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Ramadan in Saudi Arabia: The Musaharati tradition

Fri, 2019-05-24 02:38 Despite the march of modern technology, old Ramadan traditions continue to die hard for Muslims in the Kingdom’s largest province. The job of Musaharati is the name given to the person who walks and beats a drum in residential area
Saudi Arabia

Ramadan in Saudi Arabia: The Musaharati tradition

Fri, 2019-05-24 02:38 Despite the march of modern technology, old Ramadan traditions continue to die hard for Muslims in the Kingdom’s largest province. The job of Musaharati is the name given to the person who walks and beats a drum in residential areas to wake worshippers for their suhoor meal. In the Eastern Province, where the custom remains a deep-rooted part of the holy month, the drummer is known as Abu Tabila. The fasting month is not complete in Al-Ahsa governorate without him roaming the streets before dawn prayers. Adults and children often come out of their homes or peer from windows to watch Abu Tabila pass by beating his small drum while reciting prayers. The Musaharati profession is one of the oldest Ramadan traditions in Al-Ahsa, and every town has its own Abu Tabila. He goes about his business until the end of Ramadan and people offer him money, gifts, sweets, and best wishes for Eid. Although modern phone apps can alert worshippers, Al-Ahsa communities continue to adhere to time-honored ways. Omar Al-Faridi, director of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in Al-Ahsa, said that Abu Tabila was known for his traditional folk clothes and boisterous voice. Former director of the Al-Ahsa Archaeological and Heritage Museum, Walid Al-Hussein, described the beat of Abu Tabila’s drum as “unique and splendid,” and a sound that evoked the true spirit of Ramadan.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaRamadan2019 Ramadan in Najd: Between the past and the present400 prayer rugs for Makkah’s Grand Mosque cleaned daily during Ramadan

Meet Abdulrahman Eid: The Syrian artist inspired by Hijazi heritage

Fri, 2019-05-24 03:04 JEDDAH: The unique heritage of the historic Jeddah area and the surrounding Hijaz region has long proved fascinating for visitors. That was certainly true for Abdulrahman Eid, a Syrian artist who has lived in the Kingdom for 18 years,
Saudi Arabia

Meet Abdulrahman Eid: The Syrian artist inspired by Hijazi heritage

Fri, 2019-05-24 03:04 JEDDAH: The unique heritage of the historic Jeddah area and the surrounding Hijaz region has long proved fascinating for visitors. That was certainly true for Abdulrahman Eid, a Syrian artist who has lived in the Kingdom for 18 years, and whose work is inspired by Hijazi culture and artistic heritage. Eid was born in Damascus in 1997. Before moving to Saudi Arabia, he helped restore and renovate historic buildings and works of art, including antiques, manuscripts, and paintings. He currently works as a jewelry designer in Jeddah, and has plans to share his knowledge with the public through courses and workshops, as he believes jewelry design could and should be much more popular in the Middle East. Eid first came to Saudi Arabia to work as the director of an exhibition of Eastern and Antarctic at. He said he exhibited some of the work he had produced at Janadriyah’s cultural festival in 2002 and 2003. But between 2003 and 2018, he took a break from making his own artwork. However, he is now back with a vengeance. His latest creation —  a diorama that portrays life in Jeddah in the 1950s, consists of more than 1,700 pieces, which Eid hopes will get him into the record books. His decision to document life in old Jeddah was partly driven, he says, by nostalgia for his homeland, and partly by his wish to acknowledge his appreciation of art. Project The project, which Eid hopes to finish and present to the public within the next two weeks, has taken the artist more than three years of hard work so far, much of which was spent researching. “I collected many books and old photographs of various Orientalists and studied how they were documenting the country in the 30s, 40s, and 50s,” he said. Eid found numerous sources through which he could study various historic houses and neighborhoods of old Jeddah, including —  of course —  walking the streets himself. He cites Noor Wali House, Al-Batarji, Beit Nasif, Al-Matbouli and others as inspirations. However, none of the houses in his artwork are named, or presented as exact replicas of existing buildings.  “Some houses and neighborhoods with important historic value do not exist anymore, and I do not want to diminish any of their value. I collected various elements from different houses and made it into one unnamed neighborhood that imitates the reality of the past,” he said. Eid’s diorama is 320 cm long, 130 cm high and 45 cm wide. It is full of houses, antique cars and shops — a carpet shop, a silver shop, a copper shop, and a shop for household items, such as pottery. The intricate miniature pieces in the shops include handmade carpets, hanging lamps, lanterns, old swords and other weapons, old-fashioned household appliances, mirrors, antiques, gifts, and handicrafts of the kind sold to pilgrims. “I tried to integrate all the elements that were there in Hijaz in the past,” he said. “It is more of a documentary artwork.” Staying faithful to his source material, Eid even used precious stones and metals to create the miniature merchandise. Eid describes his project as “a collection of around 10 types of art, including miniature, diorama, painting, sculpture, formative art, and jewelry design.” His buildings incorporate the many distinctive decorative styles of traditional Hijazi architecture: panelings, moldings, door shapes, and Rawashin — the carved latticed windows typical of the area. “It contains a huge amount of art that interested the people of the country at that time,” he said of his ambitious project. Eid said he has benefitted from the knowledge of many people who are familiar with historical Jeddah — including intellectuals, architects, civil engineers and local dignitaries. “Many people have visited me in my studio and seen the work,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of amendments based on their recommendations. I took their comments into account and restructured the work several times over the past year until I finally reached the version that most closely embodies the reality.” Eid said the fine and precise nature, and the astonishing variety, of Hijazi arts presented a serious challenge —  one that he was keen to embrace. “I found a unique, unparalleled precision and accuracy in Hijazi artistic heritage,” he said. “It is harmoniously composed of rich elements that I have not found in any other regions of the Kingdom.” Still, he did sometimes worry that he had taken on too big a task. “Sometimes I felt I would not finish it for years,” he said. Hijazi culture Hijazi culture, Eid pointed out, is “cross-cultural.” Jeddah has been the main port for pilgrims for hundreds of years, and as a result, the city and surrounding areas have gained a unique character —  possessing the spirit of numerous other cities from both East and West.  Eid claimed that anyone visiting Jeddah’s historic areas would likely see something of their own country there. “I saw something of Syria,” he said. Over the last fortnight or so, photographs of Eid’s project have been widely shared on social media —  with some people mistakenly claiming that the images were off work based on the old cities in Damascus or Cairo. “I was pleased with what happened,” Eid said. “I received a lot of encouragement and support.” The Syrian artist said he has had many similar experiences with Damascene architecture when he was working in his homeland. “I have to say, though, that this experience has been more enjoyable, with its challenges, fine details, and richness,” he added.  Eid said he believes recent years have seen an evolving renaissance in the arts in Saudi Arabia, marked by growing interest from the government and the public in the Kingdom’s heritage and its cultural value.  “Saudi Arabia is becoming a fertile environment for young artists to develop,” he said. “The number of galleries has multiplied, and a real movement has begun. I believe this movement in Saudi Arabia will grant the youth diverse opportunities and will raise the standards and the level of competition between them.” Such competition is important to improve artists’ abilities and the quality of art works delivered to the public, he added. While Eid views the current condition as very healthy, he pointed out that there are many young artists who need financial support if they are really going to fulfill their potential, and that “those who have the financial support still need guidance.” “Regardless of everything,” he concluded. “I am sure the future is promising.”     Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: artSaudi ArabiaSyria Two Saudi artists to take part in major art exhibition in Russia A look at Riyadh Art, which is going to bring public art to the city

Saudi crown prince meets deputy head of Sudan’s transitional council

Fri, 2019-05-24 05:19 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met the deputy head of Sudan’s transitional military council who is visiting Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency said early Friday. The meeting between the crown prince and Ge
Saudi Arabia

Saudi crown prince meets deputy head of Sudan’s transitional council

Fri, 2019-05-24 05:19 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met the deputy head of Sudan’s transitional military council who is visiting Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency said early Friday. The meeting between the crown prince and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who goes by the nickname Hemedti, was held in Jeddah, where they discussed cooperation between the two countries, the report said. Dagalo was accompanied by the official spokesman of the Sudanese Military Council General Shamsaddin Kabbashi, it said. With the crown prince during the meeting were Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet; and Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Member of the Cabinet. The crown prince, who is also deputy prime minister and defense minister, discussed with Dagalo bilateral cooperation between the two countries in addition to latest developments at the regional arena. Saudi Arabia and the UAE had earlier pledged to send $3 billion worth of aid to help Sudan recover after mass protests that had led to the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir last month. Last Sunday, the two Gulf allies deposited $500 million into Sudan’s Central Bank, the first installment of the joint package of aid. The move will strengthen Sudan’s “financial position, alleviate pressure on the Sudanese pound and achieve more stability in the exchange rate," said a statement by the Saudi Finance Ministry It said the remaining amount will be allocated to meet the urgent needs of the Sudanese people, including food, medications and oil derivatives. SPA said the Sudanese leaders departed Jeddah after the meeting and were seen off Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah province and senior adviser to the royal court. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: SudanCrown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saudi Arabia deposits $250 million into Sudan’s Central Bank: statementSudan army rulers, protesters plan more talks after no agreement

