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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Jordanian leaders for Eid Al-Fitr

Fri, 2020-05-22 23:49 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a phone call on Friday from Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to congratulate him on the upcoming Muslim holiday, Eid Al-Fitr. Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that the last day of th

تفاصيل عن 'دية' خاشقجي التي دُفعت لابنه صلاح!

أكد حساب “العهد الجديد” الشهير بتسريباته السياسية على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي “تويتر”، بأنه تم دفع دية لـ صلاح جمال خاشقجي مقابل مقتل والده
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تفاصيل عن 'دية' خاشقجي التي دُفعت لابنه صلاح!

أكد حساب “العهد الجديد” الشهير بتسريباته السياسية على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي “تويتر”، بأنه تم دفع دية لـ صلاح جمال خاشقجي مقابل مقتل والده داخل القنص...

السعودية.. وفاة العتيبي حارس الملوك ورفيقهم

رحل الحارس الشخصي ورفيق الملوك في السعودية، سعدي بن شنيبر العتيبي الأربعاء الماضي، عن عمر ناهز 96 عاما، بعد رحلة طويلة رافق خلالها الملك خالد و
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السعودية.. وفاة العتيبي حارس الملوك ورفيقهم

رحل الحارس الشخصي ورفيق الملوك في السعودية، سعدي بن شنيبر العتيبي الأربعاء الماضي، عن عمر ناهز 96 عاما، بعد رحلة طويلة رافق خلالها الملك خالد والملك ...

Pandemic turns Eid sour as millions stay home to curb virus in Saudi Arabia

Mon, 2020-05-25 02:20 RIYADH: This year Eid Al-Fitr celebrations around the world have been subdued due to the coronavirus pandemic. The holy month of Ramadan and the Eid of 2020 will be remembered as a time when traditions had to be broken to fight the sp
Saudi Arabia

Pandemic turns Eid sour as millions stay home to curb virus in Saudi Arabia

Mon, 2020-05-25 02:20 RIYADH: This year Eid Al-Fitr celebrations around the world have been subdued due to the coronavirus pandemic. The holy month of Ramadan and the Eid of 2020 will be remembered as a time when traditions had to be broken to fight the spread of the virus. The first day of Eid went by without morning congregations in mosques. Due to social distancing, parties and other family events, which are usually a hallmark of the Eid festivities, did not take place. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, air travel has been suspended globally. This has affected expatriates living in Saudi Arabia who usually travel back to their home countries to celebrate this important occasion with their loved ones. Rafiul Akhtar, a finance professional working with Advanced Electronics Co. Ltd. (AEC) in Riyadh, said: “Eid Al-Fitr follows weeks of fasting and marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It came amid a lockdown period due to the pandemic, which is indeed very painful.” “For an expat like me, celebrating Eid away from my family is a heartbreaking experience,” he said. Akhtar said that he had never imagined celebrating Eid without family and friends and away from his home country. Left with limited options due to a 24-hour curfew, like many others Akhtar found cooking the best way to spend his time. “I tried making it a little festive by testing my culinary skills by preparing seviyan or vermicelli (a traditional Indian sweet) and biryani, a rice dish with meat and rich Indian spices.” Akhtar said that to get a feel of Eid he tried to change the mood by decorating his place. “I spent most of my time chatting to my family and friends using videocalling apps,” he said. “God willing, this tough time will also pass. The Saudi government has taken many steps to overcome this pandemic. These steps are important to contain the spread of the virus,” Akhtar said. Sharing his experience of spending Eid during the pandemic, Abrar Hussain, a senior corporate account manager at global IT company Citrix Inc., said: “This year Eid Al-Fitr’s celebrations have been overshadowed by the fear of the pandemic.”   “Eid is a festival of greeting and meeting, get-togethers and lavish feasts with families and friends,” he said. “But this year we offered Eid prayers at home and celebrating the festival at home with family, enjoying the traditional Eid delicacies, greeting near and dear ones remotely and virtually. The virus fears have dampened the spirit of the celebration,” he said. Zeenat Enam, a homemaker, said: “This is unprecedented and will go down in history as a unique year when people prayed at home as against usual Eid congregations and stayed indoors without meeting and greeting families and friends.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Eid Al FitrCoronaviirus Ithra marks Eid Al-Fitr with parade in Saudi Arabia's Eastern ProvinceSaudi Arabia records 2,399 new COVID-19 cases

Regional CSR Network selects Princess Hind as global ambassador

Author: Mon, 2020-05-25 02:29 JEDDAH: In recognition of her leading role advocating community services in the Kingdom, the Regional Network for Social Responsibility (CSR), a member of the UN Global Compact, has chosen Princess Hind bint Abdulrahman Al
Saudi Arabia

Regional CSR Network selects Princess Hind as global ambassador

Author: Mon, 2020-05-25 02:29 JEDDAH: In recognition of her leading role advocating community services in the Kingdom, the Regional Network for Social Responsibility (CSR), a member of the UN Global Compact, has chosen Princess Hind bint Abdulrahman Al-Saud as the global social responsibility ambassador. Commenting on her appointment, she said: “I am honored to be selected as an ambassador to support the fight against the pandemic.” On March 25, the Regional CSR Network launched a campaign to support the international response to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The drive will continue until June 25. “The campaign is to advocate international efforts to combat COVID-19 with Arab participation and community leaders were chosen as global ambassadors to spread useful information to members of the community through various channels to combat the virus,” said Princess Hind on Rotana Khalijia’s Sayidaty show last April. Princess Hind, a long-time champion of community service, considers volunteerism an honorable means to give back to one’s community by utilizing skills and efforts of young men and women and fighting hand in hand with authorities against the pandemic. “Anyone can participate through signing up on the networks’ website and request to document their (volunteer) efforts that must exceed 20 hours,” she added. Through the “We all are responsible” initiative launched by the Saudi Ministry of Health, she called on volunteers to play a role that could make a positive impact on their communities.  As a community leader, she has personally participated in a campaign “we help and assist” where she delivered medications to patients of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Princess Hind bint Abdulrahman Al-SaudCSR Network Saudi ministry, Red Sea Development company sign deal for CSR initiativesBahri to nurture CSR culture in Saudi Arabia

Saudis find innovative ways to give Eid gifts amid pandemic

Mon, 2020-05-25 03:04 RIYADH: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Saudis are exploring different ways to exchange gifts and eidiya. They are mostly relying on internet and different apps available to solve this problem by sending e-gifts and transferring money usin
Saudi Arabia

Saudis find innovative ways to give Eid gifts amid pandemic

Mon, 2020-05-25 03:04 RIYADH: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Saudis are exploring different ways to exchange gifts and eidiya. They are mostly relying on internet and different apps available to solve this problem by sending e-gifts and transferring money using electronic channels. “I got my eidiya this year from my cousin though STC (app),” said Waleed Bukhari. “I normally receive cash from the family’s elders, but I was happy to get something different.” An eidiya is hard to define. Its literal translation is “of Eid” and it is usually a money gift that children — and sometimes adults — receive on the morning of the first day of Eid, with amounts generally depending on one’s age. The Saudi Telecom Co.’s payment app, STC Pay, is offering a fun way for people to send their eidiya money electronically. There are options to customize the envelope and attach a personal message, and many might find this a suitable alternative to the traditional aspect of doling out Eid money. But some prefer to send e-gifts instead of money for Eid. Dana Al-Harbi, a college student, said her parents never gave her money for Eid but that she had yet to receive an Eid gift from them that she did not love. A box to hold money with ‘Blessed Eid’ written on it in Arabic. “Money is useful, sure, but they’ve always given me stuff I appreciated much more,” she told Arab News. “They put a lot of love and thought into their gifts, and that’s more important to me than money.” Some stores offer special boxes or envelopes to hold cash in interesting ways, or sell cards with a little slot for holding rolled-up bills. Some decorate bouquets of flowers with money, hide money inside chocolate wrappers, or even make scavenger hunts for their families with bills hidden around the house for them to find. Wafaa Al-Mansour, a mother of five, recommends handing out gift cards. “There’s something I don’t like about straight-up giving cash out, and I’m always out of the loop when it comes to what my children want as gifts, so I give them the option to choose what they like, but also make sure they’re not wasting money on something I don’t approve of,” she told Arab News. She recommended gift vouchers offered by different bookstores as a good option. “I like to get the SR100 ($26.66) vouchers, as they’re an appropriate amount, the ones under 12 get three and the ones over 12 get five. They can choose to buy books, toys, games, stationery, or even do what my sons did and save up the vouchers for the more expensive electronics. They got their PlayStation that way,” she said. Haifa Abduljaleel prefers to send her three kids their cash by bank transfer, a process that she says has made her life much easier over the years. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Eid Al-FitrCoronaviruseidiyas Saudi Eid festivities set to be most colorful yetEid in Saudi Arabia’s Hijaz region marked by family reunions

