Rich Countries Should Play Bigger Role in Combating Pandemics, Says WHO Draft

A journalist undergoes a Covid-19 PCR test ahead of the China-Central Asia Summit welcome ceremony at a hotel in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, 18 May 2023. (EPA)
A journalist undergoes a Covid-19 PCR test ahead of the China-Central Asia Summit welcome ceremony at a hotel in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, 18 May 2023. (EPA)
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Rich Countries Should Play Bigger Role in Combating Pandemics, Says WHO Draft

A journalist undergoes a Covid-19 PCR test ahead of the China-Central Asia Summit welcome ceremony at a hotel in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, 18 May 2023. (EPA)
A journalist undergoes a Covid-19 PCR test ahead of the China-Central Asia Summit welcome ceremony at a hotel in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, 18 May 2023. (EPA)

Richer countries should be asked to better pull their weight in helping the world cope with pandemics, according to a new draft of a treaty being negotiated at the World Health Organization.

Countries with more "capacities and resources" should bear a "commensurate degree" of responsibility for preparing for and responding to global health threats, the draft, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, suggests.

The treaty, a legally binding agreement being negotiated by WHO member states, aims to address what it calls the "catastrophic failure" of the international community to fight COVID-19 fairly around the world.

COVID has killed around 7 million people since it emerged in China at the end of 2019, disrupting the global economy and ravaging communities. More than 750 million infections have been reported.

The 42-page document aims to help the world do better next time. Member states have the option to remove numerous paragraphs from it in future negotiations, including the one about responsibilities.

Sections that have proved controversial in earlier drafts, including around intellectual property and reserving 20% of tests, treatments and vaccines for the WHO to distribute in poorer countries during emergencies, remain in the new draft but could still be removed. No such provision on pandemic countermeasures existed during COVID.

A clause in an earlier draft obliging pharmaceutical companies to make details of their deals with governments public appears to have been dropped.

The document also defines "pandemic" - one of several sticking points that have already taken up negotiating time - as "the global spread of a pathogen or variant" that spreads easily, is dangerous, overwhelms health systems, and requires international coordination.

The treaty is due to be finalized by 2024.



Saudi Ministry of Media Signs 4 Agreements with Global Entities at LEAP 24

The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)
The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Ministry of Media Signs 4 Agreements with Global Entities at LEAP 24

The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)
The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)

The Saudi Ministry of Media signed on Monday several agreements and memoranda of understanding with local and international companies and entities, in the presence of Minister of Media Salman bin Yousef Al-Dosari.  

The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh.  

Vice Minister of Media Dr. Abdullah bin Ahmed Al-Maghlouth signed the agreements, which included a cooperation agreement with Alibaba and Alibaba Cloud.  

The agreements aim to develop training programs for workers in the media sector, focusing on AI and other technical fields. Additionally, they aim to host the ministry's infrastructure, services, and platforms, among others, in Alibaba Cloud's data centers. This includes hosting the Disaster Recovery Center and the Saudipedia encyclopedia in its next version.  

Al-Maghlouth also signed an agreement with Cisco to develop the Ministry's emergency and disaster call center and smart building infrastructure. It involves integrating AI techniques in developing infrastructure, equipping the Ministry's facilities with advanced smart solutions, and organizing technical workshops by the company to raise the efficiency of technical operations and enhance the Ministry's human capital.  

The ministry signed an agreement with the Chinese company eWTPA to provide training opportunities for local and international journalists. This, in turn, will offer full media support in Chinese by translating, broadcasting, and publishing news related to the Saudi media sector.  

The agreement also calls for funding and arranging visits between the two sides to exchange knowledge and experiences in the fields of entrepreneurship and media.

 


Vietnamese Capital Hanoi Tops List of Most Polluted Cities 

A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)
A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)
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Vietnamese Capital Hanoi Tops List of Most Polluted Cities 

A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)
A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)

The streets of Vietnam's capital city Hanoi were enveloped in thick smog on Monday which dramatically reduced visibility due to air pollution caused by high levels of particulates from vehicle emissions and construction-linked fine dust.

Levels of hazardous small particles known as PM2.5 in the air in Hanoi were at 187 micrograms per cubic meter late on Monday, the highest among a list of most polluted international cities, according to data from AirVisual, which provides independent global air pollution information via a phone app.