Saudi Arabia stresses need for enhanced cooperation in global fight against terrorism

Fri, 2019-05-24 06:07 JEDDAH: The fight against terrorism remains a global priority, Saudi Arabia said on Thursday, as the Kingdom emphasized the need for the international community to work together to eradicate the threat it poses. The comments were incl
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia stresses need for enhanced cooperation in global fight against terrorism

Fri, 2019-05-24 06:07 JEDDAH: The fight against terrorism remains a global priority, Saudi Arabia said on Thursday, as the Kingdom emphasized the need for the international community to work together to eradicate the threat it poses. The comments were included in a speech delivered by the Saudi delegation at the 28th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Geneva. Led by Interior Ministry adviser Abdullah Al-Ansari, the delegates presented a review of the Kingdom’s efforts in the realms of crime prevention and criminal justice. They highlighted the fact that no effort is being spared in the fight against terrorism, which is a high priority for the nation. The Saudis also stressed the need for continued international cooperation to defeat terrorism, and said that the Kingdom has ratified most of the international measured designed to combat the threat. The country has also implemented a number of anti-terror measures, including: the establishment of a Presidency of State Security to address security challenges, in particular those posed by terrorism and its financing; the founding of a National Cybersecurity Authority to address cyber threats; and the amendment of counterterrorism laws. The commission heard that the Kingdom’s security services had uncovered and disrupted active terrorist cells across the country. In addition, a number of initiatives have been developed to address the problem of returning terrorist fighters. These include the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, the members of which includes the GCC states, and which is jointly led by Saudi Arabia and the United States. It maintains strict control over the banking sector, ensures the proper organization of the charitable sector, and imposes sanctions on those found guilty of financing terrorism. The delegation pointed out that the Kingdom continues to lay the foundations for a long-term strategy to defeat extremism. This includes the founding of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, and the expansion of anti-extremism programs through the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue to address the growing threat of radicalization and recruitment of young people by armed militias such as Daesh. At the international level, the Kingdom has pledged $100 million to support the G5 Sahel counterterrorism task force in West Africa, and is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. In addition, Saudi experts participate in joint military programs targeting terrorism around the world. The country also hosted a meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition to address the ideological, financial, military and media aspects of the fight against terrorism, and the Ministry of Interior has implemented numerous judicial and legal assistance requests to assist in the battle. A number of draft resolutions arose from the session, the most important of which included: technical assistance for the implementation of international counterterrorism conventions; combating the online sexual exploitation and abuse of children; strengthening technical assistance and international cooperation to combat cybercrime; and the adoption of preparations for the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in April 2020 in Kyoto, Japan. During discussions about these resolutions, most of the amendments suggested by the Kingdom were adopted to strengthen international cooperation. The Saudi delegates also held meetings with officials from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, including officials from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and the Bureau of Counterterrorism. They discussed ways to enhance cooperation and enhance the capability of law-enforcement officers to combat such crimes.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabiaterrorismextremism Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt call on Qatar to stop funding terror groupsSaudi Arabia’s Cabinet calls for global stand against extremism, hate speech

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

Author: Fri, 2019-05-24 07:18 RIYADH: The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has inaugurated a podcast program, titled “Kingdom of Energy”, through which specialized researchers can talk about energy economics, policies,
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

Author: Fri, 2019-05-24 07:18 RIYADH: The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has inaugurated a podcast program, titled “Kingdom of Energy”, through which specialized researchers can talk about energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental issues. The podcast is an opportunity for people interested in the field of energy to listen to the opinions of specialists in the field, including workers or partners of the center, whether local or international cadres. The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors through a new platform on the center’s website, allowing visitors to listen to podcast episodes. The program is working on producing “Kingdom of Energy” episodes on a regular basis. The first episode is now available on the website in English, and another series is to be produced in Arabic. KAPSARC is a non-profit research center that conducts independent research into global energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental studies. The center seeks to find solutions for the most-effective and productive use of energy to promote economic and social growth locally, regionally and internationally.    Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaKing Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center INTERVIEW: KAPSARC’s Adam Sieminski on a ‘voyage of discovery’ in Saudi energy industryKAPSARC, GCCIA to develop electricity market in GCC

Treasures of Saudi Arabia’s National Museum visit Riyadh Park Mall

Author: Fri, 2019-05-24 00:36 RIYADH: The National Museum organized a social experiment in one of Riyadh’s malls to celebrate International Museum Day. It introduced artifacts to the public in Riyadh Park Mall through people dressed in costumes ins
Saudi Arabia

Treasures of Saudi Arabia’s National Museum visit Riyadh Park Mall

Author: Fri, 2019-05-24 00:36 RIYADH: The National Museum organized a social experiment in one of Riyadh’s malls to celebrate International Museum Day. It introduced artifacts to the public in Riyadh Park Mall through people dressed in costumes inspired by the museum’s treasures. They interacted with the audience, taught them about the history behind each artifact, and handed out free tickets to the museum, which organized the activity to raise its profile and allow free access to its exhibits. This year’s celebration was titled “Museums as cultural centers: The future of traditions.” It aims to improve the relationship between society and modern museums, and to note their contributions to culture, knowledge and science. Recently, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) granted five new licenses to the private museums in Riyadh, which will take the total number of museums in the region’s towns, cities and governorates to 50. Two of the new museums approved by the commission, Riwaq Al-Turath Museum in Riyadh and Moudi Al-Asimi Museum in Al-Dawadmi governorate, are owned by women. Other licenses go to the Majid Heritage Museum in Rawdat Sadir, the Khalid Al-Radian Heritage Museum in Riyadh, and the Qararah Museum in Al-Dawadmi. The International Museum Day is observed every year on May 18 in coordination with the International Council of Museums (ICoM) to highlight a specific theme. The annual celebrations were first initiated in 1977, when ICoM decided to devote a special day for museums in an attempt to enhance the relationship between museums and society. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia Construction work for Madinah Peace Museum inauguratedJeddah museum to showcase Arab, Islamic heritage

Saudi Culture Ministry to take part in major international AI exhibition in Russia

Fri, 2019-05-24 00:40 JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture is to take part in a major international exhibition aimed at exploring the future role of artificial intelligence (AI). And two artists from the Kingdom, Lulwah Al-Homoud and Dania Al-Saleh, will
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Culture Ministry to take part in major international AI exhibition in Russia

Fri, 2019-05-24 00:40 JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture is to take part in a major international exhibition aimed at exploring the future role of artificial intelligence (AI). And two artists from the Kingdom, Lulwah Al-Homoud and Dania Al-Saleh, will be taking center stage to showcase their work at next month’s event in Russia. The exhibition will be launched during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), at which delegates will discuss the latest advances in AI technology and tackle the question: “What will happen next?” Saudi duo Al-Homoud and Al-Saleh will join with artists from throughout the world for the expo, titled “Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue,” which will open in the State Hermitage Museum’s general staff building in St. Petersburg, on June 6, the first day of the SPIEF gathering, and run until July 7. The artists’ work will show how traditional and future elements can be mixed to express creative concepts, such as the combining of ancient Arabic calligraphy with AI. Al-Homoud is known for expressing creativity through abstract shapes. She holds a master’s degree from Central Saint Martins’ college of arts and design in England, with a specialization in Islamic art. She has coordinated exhibitions around the world, including the Shanghai Duolun Museum, in China, and the Saudi Art Gallery at the School of Oriental And African Studies in London. Her works were also acquired by the Five Continents Museum in Munich, Germany, and the LACMA art museum in Los Angeles. Al-Saleh explores “the voice” of infrastructure and the complexities of language through her work. In her Ithra prize-winning piece “Phoneme,” she sought to divide language into a smaller unit, concentrating on Arabic letters, and searching for their origin in order to prove their communicative power among humans. To do this, Al-Saleh, who is studying for a master’s degree in computer science at Goldsmiths, University of London, created a program to produce 28 scribbles representing the alphabet. By taking part in the Russian expo, the Ministry of Culture aims to support Saudi artists and promote cultural dialogue with the world through various arts initiatives. The exhibition, organized by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Hermitage, will be attended by world-renowned artists including Mario Klingemann from Germany, Sun Xun from China, Team Void from South Korea, American computer animator Jonathan Monaghan, and Norimichi Hirakawa of Japan. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: AIartificial intelligenceSaudi Ministry of CultureSt. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) Two Saudi artists to take part in major art exhibition in RussiaSaudi artists draw inspiration from Islam

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drone targeting Najran airport

Thu, 2019-05-23 17:03 RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces destroyed a bomb-laden drone launched by the Houthis towards Najran airport, Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.  Arab coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the drone was in
Saudi Arabia

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drone targeting Najran airport

Thu, 2019-05-23 17:03 RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces destroyed a bomb-laden drone launched by the Houthis towards Najran airport, Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.  Arab coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the drone was intercepted and destroyed at 1.46 p.m. on Thursday.  Al-Maliki said the Houthis “attacked a civilian airport” and warned of a “response”. On Monday, the forces also intercepted two missiles over Makkah province, which were launched by the Houthis. Reports said the missiles were aimed at Makkah and Jeddah. Houthi militants also tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab coalition said on Tuesday.           Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: NajranHouthis Houthis target Saudi civilian facility in Najran with explosives-laden droneSaudi air defenses shoot down missiles ‘heading for Makkah and Jeddah’