Saudi tax authority conducts 1,335 inspections to protect VAT system

Mon, 2020-05-25 05:17 RIYADH: The General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has implemented an extensive inspection campaign to shops in the retail sector, the Saudi Press Agency reported. It aims to ensure the commitment of shop owners to the value-adde
Saudi Arabia

Saudi tax authority conducts 1,335 inspections to protect VAT system

Mon, 2020-05-25 05:17 RIYADH: The General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has implemented an extensive inspection campaign to shops in the retail sector, the Saudi Press Agency reported. It aims to ensure the commitment of shop owners to the value-added tax (VAT) system and the implementation of its regulations, and the non-implementation of the tax’s updated value before schedule. In cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce, GAZT has implemented 1,335 inspection visits, with the participation of all the authorities’ branches in different regions since the announcement of increasing the VAT to 15 percent from 5 percent on May 11. The number of shops penalized for tax violations has reached 421, and violations varied from not keeping records, documents and tax invoices to failing to collect VAT. GAZT called on owners of commercial enterprises to commit to the scheduled date to implement the new VAT of 15 percent on products and services, starting July 1, 2020. It stressed that its inspection campaigns will continue in markets and shops to ensure the commitment of people responsible for tax regulations in the Kingdom. GAZT called on all consumers to report any enterprises that implement the new VAT before its due date on the authority’s official website gazt.gov.sa through the unified number 19993 or the VAT’s special app. GAZT had issued an instruction manual for transitional provisions related to increasing the original VAT to 15 percent, available on the authority’s official website.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia

KSRelief distributes aid in Lebanon, Yemen

Author: Mon, 2020-05-25 05:22 King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has distributed 540 food baskets in cooperation with the Lebanese Al-Ghina Charity Association. The food baskets will benefit 3,240 people in Lebanon. KSRelief, i
Saudi Arabia

KSRelief distributes aid in Lebanon, Yemen

Author: Mon, 2020-05-25 05:22 King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has distributed 540 food baskets in cooperation with the Lebanese Al-Ghina Charity Association. The food baskets will benefit 3,240 people in Lebanon. KSRelief, in cooperation with the Benevolence Coalition for Humanitarian Relief, also distributed 203 tons/2,742 food baskets to displaced Yemenis in the directorates of Hiran, Abs and Harad, which are adjacent to Saada governorate. SPA Beirut Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) International organizations hail KSRelief humanitarian efforts

Saudi Arabia records 2,399 new COVID-19 cases

Sun, 2020-05-24 16:46 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia recorded 2,399 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 72,560. Seventy-nine percent of the new cases are male. There are currently 28,650 active cases, 372 of them in cr
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia records 2,399 new COVID-19 cases

Sun, 2020-05-24 16:46 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia recorded 2,399 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 72,560. Seventy-nine percent of the new cases are male. There are currently 28,650 active cases, 372 of them in critical care. Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly thanked essential workers for spending Eid looking after people. “I congratulate all our heroes in the medical field and all fields to serve society,” he said. Al-Aly announced 2,284 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 43,520. Eleven new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 390. The latest fatalities were recorded in Makkah and Riyadh. They were one Saudi and 10 expats aged 30-70. The number of new screenings reached 18,919, taking the total to 703,534. The ministry released a health guide for high-risk groups in several languages on its official Twitter account and its LiveWellMOH page. The guide aims to provide information on how to deal with symptoms, preventive methods, and how to communicate with authorities via the ministry’s call center 937. The high-risk groups include the elderly, pregnant women, and those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, HIV and cancer.  Meanwhile, worshippers performed Eid Al-Fitr prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, under the necessary health precautions in terms of numbers and social distancing. During the lockdown on May 22-27, the Interior Ministry is providing e-permits during curfew hours via Tawakkalna. The mobile app manages the movement permit system by issuing e-permits for select people, include couriers and those who have medical appointments. The e-permits allow users to conduct important business for four hours per week upon request and approval. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: CoronavirusSaudi ArabiaEid Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate inches toward 60%Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr holiday amid curfews, coronavirus fears

Ithra marks Eid Al-Fitr with parade in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

Author: Sun, 2020-05-24 21:41 RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is marking the festive season this year with a parade passing through different cities in the Eastern Province that people can watch from their homes. As the Ei
Saudi Arabia

Ithra marks Eid Al-Fitr with parade in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

Author: Sun, 2020-05-24 21:41 RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is marking the festive season this year with a parade passing through different cities in the Eastern Province that people can watch from their homes. As the Eid celebration coincides with a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, many events on the Saudi calendar have been either canceled or postponed. “In a time of social distancing, the initiative offers the public comfort, a sense of unity and remote enjoyment from the comfort of their own homes,” an Ithra spokesperson told Arab News. The celebratory parade features wagons adorned with elements demonstrating Eastern Province’s culture as it passes through neighborhoods in Alkhobar, Dhahran and Dammam during its six-hour duration, from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. The three-day parade started on the first day of Eid, Sunday, in Alkhobar — and will continue on Monday in Dammam and Tuesday in Dhahran, the spokesperson said. As Saudis are staying at home this Eid, Ithra advises people to view the parade from their windows while the performers cheer and greet them with colorful lights and music. The program includes a candy wagon with performers — four cheerful mascots with colorful costumes, smiling and waving at the audience. There will also be an Ardha (traditional Saudi dance) Wagon with eight performers from the Saudi National Ardha group. The parade includes a Theatre Wagon offering solo, duo and band performances of Sharqi style (Eastern Province music) with a western twist. The Fisherman Wagon is also part of the diverse program, consisting of five members performing the fishermen arch show atop a carnival float. The show represents an old tradition where locals used boats for pearl diving before the discovery of oil in the Eastern Province. The performers will sing traditional songs for their audience. The parade’s route passes through Al-Olaya, Al-Aqrabiya, Al-Heza Alakhdar Al-Hizam Thahabi, Corniche, Al-Rawabi, Al-Raka and Al-Jesr neighborhoods in Alkhobar. In Dammam, the parade covers Al-Fakhriya, Al-Faisaliyah, Al-Jameyen, Abdullah Fouad, Al-Tabeshi, Al-Mazroeya, Al-Shate, Al-Hamra and Al-Mohamdiya. Residents in Dhahran should stay tuned in the following neighborhoods: Rabiyah, Aramco Camp, Al-Jamaa, Danah, Dawhah North, Dawhah South and Telal Dawha and Qusoor. For those whose neighborhoods are not covered, Ithra promises a live streaming of the celebratory parade. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Eid Al-FitrEastern ProvinceKing Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) Saudi Arabia’s Ithra committed to bringing cultures together despite global pandemic Saudis turn to technology for Eid gatherings

King Salman: Saudi Arabia will overcome coronavirus with 'resolve and positivity'

Sun, 2020-05-24 22:25 RIYADH: King Salman said on Sunday that he «sees hope in the coming days» in a message to mark Eid Al-Fitr. Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, he said that Saudi Arabia will overcome “all calamity” through resolv
Saudi Arabia

King Salman: Saudi Arabia will overcome coronavirus with 'resolve and positivity'

Sun, 2020-05-24 22:25 RIYADH: King Salman said on Sunday that he «sees hope in the coming days» in a message to mark Eid Al-Fitr. Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, he said that Saudi Arabia will overcome “all calamity” through resolve and positivity. The king also thanked God for the blessing of Eid Al-Fitr, a celebration marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims around the world on Sunday began celebrating Eid with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed coronavirus outbreaks. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: King SalmanSaudi ArabiaEid Al-Fitr Citizens and residents’ health and safety top concern: King SalmanIthra marks Eid Al-Fitr with parade in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

السعودية تكشف حقيقة 'استئناف' صلاة الجماعة في المساجد

كشفت وسائل إعلام سعودية، يوم الأحد، حقيقة صدور أمر بالسماح باستئناف صلاة الجماعة في المساجد اعتبارا من الخميس المقبل....
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السعودية تكشف حقيقة 'استئناف' صلاة الجماعة في المساجد

كشفت وسائل إعلام سعودية، يوم الأحد، حقيقة صدور أمر بالسماح باستئناف صلاة الجماعة في المساجد اعتبارا من الخميس المقبل....

ارتفاع عدد ضحايا غارات العدوان على صعدة إلى ثلاثة شهداء

استشهد 3 اشخاص واصيب اخرون بغارة للعدوان السعودي على منطقة مران بمديرية حيدان بمحافظة صعدة في اليمن، واستهدف الطيران السعودي الطريق العام في
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ارتفاع عدد ضحايا غارات العدوان على صعدة إلى ثلاثة شهداء

استشهد 3 اشخاص واصيب اخرون بغارة للعدوان السعودي على منطقة مران بمديرية حيدان بمحافظة صعدة في اليمن، واستهدف الطيران السعودي الطريق العام في منطقة م...

