RIYADH: Unhealthy food and fitness habits are on the rise among Saudi youth, and maintaining a healthy weight has become a concern.
The weight-loss milestones of 24-year-old Salam Farid Aazam has been a motivation for many wishing to achieve their weight goal.
Aazam’s priority is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He lost 25 kg through his balanced habits, which have been cultivated through his educational experience in human nutrition and behavioral science.
Now, he has a mission to help others bury their weakening cycles of poor habits.
• Salam Farid Aazam’s priority is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He lost 25 kg through his balanced habits, which have been cultivated through his educational experience in human nutrition and behavioral science.
• Now, he has a mission to help others bury their weakening cycles of poor habits.
Aazam created his consultation platform, Sehha W Salam, two months ago.
“Sehha W Salam is a platform that’s trying to improve the overall health of people in society through personal consultations tailored to them,” Aazam told Arab News.
“Consultants will try to enhance the behaviors and nutrition of people who come. They will try to understand the issues people are struggling with,” he said.
Qualified consultants create an in-depth case study of clients’ issues. Nutritional meal plans, exercises, and a combination of behavioral consultations are then applied, with prices dependent on how complex a case is.
“I am a registered associate nutritionist from the Association of Nutrition in the UK. I might recruit more qualified people with both qualifications in behavioral science and nutrition,” he said.
“The most convenient way of reaching me is through Instagram which is @sehhawsalam. Consultations will be held virtually over any video meeting platforms, or we can do it by visiting each other.”
Aazam started his journey in the UK after high school. He was inspired to study nutrition because he was overweight during his adolescence.
“I thought of studying nutrition because I used to be overweight (at) around 13 years old. I was suffering from it. It affected me in terms of confidence in myself, my general well-being, I was shy, I was not socializing in general. I thought ‘I need to make a decision because I am not who I am’,” he said.
“I stayed at home all the time and played PlayStation and video games. I used to eat a lot, all the time, and I was unaware of my health. I used to play center back, the defending position in football, from primary school until I was 14. My colleagues and football team members (then) told me I need to play as a goalkeeper — I am not giving a bad impression of being a goalkeeper, but it’s usually given to people who don’t give a good impression of running. I was feeling rejected,” he explained.
Website surfing and Instagram accounts with nutritional information were the first source of awareness for Aazam’s weight loss, before expanding his passion for nutrition at university.
“I chose Kingston University. I did my bachelor’s of science in human nutrition, and I was one of the top students in (the) university,” he said.
Aazam complemented his bachelor’s with a master’s degree in behavioral sciences at Durham, one of the UK’s leading universities.
“We learned a lot about behavioral aspects of psychology. Choice architecture is a concept that looks at whether items are on an eye-level,” he said. “Changing the position of these unhealthy food products affects people’s choices. They crave these foods when they see it.”
Losing weight was difficult at first for Aazam, especially without surgical intervention. His focus on food quality, avoiding fast food, and exercising gave a positive turn in all aspects surrounding his life.
“After I lost weight, I couldn’t describe how comfortable I felt. I started socializing, anticipating. I became very confident in myself. I started joining societies, leading them, going into positions of trust, and all of that. Nutrition can help people achieve their best,” said Aazam.
Generosity is a key component of Saudi culture, and Aazam believes that generosity and showing appreciation should not always be correlated with food — gratitude can be expressed in many ways. Food for him is not always for pleasure, but instead, mostly for survival.
“Saudi society is generous and we conflate it with food. I see people providing a generous quantity of food to guests, and they are treating it as generosity, which isn’t always healthy,” he said.
“Today’s doll-like body standards can be dangerous,” he added.
Aazam said he places an importance in a Hadith that translates as: “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for water and one-third for breathing.”
He greatly appreciates the Kingdom’s efforts in looking out for the health of people in Saudi Arabia.
“I am really glad I am helping my country. Saudi Arabia is doing a really great job at the moment, especially in the health field. I am very proud to be Saudi, and I also look forward to improving my community and taking pride in doing so,” he said.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji offered his condolences on Sunday over the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the British embassy in Riyadh.
Attending on behalf of the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Al-Khuraiji wrote a message in a book of condolence.
He was received by the UK’s ambassador to the Kingdom Neil Crompton who announced on Sunday that anyone who would like to leave a message in the book of condolence could do so between Sep. 11-15 or on Sep. 18 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at his residence in Riyadh.
Another book of condolence was opened at the British consulate in Jeddah, and people can also leave a message in the embassy’s online book.
“A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the royal family, and may be held in the royal archives for posterity,” the ambassador said.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday and her coffin arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday after a six-hour journey from her summer home in the Scottish Highlands.