Saudi Railways Organization urged to modernize outdated rail system linking Riyadh to Eastern Province

Thu, 2019-05-23 01:55 RIYADH: The Shoura Council held its 44th regular session in Riyadh on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Dr. Yahya bin Abdullah Al-Samaan, assistant speaker of the council. During the session, the council called on the Saudi Railw
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Railways Organization urged to modernize outdated rail system linking Riyadh to Eastern Province

Thu, 2019-05-23 01:55 RIYADH: The Shoura Council held its 44th regular session in Riyadh on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Dr. Yahya bin Abdullah Al-Samaan, assistant speaker of the council. During the session, the council called on the Saudi Railways Organization to develop the infrastructure of the existing rail system to enable it to use advanced and fast trains to reduce the time of journeys on Riyadh, Al-Ahsa and Dammam lines. The council asked the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) to identify the regions’ competitive advantages, urge investors to benefit from them and create agriculture-based, livestock-based and fisheries-based industries. It also called on MODON to boost cooperation with government bodies and benefit from meetings, conferences and exhibitions to showcase the strength and resilience of the Kingdom’s economy in accordance with its 2030 Vision. The session approved a project that aims to broaden the private sector’s role in heritage and cultural festivities throughout the year. It enables the private sector to play an important role in the promotion of heritage and cultural festivals in improving internal tourism and national unity. The system seeks to support local productive families and popular professions, in addition to creating job opportunities for Saudis across the Kingdom. The council also approved a convention between the Saudi government and the Republic of Benin in the field of air transport services, signed in Riyadh on Oct. 2, 2018. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Railways OrganizationMODONSaudi Shoura Council Saudi Railway launches first night rail journey to Al-JoufSaudi rail chiefs reveal expansion plans for freight, passengers

From Elbrus to Everest, a Saudi explorer climbs for a cause

Thu, 2019-05-23 02:29 From cancer patients to war refugees, the list of beneficiaries of the causes for which Saudi explorer Mona Shahab climbs the world’s highest summits is lengthy. Currently, she is tackling the world’s tallest mountain, Everest. If s
Saudi Arabia

From Elbrus to Everest, a Saudi explorer climbs for a cause

Thu, 2019-05-23 02:29 From cancer patients to war refugees, the list of beneficiaries of the causes for which Saudi explorer Mona Shahab climbs the world’s highest summits is lengthy. Currently, she is tackling the world’s tallest mountain, Everest. If she succeeds in scaling it, it would see Shahab tick five boxes out of the classic adverturer’s to-do list of Seven Summits — the highest point on each of the seven continents. Raising awareness and funds — more than $350,000 (SR1.3 million) to date — for charitable causes is what chiefly motivates Shahab to win the Explorers Grand Slam title — that is, to reach the North Pole and the South Pole in addition to the Seven Summits. But beyond that, she wants to send a message to Saudi women — and to the world at large. “One of my goals is for us to gently shake the world, to change misperceptions, and maybe even shatter some stereotypes. Many raise an eyebrow when they hear a Saudi woman has achieved something,” Shahab told Arab News from the Everest base camp part way through her expedition. “Saudi women can, Saudi women will, reach whatever heights they set their mind and heart to.” DIZZYHEIGHTS 2012 — Completed Kilimanjaro4 Cancer and helped raise funds to build the first detection cancer center in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Also completed “A Woman’s Journey: Everest Base Camp” with nine other Saudi women to raise breast cancer awareness in the Kingdom. 2013 — Elbrus4Cancer, scaling Europe’s Elbrus mountain, to raise funds for Umniyaty, Saudi version of “Make a Wish Foundation.” 2014 — MtBlanc4Humanity by scaling Mont Blanc — the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest in Europe west of Russia’s Caucasus peaks — to reinforce the importance of tolerance among citizens of the world. 2015 — Vinson4Mohammed — a mission completed by Shahab standing on the roof of Antarctica for Mohammed, a Syrian boy diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Also completed Toubkal4Smiles, which saw Shahab stand on the roof of the Arab world. 2016 — Kilimanjaro4Mawaddah — to raise funds to help build a safe haven where children of divorcees can meet parents. Also completed LeninPeak4Tomorrow to raise funds to give 100 refugee children in Lebanon tan education. 2017 Aconcagua4Cancer — in Latin America in support of a child with cancer and in memory of her friend Marwa Fayed. 2019 Aims to climb Mount Everest as part of Shahab’s goal to win the Explorers Grand Slam title — to reach the North Pole, the South Pole and all of the Seven Summits. Together with Joyce Azzam and Nelly Attar, from Lebanon, and Nadhirah Alharthy from Oman, Shahab is part of an all-Arab women’s team aiming to scale Mount Everest, 8,848 metres above sea level, this month. Next Shahab has her eye on two of the world’s highest seven summits — Australia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, and Denali, the highest point in North America. Once those peaks have been scaled, she intends to make her way to the North and South Pole on skis and become the first Saudi to complete the Explorers Grand Slam challenge. “Saudi Arabia is not in the Explorer Grand Slam’s books yet and there are dear Saudi friends (HH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Saud and Raha Moharrak) who are closer to it than I am. They have already completed the Seven Summits,” said Shahab, who is a clinical child psychologist by profession. “Less than 50 names are on the current list, so it will be a pretty big achievement when a Saudi’s name is finally included.” Shahab, who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, said that she loved the outdoors from a young age and was bitten by the hiking bug early on. “Growing up, my parents would punish me by not allowing me to go outside,” she told Arab News. “I never wanted to be between four walls, boxed up in a room. I have always loved the outdoors. “Whether playing tennis or softball, I would have bruised knees because I was always outside playing with my friends in a compound once I had completed my homework.” Shahab said it was when she moved to the US to continue her education that she considered her first altitude hike. “I was working at the Children’s Hospital Boston, and one of my close friends emailed me asking if I would like to join him and his wife who were going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2007.” Due to visa issues, that trip did not work out. But the idea never left Shahab’s mind.  “Fast forward to 2010, my friends and I are sitting by the sea in India and out of the blue I ask, ‘Kilimanjaro early 2012. Who’s in?’” By 2011, the trip had been planned. “It just so happened that all of us were members of the Saudi Cancer Foundation in the Eastern Province, and we ended up helping to raise funds for the first early detection centre for cancer in the Eastern province.” After that first trip, Shahab has never looked back. “So Kilimanjaro was my first high-altitude hike, and I basically exchanged vows with the mountains ever since.” In 2012 Shahab was part of the first team of Saudi women, headed by HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, to reach the Everest Base Camp. It was during the expedition that she met a woman who has inspired Shahab. Shahab forged a friendship with Marwa Fayed, the late wife of Omar Samra, who was the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest, the Seven Summits and ski to both the South and the North Poles. “Right after trekking to the Everest Base Camp together, we decided to climb Aconcagua the following year,” Shahab recalled. However, Fayed, could not fulfill her ambition: three days after the birth of her daughter in 2013, she passed away. Fayed’s death came as a shock,  Shahab said. “So I aimed to climb that mountain in her memory.” After failing in 2014, Shahab achieved their shared Aconcagua dream in 2017. Now, during her mission to the top of Everest, it is Fayed’s memory that Shahab holds dear. She is also raising funds for a charity that Fayed founded. “Marwa had founded a charity called Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run. It had humble beginnings — to collect toys and distribute them to orphans in Egypt. It then expanded to refugee camps worldwide and today the charity is educating children in all areas — from theatre and analytical thinking to space. “It only takes $500 a year to educate a child on the skills they need to become change agents in their communities. I have joined forces in the hope that we can reach 300 children in underprivileged areas in Egypt.” Shahab has teamed up with Gento, an anti-bacterial company in the Middle East, which believed in her mission and offered her full sponsorship for her Everest ascent. Together they are raising awareness on obesity and diabetes, two conditions plaguing both the Kingdom and the wider region, as part of Gento’s commitment to highlight the importance of hygiene and community physical activities. “We want to motivate people and encourage them to move and become more physically active. Research shows that women who are more physically active are at less risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer,” Shahab told Arab News. “The focus now in the Kingdom is on Vision 2030. In order to move our nation to higher heights, we need to start with ourselves. Let’s get moving, Saudi! “We want men, women, and youth to toss all those excuses — “I can’t,” “I don’t want to,” “No one’s going to support me” — out the window.” Shahab, who along with her team-mates hopes to reach the summit of Everest in late May, continued: “We are here. We are standing on our own peaks whatever they may be, one hand, one heart. If we can do it, anyone can. “Change doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It takes time and that is OK.”       Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Editor’s ChoiceMountaineering Nepali sherpa scales Everest record 24 times — with one more to goEverest conqueror says end of Saudi Arabia stadium ban can inspire a generation

Ramadan in Najd: Between the past and the present

Thu, 2019-05-23 03:18 RIYADH: The month of Ramadan brings spiritual joy to Saudi Arabia — different to anywhere else around the world. The holy month has not changed since fasting was introduced, though different areas still have their own peculiarities
Saudi Arabia