Saudi Arabia announces 11 more deaths from COVID-19

Sun, 2020-05-24 16:46 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health announced Sunday 11 new deaths from COVID-19, and an increase of 2,399 confirmed cases. The latest figures bring the total number of deaths in the country to 390, and total cases to 72,560.
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia announces 11 more deaths from COVID-19

Sun, 2020-05-24 16:46 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health announced Sunday 11 new deaths from COVID-19, and an increase of 2,399 confirmed cases. The latest figures bring the total number of deaths in the country to 390, and total cases to 72,560. The announcement also revealed another 2,284 people had recovered from the virus, bringing the total recoveries to 43,520. In a bid to prevent the spread of the virus over Eid Al-Fitr, the Kingdom is under a 24-hour lockdown until Wednesday.  A spokesman for the interior ministry said: “Patrol cars will be stationed to monitor districts, rest houses, and other general facilities, as well as villages to regulate any curfew or social gathering violations.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: CoronavirusSaudi ArabiaEid Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate inches toward 60%Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr holiday amid curfews, coronavirus fears

أنصار الله: الإصرار على تكريس التوحش لن يجلب أي أمن للمعتدين

قال الناطق باسم أنصار الله في اليمن، ان تكريس التوحش والدموية وفرض الحصار على اليمن لن يجلب ذلك للمعتدين أي أمن....
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أنصار الله: الإصرار على تكريس التوحش لن يجلب أي أمن للمعتدين

قال الناطق باسم أنصار الله في اليمن، ان تكريس التوحش والدموية وفرض الحصار على اليمن لن يجلب ذلك للمعتدين أي أمن....

السعودية تسجل 11 وفاة و2399 إصابة جديدة بكورونا 

سجلت السعودية، اليوم الأحد، 11 حالة وفاة و2399 إصابة جديدة بفيروس كورونا، في انخفاض طفيف مقارنة مع حصيلة أمس، بحسب ما أعلنت وزارة الصحة. ...
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السعودية تسجل 11 وفاة و2399 إصابة جديدة بكورونا 

سجلت السعودية، اليوم الأحد، 11 حالة وفاة و2399 إصابة جديدة بفيروس كورونا، في انخفاض طفيف مقارنة مع حصيلة أمس، بحسب ما أعلنت وزارة الصحة. ...

شاهد كيف غير كورونا طقوس واجواء عيد الفطر عند اليمنيين

أحيا اليمنيون مراسم عيد الفطر السعيد في ظل ظروف صعبة ، وذلك مع استمرار تصعيد قوى العدوان وتصاعد الأزمات الإنسانية الناتجة عن سنوات من الحرب ،
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شاهد كيف غير كورونا طقوس واجواء عيد الفطر عند اليمنيين

أحيا اليمنيون مراسم عيد الفطر السعيد في ظل ظروف صعبة ، وذلك مع استمرار تصعيد قوى العدوان وتصاعد الأزمات الإنسانية الناتجة عن سنوات من الحرب ، وادى ظه...

Saudis are finding new ways to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr despite a 24-hour curfew

Sun, 2020-05-24 03:54 JEDDAH: Families across Saudi Arabia are ringing in Eid Al-Fitr celebrations in seclusion — with none of the fast-paced hustle and bustle of what is usually the busiest night of the year — amid a 24-hour curfew in the Kingdom. Thi
Saudi Arabia

Saudis are finding new ways to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr despite a 24-hour curfew

Sun, 2020-05-24 03:54 JEDDAH: Families across Saudi Arabia are ringing in Eid Al-Fitr celebrations in seclusion — with none of the fast-paced hustle and bustle of what is usually the busiest night of the year — amid a 24-hour curfew in the Kingdom. This year’s Eid Al-Fitr has been met with quiet streets, closed salons and barbershops, and no lengthy queues outside chocolate stores. Saudi authorities announced few weeks ago that a 24-hour curfew would be imposed across the Kingdom during the five-day national holiday (May 23-27) to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Each year, Eid celebrations begin as soon as the new moon is first sighted, marking the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawwal, according to the Islamic calendar. That night is the busiest of the year, with crowded streets, and malls and shopping centers full of last-minute shoppers in search of dresses, shoes and accessories. Sweets shops are packed, and barbershops and salons work all night serving customers who want to look their best on the first day of Eid. This year’s Eid lacks the Eid prayer assembly, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced mosques around Saudi Arabia to close. A recent announcement will allow Eid chants to be called from neighborhood mosques and the Saudi grand mufti has said Muslims can perform Eid Al-Fitr prayers at home. Jana Bashraheel, a 19-year-old university student, will be doing just that, listening and repeating the Eid chants heard from nearby mosques with her family, as her mother suggested. A normal Eid day would start with a bath, putting on clean new clothes, eating a small snack to demonstrate the end of the fasting month, and then attending prayer with the family at the mosque, where people meet with neighbors, relatives, and friends and greet them with “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid). Eid Al-Fitr literally means “festival of breaking the fast” and Eid Al-Fitr is exactly that — the breakfast meal is essential on the first day, therefore it is a perfect time for family reunions, usually at the home of the eldest member of the family. “I will miss having breakfast on the first day of Eid with friends and family,” said Bashraheel. Families normally exchange home visits while children run around wearing their new clothes after enjoying loads of chocolates and Eidiyah (money given to children as a gift). Other families would choose to go to a restaurant, while residents of coastal cities such as Jeddah make sure to visit the sea. HIGHLIGHTS To check the spread of COVID-19, Saudi authorities announced few weeks ago that a 24-hour curfew would be imposed during Eid holidays. This year’s Eid lacks the Eid prayer assembly, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced mosques around Saudi Arabia to close. A recent announcement will allow Eid chants to be called from neighborhood mosques and the Saudi grand mufti has said Muslims can perform Eid Al-Fitr prayers at home. Due to curfew, people are making homemade gift baskets and hanging decorations to celebrate the event. However, with none of these celebrations possible during the pandemic, Eid has been left paralyzed by the virus. As a result, families have been innovating to make sure this year’s Eid does not end in disappointment. An endless number of posts and messages spread via social media on how to spend a unique Eid in quarantine have been circulating in recent days. These range from suggestions on homemade gift baskets and hanging decorations, to games and even homemade pinatas. However, for some people, this Eid is a unique experience that could be more interesting than the usual celebrations. Amal Al-Thobaiti, from Jeddah, said: “I have never been this thoughtful about Eid before. It is my first time putting this much effort into it, but with the current depressing crisis we couldn’t allow it to get gloomier.” Al-Thobaiti, with her family, made Eid decorations by hand, prepared a varied breakfast menu, and ordered Eid chocolates online. “I also ordered gifts for the family online, and got myself new pajamas — it’s the first time for me doing all this and it feels like the first Eid ever,” she said. “I wanted to compensate for not being able to go to the sea or dine in a restaurant as usual.” Shayma’a Al-Sheikh also made plans to play board games, watch movies and dig into old family albums. She is remaining optimistic, saying that “the most important thing for me is my family, so long as I’m with them, it’ll be fine.” Malak from Riyadh is having a similar experience, preparing simple celebration arrangements with her siblings.   “I feel, as a family, that we became more excited than usual this year, because we are focusing on creating real Eid vibes at home in lockdown instead of directing our focus on our appearances and the way we are dressed up,” she told Arab News. “My siblings made gifts to send to relatives who we won’t be able to visit due to the lockdown,” she added. Although the lockdown has not affected her routine much, Malak said that she is struggling to avoid boredom and being obsessed about cleanliness, “which is quite depressing.” Abdullah Al-Muhsin’s only plan is to enjoy and document his new Eid outfit. “My friend and I will dress up for Eid and have a photo session on the roof,” he told Arab News.  Hadeel Ezmirli, a 30-year-old florist, said that in keeping up with the tradition of buying new clothes, she shopped online. “I believe that buying new things will change our mood in a good way. I want to at least feel the vibe of Eid, even though I will be home. “I don’t think that people should just not celebrate Eid because of the lockdown. I will just celebrate Eid in a different way than usual.” The lockdown and suspension of flights have also had an impact on non-Saudis living in the Kingdom who used to travel home to celebrate such important occasions with their families. Hamza Kindy, a Bahraini national living alone and working in Riyadh, had to stay in Saudi Arabia because of his job. However, he also planned to enjoy Eid, saying: “I am delaying completing the anime series I’m currently watching until Eid, and I have to say I’m barely remaining patient.” Mojahed Jbarat, a Jordanian national living and working in Alkhobar, said: “My wife, our two-year-old daughter and I will celebrate Eid at home and we will make kaak (Palestinian date ring cookies).” Mohsin, who was able to return to the family’s house in Najran before the travel curfew was imposed, said: “Although there won’t be the usual Eid prayer, we will enjoy our reunion as a family like every Eid.” Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: CoronavirusEid Al-FitrRamadan 2020 Muslims worldwide go virtual for Eid Al-Fitr celebrations