RIYADH: In her recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Philippine Secretary of Migrant Workers Susan Ople met with Saudi government officials to discuss developing bilateral relations between the two countries, working conditions for overseas Filipino workers, and to create awareness around common issues.
Sitting at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, the soon-to-be new Migrant Workers Office, Ople told Arab News that the purpose of her visit to the site is to oversee processes, learn more about the concerns of the workers, and of the inner mechanisms of the office.
During her visit, the secretary met with her counterpart at the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, Ahmad Al-Rajhi.
“We had a very pleasant conversation. We are creating new pathways to further strengthen the long, historic friendship between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia,” Ople said.
Saudization, the policy of creating and prioritizing opportunities for Saudi workers, was established as a key goal for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and Ople expressed her respect and understanding for the policy.
“We also have our own employment strategies in the Philippines, so Saudization and making sure that your own nationals are gainfully employed is something we respect.
“It’s very important that we keep talking with our counterparts in the Saudi government, because it’s only in having these bilateral conversations that we can guide our people accordingly,” she said.
One of Ople’s key goals is to undergo systems reviews to ensure the safety of the workers under their employers, both in the Philippines and in administrations abroad.
“It’s a necessary step towards reforms. Because we are a department in transition, we need to look at the old and current processes, and just see how to strengthen, improve, or perhaps even do away with some of them,” she said.
The goal of establishing the new Migrant Workers Office is to equip OFWs with the right resources, information, protection, and opportunities while working in Saudi Arabia, creating a “home for every migrant worker in government,” she said.
Last year, Saudi Arabia’s expatriate population of 13.49 million included about 1.6 million OFWs.
One of the initiatives by the Labor Department is establishing a One Repatriation Command Center. The 24 hour hotline is dedicated to serving Filipino residents in Saudi Arabia with any issues that arise by dialling 1348.
“Any Filipinos, their families who wish to come home because they are ill, or because there are certain violations in the contract, or are victims of human trafficking … can call up our hotline,” Ople said.
The secretary is an advocate against human trafficking, even being awarded the Trafficking in Persons Hero Award from US Secretary of State John Kerry, and was appointed trustee of the UN Trust Fund for Human Trafficking victims.
“I am quite optimistic that there is room for a partnership. We can work with different countries here across the Middle East in promoting awareness about the need to fight human trafficking, especially involving migrant workers, because some of them are extremely vulnerable to severe exploitation and abuse,” she said.
As an advocate, Ople also highlighted the importance of fair and ethical recruitment policies that adhere to human rights labor laws and promote fair wages.
“The recruitment agencies, the country of destination, the employers; they should all adhere to a human rights-based approach to the recruitment and hiring of migrant workers, whether they be Filipinos or whatever nationality,” she said.
Ople made a visit to Bahay Kalinga shelter in Riyadh, a safehouse for runaway maids, to check in on the situations of distressed OFWs and to provide a platform to express their issues.
Those talks found their way to Ople’s conversation with Al-Rajhi, who promised to look into the cases.
“It was an emotional visit … they were able to tell me about their journey as migrant workers here in Saudi Arabia. Some were not able to complete their contracts. Some complained about the treatment that they got. Others were just wishing to go home.
“I think it’s the role of our department to just look at how these problems can be solved and addressed and perhaps prevented, so that less and less of these women need to go home with so many invisible scars,” she said.
Aside from domestic abuse, some of the biggest issues OFWs face is cultural adaptation, proper education about their rights, and access to the justice system.
Ople hopes to establish clear legislation that ensures transparent terms and conditions of work, on-time salary payments, communication opportunities with family, proper rest time, and physical and mental health support for workers.
The agreement of domestic workers, ratified in 2014 by Saudi and Filipino parties, is a significant milestone in the field of labor cooperation and in the protection of the rights of Filipino workers.
“It is very important that we keep reviewing and even improving upon the bilateral labor agreement that we had with Saudi Arabia, and which is why we are here for the talks, and also why we appreciate the hospitality being shown by our Saudi counterparts,” she said.
Ople will join officials once again in December for a joint committee meeting, returning to Riyadh to have those formal talks.
RIYADH: Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, received at the Ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India.
During the reception, they reviewed the historical and solid relations between the two friendly countries and peoples, and discussed aspects of enhancing joint action and bilateral coordination in regional and international issues of common interest, and everything that would enhance international peace and security.
The reception was attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs Saud Al-Sati and the Saudi ambassador to India, Saleh Al-Hussaini.
On Friday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the ministers will “undertake a comprehensive review” of the bilateral relationship.