Ramadan in Najd: Between the past and the present

Thu, 2019-05-23 03:18 RIYADH: The month of Ramadan brings spiritual joy to Saudi Arabia — different to anywhere else around the world. The holy month has not changed since fasting was introduced, though different areas still have their own peculiarities and quirks that have evolved gradually over time, in tandem with other traditions. Najd is one of those.    Crescent sighting According to the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), in the early days of the Kingdom there were traditions that were practiced before and during the holy month, such as the crescent sighting ceremony in the final days of the month of Sha’aban. Important members of the local government, as well as princes, sheikhs and judges, would gather alongside consultants atop a high, flat area before sunset to witness the crescent moon. “Equipped with small mountains and plains, the Najd region was celebrated as a hub for astronomy, serving as the source of confirmation that the sighting of the moon had taken place,” the DGCA states. “The consultants, experts in the phases of the moon, would determine the visibility of the slight crescent (hilal) moon that marks the beginning of the next month. When the hilal crescent was witnessed, neighboring areas were informed either through a loud call or through signaling shots being fired.”   Preparations  One of the main traditions that the people of Diriyah used to follow was  to make sure that the mosques were well equipped for the holy month. According to the DGCA: “Cleaning and lighting the mosques was a priority for the community, and it was a tradition for residents to bring oil lamps to light the mosques through the night.”  Now, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance plays an essential role in preparing mosques throughout the country and abroad. During Ramadan, it makes requests for preachers to offer religious speeches and lectures, as well as to distribute copies of the Holy Qu’ran. Restoration and refurbishment is also high on the agenda. According to the ministry’s website, this year the director general of its office in Riyadh, Sheikh Sami bin Sulaiman Al-Mashiqih, distributed 50,000 square meters of new carpets to mosques in the city alone. FASTFACT   • According to the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, in the early days of the Kingdom there were traditions that were practiced before and during the holy month of Ramadan, such as the crescent-sighting ceremony in the final days of the month of Sha’aban. • One of the main traditions that the people of Diriyah used to follow was to make sure that the mosques were well equipped for the holy month. Donations Perhaps one of the most important  Ramadan issues in the past was heat — considered a great suffering for previous generations who lived without electricity and air conditioners. According to the DGDA, the people of Diriyah used sheepskin or goatskin flasks to store water and keep it cool. The Najdi people during the holy month used to donate the skins of their sacrifices to the mosque to be made into flasks for the worshippers as a Ramadan tradition. They also donated palm trees and left dates at the door of the mosque, a practice known as “asha Ramadan.” Now, the community donates water bottles instead, as well as appliances such as refrigerators, a variety of foods, and chairs for the disabled to use inside the mosques.   Food The DGDA states that Najdi people in the past were characterized by simplicity when it came to Ramadan dishes, with a range of traditional and simple foods. They used to drink a sweet date juice called “Merais” at iftar and suhoor, which was particularly popular among the elderly. It was believed that it provided people with strength and energy when they fasted during the day. According to DGDA: “Merais is made by soaking dates in water, then filtering them into a thick juice. Some people in the region would enjoy Merais with ‘iqt,’ a dried and ground yogurt, to give the traditional drink a sour flavor. The most common and traditional Ramadan beverages among Najdi people were, and continue to be, camel milk and laban made from sheep milk.” Nowadays, drinking laban is common at every Najdi table. People drink it while eating dates, others drink Arabic coffee with dates to break their fast. “The Najdi region,” the DGDA continues, “is celebrated in the Arabian Peninsula for its local foods. Famous dishes originated in the region including ‘henaney,’ a sweet breakfast made from wheat dough, various type of dates and a thick date paste, known as ‘abet el tamer’. ‘Al-Hayes,’ a variation of ‘henaney’ made with ‘iqt,’ was attributed to the Sons of Hanifa and remains one of the most famous Najdi foods.”  During the early 1980s  new dishes were introduced to the Najdi iftar table during Ramadan through importers, including samosas, pasta, luqiamat (a crunchy sweet dumpling) and other foreign foods.  Muneerah Al-Ajlan, a local Najdi, said: “Soup and samosas are necessary on our iftar table. The family gathers for dates and coffee; after that the men go to the mosque while women head to the kitchen to carry out the second part of the iftar.”  Recently, many people and neighborhoods in Riyadh began to celebrate Gargee’an, which is primarily observed in the Eastern Gulf area, and which takes place on the 15th night of Ramadan. Children usually dress in traditional costumes and go door-to-door to receive sweets and nuts from neighbors and sing traditional songs. “On the second weekend of Ramadan, we celebrate Gargee’an in our house, where the whole family gathers and the children distribute candy,” added Al-Ajlan. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Ramadan2019NajdSaudi Arabia Singapore celebrates Ramadan with bazaars and biryaniWant to stay fit during Ramadan? No sweat, say fitness experts in Pakistan

China’s Belt and Road Initiative consistent with Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, says Chinese envoy

Author: Thu, 2019-05-23 03:43 RIYADH: Chinese Ambassador Chen Weiqing said his country’s Belt and Road Initiative is consistent with the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and he praised communication between the two countries. “China and the Kingdom
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China’s Belt and Road Initiative consistent with Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, says Chinese envoy

Author: Thu, 2019-05-23 03:43 RIYADH: Chinese Ambassador Chen Weiqing said his country’s Belt and Road Initiative is consistent with the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and he praised communication between the two countries. “China and the Kingdom are among the leading forces of dialogue among civilizations,” Chen said during an iftar at his home.  “We join our two countries in promoting security and stability in the region, and the whole world, through dialogue among civilizations. We strive for the integrated aspiration of mankind.” Chen, who was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia This month, said: “Cooperation between China and the Kingdom enjoys the characteristics of strategy, harmony and mutual benefit.” The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing last month, and a Saudi delegation attended. It was a chance for countries to pitch for investment in a massive infrastructure project aimed at connecting China with the rest of the world. “Saudi Arabia has applied economic and social reforms over the past few years, and has made significant progress toward achieving its goals,” Chen said.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: BRIVision 2030Belt and Road Initiative#DiplomaticQuarter Saudi Arabia participates in China Belt and Road forumSaudi, Chinese officials meet at Belt and Road Forum in Beijing 

Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Author: Thu, 2019-05-23 05:13 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Pales
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Author: Thu, 2019-05-23 05:13 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan.  The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict. The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting. The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation. The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy. The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments. But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: PalestineIsrael–Palestine peace planPalestine Liberation Organization Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping PalestiniansPalestinians cold-shouldered from major US-Bahraini economic ‘peace’ workshop

Saudi Arabia and UAE agree to fight disease, malnutrition in Yemen at high-level WHO meeting in Riyadh

Author: daniel fountainID: 1558547412398305600Wed, 2019-05-22 21:03 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Wednesday signed agreements to combat disease and malnutrition in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The agreements were signed with UNICE
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Saudi Arabia and UAE agree to fight disease, malnutrition in Yemen at high-level WHO meeting in Riyadh

Author: daniel fountainID: 1558547412398305600Wed, 2019-05-22 21:03 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Wednesday signed agreements to combat disease and malnutrition in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The agreements were signed with UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) during a high-level meeting in Riyadh that was attended by the General Supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and adviser to the Royal Court Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami, and the UAE Minister of State for International cooperation Reem Al-Hashimy as well as the UN’s relief chief Mark Lowcock. The first agreement is about controlling a cholera outbreak in Yemen in cooperation with the WHO as part of an initiative to support relief and humanitarian projects with $20 million, directly benefiting more than a million people and indirectly aiding more than 18 million. As of May 10 more than 306,000 suspected cases had been reported across the country, according to UNICEF, two years after the country was gripped by the world’s largest cholera outbreak. An estimated 16 million people in Yemen, more than half of them children, lack adequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, UNICEF added. The second agreement will address acute malnutrition in high-risk areas in cooperation with UNICEF. The project has a total value of $40 million and will benefit 1.4 million people. The agreement also aims to treat 50,000 Yemeni children under the age of five who are suffering from acute malnutrition, promote infant and young child feeding practices and monitor their growth, provide health counseling to the local community, health facilities and 400,000 mothers, provide micronutrient supplements to 800,000 children under the age of five, and detect malnutrition in a million children. Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children. Around 360,000 children under five were suffering from severe acute malnutrition and require treatment, UNICEF said in March. The Riyadh meeting discussed the humanitarian situation in Yemen and reviewed matters related to the Saudi and Emirati grant for 2018. In a press conference after the meeting, the Lowcock thanked Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their humanitarian support and relief work in Yemen. Lowcock, who is the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said the two countries offered around $1 billion at a UN pledging conference in Geneva in February. “Heavier trucks, including those carrying food aid, now take more than 60 hours to travel between Sana’a and Aden — that is about four times as long as used to be the case. In February and March, more than 900,000 people were affected by delays or interruptions in assistance,” he told the Council. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaUAEYemencoalitioncholeraUNUNICEFWHO World Food Programme considers ending aid to Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen after ‘interference’Saudi Arabia and UAE provide $70m to help Yemeni teachers

