, and practice yoga to gain discipline and nurture the mind with what is important.”
Al-Marwaai said there were many plans to expand the scope and objectives of the SYC, and that there were many areas that needed to be covered to allow the implementation of yoga in schools on a large scale.
She is regarded as the first Saudi woman to teach yoga and has become the driver in gaining the Ministry of Education’s approval and pushing for yoga as a sport.
The Arab Yoga Foundation was founded and established in 2006 by Al-Marwaai, the first Saudi yogacharya (certified yoga instructor).
It was recognized by the Yoga Alliance and International Yoga Federation in 2009.
The AYF educates people and society about the health benefits of yoga, promoting it through courses, seminars and conferences.
Earlier this year, in January, more than 1,000 people from across Saudi Arabia went to the country’s first yoga festival.
It was held in Juman Park, King Abdullah Economic City.
DUBAI: The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature of Jordan has joined for the first time the International Saudi Falcons and Hunting Exhibition to showcase Jordan’s experience in regulating hunting and training falcons.
Abdulrazzaq Al-Hamoud, supervisor of the Jordanian pavilion, said the event hosted by the Saudi Falcons Club was a good platform to highlight the society’s role in raising environmental awareness, promoting laws on hunting regulations and protecting falcons from overhunting since 1970s.
Al-Hamoud also said they were looking for partnerships with Saudi Arabian and Arab groups to share experiences on wildlife protection, regulation and ecotourism, among others, as he praised the Kingdom’s environmental efforts with the establishment of new nature reserves.
Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, toured the falcon and hunting exhibition and had a first-hand look at how falcons were being prepared for the daily auctions.
The envoy also inspected products on display in the pavilions, and was also briefed by representatives of falconry farms participating in the event.
RIYADH: CTF 150, a combined task force currently led by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, seized 3,330 kilograms of hashish and heroin during an intercept and search operation targeting a boat in the Gulf of Oman.
The task force, which was established in 2002, is one of four operating as part of the Combined Maritime Forces under the overall command of the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, the world’s largest international maritime partnership.
The task force’s mission is to carry out maritime security operations in areas including the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Aden, to combat terrorism and related activities such as the smuggling of people, drugs, weapons and coal.
The Royal Saudi Naval Forces took command of CTF 150 for the first time in July 2018, taking over from the British Royal Navy and leading a number of operations. It took command for a second time in August 2020, this time taking over from French naval forces, and led six operations. The first, in October 2020, resulted in the seizure of more than 450 kg of methamphetamine. The following month, 456 kg of methamphetamine and 364 kg of heroin were confiscated.
Two further operations took place in December 2020. In the first, 910 kg of hashish were seized in international waters in the Arabian Sea, and in the second, 182 kg of methamphetamine and 272 kg of heroin were found.
Dr. Abdullah Adlan has since 2019 served as the executive director of the ethics and compliance department at the National Institute of Health Research, or Saudi NIH, one of the sector’s transformation programs. 
In addition, he is the founder and chairman of the National Committee for Health Ethics at the Saudi Health Council, where he is also the co-founder and vice chairman of the national data exchange committee. He further serves as a consultant and faculty member at several medical and research establishments.
Adlan is considered an expert in medical and biological ethics, specifically in the field of research governance. He also serves as the leader and head of the project to establish a national committee specializing in health ethics.
He is the first Saudi bioethics and health research governance activist, who has been a consultant on the national ethics committee since 2018. Since then, he has participated in formulating regulations for ethical research on humans and animals. He has contributed to various initiatives to update regulations and build research capacity in the field.
Adlan’s considerable experience has seen him collaborate with international academic and research bodies including the UK’s universities of Birmingham and Bristol, University of Leuven in Belgium, and the University of Sydney in Australia.
He has also worked with the European Society of Best Practice and other organizations to exchange and transfer knowledge to Saudi Arabia; and has contributed to establishing several academic and training programs including for diploma and master’s courses.
Adlan received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the Riyadh-based King Saud University, and a master’s degree in bioethics from King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.