“During the visit, EAM will also meet other Saudi dignitaries as well as Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), H.E. Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf. Both sides will review the bilateral relations and discuss ways to enhance them,” the ministry said.
RIYADH: Iraqi conjoined twins arrived in Riyadh on Sunday for medical evaluation amid hopes for a successful operation to separate them, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The pair, Omar and Ali, landed with their parents at King Khalid International Airport from Iraq and were immediately transferred to King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital.
Doctors and surgeons will study their case for a potential separation surgery for the twins, who can be seen in the pictures released by SPA to be joined at the lower chest and abdomen.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah, the head of the medical team and general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, said that the center aims to support patients with difficult medical conditions across the world.
KSrelief’s Saudi Conjoined Twins Programme has led over 50 successful separation surgeries for twins from more than 23 countries.
In a statement to SPA, Mohammed Abdullah, the father of the twins, thanked the Kingdom for the warm reception and hospitality the family has received since their arrival, expressing his “great confidence” in the Saudi medical team for their extensive experience in this field.
JEDDAH: Under the Saudi law of cybercrimes, pranksters can face a punishment of SR5 million (more than $1.3 million) and three years in prison, according to a law expert.
Dr. Majed Garoub told Arab News that posting pranks on social media is a crime in Saudi Arabia, and it is classified as a violation of the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law.
“The punishment for such crime ranges from SR500,000 to SR5 million or imprisonment from six months to three years. However, both penalties can be applied, depending on the nature of the violating content.”
• Saudi law expert Dr. Majed Garoub said: ‘The punishment for such crime ranges from SR500,000 to SR5 million or imprisonment from six months to three years. However, both penalties can be applied, depending on the nature of the violating content.’
• Speaking about the difference from a legal perspective between the pranks that some people post on social media and what we see on television, Garoubs said that pranks on social media are different from those on TV as the latter present comedy shows.
• Hasan Faleh Al-Nahsi, a Saudi social media influencer, said that some social media users make pranks to collect as many followers as they can.
He added that posting pranks on social media is a violation even if it is a prank that has consent.
“A crime is a crime. We now have a law that criminalizes these activities and considers them as offensive. It is also considered a crime if someone reposts, likes or retweets a prank,” Garoub said.
Giving his personal opinion, the lawyer believes that anyone who reposts, likes or retweets a violating content should be penalized with the maximum punishment. However, he said that legal punishment takes the circumstances of every violation into consideration.
Garoub justified his point of view by saying that the first violator might have committed the content under the influence of certain emotional factors or be unaware of its negative effect, but the one who retweets or reposts it should have watched the content, reaffirming his belief in the content.
As for juvenile violators, Garoub said that young people are treated differently.
“The authorities require them to appear for investigation through a certain mechanism that takes into consideration their age and the presence of their guardians. There are special courts, youth detention centers for the offenders who are still underage,” he said.
He added that investigators and judges also consider the age of the violator and apply the punishments and imprisonment decisions to match their age and their illegal acts.
Speaking about the difference from a legal perspective between the pranks that some people post on social media and what we see on television, Garoubs said that pranks on social media are different from those on TV as the latter present comedy shows.
“Legally, the two are different. The TV shows are subject to the regulations of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media while the violations posted on social media platforms are subject to the Anti-Cyber Crime Law,” he said.
Hasan Faleh Al-Nahsi, a Saudi social media influencer, said that some social media users make pranks to collect as many followers as they can.
“Some of them also think that it is a means to please their followers, and that has become a phenomenon on social media. However, people should be aware that these activities are unlawful. Awareness campaigns should also be conducted to warn social media users against the negative impact of these illicit activities,” Al-Nahsi told Arab News.
According to Khaled Al-Zahrani, a specialist in psychology, social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok and many others, have attracted various segments of society of both genders and different age groups for different reasons.
“Many young and adult social media users have found these social media applications a place to seek fame and even an income. For these reasons, these users sometimes tend to talk about controversial issues or tackle them in a funny way. Their goal is to gain followers and increase the view numbers of the materials they produce or publish,” Al-Zahrani said.
Al-Zahrani said that these people’s legal knowledge about cybercrimes is limited. They may also be unaware of the society’s cultural background, and this is perhaps because they are exposed to different sources of cultures and information and they think such things are accepted in Saudi society.
“These people are controlled by the rules of the social media platform they are using, which they will be penalized for in case they violate them,” he said.
In the case of others, Al-Zahrani said, some of those who produce prank content may be trying to market themselves as comedians. “However, the goal is money,” he said.
Saudi nutritionist uses his weight loss journey to inspire others – Arab News
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