Joint Incident Assessment Team is committed to transparency and impartiality

Wed, 2019-05-22 22:35 RIYADH: The Joint Accident Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen is committed to transparency and impartiality, the spokesperson said on Wednesday. Speaking at a press conference in Riyadh, Mansour Al-Mansour said the investigation into the
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Joint Incident Assessment Team is committed to transparency and impartiality

Wed, 2019-05-22 22:35 RIYADH: The Joint Accident Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen is committed to transparency and impartiality, the spokesperson said on Wednesday. Speaking at a press conference in Riyadh, Mansour Al-Mansour said the investigation into the fishing boats that the Arab coalition targeted in 2017 and the boats that were bombed in Yemen's Al-Bawdi showed that they were loaded with weapons for the Iran-backed Houthi militia. He also said the Arab coalition bombed weapons stores belonging to the Houthi militia in Bani Hashish in the capital Sanaa.  Main category: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia launches Quran recitation and Adhan competitions for Muslims around the world

Author: daniel fountainID: 1558556065318997700Wed, 2019-05-22 23:29 LONDON: Two competitions calling for the “most beautiful and influential voices” from around the world to recite the Quran and perform Adhan have been officially opened by Saud
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Saudi Arabia launches Quran recitation and Adhan competitions for Muslims around the world

Author: daniel fountainID: 1558556065318997700Wed, 2019-05-22 23:29 LONDON: Two competitions calling for the “most beautiful and influential voices” from around the world to recite the Quran and perform Adhan have been officially opened by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment, according to a tweet from its chairman Turki Al-Sheikh. Today we announce the launch of the largest Quran competition and the first Athan competition with total prizes of 12 millions SAR. For registration: https://t.co/RKtrM9pauI pic.twitter.com/H5ulGSH5sF — تركي آل الشيخ (@Turki_alalshikh) May 22, 2019 According to a statement on the competition's website, the Quran and Adhan Awards “aim to to provide a rich Islamic experience to the world by highlighting the diversity of the cultures of the Islamic world, which is reflected in the different methods of reciting the Quran and raising the Adhan.” Organizers of the competitions also hope to encourage a better understanding of the Quran and its recitations among Muslim youth, as well as promoting the nature of Islam which “rejects extremism and intolerance in all its forms.” Applications for both competitions opened on May 22 and will close on June 22. Filtering of applications will take place until August 22, with live performances taking place throughout August and September and the winners declared in October. Registration is open here. The competition is part of a packed schedule in 2019. The GEA has launched an ambitious program of events planned on a scale never before seen in the Kingdom in the throughout the year, with traditional and culturally significant local events featuring prominently in the plans. In January, the GEA chairman Turki Al-Sheikh said: “Competitions are an important element of entertainment, the most important will take place during Ramadan and will be of an Islamic nature, with the supervision of Islamic scholars. “The first competition will be for the most beautiful reciting of the Holy Qur’an, and competitors from all over the world are invited. The first prize will be SR 5 million. “The second Islamic competition is for the athan (call for prayer). In addition to receiving a large prize of SR 2 million, the winner of the first prize can also look forward to raising the athan in the Prophet’s Holy mosque,” he added.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaQuranRamadan2019RamadanGeneral Entertainment Authority Saudi Arabia looks east for next stage of entertainment revolutionAl-Sheikh: Saudi entertainment sector ‘needs investment’

Dr. Afnan bint Abdullah Al-Shuaibi, general supervisor at the Ministry of Culture

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 22:55 Dr. Afnan bint Abdullah Al-Shuaibi was appointed general supervisor of international relations at the Ministry of Culture early this year. Before her role at the ministry, Al-Shuaibi worked in business. She is a member o
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Dr. Afnan bint Abdullah Al-Shuaibi, general supervisor at the Ministry of Culture

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 22:55 Dr. Afnan bint Abdullah Al-Shuaibi was appointed general supervisor of international relations at the Ministry of Culture early this year. Before her role at the ministry, Al-Shuaibi worked in business. She is a member of the board of directors of the London-based Arab International Women’s Forum. Previously, Al-Shuaibi was the secretary-general and CEO of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) in London, where she was the first woman to assume this position. Al-Shuaibi served as CEO of the ABCC for 11 years, between 2007 and 2018. Prior to this, she was an adviser to the president of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council in Washington D.C. between 1998 and 2007. Al-Shuaibi holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from King Saud University in Riyadh, a master’s degree in educational administration from the American University in Washington D.C., and a Ph.D. in leadership administration from George Washington University. Recently, Al-Shuaibi met Dr. Khaled Manzlawi, deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, during her representation of the Saudi delegation participating in a meeting of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Manzlawi praised the efforts being exerted by the Ministry of Culture to highlight the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. They reviewed the ministry’s vision and programs aimed at developing the Saudi cultural and heritage sector. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Who's WhoSaudi Ministry of CultureArab-British Chamber of Commerce Kareem Shamma, Qiddiya Investment Co. executiveDr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan, new head of the Saudi Culture Ministry’s literature, translation and publishing department

Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

Author: Ameera AbidID: 1558472936190585900Wed, 2019-05-22 00:08 JEDDAH: The Hafez Gallery has organized the Shara Art Fair at the Saudi Art Council’s headquarters, bringing together five galleries from around Jeddah. “I’ve been exhibiting wi
Saudi Arabia

Hafez Gallery brings together 5 galleries from around Jeddah for special fair

Author: Ameera AbidID: 1558472936190585900Wed, 2019-05-22 00:08 JEDDAH: The Hafez Gallery has organized the Shara Art Fair at the Saudi Art Council’s headquarters, bringing together five galleries from around Jeddah. “I’ve been exhibiting with the Hafez Gallery for the past four years, ever since it started,” Osama Esid, from Damascus, told Arab News. His painting at the art fair, “Zamakan,” is “about refugees sinking as they try to cross vast stretches of water,” he said. He created the painting “in the dark to show the final resting place of these refugees,” he added. “I’d use brushes, sticks, and sometimes even my fingers.” Artist Bashair Hawsawi told Arab News that his piece, showing a couple of broom heads attached back to back, “reflects the experiences I went through this year, because I want to clean my thoughts and ideas from negative things.” He added: “When I was young, people would comment on my shyness and weakness, so I started to be aware of this, and that helped me work out who I really wanted to be.” FASTFACT • Five galleries from around Jeddah participated in the Shara Art Fair organized by Hafez Gallery. • Artist Osama Esid, from Damascus, has been exhibiting his works at Hafez Gallery for the past four years. • Bashair Hawsawi and Khalid Zahid were the other artists who had their works exhibited at the art fair. Khalid Zahid, known for his Islamic-themed modern art, exhibited balloons shaped like mosques in different colors. “The concept is called ‘Joyful.’ What I wanted to show was how balloons bring joy whether you’re young or old,” he told Arab News. “As for the shape, I wanted to show how Islam brings joy to people. That’s why they (the balloons) look like mosques.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaArt & CultureTags: Hafez GalleryCulture and Entertainment Jeddah’s Hafez Gallery showcases Arab talent at Art DubaiWhere We Are Going Today: Athr Gallery

King Salman receives Saudi Arabia’s regional governors 

Wed, 2019-05-22 06:29 JEDDAH: King Salman received the governors of the administrative regions of Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah on Tuesday. The king directed the governors to take care of the citizens and expatriates' interests, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
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King Salman receives Saudi Arabia’s regional governors 

Wed, 2019-05-22 06:29 JEDDAH: King Salman received the governors of the administrative regions of Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah on Tuesday. The king directed the governors to take care of the citizens and expatriates' interests, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance, so too was the  Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif and his deputy. The governors were holding their 26th annual meeting. The governors present at the meeting were: Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region; Prince Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Jazan Region; Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Tabuk Region; Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province; Prince Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musa'ed, Governor of Najran Region; Prince Dr. Faisal bin Mishaal bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Qassim Region; Prince Husam bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Al-Baha Region; Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Hail; Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Asir Region; Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah Region; Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Northern Borders Region; and Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Al-Jouf Region.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia

Peace is our priority but the world must take a stand against Iran, says Saudi cabinet

Wed, 2019-05-22 14:04 JEDDAH: The Saudi cabinet on Tuesday said that while the Kingdom believes all people in the region have a right to live in peace, including the Iranians, the international community must take firm action against the regime in Tehran to
Saudi Arabia

Peace is our priority but the world must take a stand against Iran, says Saudi cabinet

