THURSDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2018,
Diabetes is quite
common in the Kingdom
and patients need
glucose meter with the
test strips for daily
checks before using
these test strips have
become difficult to find.
Cheating inevitably occurs even in a contest for
animal beauty. It is prevalent in camel pageants
just like any other animal sport such as horse racing
where steroids have found their way.
The heads of
chambers said they
were not against
Saudization but have
about the mechanism
adopted by the
have a negative
impact on the private
sector and cause
many businesses to
Al-Ghafis: No going
back on Saudization
Saudi Gazette report
Minister of La-
bor and Social Development Dr.
Ali Al-Ghafis has reiterated that
his ministry will enforce the
Saudization programs as planned
and without delay, Makkah news-
The ministry will not renege
on any decision, he said during a
meeting with the heads of cham-
bers of commerce and industry
in the country at the ministry›s
offices in Riyadh.
A number of participants
called upon the ministry to ex-
empt the private sector from 100
percent Saudization, especially
of certain jobs that are difficult
to be filled by Saudis. They asked
the ministry to form a committee
to study any decisions thorough-
ly before they are announced.
Al-Ahsa Chamber of Com-
merce and Industry President
Abdullatif Al-Arfaj said the
ministry would implement all
Saudization decisions on sched-
ule despite the fact that it knows
that some of the decisions would
be tough for some sectors. The
ministry believes that these deci-
sions are healthy for the national
“The heads of chambers said
they were not against Saudiza-
tion but have some reservations
about the mechanism adopted by
the ministry,” Al-Arfaj said.
“These mechanisms will have
a negative impact on the private
Combatting avian flu
Jeddah Municipality in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture conducted inspection tours around Jeddah to
ensure the safety of birds sold in stores. The inspection visits covered bird stores and farms in Souq Al-Ahdal located in south Jeddah, Abu Jala
district, Al-Balad, Al-Alfiyah, Kilo14, Al-Samer, Souq Al-Anaam, Al-Sanabil and Quaiza district.
— SG photos
Over 500 publishing houses to participate in Riyadh book fair
Saudi Gazette report
This year›s Riyadh Interna-
tional Book Fair opens on March 14 with
the participation of more than 500 pub-
lishing houses. Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques King Salman is expected to inau-
gurate the event at Riyadh Conference and
Exhibitions Center in the presence of Saudi
and foreign dignitaries.
“It is one of the most important fairs
in Saudi Arabia, and is held every year in
the capital city Riyadh, showcasing a large
number of books and publications, includ-
ing e-books, in various languages,” said Dr.
Abdul Rahman Bin Nasser Al-Asim, gen-
eral supervisor of the agency for culture at
the Ministry of Culture and Information,
the main organizer of the book fair.
The theme of the fair this year is
“Books —The Future of Transformation.”
Over 80 cultural events will be orga-
nized during the 11-day event.
The fair welcomes visitors of all ages
and social strata who not only enjoy the
event but also participate in the accom-
panying activities, cultural events, literary
seminars and workshops.
Each year the Riyadh International
Book Fair selects a country as the guest of
honor and will allocate a special pavilion
for it to display its culture and literature,
the official said, adding that this year›s
guest is the United Arab Emirates.
“The fair will have a special section
dedicated to children›s products,” Al-Asim
Seven organizing committees are hold-
ing meetings to make the fair a big success.
Speaking about the guest of honor,
Al-Asim said: “The UAE is selected as the
guest of honor considering the strong rela-
tions between the two GCC countries.”
In a Twitter message on the occasion,
Culture and Information Minister Dr. Aw-
wad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad also highlighted
the strong brotherly and historical rela-
tions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
He also commended the country›s rich
Arab and Islamic heritage.
Al-Asim said the fair›s theme reflects
the Kingdom›s ongoing efforts for national
transformation and its new phase of de-
velopment. He hoped the fair would boost
the country›s publication industry and
promote cultural and knowledge exchange
between Saudi Arabia and other countries.
Minister Al-Awwad will honor five
initiatives by Saudis to promote reading
during the inaugural ceremony. “These ini-
tiatives give a glittering picture of Saudis›
cultural contributions and their commend-
able efforts to promote the reading habit in
society,” the official said.