"This is damaging for our health," said Duong Kim Oanh, a 58-year-old Hanoi resident. "I think Hanoi's pollution is caused by a large number of personal vehicles and the fine dust from all the construction, plus this cold weather."

According to a 2021 World Bank report, emissions from Hanoi's 8 million registered vehicles made up 30% of air particulate pollution, and industry emissions another 30%.

The pollution "will affect people's respiratory system, making people feel sick or even suffocated," said Pham Thi Phuong, another resident.

Nearly 100 flights to and from the international airport in Hanoi were delayed or diverted to other cities on Feb. 2 due to heavy fog and worsening air pollution.


Volcano on Uninhabited Galapagos Island Erupts, Sends Lava Flowing to Sea 

In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)
In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)
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Volcano on Uninhabited Galapagos Island Erupts, Sends Lava Flowing to Sea 

In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)
In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)

A volcano on an uninhabited island in the Galapagos has begun erupting, lighting up the nighttime sky as lava tumbled down its sides toward the sea.

The La Cumbre volcano on Fernandina island began erupting Saturday around midnight in what officials with Ecuador's Geophysical Institute said could be its largest eruption since 2017. The 1,476-meter (4,842-foot) volcano last erupted in 2020.

Images shared on social media taken by visitors to the Galapagos show the volcano profiled against a crimson red sky.

While the eruption posed no risk to humans, the island is home to a number of species, including iguanas, penguins and flightless cormorants. In 2019, scientists found on the island a giant tortoise not seen in more than a century and had been feared extinct.

The La Cumbre volcano is one of the most active in the Galapagos Island chain, which is famous throughout the world for helping 19th century British scientist Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution.


Human Resources Ministry Implements Saudization’s 2nd Phase of Licensed Aviation Professions

The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)
The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)
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Human Resources Ministry Implements Saudization’s 2nd Phase of Licensed Aviation Professions

The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)
The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, in partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services, announced the implementation of the second phase of the Saudization of licensed aviation professions in private sector establishments, SPA said on Monday.
It added that five or more workers are to be employed in one of the targeted aviation professions.
This is set to begin on March 04, 2024, as part of the ministries' efforts to provide stable and incentivized employment opportunities for both male and female citizens and enhance their participation in the job market.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has announced that the targeted professions in the second phase will include the Flight Attendant profession with a 60% focus and Fixed-Wing Pilot with a 70% emphasis.
Workers in these aviation professions are required to obtain a professional accreditation certificate from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
The Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services has emphasized its commitment to overseeing the implementation of the second phase.
The goal is to empower private sector establishments by providing comprehensive support and employment programs available through the Human Resources and Social Development system. This assistance is intended to facilitate the hiring and attraction of national talents.
The Ministry has issued a procedural guide outlining all aspects of the decision, its implementation mechanism, and the support and employment programs extended to private sector establishments.

 

 


Scientists Reveal Secrets of Desert Star Dunes

A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS
A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS
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Scientists Reveal Secrets of Desert Star Dunes

A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS
A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS

They are among the wonders of our deserts: star dunes, the vaguely pyramid-shaped sand formations up to about 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall with arms stretching out from a central peak to give them a star-like appearance when viewed from above.
Scientists on Monday unveiled the first in-depth study of a star dune, revealing the internal structure of these geological features and showing how long it took for one of them to form - more quickly than expected but still a process unfolding over many centuries.
The study focused upon a star dune in eastern Morocco called Lala Lallia, meaning "highest sacred point" in the local Berber language, situated within the Sahara Desert in a small sand sea called Erg Chebbi about 3 miles (5 km) from the town of Merzouga, close to the border with Algeria.
Lala Lallia rises about 330 feet (100 meters) above the surrounding dunes and is approximately 2,300 feet (700 meters) wide, containing about 5-1/2 million metric tons of sand.
According to Reuters, he researchers used ground-penetrating radar to peer inside the dune and employed luminescence dating to determine how long Lala Lallia has taken to form, a method based on the amount of energy trapped inside the grains of sand. The answer: about 900 years, accumulating roughly 6,400 metric tons annually as wind relentlessly blows sand through the desert.
Star dunes make up just under 10% of the dunes in Earth's deserts and are the tallest ones, surpassing other types such as crescent-shaped barchan dunes and straight and lengthy linear dunes. They also have been spotted on Mars and on Saturn's large moon Titan.
"I first encountered star dunes in Namibia 20 years ago, and was instantly amazed at the size of them. I have a vivid memory of the long climb to the top, struggling up very loose sand in the heat of the day," said geographer Geoff Duller of Aberystwyth University in Wales, co-author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
"I find desert dunes very beautiful," Duller added. "The sight of the sinuous curves, and the way that the light and shadow changes with the sun mean that they always look different, whether that is in the cool of the morning, the midday sun or near sunset. The different colors of sand in different deserts are also very striking, with yellow, white, red and even black dunes in different parts of the world."
The ground-penetrating radar revealed the layers within the Lala Lallia dune, showing how it was constructed over time through accumulating sand and how parts of its internal structure resembled other types of dunes.
"Star dunes are formed in areas with complex wind regimes, which means winds blowing from different directions, and net sand accumulation, points within the desert where big piles of sand can be blown around to form giant dunes," said Birkbeck University of London sedimentologist and study co-author Charlie Bristow.
The researchers also determined that Lala Lallia is moving westerly at a speed of about 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) annually.
While many star dunes are known today, only a single ancient one has been found preserved as sandstone in the geological record, dating to about 250 million years ago, in Scotland. By revealing their internal structure, the researchers said their findings provide a guide for geologists to identify more sandstone remnants of ancient star dunes.
Earth's largest star dunes are found in the Badain Jaran desert in western China. Star dunes also are found in places including the Namib Sand Sea in Namibia, large sand seas in Algeria such as the Grand Erg Oriental and Grand Erg Occidental, and Rub' al Khali in Saudi Arabia. In North America, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado contains a series of them.
"They form extraordinary and awe-inspiring landscapes," Bristow said. "From the ground they can be intimidating, mobile mountains of sand."


4 New Astronauts Head to ISS for 6-month Stay

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying the Crew-8 mission launches from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 3, 2024. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying the Crew-8 mission launches from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 3, 2024. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)
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4 New Astronauts Head to ISS for 6-month Stay

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying the Crew-8 mission launches from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 3, 2024. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying the Crew-8 mission launches from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 3, 2024. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

Four astronauts headed to the International Space Station on Sunday where they will oversee the arrivals of two new rocketships during their half-year stint.
SpaceX’s Falcon rocket blasted off from Kennedy Space Center, carrying NASA’s Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt and Jeanette Epps and Russia’s Alexander Grebenkin, The Associated Press reported.
The astronauts should reach the orbiting lab on Tuesday. They will replace a crew from the US, Denmark, Japan and Russia, who have been there since August.
“When are you getting here already?” space station commander Andreas Mogensen asked via X, formerly Twitter, after three days of delay due to high wind. SpaceX Launch Control termed it “fashionably late.”
There was almost another postponement Sunday night. A small crack in the seal of the SpaceX capsule's hatch prompted a last-minute flurry of reviews, but it was deemed safe for the whole mission.
The new crew's six-month stay includes the arrival of two rocketships ordered by NASA. Boeing’s new Starliner capsule with test pilots is due in late April. A month or two later, Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser, a mini shuttle, should arrive. It is for delivering cargo to the station, but not passengers yet.
Epps was originally assigned to fly Boeing’s Starliner, which got bogged down with problems and stalled. NASA finally switched her to SpaceX.
“I am in a New York state of mind right now, it is amazing," she said upon reaching orbit, referring to the Billy Joel song.
Epps, who is from Syracuse, NY, is the second Black woman assigned to a long station mission. She said before the flight that she is especially proud to be a role model for Black girls, demonstrating that spaceflight “is an option for them, that this is not just for other people.”
An engineer, she worked for Ford Motor Co. and the CIA before becoming an astronaut in 2009. Epps should have launched to the space station on a Russian rocket in 2018, but was replaced for reasons never publicly disclosed.
Also new to space are Dominick, a Navy pilot, and Grebenkin, a former Russian military officer.
Barratt, a doctor on his third mission, is the oldest full-time astronaut to fly in space. He turns 65 in April.
“It's kind of like a roller coaster ride with a bunch of really excited teenagers,” Barratt said after reaching orbit. As for his age, he said before the flight, “As long as we stay healthy and fit and engaged, we’re good to fly."
Flight controllers are monitoring a growing cabin leak on Russia’s side of the space station. The leak has doubled in size in the past few weeks and the area has been sealed off, NASA program manager Joel Montalbano said. He stressed there is no impact to station operations or crew safety.