Wed, 2019-05-22 14:04 JEDDAH: The Saudi cabinet on Tuesday said that while the Kingdom believes all people in the region have a right to live in peace, including the Iranians, the international community must take firm action against the regime in Tehran to prevent it from spreading destruction and chaos. After a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Assalam Palace, presided over by King Salman, Turki Al-Shabanah, the minister of media, told the Saudi Press Agency that the cabinet reviewed reports on regional and global development, and the king invited GCC leaders to hold Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30. The invitation reflects the Kingdom’s desire to work with other nations to boost security and stability in the region, the minister said, especially in light of the Iran’s continuing aggressive actions. The regime’s recent activities threaten regional and international peace and security, and the supply and stability of international oil markets, he added. Al-Shabanah reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to peace and said it will make every effort to prevent war. The nation’s hand is always extended, he added, in the belief that everyone in the region, including the Iranians, has the right to live in a secure and stable environment. However, the cabinet called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by taking a firm stance against the actions of the regime in Tehran, to prevent its disruptive and destructive activities throughout the world. It also called on Iran to halt the reckless and irresponsible behavior of its agents, to save the region from the dangers they pose and potential repercussions. The cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s hopes and expectations that the 14th Ordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, will encourage unity of response to ongoing events in the Islamic world. The summit, chaired by King Salman, will be held in Makkah on May 31 under the title “Makkah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future.” Ministers heard that the Kingdom has sent $250 million to the Central Bank of Sudan as part of a previously announced package of assistance in partnership with the United Arab Emirates. This latest demonstration of support from the Kingdom to the Sudanese people aims to help stabilize the country’s economy, and strengthen the Sudanese pound in particular, to help improve the lives of the nation’s people. The cabinet also welcomed the decision of the 14th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee to monitor an oil production reduction agreement concluded in Jeddah, which was headed by the Kingdom and Russia, and affirmed its commitment to balancing the oil market and stabilizing it on a sustainable basis. Turning to local affairs, the Council of Ministers confirmed the generous support of SR 100 million ($26.7 million) from the king, and SR 30 million from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Jood Housing platform. Launched a day earlier, and supervised by the National Housing Development Association, it aims to accelerate the development process through the introduction of a new model of social solidarity, in which government, charities and commercial entities work together in accordance with regulations designed to provide support for those in need. The council also discussed the results of the 26th meeting of the region’s governors, and praised the king for his directives designed to preserve security and help people throughout the Kingdom. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: IranSaudi Arabiaislamic summit King Salman receives Saudi Arabia’s regional governors Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

Author: Ameera AbidID: 1558473054120589900Wed, 2019-05-22 00:10 JEDDAH: Enterprising Saudi home-bakers have been turning to social media to help cook up some sweet business success. The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the risi
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Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

Author: Ameera AbidID: 1558473054120589900Wed, 2019-05-22 00:10 JEDDAH: Enterprising Saudi home-bakers have been turning to social media to help cook up some sweet business success. The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the rising stars of the internet, and none more so than 53-year-old mom Nada Kutbi. Her Sucre De Nada pastry shop in Jeddah has become one of the go-to places for homemade desserts and cakes, and the online side of her business is also booming. Kutbi’s daughter, Nassiba Khashoggi, told Arab News: “She has basically been baking all her life, especially after having children. She used to make cookies for us and whenever she tried a dessert somewhere else, she would recreate it. “In restaurants or gatherings, she would always analyze sweets and make them at home for her family. That was how she started baking. “I don’t think she ever thought she could pursue it as a career, but everyone loved her baking and one of her closest friends encouraged her to start her business when she was a stay-at-home mom. “It was in 2011-2012, and her friend basically forced her to start by telling her, ‘yallah! make a cake and I will buy it from you now.’” Khashoggi added: “In the beginning we just went by word of mouth, but when Instagram came along, we made an account and started posting pictures and the customers loved her creativity and uniqueness. I don’t think many people knew what banoffee was before my mom promoted it.” Although Kutbi’s unique takes and touches went down a treat with customers, it was not until Ramadan last year that she officially opened her bakery in Jeddah. But stepping up from running a home business presented new challenges. “When you are running a home business there are few staff and it is easy to control,” said Khashoggi. But expanding requires you to put more trust in other people and that was difficult for my mom. Also, when we increased the number of our products it became harder to maintain the quality of goods.” Kutbi aims to avoid storing, pre-baking or freezing her products and is not a fan of mass production and blast freezing, according to her daughter. “In short, she is against commercial baking,” said Khashoggi. “What is unique about my mom is that everything she makes is made the same day from scratch. It makes it harder for her to redo everything but that’s what makes her special.” HIGHLIGHtS • The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the rising stars of the internet, none more so than 53-year-old mom Nada Kutbi. • Kutbi’s unique takes and touches have been a hit with customer, but it was not until Ramadan last year that she officially opened her bakery in Jeddah. Sometimes customers even send pictures or pieces of dessert to Kutbi asking her to recreate their favorite foods. Another Jeddah-based bakery thriving on the internet is Ganache. Run by Anas Khashoggi, 58, and Jamila Ali Islam, 48, the pastry business has been operating for almost 20 years. Khashoggi supported his wife after spotting her talent for baking and took a leap of faith by giving up his job and starting an online bakery. “At that time, there was no social media, but we made an introductory website, which helped us gain popularity,” he said. That was in 1996, and the couple’s first store opened later the same year. “Ganache has its own unique spirit as a family business, and it is run by Saudi youth who are managing the bakery and understand the Saudi market. The family committee is the one that approves the products,” added Khashoggi. Main category: Saudi ArabiaFood & HealthTags: Saudi home made foodSaudi Food Saudi food truckers tickling your taste buds can’t find a recipe for parkingFeast like a beast: Jason Momoa puts on weight due to ‘amazing’ Saudi food

Makkah’s Grand Mosque library contains 30,000 books

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 00:27 MAKKAH: The library of Makkah’s Grand Mosque is considered a beacon of knowledge, covering an area of 1,000 square meters and containing 30,000 books and 5,600 titles. The library, which has 15 sections, offers digital
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Makkah’s Grand Mosque library contains 30,000 books

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 00:27 MAKKAH: The library of Makkah’s Grand Mosque is considered a beacon of knowledge, covering an area of 1,000 square meters and containing 30,000 books and 5,600 titles. The library, which has 15 sections, offers digital, audio and internet services. It contains rare books dating back to the Hijri second century, including “Al-Mustatab,” “Majmaa Al-Anhur Fi Sharh Multaqa Al-Abhur” and “Al-Ashbah Wal Nazaer.” The library was re-inaugurated in 1434 Hijri to boost the religious mission of the Two Holy Mosques, and to guide visitors and pilgrims. It aims to highlight Islamic culture, develop the skills of researchers and its employees, and procure religious books. It also aims to establish a scientific center and a world-class cultural and knowledge center, based around a central library of 20 million titles. The library has enough reading spaces for both men and women, children’s desk services, translation and research centers, high-tech storage, delivery and receipt of folders, special collections and multimedia tools, as well as specialized services of the library with the latest scientific means, a manuscripts and digital library, a department for rehabilitation and restoration of ancient manuscripts and adequate administrative space. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia King Abdul Aziz Public Library showcases Arab, Islamic heritageMinister inspects Riyadh library to identify needs

400 prayer rugs for Makkah’s Grand Mosque cleaned daily during Ramadan

Author: Tareq Al-ThaqafiID: 1558472998000587800Wed, 2019-05-22 00:09 MAKKAH: After nearly two decades of importing prayer rugs for the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia established dedicated factories at home to manufacture and clean rugs for th
Saudi Arabia

400 prayer rugs for Makkah’s Grand Mosque cleaned daily during Ramadan

Author: Tareq Al-ThaqafiID: 1558472998000587800Wed, 2019-05-22 00:09 MAKKAH: After nearly two decades of importing prayer rugs for the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia established dedicated factories at home to manufacture and clean rugs for the largest mosque in the world. A dedicated laundry facility with 20 trained workers cleans 400 prayer rugs every day during the Ramadan and Hajj seasons, according to Nayef Al-Jahdali, director of the Department of Cleansing and Carpet at the Grand Mosque. Al-Jahdali said workers use a special machine to remove dust from the rugs, then environmentally friendly shampoo and perfumes are applied before the rugs are rinsed. They are placed inside industrial driers for two minutes, then dried under the sun for 24 hours before being moved to warehouses. A special department is responsible for repairing damaged rugs.  Belgium, Germany and Lebanon manufactured rugs for the Grand Mosque before the Kingdom opened its own rug-cleaning facilities in 2000. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: MakkahMadinahHajj and UmrahRamadan 2019 Makkah’s Grand Mosque library contains 30,000 booksSaudis volunteer to aid Makkah pilgrims during Ramadan

King Salman decrees promotion of 100 judges

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 00:39 RIYADH: King Salman issued a royal decree on Tuesday promoting 100 judges at various levels in the Justice Ministry. Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judiciary Council Waleed Al-Samaani said the royal decr
Saudi Arabia

King Salman decrees promotion of 100 judges

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 00:39 RIYADH: King Salman issued a royal decree on Tuesday promoting 100 judges at various levels in the Justice Ministry. Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judiciary Council Waleed Al-Samaani said the royal decree is part of the continuous care and support of King Salman to the Saudi judicial system.  In 2019, the ministry has already issued 774 licenses for legal practices, 619 for male lawyers and 155 for female lawyers. The ministry recently announced that the total number of lawyers registered with the ministry has reached 6,270, including 487 female lawyers. In order to improve its performance, the Justice Ministry has launched several online services.  One of the new e-services enables clients to inquire about their power of attorney (PoAs) and their validity, terminate unwanted ones, and find out about the agencies that have checked the validity of any of their PoAs. Another e-service enables government agencies to verify PoAs online through the “Yesser” program, the universal access number 920025888, the ministry’s portal (www.moj.gov.sa), and its official app. The new system abridges about 70 percent of procedures and directs clients straight to the assigned notary’s office without having to go through the data entry hall. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaSaudi judiciary King Salman promotes, appoints 25 judges at various levelsKing Salman promotes, appoints judges, government officials

