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Major companies boycott ‘Misk Global Forum’ in Riyadh

Misk Global Forum [File photo]
Misk Global Forum [File photo]

While facing the repercussions of Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination, Saudi Arabia is hosting a major youth forum for charities, which is one of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s projects.

Last year, major celebrities such as Bill Gates participated in Misk Global Forum in Riyadh. However, the forum is unlikely to be attended by internationally renowned personalities this year.

The BBC‘s Arab affairs editor, Sebastian Usher, who is currently in Riyadh, said that the forum was the second extensive event aimed at polishing the image of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince in particular, but the horrific incident of Khashoggi’s death has overshadowed such efforts to redeem the kingdom’s reputation.

The forum will hold its session this year on Wednesday the 14th and Thursday the 15th of November. Thus, according to the forum’s website 80 counties will participate in the event, with more than 100 internationally recognized speakers, and more than 50 international partners, attending more than 60 interactive get-togethers.

READ: Tunisian journalist sues Saudi ambassador for ‘detention, assault’

The forum is expected to attract 4000 participants this year, most of whom are young Saudi men and women. However, the list of speakers and sponsors has not been posted online yet.

Misk Foundation is the charitable segment of Mohammad bin Salman’s ambitious program, which aims to empower Saudi youth by offering them different opportunities and to encourage cultural exchange among young people around the world.

Mohammad bin Salman has established Misk Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization, to “discover, develop, and empower the young generation within in the Saudi Kingdom … and beyond and enable them to be active participants in building the economy of the future.”

Yet, major companies and technological institutions may want to take a distance from the event, as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) did when it decided to suspend any future initiatives with Misk Foundation.

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