922 citizens, residents benefit from Saudi Furijat initiative

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:18 JEDDAH: The value of debt paid through donations as part of the Interior Ministry’s “Furijat” initiative has reached more than SR119 million ($31.7 million). According to a media spokesman for the General Directorate of Prisons,
Saudi Arabia

922 citizens, residents benefit from Saudi Furijat initiative

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:18 JEDDAH: The value of debt paid through donations as part of the Interior Ministry’s “Furijat” initiative has reached more than SR119 million ($31.7 million). According to a media spokesman for the General Directorate of Prisons, 922 citizens and residents have benefited from the program. The initiative aims to provide Saudis with a simple and safe medium through which to donate money to pay the debts of persons convicted in noncriminal financial cases and who are eligible for benefits from governmental support programs. Through the Absher platform, donors can make payments by clicking on the application icon on the directorate’s website and choosing the category of beneficiary and the amount to donate. The process may be completed via the SADAD payment system provided by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. Recently, the directorate signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) to include the Furijat service in the WooW loyalty program. Under the agreement, SAIB’s customers can contribute to settling bills by donating their WooW points electronically via online banking or the bank’s smart application.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Furijat Saudi Furijat settles 610 bills worth SR40 million on its tenth daySaudi Furijat settles 1,110 bills worth SR15.15 million since launch

Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate inches toward 60%

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:14 JEDDAH: With 2,233 new recoveries confirmed on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that the recovery rate in the Kingdom since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is almost 60 percen
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate inches toward 60%

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:14 JEDDAH: With 2,233 new recoveries confirmed on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that the recovery rate in the Kingdom since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is almost 60 percent. The total recovery count is 41,236, he said. Saudi Arabia recorded 2,442 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, 35 percent of whom were Saudi, bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 70,161. There are currently 28,546 active cases, with 339 in a critical condition. A total of 86 percent of Saturday’s cases were adults, with 10 percent children and 4 percent adults above the age of 65. INNUMBERS 70,161 - total cases 28,546 - active cases 41,236 - recoveries 379 - deaths The Kingdom also reported 15 new fatalities, including three Saudis, taking the total number of deaths to 379. The deaths occurred in Riyadh, Dammam, Bisha, Jeddah and Makkah. A total of 17,558 polymerase reaction tests were performed on Saturday, Al-Abd Al-Aly said, bring the total to almost 685,000. He said that more detailed answers have been added to the health ministry’s “Mawid” app, where residents can perform self-assessment tests by answering a series of questions. More than 1 million users have benefitted from the app in order to provide suspected cases with proper care. “The self-assessment tests are used to detect cases early and have succeeded in reassuring residents of their health. We added four new and detailed questions to the self-assessment test and will only take a minute to a minute and a half to answer,” he said.  Al-Abd Al-Aly repeated his appeals for residents to stay home and adhere to social distancing measures to curb the spread of virus. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced that Eid Al-Fitr prayers will begin in Makkah and Madinah following approval from King Salman, with precautionary measures to be implemented to ensure worshippers’ safety. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Eid Al-FitrCoronavirus Saudis are finding new ways to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr despite a 24-hour curfewSaudi restaurants bring Eid to doorsteps during virus lockdown

Saudi Cultural Ministry concludes ‘Reading Marathon’ initiative

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:27 RIYADH: The Ministry of Culture concluded its “Reading Marathon” initiative with a record 606,000 pages read. The six-week event witnessed an unprecedented participation of readers from all segments of society. Launched in late Apr
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Cultural Ministry concludes ‘Reading Marathon’ initiative

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:27 RIYADH: The Ministry of Culture concluded its “Reading Marathon” initiative with a record 606,000 pages read. The six-week event witnessed an unprecedented participation of readers from all segments of society. Launched in late April, the ministry’s initiative comes as part of its “Culture in Quarantine” project, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of reading during the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The marathon’s initial goal was 100,000 pages before it was later raised due to significant interaction, reaching 606,000 pages after just a month and a half and making this event the largest of the Middle East’s reading initiatives. The e-platform registered 2,396 citations taken from 1,839 books, ranging in philosophy, history, sciences, economics and more. Prizes were handed out to readers who contributed the most. Recently, the Saudi Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission has gifted two recently released collections of short stories written by Saudi authors to people in quarantine centers. The initiative aims to promote culture and the arts and Saudi talent.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Reading Marathon Saudi Culture Ministry honors artists at sculpture symposiumSaudi Culture Ministry chooses ‘Riyadh Front’ as book fair’s new headquarters

Saudis turn to technology for Eid gatherings

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:31 JEDDAH: Many special Eid-related traditions have been broken this year as families are forced to stay home because of coronavirus restrictions. But technology has come to the rescue with many relying on video calls to bring family membe
Saudi Arabia

Saudis turn to technology for Eid gatherings

Sun, 2020-05-24 04:31 JEDDAH: Many special Eid-related traditions have been broken this year as families are forced to stay home because of coronavirus restrictions. But technology has come to the rescue with many relying on video calls to bring family members and loved ones closer.  Eid Al-Fitr is the occasion Saudis look forward to most — attending Eid prayers at the neighborhood mosque, wearing new clothes, the scent of frankincense around the home, and gathering with cousins at grandparents’ houses decked out with lights and decorations to mark the joyous occasion.  As the Kingdom endures a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many Saudis are refusing to allow the pandemic to break their spirits during Eid. Family gatherings or not, the use of video-calling applications is keeping families close and loved ones even closer. Among those keeping Eid traditions alive, 27-year-old Mohammed Khayat has found a way to connect with his family who live outside Jeddah. Using Zoom, a popular videoconference platform, he has created a fun competition with family members.  “There will be two boxes; one with easy questions, the other one with difficult questions. An example from the first box would be ‘act out a song, and if someone guessed it right, you win.’ Or ‘When was Jeddah founded?’ or ‘Who is the 17th grandson of my grandmother?’” he told Arab News. Khayat highlighted the bright side of Eid during the pandemic with everyone available for a virtual gathering. “It’s going to be fun, because not all family members are usually present in most of our Eid celebrations at the same time. Many live in different cities or even outside the Kingdom. Yes, it’s going to be online, but it’s a great chance for everyone to gather at the same time.” Lujain Al-Jehani, 26, plans to put on her best clothes and enjoy Eid despite the global despair. “We’re going to wear our Eid clothes, dress up, put makeup on, and do our hair and nails. We’re cleaning the house and preparing everything as we always do in Eid, but we’re not expecting any guests this year. It’s just us family together,” she told Arab News. Before the pandemic, Al-Jehani usually spent Eid with her cousins, often spending the entire day at her grandmother’s house to enjoy the festivities. This year, Al-Jehani said that she and her family will keep their spirits high because “it’s still Eid.” “I’m going to be spending quality time with my family at home. We will play boardgames, listen to music, have breakfast together and hang some Eid decorations. We want to do our Eid traditions within our family because it’s still Eid. We’ll enjoy spending Eid with our family. Thank God, we’re in good health and we’re together.”   Main category: Saudi ArabiaScience & TechnologyTags: CoronavirustechnologyEid Al-Fitr Saudis are finding new ways to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr despite a 24-hour curfew

Citizens and residents’ health and safety top concern: King Salman

Sat, 2020-05-23 19:19 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Saturday that the health and safety of the Kingdom's residents and citizens is of top concern. «The world is facing an unprecedented health pandemic,» the king said in a speech o
Saudi Arabia