Saudi Arabian Airlines trains new pilots

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 00:43 JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Airlines has completed the procedures for the final admission phase for dispatching 400 applicants for the Aviators’ program in both its branches — commercial aviation and aviation sciences.
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Airlines trains new pilots

Author: Wed, 2019-05-22 00:43 JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Airlines has completed the procedures for the final admission phase for dispatching 400 applicants for the Aviators’ program in both its branches — commercial aviation and aviation sciences. The final phase includes medical and physical fitness tests related to aviation, and comes after initial admission tests that qualified them for the third phase of the program. The latest dispatch is the largest since the program kicked off two years ago. Under the umbrella of this program, 476 students are receiving their first and second phase of the training program at top US universities. 254 trainees have successfully completed the theoretical phase and have returned to the Kingdom to do the final training phase in the Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah. In addition, the airlines graduated 159 new aviators, 94 of them at their own expense, before the program kicked off. During the first quarter of this year, 52 pilots and assistant pilots joined the Saudi Arabian Airlines crew after completing their training. A total of 527 new pilots and assistant pilots were trained over the past three years. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director general of the airlines, said the training program is accepting larger numbers due to the increasing need to recruit pilots to its expanding fleet.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabian Airlines Saudia adds flights from Riyadh to Al-UlaSaudia boss issues tribute to cabin crew killed in Sri Lanka bomb attacks

Houthis target Saudi civilian facility in Najran with explosives-laden drone

Tue, 2019-05-21 05:32 RIYADH: Houthi militants had tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday. In a stat
Saudi Arabia

Houthis target Saudi civilian facility in Najran with explosives-laden drone

Tue, 2019-05-21 05:32 RIYADH: Houthi militants had tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday. In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition said the target was a vital facility. «The Houthi-backed terrorist militia of Iran continues to carry out acts of terrorism that pose a real threat to regional and international security by targeting civilian objects and civilian facilities, as well as civilian citizens and residents of all nationalities,» Al-Maliki said. The statement did not mention casualties and gave no further details. Earlier on Monday, Al-Maliki said Houthis fired two ballistic missiles toward the holy city of Makkah and Jeddah but both were shot down by Saudi air defense forces. The Iran-backed Houthis have fired dozens of missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, since the Arab Coalition intervened in 2015 to restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which was ousted in a Houthi coup.     Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Houthi terroristsNajran Houthi threat to holy sites in Makkah condemnedSaudi air defenses shoot down missiles ‘heading for Makkah and Jeddah’

Al-Jubeir meets European envoys in Riyadh

Tue, 2019-05-21 00:54 JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir held separate meetings with British Ambassador Simon Collis, Italian Ambassador Luca Ferrari and Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso, head of the EU delegation to Saudi
Saudi Arabia

Al-Jubeir meets European envoys in Riyadh

Tue, 2019-05-21 00:54 JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir held separate meetings with British Ambassador Simon Collis, Italian Ambassador Luca Ferrari and Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso, head of the EU delegation to Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh on Monday. During the meetings, they discussed issues of common interest and the latest regional and international developments. Saudi Arabia enjoys strong relations with the UK, Italy and other members of the EU. The UK in particular has a strong part to play in some of the expertise and growing the human capacity needed to implement the reforms set out under the Saudi Vision 2030. During Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s last year’s visit to the UK, the two sides set out an ambition to build $90.29 billion of trade and investment ties. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Adel Al-JubeirSimon CollisLuca FerrariMichele Cervone d’Urso Saudi group launches Independent Persian as part of its multilingual outreachFake News Watch: Saudi airports and Egyptian rumors

Saudi culture minister signs up to Weibo

Author: SPAID: 1558388700652854400Tue, 2019-05-21 00:44 RIYADH: Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan has signed up for a personal account on Weibo, one of China’s most popular social networking websites, becoming the first A
Saudi Arabia

Saudi culture minister signs up to Weibo

Author: SPAID: 1558388700652854400Tue, 2019-05-21 00:44 RIYADH: Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan has signed up for a personal account on Weibo, one of China’s most popular social networking websites, becoming the first Arab culture minister on the Twitter-like platform. Weibo connects more than 445 million active users per month, and includes a number of politicians from around the world, including Indian Premier Narendra Modi and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Prince Badr’s Weibo account aims to promote communication between Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries on the one hand, and China on the other, as well as promote Saudi and Arab culture. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Weibo Saudi Culture Ministry launches new fund to support local talentExhibition of Saudi culture proves popular with visitors in Philippines

King Salman promotes, appoints 25 judges at various levels

Author: SPAID: 1558388669722854100Tue, 2019-05-21 00:44 JEDDAH: King Salman issued a royal decree on Monday promoting 25 judges at the Board of Grievances at various levels. The Kingdom is taking various measures to revolutionize its judicial syst
Saudi Arabia

King Salman promotes, appoints 25 judges at various levels

Author: SPAID: 1558388669722854100Tue, 2019-05-21 00:44 JEDDAH: King Salman issued a royal decree on Monday promoting 25 judges at the Board of Grievances at various levels. The Kingdom is taking various measures to revolutionize its judicial system. Recently, the Justice Ministry launched an e-notarization system to provide several services that dispense with paperwork and spare clients the need to visit notarial offices for low-risk powers of attorney. The ministry also conducted 193,229 verification operations through its various electronic channels. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: King SalmanSaudi judiciary Arab League sends out invites to Arab states to attend summit called by King SalmanKing Salman receives president of UAE’s Federal National Council in Jeddah

Ramadan offers ‘golden opportunity’ to get in shape, say Saudi fitness experts

Author: Deema Al-KhudairID: 1558391092352963700Tue, 2019-05-21 01:23 JEDDAH: Saudi fitness experts have urged Muslims to use Ramadan as a “golden opportunity” to start a new healthy lifestyle. The holy month of fasting is the perfect time to g
Saudi Arabia

Ramadan offers ‘golden opportunity’ to get in shape, say Saudi fitness experts

Author: Deema Al-KhudairID: 1558391092352963700Tue, 2019-05-21 01:23 JEDDAH: Saudi fitness experts have urged Muslims to use Ramadan as a “golden opportunity” to start a new healthy lifestyle. The holy month of fasting is the perfect time to get into shape, say some of the Kingdom’s top trainers. With regular exercise, Ramadan can offer a new start for many worshippers both spiritually and physically. RK Fit gym owner, Reham Kamal, told Arab News that working out while fasting was healthy because the body used stored fat as energy, resulting in more fat burning. The 32-year-old Saudi coach recommended low- to medium-impact workouts while fasting to avoid dehydration and advised trying calisthenics, a form of exercise consisting of a variety of movements which work large muscle groups, such as running, standing, grasping and pushing. Kamal said: “Ramadan is a great opportunity to lose weight. We shouldn’t eat too much when breaking our fast. Sadly, in our culture, people take this month as an opportunity to fill the table. “They aren’t seeing the golden opportunity to get into shape, because fasting has numerous health benefits, not only weight loss. It promotes blood-sugar control by reducing insulin resistance, increases growth hormone secretion, which is vital for growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength, and aids weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism. “For fat burning, it is better to work out an hour before breaking your fast, since the insulin level is low, but for building lean, toned muscles, it is better to work out two hours after breaking fast because the insulin level is high,” she added. HIGHLIGHTS The holy month of Ramadan is a new start for many, both spiritually and physically. Exercising while fasting has benefits: It promotes blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance, increases growth hormone secretion which is vital for growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength, and aids weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism. Mashael Fagerah, 35, owner of House of Agility, a studio offering high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit training, said: “You can do everything you normally do during fasting especially if you are used to working out. But if you are a beginner, I would recommend starting carefully with low-impact training.” She told Arab News that many Muslims took advantage of Ramadan to keep fit. “Whether before iftar, before sahoor or between them, if you have the time for a workout just do it,” added Fagerah. “At the end of the day, it is better than doing nothing.” Saudi personal trainer and co-founder of Swish bootcamp, Sohaib Mubarak, 29, said it was important to choose the right kind of fitness regime. “When you haven’t had anything to drink or eat your body is low in fuel and dehydrated. Therefore, performing high-intensity training would harm your body and your health. “Also, studies show that the difference in results is insignificant between exercising in a fasted or a fed state,” he added.  Mubarak recommended low-intensity cardio for a short period of time. “That is 60 percent to 70 percent of maximum heart rate. By doing that you won’t sweat much and get dehydrated.” He said people often wrongly related not eating to weight loss, when infact they should focus more on maintaining a healthy lifestyle rather than watching the weighing scales. “In my opinion Ramadan is like any other month, because losing weight and having a good shape is about changing your eating habits and lifestyle for life not only for one month. One month is not enough to create a tremendous transformation. It’s all about consistency,” Mubarak told Arab News. Saudi fitness trainer and owner of B. Bros gym, Rayan Bashawri, 27, stressed the importance of listening to the body’s needs and capabilities. “So many studies have been done about fasted training or training on an empty stomach, and it shows different thoughts depending on what kind of athlete you are or what kind of sport you are doing. “But my opinion is to listen to your body and do what feels right for you. It’s not healthier to do fasted training but it’s not bad for you either. You can reach your goal either way,” he told Arab News. The number of people taking out gym subscriptions often shoots up during Ramadan. Bashawri said: “Right after Ramadan is the time when people travel, and it’s a beach season as well, so obviously everyone wants to look good. The ages of those hitting the gym at this time of the year are from 18-30.” Fasting was a great opportunity to lose weight, but Bashawri noted that staying up late and sleeping during the day was not ideal. He also warned people not to over-exert themselves if exercising during fasting as it could cause injury and dehydration.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaFood & HealthTags: Ramadan 2019fasting month Saudis volunteer to aid Makkah pilgrims during Ramadan