Last year, 15 initiatives were presented,
Al-Asim said, adding that they were well
received by the visitors.
The cultural committee will hold a
number of workshops related to publish-
ing, book industry and reading during the
fair. “There will be sittings with authors,
poetry evenings and a marathon for trans-
lation in addition to stage shows, seminars,
conferences and special events for chil-
dren,” the supervisor said.
The fair has allocated a special pavil-
ion for Saudi authors who published books
without the support of any publishing
houses. “We have made this arrangement
to encourage Saudi authors and promote
their intellectual and cultural works,” he
Such authors, however, should have
published their books after obtaining the
Children study in tin buildings as
school project stalled for 10 years
SR400,000 fine for injecting animals with Botox
By Abdullah Al-Samiri
Children of a school
in Ruwaidat, a village located 45
km away from Umluj in Tabuk
province, have been attending
classes in prefabricated tin struc-
tures for the last 10 years because
the school building project has
not been completed yet.
Parents have complained the
achievement level of students
have been affected negatively
and have expressed anger over
the failure to complete the proj-
ect. They said students have to
put up with cold weather in win-
ter and hot weather in summer.
Salim Al-Juhani, one of the
village residents, said the prefab-
ricated buildings were made 10
“The contractor worked on
the project for a short period.
He stopped the work after laying
the foundations. I hope the Min-
istry of Education will complete
the project so that the students
can study in normal classrooms
and their suffering will end. The
current classrooms become re-
ally hot in summer months and
extremely cold in the winter and
therefore the children cannot fo-
cus on lessons,” he said.
Muhammad Al-Juhani, a resi-
dent, said nobody knows why the
project had not been completed.
The parents feel angry that their
children have to put up with such
dangerous conditions, which
pose great risk to their lives.
Tabuk Educational Adminis-
tration spokesman Ali Al-Qarni
said the ministry was working on
awarding the project to another
Saudi Gazette report
The Ministry of En-
vironment, Water and Agriculture
has warned animal breeders that
it will impose tough fines ranging
from SR50,000 to SR400,000 on
anyone who inject animals with
Botox and other chemical fillers or
adopt any other fraudulent means
to change their features.
“A committee for looking into
violations has warned against
wrong practices and has disquali-
fied camels at the recent beauty
pageant in Riyadh for using Botox
to make them appear extra beauti-
ful,” said Dr. Ali Al-Duwairaj, man-
ager of the department for health
and veterinary control at the min-
At least 14 camels have been
reportedly disqualified from the
month-long King Abdulaziz Camel
Festival that concluded early this
month at Al-Dhahna outside Ri-
yadh. The pageant with a prize
money of up to $57 million sup-
ported by Saudi royals lured breed-
ers from around the Gulf region.
Organizers of the festival —
with 30,000 participating camels
— are cracking down on cosmetic
enhancements, a malpractice that
has thrived amid stiff competition
and despite strong penalties as
some stake millions on acquiring
Dr. Hassan Safar, professor of
The tin buildings where children of Ruwaidat village in Umluj governorate are forced attend classes.
Shortage of glucose
test strips creates
panic among patients
Saudi Gazette report
and private hospitals raised the
prices of diabetes test strips by
30 to 40 percent on short notice,
exploiting the crisis resulting
from a shortage in public health
centers and governmental hos-
pitals, Al-Madina newspaper
Patients appealed to offi-
cials in the Ministry of Health
to take urgent action to make
available diabetes analysis tools
in hospitals and health centers.
Officials said that they are
currently working on finding
solutions to the problem.
On the other hand, the Min-
istry of Commerce and Invest-
ment blamed the price increase
on the Saudi Food and Drug Ad-
Abdullah Alsalmy, a father
of several children having dia-
betes, was one of the people
severely affected by the crisis.
“I was shocked when I went to
a private pharmacy to buy the
test strips. I saw that the test
strips were priced more SR150.
Obviously, they were exploiting
the shortage,” he said.
“Diabetes is quite common
in the Kingdom and patients
need glucose meter with the
test strips for daily checks be-
fore using medicines. Unfor-
tunately these test strips have
become difficult to find,” said
Sultan Al-Asiri after visiting
many specialized centers for di-
abetics, which appeared to have
no more test strips in stock.
Diabetes patients created
a hashtag on Twitter to ex-
press their resentment for the
ministry›s lack of concern. One
patient tweeted that the glu-
cose meter and test strips are
important to ensure that the
glucose level is normal and to
Prices in private pharmacies go up 40%
injections on camels to enhance
their beauty and make quick mon-
ey without knowing its dangerous
effects on the animals.
“Camels who were subjected
to such injections could develop
cancer, severe inflammations and
other diseases. People who pur-
chase them will have to treat them
and this is cheating,” he said.
The lure of cash and the pres-
tige of winning propel some to
tweak the natural look of camels,
an offense that could get the ani-
mals banned from the competition
for three to five years.
Days before the festival began,
Saudi authorities caught one veter-
inarian performing plastic surgery
on camels prompting furious calls
for stringent penalties for cheating,
media reports said. Camels were
given Botox injections at his clinic
and some went under the knife to
make their ears more perky, also
considered a winning trait.
curs even in a contest for animal
beauty,” said chief judge Fawzan
Al-Madi. “It is prevalent in camel
pageants just like any other animal
sport such as horse racing where
steroids have found their way.”
Al-Madi said specialized vets
and a team from the Agriculture
Ministry had been deployed to
detect violations, which include
beauty products such as oils, anes-
thetic creams and fillers.
Shariah policy and comparative
laws and judicial systems and legal
proceedings at King Abdulaziz Uni-
versity in Jeddah, said it is not per-
missible to tamper with the look of
animals. “It is an illegal practice,” he
told Al-Watan Arabic daily.
“Such injections make changes
in the creation of God, irrespective
of material or other benefits, and
this practice is a form of cheating
to make money in a wrong way,” he
He highlighted the harmful ef-
fect of such actions on society and
said it leads to the entry of for-
bidden money. “Promoting such
fraudulent practices is forbidden,”
Safar said while advising breeders
to beware of God who is watching
all their actions.
Officials in charge of camel
beauty contests should warn the
public against such wrong practic-
es, he said.
“They should inspect animals
before such competitions. Breed-
ers should ensure the identity of
their camels and other animals. The
camel is considered an important
national symbol and a rich heri-
tage,” Safar said.
Breeder Mubarak Al-Rasheed,
who is a traditional healer, also op-
posed the move to apply modern
methods to change the features of
camels and other animals, especial-
ly rare species.
“Some people inject Botox to
change the size of camels› ears and
features on their faces,” Al-Rasheed
told Al-Watan. “Some apply the in-
jection on camels to have droopy
lips, a winning attribute for camel
pageantry,” he added.
are also involved in this fraudulent
beautification process, he said, add-
ing that many of them do not have
Veterinarian Naeem Al-Jefri
said many camel breeders apply
avoid complications that might
cost the ministry more in case
the patient›s condition precipi-
Another diabetic asked the
Ministry of Health via the same
hashtag to raise funds for the
diabetes awareness campaign
that will start next month.
He urged the ministry to try
to supply the test strips through
governmental hospitals and
health centers because a lot of
patients cannot afford to buy
them from private pharmacies
due to their high prices.
The Ministry of Health, on
the other hand, has been reluc-
tant to disclose the reasons that
led to the shortage of test strips.
When contacted by Al-Ma-
dina, the ministry simply re-
sponded by saying that it was
working to solve the crisis.
to create a job bank for industrial
Al-Arfaj said the presidents of
chambers are worried that some
of the ministry›s measures and
decisions might have a negative
impact on the national economy
and might delay the achievement
of the government›s objectives.
sector and cause many business-
es to close down,” he said.
“Business owners have called
upon the ministry not to Saudize
certain jobs for the time being
because there are no qualified
Saudis to replace expatriates,
especially in the construction
sector. However, the ministry
insisted that it will implement
the decisions as planned,” he ex-
Many businessmen agreed
that the ministry can Saudize the
industrial sector but the sector
will still need the expertise of
foreigners, especially in certain
areas that Saudis are not inter-
ested in. They asked the ministry