Citizens and residents’ health and safety top concern: King Salman

Sat, 2020-05-23 19:19 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Saturday that the health and safety of the Kingdom's residents and citizens is of top concern. «The world is facing an unprecedented health pandemic,» the king said in a speech on Eid Al-Fitr to Saudi citizens, residents and Muslims everywhere, offering his good wishes to mark the arrival of the annual celebration amid the coronavirus pandemic. The speech, delivered by acting Minister of Media Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi on the eve of Eid Al-Fitr after maghrib prayers, came at a time when Saudi Arabia and the world are witnessing an unprecedented health and economic crisis. King Salman thanked the residents for their commitment during these difficult times. They are celebrating the Muslim holiday at home, many of them unable to enjoy it with their families under the stay-at-home restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic. In his speech, King Salman called upon the whole community to understand these special circumstances, where Muslims are prevented from performing Eid prayers and exchanging visits, and he reaffirmed that the safety and health of all is a top priority. “I greatly appreciate your commitment in spending Eid Al-Fitr in your homes, consciously and responsibly, respecting social distancing procedures and sending Eid congratulations through electronic communications and correspondence. All these measures are for the sake of your safety, as nothing is more important than good health.” The speech is a major boost for morale, as the King thanked hundreds of thousands of health workers and others from all sectors who are working day and night in response to the pandemic and doing all that they can to provide citizens with the support they need. With the efforts made by Saudi Arabia’s government and the compliance of its residents, great strides have been taken. Saudi Arabia has made every effort to combat the pandemic and to mitigate its effects. The Kingdom has also provided generous aid to the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of its efforts to confront the pandemic.” King Salman also addressed in his speech the role Saudi Arabia plays on a global scale and its duty towards humanity when, as chair of the G20, it called an extraordinary summit of G20 members to discuss the health, economic and social impact of the pandemic and to develop an action plan in response to the outbreak. “The Kingdom will spare no effort to bring good to humanity in this particular pandemic, and in all aspects of life.” Saudi Arabia announced 2,442 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the majority of which recorded in Riyadh at 794. It also announced 2,233 new recoveries and 15 deaths.   Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaEid Al-FitrCoronavirusCOVID-19King Salman Saudi Arabia completes iftar program in 18 countriesSaudi representative to the UN warns of growing Islamophobia

Prince Khalid bin Salman praises Iraq as one of the ‘strongest pillars of the Arab world’

Sat, 2020-05-23 22:19 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman praised Iraq as a "strong and resilient pillar of the Arab world” in a tweet posted on Saturday. “We look forward to Iraq rising from the ashes to regain it
Saudi Arabia

Prince Khalid bin Salman praises Iraq as one of the ‘strongest pillars of the Arab world’

Sat, 2020-05-23 22:19 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman praised Iraq as a "strong and resilient pillar of the Arab world” in a tweet posted on Saturday. “We look forward to Iraq rising from the ashes to regain its status as one of the strong and resilient pillars of the Arab world, and for its people to live the life they deserve with peace and well-being,” he tweeted. “The Kingdom stands with Iraq to support it in its journey towards progress, peace and brotherhood with its Arab neighbors, for the benefit of Iraq and its dear people.” The prince's comments came on the same day as the Kingdom announced it was refilling its ambassador to Iraq position, as well as Iraq reaching an agreement with Saudi companies to invest in the Okaz gas fields.  Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: khalid bin salmanSaudi Arabia Iraq reaches agreement with Saudi companies to invest in the Okaz gas fieldsOman’s sultan meets Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid bin Salman

Is tolerance for Judaism and Christianity at the heart of Islam?

Sat, 2020-05-23 23:08 NEW YORK CITY: “The Qur’an instructed Muslims to be righteous and benevolent to non-Muslims as long as they are peaceful and do not attack you or fight you. Muslims treated well the Jews who refused to enter Islam, starting with th
Saudi Arabia

Is tolerance for Judaism and Christianity at the heart of Islam?