Houthis targetted civilian facility in Najran with an explosives-laden drone, says Arab Coalition

Tue, 2019-05-21 05:32 RIYADH: Houthi militants had tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday. In a stat
Saudi Arabia

Houthis targetted civilian facility in Najran with an explosives-laden drone, says Arab Coalition

Tue, 2019-05-21 05:32 RIYADH: Houthi militants had tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday. In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition said the target was a vital facility. «The Houthi-backed terrorist militia of Iran continues to carry out acts of terrorism that pose a real threat to regional and international security by targeting civilian objects and civilian facilities, as well as civilian citizens and residents of all nationalities,» Al-Maliki said. The statement did not mention casualties and gave no further details. Earlier on Monday, Al-Maliki said Houthis fired two ballistic missiles toward the holy city of Makkah and Jeddah but both were shot down by Saudi air defense forces. The Iran-backed Houthis have fired dozens of missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, since the Arab Coalition intervened in 2015 to restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which was ousted in a Houthi coup.     Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Houthi terroristsNajran Houthi threat to holy sites in Makkah condemnedSaudi air defenses shoot down missiles ‘heading for Makkah and Jeddah’

Three historical mosques in Hail to be restored under Saudi crown prince project

Author: daniel fountainID: 1558296380963990900Sun, 2019-05-19 23:18 RIYADH: Three mosques in the region of Hail have joined the first phase of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques in the Kingdom, joining 30 historic
Saudi Arabia

Three historical mosques in Hail to be restored under Saudi crown prince project

Author: daniel fountainID: 1558296380963990900Sun, 2019-05-19 23:18 RIYADH: Three mosques in the region of Hail have joined the first phase of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques in the Kingdom, joining 30 historic mosques in 10 regions at a total cost of the first phase of more than SAR50 million ($13.3 million). The project is supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) represented by “Restoration of Historic Mosques” in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The first phase of the Hail mosques started with Al-Jarad Mosque, Qafar Mosque and Al-Jal’ud Mosque at a total cost of SAR6,211,000. Al-Jarad Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the historic town of Maghaydah and dates back to 1862 and was restored in 1962. Prayer services continued in the mosque until 1991. Prominent imams of the mosque include Abdul Aziz Rashid Al-Jamil, Salem Nasser Al-Jamil and Abdullah Hilal Al-Jamil. Al-Jarad Mosque is built with mud and stone with a wooden roof. It covers 450 square meters and can accommodate 192 worshipers. It consists of the prayer area which is located in the central part of the mosque with an area of 90 square meters. Al-Khalwah is an underground prayer area located in the southern part of the mosque with an area of 90 square meters. Al-Sarhah is the open area that lies north of the mosque with an area of 212 square meters, in addition to two entrances located in the northern and southern façades. Qafar Mosque is located in the village of Qafar, which dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century. The mosque was founded by Ruqayyah Bint Abdullah after the death of her husband. The mosque was renovated in 1965, where Friday prayers were held and people would come from nearby villages to pray in it. Qafar Mosque is also built with mud and stone with a wooden roof. The total area of the mosque is 638 square meters and can accommodate 500 worshipers. The prayer area is located in the south of the mosque with an area of 175 square meters. Al-Sarha, which is the open courtyard, is located on the north side of the mosque. It is located on the north side of the mosque with an area of 300 square meters and a modern prayer area with an area of 178 square meters. The mosque has a rectangular 8-meter-minaret as well as two depots southeast of the mosque. A modern prayer area was built inside Al-Sarha in 1991, where prayer is held at the present time. Prominent imams of the mosque include Rashid Al-Salami, Sulaiman Rashid Al-Salami, Mohammad Iss+a Al-Khurais and Abdullah Nasser Al-Ghaithi. The present imam is Abdulmuhsin Al-Khwair. Al-Jal’ud Mosque is located in the province of Samira, south-east of Hail. It dates back to the year eighteenth century and is a station on the pilgrimage route. Al-Jal’ud Mosque is also built with mud and stone with a wooden roof with a total area of 227 square meters and accommodates up to 120 worshipers. The prayer area is in the middle of the mosque and is about 80 square meters. The mosque was rebuilt in 1928. Ahmed bin Rajaa Al-Shammari, of SCTH, stressed that the directives approved the implementation of the first phase of the project on time and that the implementation should be of the highest quality. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaMosquesheritageSaudi heritageCrown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Saudi heritage event aims to carve out future for traditional woodcraftsSaudi heritage, culture in spotlight at Cairo book fair

Saudi air defenses shoot down missiles heading for Makkah and Jeddah

Author: Mon, 2019-05-20 15:27 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces on Monday shot down two ballistic missiles heading towards Jeddah and Makkah, Al-Arabiya reported Monday, citing eyewitnesses. The report said the missiles were shot down near T
Saudi Arabia

Saudi air defenses shoot down missiles heading for Makkah and Jeddah

Author: Mon, 2019-05-20 15:27 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces on Monday shot down two ballistic missiles heading towards Jeddah and Makkah, Al-Arabiya reported Monday, citing eyewitnesses. The report said the missiles were shot down near Taif, just 50 kilometers from Makkah. Al-Arabiya said Saudi authorities are expected to issue a formal statement later. Houthi militants in Yemen have fired dozens of missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia. In 2016 and 2017 the Arab Coalition supporting the Yemeni government said the militia had launched a missile towards Makkah. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: houthi ballistic missileHouthiYemenMakkahSaudi Arabia Saudi air defenses foil Houthi missile attack on RiyadhHouthis entice child soldiers with keys to ‘enter paradise’ when they die

Saudi envoy opens new mosque in Pakistan

Author: SPAID: 1558299902674326700Mon, 2019-05-20 00:04 HARIPUR: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Pakistan on Saturday opened a new mosque in the city of Haripur as a mark of the strong relations between the two countries. The Kingdom’s envoy, Naw
Saudi Arabia

Saudi envoy opens new mosque in Pakistan

Author: SPAID: 1558299902674326700Mon, 2019-05-20 00:04 HARIPUR: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Pakistan on Saturday opened a new mosque in the city of Haripur as a mark of the strong relations between the two countries. The Kingdom’s envoy, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, inaugurated the King Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud Mosque, in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in the presence of local government officials. Built to accommodate up to 500 worshippers, the mosque has been constructed as part of charitable projects carried out by the Muslim World League (MWL) through the International Association for Relief, Care and Development (IARCD) in Pakistan. Al-Malki said the mosque represented a milestone in the friendship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and was a continuation of similar charity work carried out by the Kingdom. In praising the MWL and its affiliated bodies for their contributions, the ambassador also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their special attention to humanitarian work and the service of Islam and Muslims. University of Haripur president, Anwar Gilani, thanked Saudi Arabia for its leadership on the landmark mosque project which he said highlighted the friendship between the two countries. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi-Pakistan Saudi-Pakistani trust ‘very high,’ says Islamabad consul general in JeddahSaudi-Pakistani Joint Ministerial Commission meets

Saudi Civil Defense steps up safety plan for pilgrims

Author: SPAID: 1558299840874323100Mon, 2019-05-20 00:03 MAKKAH: Makkah’s Civil Defense has boosted its inspection program in the city as it works to ensure worshippers’ safety during Ramadan. Lt. Col. Fawwaz bin Ibrahim Al-Zayidi, director of
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Civil Defense steps up safety plan for pilgrims

Author: SPAID: 1558299840874323100Mon, 2019-05-20 00:03 MAKKAH: Makkah’s Civil Defense has boosted its inspection program in the city as it works to ensure worshippers’ safety during Ramadan. Lt. Col. Fawwaz bin Ibrahim Al-Zayidi, director of the safety department at the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Makkah, said that more than 16,300 pilgrim and visitor facilities in the city have been inspected since the start of the year, with an average of 91 daily visits. Inspection of facilities frequented by pilgrims and Makkah’s residents have been intensified since the start of Ramadan, he said. The department’s safety work focuses on preventive supervision of facilities and issuing of licenses. A total of 5,755 licenses have been issued since the start of the year, including 635 licenses for hotels and furnished apartments, and 228 for restaurants. Al-Zayidi said that more than 2,140 inspections have taken place, including hotels, furnished apartments, restaurants and several businesses. The department is raising safety awareness through broadcasts for residents and pilgrims on social media platforms and screens throughout the city. Fire safety and evacuation procedures have also been shown on TV at hotels in Makkah’s central area. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Civil DefenseHajj and UmrahRamadan 2019 Saudi Civil Defense puts Ramadan plans in placeSaudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures