One-year prison sentence, SR3,000 fine for violators of Saudi flag law – Arab News

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RIYADH: As the 92nd Saudi National Day approaches, the Ministry of Commerce has clarified the regulations regarding the use of the Kingdom’s flag.
The ministry has warned that those found guilty of “showing disrespect” to the national flag in public will be jailed for one year and/or receive a fine of up to SR3,000 (just under $800).
The ministry confirmed that it is prohibited for “individuals and commercial establishments” to use the Kingdom’s flag — a white sword on a green background and white Arabic writing which translates as “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” — or the state emblem — two swords and a palm tree — or pictures of leaders and officials and their names in commercial dealings, including “publications, goods and products, media bulletins, special gifts and others.”
On October 1, 2018, a circular was issued to commercial establishments as part of the implementation of Royal Decree No. 3587, which prohibits the use of the state emblem in commercial transactions.
The ministry said that it is carrying out inspections of markets in all regions of the Kingdom to ensure no violations occur.
On October 1, 2018, a circular was issued to commercial establishments as part of the implementation of Royal Decree No. 3587, which prohibits the use of the state emblem in commercial transactions.
Lawyer Hatoon Jambi told Arab News, “Article 20 of the Saudi Arabia flag law issued by royal decree in 1973 states that whoever drops, executes, or insults in any way whatsoever the national flag, the royal flag, or any other emblem of Saudi Arabia or of a friendly foreign country out of hatred or contempt for the authority of the government or those countries, in public or in a public place or in a place open to the public, shall be punished.”
She added: “These rules and regulations are considered valid until a modified or different law is issued.”
 
DHAHRAN: Hatem Alakeel is the most immaculately dressed Saudi podcaster with a heart of gold.
His podcast, Gems of Arabia, which aims to highlight “all the shimmering hidden gems of the Arab world,” recently launched its third season with a big change — he is partnering with world-famous UK-based luxury department store Harrods.
This is the first official Middle Eastern collaboration between Harrods, established in 1849, and an emerging podcast launched in 2021.
I’ve been doing this all my life, like being in a boarding school (in Europe) and being the ambassador to Saudi Arabia representing my country. I hope to continue with what I’ve been doing over the past years and change the perception-based stereotypes and elevate the Saudi culture and Arab culture.
Hatem Alakeel
“Harrods and Gems of Arabia are partnering on a podcast series, themed on bridging the generations through culture,” Alakeel told Arab News. “As two established institutions in their own regions, our podcast and Harrods hopes to facilitate conversations between guests who are excelling in their field, and to provide a bridge between both generations in both the UK and the Middle East.
“We are hosting these special editions of Gems of Arabia from inside Harrods, Knightsbridge,” he said.
A softly spoken and articulate host, Alakeel has found some of the most interesting UK-based Saudis and other Arabs to interview. The new season offers plenty of surprise guests from within the MENA region.
With 18 years of experience, Alakeel first started as a fashion designer with his label “Toby,” modernizing the traditional thobe, and has been elegantly sashaying into each endeavor he has embarked on ever since with his brand consultancy Authenticite.
Although Alakeel is proud of his Saudi heritage and his Jeddah roots, he is mostly based in Dubai. But no matter where he is geographically, he is always passionate about amplifying narratives in the region regardless of where they are from.
For the past four years, he has been writing an online column where he highlights change-makers in the region who are shaping the Saudi landscape in a positive way. He knew it was time to try a different platform to further amplify the voices of those individuals to build on the conversations, so he started the podcast.
• The new season offers plenty of surprise guests from within the MENA region.
• Hatem Alakeel lived a significant portion of his life abroad, his mother constantly reminded him not to stray too far away from his heritage and to never compromise on his values.
• This is the first official Middle Eastern collaboration between Harrods, established in 1849, and an emerging podcast launched in 2021.
• For Alakeel, authenticity is the keyword. He is now trying to facilitate opportunities for local creatives to showcase themselves — without excluding Saudis living abroad.
That is something Harrods was attracted to.
“For me, Harrods has been an institution that I’ve always looked up to ever since I was a kid. It really has this kind of nostalgia feeling for me. I believe that the way we have been able to connect was through my podcast during my second season, which I did on the Saudi Cup — it was about heritage,” he said.
As Alakeel become recognized online and offline, he felt a sense of responsibility to help foster a thriving ecosystem for creatives in or from the region. He wanted to create the type of community that he wished he had when he was starting his career.
An un-ironic instagram influencer, he makes sure that his posts are both in English and Arabic. He also genuinely tries to bring out the silver lining in every situation.
The person who has been his anchor is his late mother, Seham Arab, who recently passed away.
Although Alakeel lived a significant portion of his life abroad, his mother constantly reminded him not to stray too far away from his heritage and to never compromise on his values.
His beloved mother’s scent lingers in Alakeel’s life — literally. Every night, he spritzes some of her favorite perfume onto his pillow so he can fall asleep to her memory. However, the bond between mother and son goes well beyond smell, which is known to be the strongest sense tied to memory.
She was the inspiration for his life’s work and the reason he began on his journey trying to uncover hidden gems and treasures within the Arab region. Alakeel calls her his first gem. She also introduced him to Harrods.
“My recollection of my first experience with Harrods was when I was in boarding school and my mom sent me a box of riding gear — it was shoes, a hat, and it was the most immaculate riding gear that I got, because I was horseback riding. So from there, it snowballed into me always going there and appreciating them. I was over the moon to have the opportunity to actually do something with them,” he said.
She would have loved his collaboration with Harrods and how he decided to approach the partnership.
“The approach that I proposed to Harrods is generational and cultural — there’s also a generational bridge that’s being built. And we need to recognize that a lot of the younger generation, Generation Z, for example, is very much inspired more than ever with vintage. Millennials were always so brand-obsessed,” he said.
“So, this is kind of the movement that I’m creating with the podcast — what we’re going to be doing with Harrods — is to highlight the generational bridges existing between both cultures. You know, an idea of how progressive Saudi designers are becoming, how much more exposed they are and how much more we need to kind of see where it’s heading. And this is the kind of conversation we want to have,” he said.
For Alakeel, authenticity is the keyword. He is now trying to facilitate opportunities for local creatives to showcase themselves — without excluding Saudis living abroad.
He wants to try to bridge the different generations that seem somewhat disconnected. A podcast felt like a natural progression to merge all of these elements together. It is a conversational vehicle that will allow different members of communities to express themselves.
It is all about creating a community and building it up.
“I’ve been doing this all my life, like being in a boarding school (in Europe) and being the ambassador to Saudi Arabia representing my country. I hope to continue with what I’ve been doing over the past years and change the perception-based stereotypes and elevate the Saudi culture and Arab culture,” Alakeel said.
Saudis, and indeed Arabs, have shopped at Harrods in London for generations. It is a trusted place to find curated and well-crafted goods. This season’s podcast promises the same.
“Harrods is partnering with game-changers in the local market; trailblazers, designers and entrepreneurs based in the Middle East. The goal is to build a community of likeminded individuals, to provide them with a global platform and wider network of contacts, while allowing Harrods to build relationships with and support the next generation of talent. Harrods’ partnership with Gems of Arabia is a perfect alignment and a brilliant example of this work, ensuring their position in these foreign markets is meaningful and built on cooperation,” Alakeel said.
Tap into season 3 of the Gems of Arabia podcast empowered by @harrods by connecting to @authenticite_by_hatem_alakeel.
 
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince approved the appointment of Ahmed bin Saleh Al-Wasaidi as vice president of the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The authority oversees work in the field of surveying, map production, geographic information, and marine surveying. It also produces and markets geospatial information and services.
Al-Wasaidi holds a MSc in Geospatial and Mapping Sciences from the University of Glasgow, Scotland and another Master’s degree in aerial surveying and remote sensing from the University of Twente, the Netherlands.
He has more than 25 years of experience in aerial surveying, remote sensing, and geospatial information.
Al-Wasaidi has previously worked at the Ministry of Defense and as a general supervisor of geospatial services and surveying at the GASGI.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture is organizing the Saudi Coffee Sustainability Forum in Jazan from Oct. 1-2 to discuss the value chain of Saudi coffee and relevant economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability.
The forum is part of the activities of the 2022 “Year of Saudi Coffee” initiative, which is supported by the Quality of Life Program.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest consumers of coffee, and achieving self-sufficiency in its production, in accordance with the plans of Vision 2030 to diversify the country’s economy, is considered vital.

The forum will be discussing four main aspects through the talks: “Coffee as a National Wealth,” “Coffee: Culture and Society,” “Coffee and the Humanization of Environment,” and “Coffee and Health.”
The forum will include an accompanying exhibition to review the efforts and plans of stakeholders in the Saudi coffee field, in addition to several specialized workshops targeting workers in the coffee industry, including researchers, policymakers, labor market experts, environment experts and health and nutrition experts.
The Ministry of Culture, through this event, seeks to elevate the status of Saudi coffee as an icon of the Kingdom’s heritage, share relevant scientific research, activate cooperation with international stakeholders and benefit from their expertise, and address challenges and review best practices related to Saudi coffee and the requirements for its sustainability.
 
RIYADH: Aerospace engineer Mishaal Ashemimry has become the first Saudi woman to hold a leadership position at the International Astronautical Federation after being elected as one of the body’s 12 vice presidents.
Ashemimry was elected to the post at the world’s leading space advocacy body due to her enhanced vision for the development of the space sector globally, her contribution to the development and consolidation of the federation’s directions, and her role in strengthening the Kingdom’s leadership position in the aerospace sector, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The IAF has over 400 members from 71 different countries and they include leading agencies, space companies, industries, research institutions, universities, societies, associations, museums, and institutes.
The federation advances knowledge about space, supporting the development and application of space assets by promoting global cooperation.
As organizer of the annual International Astronautical Congress as well as other thematic conferences and workshops, the IAF actively encourages the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes and supports the dissemination of scientific and technical information related to space.
MAKKAH: Saudi Minister of Education Hamad Al-Sheikh recently signed a memorandum with a US group specializing in providing language teaching books, materials and services.
The agreement, signed with CEO of MM American Publishing Group, Giannis Malkogiannis, is to support English-language teaching and learning, and is part of Al-Sheikh’s tour of American universities and research centers.
The meeting touched on cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Education and the MM Group in providing English-language curricula. The group has previously provided English language curricula for the Kingdom’s schools, from the fourth grade to the twelfth grade. The group also owns a “binary logic” company that provides digital skills curricula and engineering curricula.
The two parties discussed supporting cooperation between the ministry and the MM Group in providing a vision for adding a specific course for languages or the STEM track, in line with best international practices.
The cooperation aims to advance the work between the English Language Center at the Agency of General Education and the group, conducted last year as a part of a project to implement a sample of language curricula in 50 Saudi primary schools.
“What the ministry strives to achieve in learning and teaching English is one of the successful steps in utilizing global expertise in this area,” Ahmed Asiri, an educational consultant and former director of the educational supervision department at the ministry in Taif, told Arab News.
“The US specialists in this field are familiar with and have very high experience in dealing with these age groups. They also have the needed requirements to pass their knowledge on through digital and intensive programs, creating a beautiful learning environment,” he said.
He added that the path taken by the ministry was in compliance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“Mastering English will be a helpful instrument to maintain the communication between societies. For instance, all international, cultural and economic relations in various aspects of life all share the same main tool, which is the English language,” he said.
Abdul Rahman Surti, educational supervisor at the ministry, told Arab News that the curricula by MM Publishing Group was considered one of the best educational series. “They were able to serve students, teachers and the entire educational process, and facilitated communication with parents through interactive CDs,” he said.
Surti, who is the author of “Creative Ideas for Teaching English Language,” said that more real-life examples were needed for Saudi students to boost learning.
 
 

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