South Koreans Bid Farewell to Beloved Panda Fu Bao before Her Return to China

Giant panda Fu Bao eats bamboo at Everland amusement park on Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Yongin, South Korea. (AP)
Giant panda Fu Bao eats bamboo at Everland amusement park on Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Yongin, South Korea. (AP)
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South Koreans Bid Farewell to Beloved Panda Fu Bao before Her Return to China

Giant panda Fu Bao eats bamboo at Everland amusement park on Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Yongin, South Korea. (AP)
Giant panda Fu Bao eats bamboo at Everland amusement park on Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Yongin, South Korea. (AP)

A South Korean zoo on Sunday threw a farewell party for Fu Bao, the first giant panda born in the country, ahead of the beloved animal's scheduled return to China.

Fu Bao, which means lucky treasure, has attracted a huge fan base ever since she was born in July 2020 at the Everland amusement park just south of Seoul. The panda is set to return to China's Sichuan province next month after spending a month in quarantine.

Thousands of visitors queued up in the early morning chill to attend the farewell event, with many saying they will miss the panda once she's gone.

"I was mentally ill three years ago, but Fu Bao has helped me get through it and brought me a lot of comfort," said Kim Min-ji, a 31-year-old visitor. "It's sad to say goodbye, but we need to let her go. I wish she goes safely and will be happy."

Jo Ah-hyeon, 24, said she waited more than four hours to see Fu Bao. "This is our last chance, you never know when we'll see her again so I had to come," she said.

Zookeeper Kang Cher-won, who has been caring for Fu Bao, said the panda had given him so much love as well as teaching him a lot about the critically endangered species. Online videos of Kang caring for Fu Bao, and her clinging to him, are very popular in South Korea.

"Fu Bao is a friend who has played many roles," Kang said. "She was my first panda cub, and my heart is filled with memories of her that I will never forget all my life."

The cub's parents, 10-year-old female Ai Bao and 11-year-old male Le Bao, arrived in 2016 from Sichuan province, the home of the giant pandas, as part of China's "panda diplomacy". Last July, Ai Bao gave birth in South Korea to giant panda twins.

Female pandas can only conceive once a year for a limited period, and cubs have very low chances of survival as they are often born prematurely, usually weighing less than 200 grams (0.44 lb).


Years Removed from War, Iraqis Seek New Desert Escapades

For years, only the most intrepid of hikers and campers would brave the trips into Iraq's desert. Hussein FALEH / AFP
For years, only the most intrepid of hikers and campers would brave the trips into Iraq's desert. Hussein FALEH / AFP
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Years Removed from War, Iraqis Seek New Desert Escapades

For years, only the most intrepid of hikers and campers would brave the trips into Iraq's desert. Hussein FALEH / AFP
For years, only the most intrepid of hikers and campers would brave the trips into Iraq's desert. Hussein FALEH / AFP

Far from the hustle and bustle of major cities, young Iraqis are increasingly taking advantage of a renewed sense of safety to explore the country's serene desert getaways.
Sheltering amidst the golden dunes, Ghadanfar Abdallah and his friends gather around a flickering campfire in the Samawah desert south of the capital, humming tunes, laughing and eating, AFP said.
"When we post pictures, people do not believe that there are such places like the dunes in Iraq," the 35-year-old oil sector worker said.
"My friends ask me if the pictures were taken in Dubai. They are shocked when they learn that they were, in fact, in Iraq."
For years, only the most intrepid of hikers and campers would brave the trips into Iraq's desert. But with the rise of social media and a period of relative stability, it has become a popular destination for those seeking not only adventure and off-roading but also tranquility in the vast, barren landscape.
"It is something I loved since I was a little boy. But I only started doing it with friends in the winter of 2018 or 2019," Abdallah said.
He crossed 200 kilometers (125 miles) from his southern city of Basra to reach an area untouched by the trappings of urban life -- including phone networks.
On a crisp winter weekend, around 20 campers set up their tents amid the serene dunes. The air filled with the aroma of carp grilling over a smoky wood fire, as the hikers prepared to feast on Iraq's national dish, masgouf.
Later, some played dominoes while others bickered over heated games of backgammon, sipping hot cups of tea and smoking hookahs (water pipe). Their voices resonated with traditional Iraqi songs, their laughter piercing the still desert night.
- 'It is safe' –
Abdallah said such desert expeditions have "become more widespread, and today many stores sell camping gear.
"Some are starting to realize that it is safe, it is an adventure."
But for many, the lingering sense of danger remains.
Iraq has been ravaged by successive years of conflict since the 2003 US-led invasion, including most recently the fight against the ISIS group.
Though the militants were driven out of their major strongholds in late 2017, many retreated into desert hideouts, largely in the country's west, from where they still sporadically -- though with increasing rarity -- stage deadly attacks.
"How can someone go to a desert where there is no water or mobile network? If something happens, how would you report it?" Abdallah said.
Iraq's soaring summer temperatures -- often surpassing 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) -- mean these arid adventures are limited to wintertime.
A weekend getaway costs between $75 and $100 per person, covering food, transportation and accommodation. A single trip can bring together a group of up to 30 people.
For Hussein al-Jazairi, the journey is worth every penny.
"The city is full of dust, noise and daily annoyances," the 34-year-old influencer said during his first desert camping trip.
"One can come here, where it is quiet, serene, and there is fresh air."
Jazairi is often glued to his phone, scrolling through his social media accounts. But his recent trip to the Samawah desert proved to be a completely different experience.
"Social media is my work. I receive non-stop notifications. By the end of the day, I have spent a very long time on my phone," Jazairi said.
"Here, there is no network. It has been two days, and my phone's battery is still 70 percent. I haven't used it."
- 'Not a sound' –
While Jazairi encourages people to explore the country's vast sandhills, he warns that "one should not go alone, especially for the first time".
"We came with experts who know the places around."
Iraq's deserts have long attracted hunters, both locals and visitors from neighboring countries, before the years of conflict drove them away.
Today, campers still need to remain vigilant, as some areas are still riddled with mines.
"We don't start any trip without first identifying where we will sleep," said Murad al-Bahadli, a camper with over eight years of experience.
"We plan carefully to avoid any security risk," the 38-year-old added.
Yet the placid desert nights are a far cry from the years of turmoil, and for many their lure is irresistible.
Among those is Ravshan Mokhtarov, an Uzbek who has been living in Basra for six years.
"This area is unique. There is no one, not even a sound," the young man said, expressing gratitude for "Iraqi hospitality".
"It is pretty much safe. I don't feel any danger."


Riyadh Municipality Participates as Strategic Sponsor of LEAP 2024

LEAP
LEAP
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Riyadh Municipality Participates as Strategic Sponsor of LEAP 2024

LEAP
LEAP

The Riyadh Region Municipality will serve as a strategic sponsor for the LEAP International Technical Conference, scheduled from March 4 to 7 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, SPA said on Sunday.
The municipality's move aligns with its objectives of fostering effective partnerships, supporting innovation, and enabling smart solutions to elevate Riyadh's international competitiveness and enhance service levels for the population.
The municipality's participation entails the establishment of an interactive pavilion showcasing its latest digital services.
These services, such as the Madinaty application, along with digital twin technology, future smart city solutions, highlights of major city projects, and cutting-edge technologies addressing future challenges, will be featured to provide insights into innovative, proactive solutions.


Saudi General Entertainment Authority Announces Sponsorship of Comedy Factory Initiative

The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo
The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo
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Saudi General Entertainment Authority Announces Sponsorship of Comedy Factory Initiative

The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo
The Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) logo

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Advisor Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al Al-Sheikh announced the authority's sponsorship of the "Comedy Factory" initiative, aimed at discovering and supporting young talents in the fields of comedy and theater.

Through this sponsorship, the Authority aims to create a supportive environment, enabling young Saudis to unleash their creativity and provide unique comedy content that reflects the Saudi identity and humorously addresses community issues.
The initiative serves as a platform for young Saudis to showcase their humorous talents, fostering the development of creative capabilities in this field and offering an opportunity to refine their skills under the guidance of specialists in comedy art.

The Comedy Factory is part of a series of initiatives organized by the General Entertainment Authority as part of its efforts to boost entertainment activity. The initiative encompasses workshops, training courses, and competitive events designed to refine the skills of emerging comedy actors, preparing them for effective participation in the entertainment industry.