Sat, 2020-05-23 23:08 NEW YORK CITY: “The Qur’an instructed Muslims to be righteous and benevolent to non-Muslims as long as they are peaceful and do not attack you or fight you. Muslims treated well the Jews who refused to enter Islam, starting with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, until our time,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a leading religious Muslim nongovernmental organization based in Makkah.  Sheikh Al-Issa has been leading by example since taking up that position in 2016, tirelessly traveling the world, forging relationships — with governments, religious institutions (including the Vatican) and NGOs (including the American Sephardi Federation and the American Jewish Committee) — and announcing historic initiatives to counter extremism, guarantee religious freedom and improve human welfare.  Most recently, Al-Issa called on members of different religions to unite against the COVID-19 pandemic, stating: “We want Muslims and all other citizens to be aiding one another in this time of common challenge, without discrimination for religion or race, for gender or ethnicity.”  Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL). (AN Photo/Ziyad Alarfaj) MWL today is drastically different than the organization it was even five years ago, when it was still an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Despite Al-Issa’s exemplary humanitarian, educational and outreach efforts all over the world, including with Jewish communities, some remain skeptical about MWL’s agenda and Islam’s doctrinal teachings concerning other religions.  They variously claim that the essence of the religion eschews equal treatment for non-converts and that any attempts to disassociate from controversial interpretations is merely whitewashing, and they have tried to tie MWL’s actions to regional politics. Such criticisms are sorely mistaken.  In an exclusive interview, Al-Issa addressed these issues and other controversial topics forthrightly.  The question of how a religion that proselytizes can be respectful of other religions and their members who do not convert is nothing new. Christian missionaries used to convert Jews under duress.  ------- READ MORE: ‘West not plotting against Islam,’ says MWL’s Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa in exclusive interview ------- Today, non-violent groups such as “Jews for Jesus” use persuasion, not torture, but concerns linger about the targeting and manipulation of vulnerable individuals who lack Jewish education.  Does Islam have some unique issues that Christianity does not? Concerns are understandably compounded by the images of Islamist and terrorist organizations indoctrinating their followers and converts through deception or force.  Al-Issa responded that most religions except Judaism practice proselytization. That fact does not inherently signify a lack of respect, nor mean that practitioners of various religions should be locked in an illogical and endless struggle.  “We, as Muslims, respect, love, understand, cooperate, coexist and tolerate everyone. Our historically documented and verified actions demonstrate this, and in the Muslim World League we have played a major role in this aspect, pursuant to our Islamic values,” said Al-Issa.  Dr. Al-Issa during his European tour. (Supplied) “With our Jewish brothers, we concluded agreements and mutual cooperation, and we love them and respect them greatly, far from the problems of politics, as our principle is not to interfere in politics.”  Al-Issa emphasized that it is permissible to engage in normal business and friendly relations with members of other faiths, including Jews, as was the case in the Prophet Muhammad’s time.  Political disagreements are separate from religious precepts. Moreover, he added, Islam considers Jews and Christians to be Peoples of the Book who are accorded privileges in jurisprudential proceedings.  At the same time, Islam respects other religions and guarantees the rights of all people to religious choice.  But what about the Qu’ranic quotes, as well as hadiths and alleged accounts, that point to a conflict between Islam’s prophet and the Jews of Arabia? Most modern-day discussions feature claims of enmity, persecution and even a massacre resulting from the Jews’ refusal to convert to Islam. Dr. Al-Issa among with numbers of students in Indonesia. (Supplied) Nothing could be farther from the truth, according to Al-Issa. The Qu’ranic references criticizing Jews that some have taken to mean a generalized attack on all Jews actually admonish specific followers of Judaism who went “off the derech” - strayed from the faithful commitment to the letter and spirit of their own Abrahamic tradition, he said. To illustrate his point, he presented two seemingly paradoxical quotations: The Qur’an differentiates between the types of people, as the Almighty says: “They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer].” The Almighty also said: “And among the People of the Scripture is he who, if you entrust him with a great amount [of wealth], he will return it to you. And among them is he who, if you entrust him with a [single] silver coin, he will not return it to you unless you are constantly standing over him [demanding it].” God says: “Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” The Qur’an instructed Muslims to be righteous and benevolent to non-Muslims as long as they are peaceful and do not attack you or fight you. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) The Qu’ran speaks to different categories of people, but due to historical misinterpretations, mistranslations and, at times deliberate distortions, there is an appearance of a contradiction. Those who focus on the allegedly anti-Jews passages ignore how Muslims engaged in wrongdoing are castigated in a similar vein. Additionally, even when critical of specific Jews, the Qu’ran speaks positively of the legacy of Jacob and calls on the Jewish community not to depart from their historic mission. Al-Issa said: “The Qur’an admonished a group of Jews, not all Jews, and reminded them of the honor of affiliating with the Prophet Jacob, peace be upon him: ‘O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I favored you over all nations.’” But what to make of the alleged massacres of the Jews that have become so closely associated with the extremist outcries of “Khybar, khybar ya yahood?” They, too, should be viewed in their proper context. Al-Issa pointed out that there was no mass extermination of Jews qua Jews. On the contrary, the issues that led to tribal violence were purely political, not religious. Indeed, he continued, affiliation with a religion does not preclude criticism for errors. Dr. Al-Issa with a number of sheikhs in Mauritania. (Supplied) Contemporary audiences should look to the example of the prophet himself, Al-Issa said.  “The prophet, peace be upon him, stood out of respect to a passing Jewish funeral, lived next to a Jew, and married Safiya, the daughter of Hayy bin Akhtab from Bani Al-Nadir. He told her: ‘You are the daughter of a prophet, your uncle is a prophet, and you are the wife of a prophet.’” Muhammad was referring to the fact that his wife was descended from Aaron and  Moses, peace be upon them.  From this quote it follows that Muhammad not only respected Safiya’s Jewish heritage, but encouraged her to take pride and inspiration in her lineage.  Al-Issa also emphasized Muhammad’s signature achievement, the Madinah Charter, as an example of Islam’s position on religious existence put into practice: “The Prophet, peace be upon him, has signed the most important Islamic constitutional document, which is the Madinah Charter, which preserved religious and civil rights, as well as provided for Jews and others to live within Madinah in dignity as part of the ummah (community).”  What about the idea that Muhammad and his followers slaughtered the Jews who refused to convert?  Due to misinterpretations and politicized stories by later clergy, many now believe there is inherent enmity towards Jews who do not become Muslims, and all outreach efforts by Muslims is, therefore, “fake news.”  Dr. Al-Issa During his visit to Mauritania. (Supplied) Al-Issa firmly rejected this criticism: “Islam gives freedom to everyone in accepting or rejecting Islam, and there is an explicit verse considered one of the most important constitutional texts in Islam that says: ‘There shall be no compulsion in religion.’ And the position of Islam on the Jews who refuse to enter Islam, according to the Qur’an, is respecting their choice while preserving their dignity and their religious and civil rights, and living with them in peace.”  The conflicts that followed in subsequent generations, he affirmed, were entirely political, even though both the contemporaneous parties and future scholars frequently attribute clashes and persecutions to religion.  Religion is an expedient cover for power grabs and there is also “often confusion in terms and translations, or by the misunderstanding of Islamic religious texts. When the Qur’an discusses a topic related to a specific situation or religious group, some people will mistakenly interpret that as an attack on everyone or as a position against the existence of that religion.”  Islam’s original intent concerning the relations between Muslims and Jews is clear from the treatment of non-converts.  As Al-Issa puts it: “Muslims treated the Jews who refused to enter Islam well, starting with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, until our time.  “The neighbor of the prophet was a Jew, whom he visited and accepted his hospitality, and considered all the food of the Jews permissible for Muslims, permitted marriage to them, and built a family from a Jewish mother, and the Jewish community lived with Muslims in Madinah in peace.  Dr. Al-Issa participates in the distribution of aid in Africa. (Supplied) Surveying thousands of years of Jewish life in the lands of Islam, it is easy and nevertheless wrong to present a single narrative.  There were periods of incredible coexistence, when Muslims and Jews worked together to make great advances in trade, science, philosophy, and other fields.  At different times, there are instances of conflicts and persecutions. Al-Issa rejects any basis for bigotry in Islam, instead asserting that such instances were caused by motives divorced from religion.  Al-Issa went on to explain how Muslims have been prime targets of Islamist extremists throughout time. “What happened in the past is still being done by some extremists (that are present in all religions) who, by their misunderstanding of the teachings of Islam, do not represent the majority of Muslims or Islam at all. They only represent themselves, and with their extremist ideas they offend us as moderate Muslims and Islam more than they offend other religions.  “Muslims have suffered more violence and terror from extremists than non-Muslims have.”  Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord. Dr. Al-Issa The source of much falsehood is attributable to the Ottomans, who were behind mistranslations and misapplications of the Qu’ran.  Distribution of questionable hadiths by clerics of different backgrounds likewise led to confusion and divisive views.  Later, political movements, using theology as a cudgel, deliberately came to distribute inaccurate information. And, in non-Arab Muslim communities, understanding was severely skewed by the lack of access to original source material.  Poorly educated or ignorant self-proclaimed imams would use populist rhetoric and sensationalist sounding quotations out of context to fire up the public.  The Muslim Brotherhood came to rely on these combinations of factors to push an intolerant and violent interpretation of Islam that was mainstreamed with the help of media, governments, political organizations, and other allies and fellow travelers.  Al-Issa compared the Muslim Brotherhood to Al-Qaeda and Daesh in a recently launched Ramadan program on Saudi Arabia’s best-known channel, MBC.  Dr. Al-Issa supervises the work of a charity hospital of the Association in Africa. (Supplied) The Muslim Brotherhood ideology, which incorporated the religious rhetoric of some Ottoman Sufi sects, and of Bolshevik, Nazi, Jacobin, and later extremist Salafi teachings, has managed to become a source of discord among Muslim communities.  The inflammatory pulpit imams and Brotherhood ideology are the gateway drug leading students to join Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Hamas and other terrorist organizations, who hunt down and punish Muslims deemed insufficiently subservient.  Within the Brotherhood camp, there is remarkable flexibility in making alliances with seemingly divergent schools of thought, such as with the Iranian Khomeinists.  The Brotherhood conveniently claimed to no longer engage in violent direct action but, as the appreciation for Islamism is dying out in the Arab world, thanks in part to reforms instituted by Arab governments, it now appears to acknowledge direct involvement in terrorist activity.  ------- READ MORE: Responsible leadership key to ‘justice, harmony’, Muslim World League chief tells conference at UN ------- So what effect, if any, has MWL’s activity had on the discourse in the Muslim world? To start with, Al-Issa practices what he preaches in Arabic and uses the substantial soft power of the MWL to advance his campaign to assert the true, inclusive and benevolent nature of Islam.  Anyone in doubt can refer to the Charter of Makkah, a historic statement drafted by Al-Issa, who then convened a meeting of 1,200 pre-eminent Islamic scholars near Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba, to debate and sign the document.  The Charter of Makkah answers those, who deny or distort the truth, both within Islam and without.  In one episode of his MBC program, Al-Issa discusses how all religious places of worship should be protected — in other words, the attacks on Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and other places of worship by terrorists have no basis in religious teachings or practices, but are the result of politics and distortions.  In another episode, he discusses the empowerment of Muslim women throughout history, which is contrasted with the limited public role and the presumable marital subjugation accorded to them in various communities and contexts based on cultural, rather than religious, traditions or erroneous (perhaps deliberately so) readings of texts.  Al-Issa is working to undo decades of denial about women’s influence in Arab and Muslim societies.  Dr. Al-Issa in a visit to an orphanage of Haurishima. (Supplied) There is no question that this shift in the intellectual discourse is having an effect as more Middle Eastern countries are opening their media to portraying positive roles for the Jewish communities that once lived in their countries.  One Saudi columnist, impressed by MWL’s position and Al-Issa’s visit to Auschwitz, calls for wider recognition of the “Jewish tragedy” (the Holocaust) in the process of bridge-building.  Another example is the MBC Ramadan drama “Um Haroun.” Based loosely on true stories of the Bahraini Jewish community, the series, which had a Kuwaiti director and star, aired in Saudi Arabia.  There is a desire to undo the damage of decades of politicization of Jewish life that led to attacks, expulsions and fear.  Egypt, too, in addition to its recent restoration of synagogues, has just as importantly opened up to a more sympathetic portrayal of Jews in a Ramadan series.  The acceptance of this portrayal by the public is just as much of a breakthrough and an example of “positive soft power” of religious institutions as the political determination that made such moves permissible to the media.  At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. Religions are a combination of doctrinal teachings and practices.  Al-Issa’s hard work is leading the way in showing that a combination of correct beliefs and righteous actions can withstand even centuries of obscurantism and political hijackings.  It is up to each generation to return to its roots and to use history and knowledge as an inspiration for the building of tolerant, humane, respectful, and intellectually open societies.  ---------------- Irina Tsukerman is a New York-based human-rights lawyer and national security analyst  @irinatsukerman Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaIslamJudaismChristianityEditor’s Choice Muslim World League Secretary-General Al-Issa calls for lessons of Srebrenica to be learntMuslim World League chief Al-Issa discuss cooperation on anti-terror campaign with EU coordinator

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Qasim, leading Saudi petroleum engineer

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 23:05 Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Qasim is a petroleum engineer and was recently selected to join the World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders Programme following a rigorous selection process at an international level. He is a curre
Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Qasim, leading Saudi petroleum engineer

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 23:05 Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Qasim is a petroleum engineer and was recently selected to join the World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders Programme following a rigorous selection process at an international level. He is a current and past member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Saudi Council of Engineers, the Innovation Ecosystem Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2007 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. In 2011 he got his master’s degree from the University of Texas and, five years later, obtained a doctorate from the University of Tulsa. Since joining Saudi Aramco in 2007 Al-Qasim has been involved in applied research projects on enhanced/improved oil recovery, reservoir management, and production-related challenges.  He has more than 30 patents, both granted and filed, and published over 25 papers, including those which have been peer reviewed, and deployed several new technologies. He was recognized as one of Aramco’s top young innovators as part of an innovation week event that was held in December 2019, and was a finalist in the Energy Institute’s 2019 Young Energy Professional of the Year Award. He has authored two books: “Optimizing Well Locations in Green Fields using the Fast-Marching Method” and “Simulation of Asphaltene Deposition during CO2 Flooding.” He has been an editor for the Journal of Petroleum Science  and Engineering, and the Journal of Natural Gas Science & Engineering. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Who’sWho Dr. Abdullah Owaiqil Al-Sulami, president of the Jeddah Literary Cultural Club Basem Alsallom, CEO and managing director of Sure Global Tech

Iraq’s deputy PM visits Saudi Arabia to promote relations

Author: Sun, 2020-05-24 00:30 RIYADH: Iraq’s deputy prime minister visited the Kingdom on Friday to promote bilateral relations, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Ali Allawi, who is also the country’s finance minister and acting oil minister, carri
Saudi Arabia

Iraq’s deputy PM visits Saudi Arabia to promote relations

Author: Sun, 2020-05-24 00:30 RIYADH: Iraq’s deputy prime minister visited the Kingdom on Friday to promote bilateral relations, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Ali Allawi, who is also the country’s finance minister and acting oil minister, carried a message from Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi for King Salman. Allawi met Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, discussing the stability of the oil market and other oil-related matters of common interest. They expressed relief about the market’s improvement following the OPEC+ deal and agreed on the need to continue working with producers to expedite the restoration of balance, while stressing both countries’ commitment to the deal. Allawi also met the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who congratulated him on the formation of the Iraqi government. Prince Faisal said that King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government wished to preserve unity among the Iraqi people and that they were ready to cooperate with the new government to achieve common interests and ensure regional security and stability. He emphasized the Kingdom’s support for Iraq in tackling terrorism and its full respect for Iraqi sovereignty and territorial unity, free from any foreign interference. He also highlighted the importance of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, which was established as a mechanism to develop bilateral relationships and expand cooperation in the fields of politics, the economy, security, trade and investment. Prince Faisal said that, in the context of promoting bilateral ties, the Saudi leadership had decided to send its ambassador to Iraq to resume his work as soon as possible. Allawi also met Saudi Arabia’s ministers of commerce and finance. The two sides discussed ways to promote cooperation, investment and commercial exchange between the two countries, as well as other matters related to the council’s activities. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: IraqOPEC+Ali Allawi Iraq reaches agreement with Saudi companies to invest in the Okaz gas fieldsSaudi representative to the UN warns of growing Islamophobia

شاهد..شيخ الحرم المكي يستعيذ من «فتنة التغريدات» !

استعاذ الرئيس العام لشؤون المسجد الحرام والمسجد النبوي، عبد الرحمن السديس، من «فتنة التغريدات»....
قناة العالم الأخبارية

شاهد..شيخ الحرم المكي يستعيذ من «فتنة التغريدات» !

استعاذ الرئيس العام لشؤون المسجد الحرام والمسجد النبوي، عبد الرحمن السديس، من «فتنة التغريدات»....

الحوثي: يشَنّ علينا عدوان بإشرافٍ أميركي وتعاون إسرائيلي

زعيم حركة «أنصار الله» اليمنية السيد عبد الملك الحوثي يدعو إلى دعم جبهات المواجهة لعدوان التحالف السعودي بالرجال والمال، ويحث على الاهت
قناة العالم الأخبارية

الحوثي: يشَنّ علينا عدوان بإشرافٍ أميركي وتعاون إسرائيلي

زعيم حركة «أنصار الله» اليمنية السيد عبد الملك الحوثي يدعو إلى دعم جبهات المواجهة لعدوان التحالف السعودي بالرجال والمال، ويحث على الاهتمام بالزراعة و...

Citizens and residents’ health and safety a top concern, says Saudi King Salman

Sat, 2020-05-23 19:19 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Saturday that the health and safety of the Kingdom's residents and citizens is of top concern. «The world is facing an unprecedented health pandemic,» the king said. He also th
Saudi Arabia

Citizens and residents’ health and safety a top concern, says Saudi King Salman

Sat, 2020-05-23 19:19 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Saturday that the health and safety of the Kingdom's residents and citizens is of top concern. «The world is facing an unprecedented health pandemic,» the king said. He also thanked Saudi citizens and residents for their adherence to the instructions for social distancing during Eid, as well as the Saudi medical teams for their response to the pandemic. Saudi Arabia announced 2,442 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the majority of which recorded in Riyadh at 794. It also announced 2,233 new recoveries and 15 deaths. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi ArabiaEid Al-FitrCoronavirusCOVID-19King Salman Saudi Arabia completes iftar program in 18 countriesSaudi representative to the UN warns of growing Islamophobia

Saudi representative to the UN warns of growing Islamophobia

Sat, 2020-05-23 08:49 DUBAI: Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Muallami, the permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, said he was concerned about the rise of Islamophobia in “some regions of the world” especially during the pandemic, the Saudi
Saudi Arabia

Saudi representative to the UN warns of growing Islamophobia

Sat, 2020-05-23 08:49 DUBAI: Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Muallami, the permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, said he was concerned about the rise of Islamophobia in “some regions of the world” especially during the pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency has reported. Al-Muallami said it was important to protect human rights as the world struggles with the COVID-19 crisis, adding acts of discrimination against Muslim should be addressed. | The statements came during a virtual meeting of ambassadors of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which was also attended by other Saudi officials. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: United NationsSaudi ArabiaCoronavirusIslamophobia Saudi Arabia completes iftar program in 18 countries

Saudi Arabia’s Neom project developers to be financially compensated for coronavirus impact

Sat, 2020-05-23 00:37 RIYADH: Real estate owners that are involved in Saudi Arabia’s Neom project will be financially compensated by the National Program for Community Development, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday. The program, also known as
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Neom project developers to be financially compensated for coronavirus impact

Sat, 2020-05-23 00:37 RIYADH: Real estate owners that are involved in Saudi Arabia’s Neom project will be financially compensated by the National Program for Community Development, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday. The program, also known as “Tanmia” in Arabic, will compensate owners in Sharma, Qayal, Al-Khuraibah, Al-Asilah, Al-Sur, Bir Fahman. The announcement comes after the program said it was halting inventory work in April and compensation would be paid in record time, and before the period specified in the program’s planned schedule. “This is to ensure that recipients are compensated in successive installments as soon as possible,” the program said in a statement on SPA. The program said it took into account all field work implemented and the instructions issued by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and took all precautions to ensure the safety and health of the citizens and workers in the program. It also said it will provide additional financial subsidies to the residents of centers of the first stage of Neom, in addition to a set of social and economic packages that will contribute to improving their standard of living. “This is in accordance with development plans, and in coordination with the relevant government agencies, and the packages will be announced at a later stage,” the statement added. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: NEOMCoronavirusNational Program for Community Development Saudi Arabia’s NEOM launches 1st technical diploma programSaudi Arabia gets ready for inaugural NEOM Mobility Summit 

Cheaters never prosper, except maybe in a pandemic

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 02:32 RIYADH: As the second semester draws to a close, students, parents, and teachers alike wait to see the impact quarantine has had on grades. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic drove everyone in academia into a fren
Saudi Arabia

Cheaters never prosper, except maybe in a pandemic

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 02:32 RIYADH: As the second semester draws to a close, students, parents, and teachers alike wait to see the impact quarantine has had on grades. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic drove everyone in academia into a frenzy. Schools and universities quickly shut down, and students and instructors were forced to adapt to online classes and exams. With no end to the lockdown in sight, no one knew how final exams were going to work. But while finals for many school students were eventually canceled, with their grades determined by the first semester’s results, university students were still obligated to take them from home — making it easier for them to cheat. Arab News spoke to a few of these students about how and why they cheated on their finals. Due to the controversial nature of the subject, the students asked for anonymity. Their names have thus been changed. Badr, a college freshman, said that even with university countermeasures in place, there were still plenty of ways to cheat on digital exams. “Most exams will give you a time frame in which to log in, so you don’t have to enter right away. There’s a window of about 15   minutes. What we’ll do is have the best student go in first, start solving questions, and send screenshots via WhatsApp or another messaging app,” he explained. “We’ll all log in at various times after them and check the chat whenever we need answers. Even if the questions are randomized, we’ll know the answers either way,” he added. A well-designed exam should have analysis questions, questions that depend on the student’s ability to solve a problem or reach a conclusion. Dr. Hala Ismailm, assistant professor and chairperson of the Department of Linguistics at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh For harder questions, or ones that involve written answers, Badr and his friends will simply fall back on Google. “Sometimes you get lucky and your professor is kind of lazy and will just lift questions from teacher resource websites. Even though the exam software our university uses won’t let us exit or minimize the screen unless the exam is completed and submitted, anyone with a phone, iPad, or second laptop can circumvent that easily enough,” he said. Amira, a senior graduating in computer science, said that even in a field that requires a lot of personal input, such as in coding or solving math problems, people have found ways to cheat. “Someone from my class paid a private tutor to FaceTime them while they were taking a math exam and had the tutor do all the work while they just copied down the explanations and answers. Lots of tutors do it because they can make good money from it. With everyone worried about money during this pandemic, I’m sure they aren’t hard to find,” she said. Amira said that students will likely always find ways to cheat, especially when working unsupervised from home. For some, the temptation might be too great to resist. For others, they might simply take advantage of the situation and decide to take the easy way out. “I just want to be done with this chapter of my life as I feel like the odds are stacked against me at such a critical juncture. It’s making me do things I normally wouldn’t,” she said. Both Badr and Amira believe that cheating is ethically wrong. Given their current circumstances, however, they feel they have no choice. “If I were the only one doing it, I would feel bad about it. But I guarantee you, everyone is cheating now. The odds are against me anyway. I can study hard and work, and someone who cheats will still get a better grade than me. That’s not fair,” Badr said. Amira echoed his sentiments, saying that the exams they were taking from home were far harder than those they would have taken normally. “In normal circumstances, I would never cheat. But our exams have been way too hard since we began taking them at home. In trying to stop us from cheating, our professors have actually driven us to cheating since that is the only way we can actually do well on their exams,” said Amira. As for the instructors themselves, most are fully aware that students are going to cheat no matter what. Their feelings on the matter are mixed. Dr. Hala Ismail, assistant professor and chairperson of the Department of Linguistics at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, said that students have plenty of misconceptions about what makes an exam easy or hard to cheat on. “A lot of students assume that it’s easier to cheat on digital exams but in reality, it’s easier to cheat on a poorly designed exam. A well-designed exam should have analysis questions, questions that depend on the student’s ability to solve a problem or reach a conclusion, not just parrot back knowledge copied from their books or lectures,” she said. Ismail, who teaches professional ethics, believes that education in academic ethics can also benefit students who might not be aware of the real consequences of their cheating. “I like to ask students what they would do if they knew that their professor had cheated. Or if they would trust a doctor whom they knew had cheated on all of his university exams. I tend to find that these discussions make it very hard for them to cheat,” she said. “As an educator, you want to evaluate your students fairly and make sure everyone gets what they deserve from the course. When students cheat, it makes it harder for us to be fair. It also makes it harder for us to design good exams,” she added. Dr. Orchida Fayez, leader of the digital humanities research group at Prince Sultan University, said that she believed the whole education system has changed and that the time of traditional exams had already passed. “We should do away with the traditional format of giving a student an essay or task to complete in a limited time, the results of which we correct afterwards,” she said. “Starting a project or activity in class and holding several dynamic discussions in which everyone participates equally is far more effective, engaging and enjoyable for the students.” Fayez pointed out that in this age of technology, students and teachers both have more access to knowledge and resources on the Internet and should not waste energy focusing on things that do not matter. “Being fixated on cheating is wrong. Going through a lot of trouble to make things too difficult is not the solution,” she said. She advised instructors and educators to instead hold discussions with students and follow up on their progress through assignments. She also believes that non-traditional examination methods, such as open-book exams or asking for a final project instead of an exam, can be much more effective. “Open book exams, for example, aren’t just exams where you can copy what’s written in the book. It’s all about the analysis of the information,” she said. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: CoronavirusCOVID-19 Saudi creatives prosper online during lockdown 

Saudi restaurants bring Eid to doorsteps during virus lockdown

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 02:40 JEDDAH: Savvy Saudi restaurants have turned to social media to help deliver Eid breakfasts to doorsteps during the nationwide festival lockdown period. A mouthwatering mix of traditional and Westernized sweet and savory d
Saudi Arabia

Saudi restaurants bring Eid to doorsteps during virus lockdown

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 02:40 JEDDAH: Savvy Saudi restaurants have turned to social media to help deliver Eid breakfasts to doorsteps during the nationwide festival lockdown period. A mouthwatering mix of traditional and Westernized sweet and savory delights are being offered for home delivery while measures remain in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Eateries in the Kingdom have been taking to online platforms and messaging apps to promote a range of exclusive food baskets for Muslim celebrations to mark the end of the month of fasting. Brioche Gourmet Eatery, in Jeddah, was offering a SR300 ($80) basket including its signature focaccia bread, used to dip into dibyaza, red mist, mixed olives, homemade pickles, and strawberry jam. Another of the city’s food outlets, Maison de Zaid, was promoting a SR420 basket which includes grilled halloumi cheese, two types of jam, beet hummus, its signature foul (baked beans), 10 different breads, granola, and grilled vegetables. HIGHLIGHT A mouthwatering mix of traditional and Westernized sweet and savory delights are being offered for home delivery while measures remain in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. Eateries in the Kingdom have been taking to online platforms and messaging apps to promote a range of exclusive food baskets for Muslim celebrations to mark the end of the month of fasting. Supplied Those with a sweet tooth can dip into Sanabel Al-Salam’s extensive Eid menu. The dessert brand is offering a 25 percent discount on everything in its store, including Belgian chocolates on fancy platters, and Eastern delight trays containing baklava, balah al-sham, and basbousa.  Home-based Villa Jasmine was offering a cheese platter and breadbasket, plus an Eid tray combining cinnamon pecan, in collaboration with pistachio chocolates from Lu Choco, and ghuraiba cookies from Zozo’s kitchen. Orders can be placed via the Instagram page @villajasminejeddah. Meanwhile, Jihand Gallery (@jihand_gallery) was providing intricate baskets with jars of flavored and pickled cheese, and a variety of breadsticks and shaborah (rusk). The business’ owner, Jihan Helmy, told Arab News that she started with local dishes that were served during Ramadan, such as sambosa, farmoza and mantu, along with soups. “During Ramadan, an idea came to me to provide simpler iftar solutions, and that’s when the idea for the baskets came about,” said Helmy. Her baskets include a varied assortment of cheeses. “The baskets are nice to be given to family members during Eid visits, but in the current situation we are offering home delivery, so that Eid traditions can continue.” Sugar Works (@sugarworks.ksa) has designed an Eid-themed cake, with vanilla frosting and candy toppings, along with candy baskets for children.     Main category: LifestyleFood & HealthSaudi ArabiaTags: EID HOLIDAYSRamadanCoronavirus Saudi Arabia announces Eid Al-Fitr will start on SundayEid appeal to Mumbai’s Muslims: Help the needy

Saudi Arabia completes iftar program in 18 countries

Sat, 2020-05-23 05:15 RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has completed its annual iftar program, in association with affiliated religious institutions and Islamic centers in 18 countries. This year, in accordance with royal d
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia completes iftar program in 18 countries

Sat, 2020-05-23 05:15 RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has completed its annual iftar program, in association with affiliated religious institutions and Islamic centers in 18 countries. This year, in accordance with royal directives, the program had an increased budget of SR5 million ($1.3 million). In total, the iftar program distributed 74,605 food baskets to over 1 million people in 100 cities around the world. Islamic Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said, “The implementation of this program comes as part of the continuous support of King Salman and the tireless supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the ministry's various programs, which serve Islamic work in all its different aspects.” Al-Asheikh added that, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia sought to alleviate the pain of widows and orphans and help those in need around the world. This year, he said, the iftar program had been carried out in Djibouti, Malaysia, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda, South Africa, Argentina, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia, Chad, Pakistan, Sudan, India, Senegal, Kenya, and Indonesia. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Ramadaniftar Saudi restaurants bring Eid to doorsteps during virus lockdownSaudi Arabia’s Neom project developers to be financially compensated for coronavirus impact

Space officials discuss expertise to advance Arab cooperation

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 07:24 RIYADH: The Saudi Space Commission on Thursday took part in a virtual meeting of the Arab Space Cooperation Group, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The commission was represented by its CEO Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, and
Saudi Arabia

Space officials discuss expertise to advance Arab cooperation

Author: Sat, 2020-05-23 07:24 RIYADH: The Saudi Space Commission on Thursday took part in a virtual meeting of the Arab Space Cooperation Group, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The commission was represented by its CEO Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, and the session was organized by the Emirates Space Agency. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Ahmad Al-Falasi, who is UAE minister of state for higher education and advanced skills and also chairman of the Emirates Space Agency. It was attended by 35 representatives. Al-Asheikh said that the meeting tackled several topics related to completing the organizational work of the group, and discussed the progress of the Arab Satellite Project 813 on two main tracks. The first related to receiving and reviewing the CVs of experts and specialists nominated from Arab countries to participate in the project. The second related to the educational and training opportunities that will be offered by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to Arab students who receive scholarships from the United Arab Emirates University. He said that the meeting reviewed developments related to the group’s articles of association approved by 11 member states, including Saudi Arabia. Participants were briefed on the outcome of setting the work of the group, developments related to institutional work, and participation in international space forums starting from 2021. Al-Asheikh thanked Al-Falasi for organizing the meeting, hoping that such meetings would lead to the advancement of Arab cooperation in the field of space technology, and enhance its expertise to serve Arab interests on technical, economic, and developmental levels. Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Space CommissionArab Space Cooperation Group Saudi Space Authority blasts off as Prince Sultan chairs first meetingSaudi space program to establish national training base

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