He further obtained two doctorates in health research and bioethics from the universities of Bradford and Birmingham, respectively. He has also completed an Executive Master of Business Administration course at Prince Mohammad bin Salman College for Business and Entrepreneurship.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber, who also supervises the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen, on Wednesday met with the coordinator of the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, Dr. Debbie Dash.
During the meeting, they discussed the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts in Yemen, and the efforts of the team in implementing its mandate. 
They stressed the importance of the commitment of the Iran-backed Houthi militia to the provisions of the current UN-sponsored truce and the speedy opening of roads in Taiz to alleviate human suffering in the besieged city.
The two sides also stressed that revenues must be deposited in the Central Bank of Yemen to pay the salaries of civil workers.
JEDDAH: The “Art Residency Al-Balad” has concluded its third edition with an open studio featuring the works of its residents at the premises in Rubat Al-Khunji Al-Saghir in Al-Balad in Jeddah on Tuesday and Wednesday. 
Organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and operated by Hafez Projects, the public was invited to visit the studios of the resident artists, learn about their projects and experiences, and discuss their artistic aspirations.
The program offered six-week residencies to national and international emerging and mid-career artists, curators and researchers. 
The participating artists — Ahmed Ben Taleb from Morocco, Andrea Alkalay from Argentina, Ashwag Kojah from Jeddah, Asmaa Alfageeh from Al-Qunfudhah, Eligatou from Riyadh, Fernando Martín Velazco from Mexico, Kawthar Smaren from Riyadh, Khalid Alangari from Dawadmi and Mahmud Manning from Britain — presented their artworks and interacted with the public.  
Mohamed Ali Ghomriani, managing director of Hafez Projects, said: “As an organization which has been active in Jeddah’s artistic scene in the last eight years, we are extremely grateful to the Ministry of Culture to have been given the opportunity to operate the Art Residency Program Al-Balad. The Open Studio was a chance to share with the public the results of the work carried out by the residents over the last six weeks.”
He added: “It was also a chance to witness, once again, the interest and enthusiasm of all the guests who visited the art residency during the event. This confirms the importance of continuing to support arts initiatives and the artists towards the establishment of a flourishing and living cultural life in our city of Jeddah.”
Ghomriani said that the Open Studio is a space to share knowledge and experiences about arts, culture and the local heritage. He added that it also provides an opportunity to discover new perspectives on Al-Balad and the city of Jeddah. 
He said that such a dialogue is necessary to feed creativity and knowledge within and beyond the arts sector.
Alfageeh, an academic researcher, said: “I am glad to be a part of such an immense residency program that reflected on the place of the artist and the way they can integrate their insights and perspectives to the art culture. This helped me to enhance my skills to conduct research on topics that haven’t been covered before in Saudi Arabia.”
Alfageeh’s research interests include arts, literary texts, TV shows and films that discuss issues related to Muslim identity, multiculturalism, Islamophobia, radicalization and terrorism in Western and Arab contexts. 
“During the residency programs, I have conducted several interviews required for research purposes related to the art scene. I have learned that there has been a significant shift in the art culture and the encouragement from the government helped many artists to flourish and document the Saudi culture in the form of different arts. I believe art is important for (a) country’s manifestation.”
Smaren, the Riyadh-based artist in the residency, had pursued art as a hobby before embarking on studies, where she learned the basics of her craft, different styles, periods, schools, and modern trends. 
“My work aimed at giving a tribute to Al-Balad architectural beauty and the historical importance that it holds in the country. The residency encouraged the artists to experience and develop their practices by engaging in site visits of Al-Balad, workshops, and opportunities for dialogue between different artists.”
Participating for the first time, the international artists considered the event an excellent opportunity to be a part of this initiative that fosters local, regional and international development in contemporary art.
Part of the Ministry of Culture’s “Advancing Cultural Entrepreneurship” initiative, the Art Residency Al-Balad is sponsored by Saudi Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program, which reflects the Kingdom’s support for nurturing creativing between Saudi and international practitioners


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