Saudi bridge continues to aid stricken in Lebanon

Time: 10 August, 2020

KSRelief provided urgent food supplies to affected people living in the areas adjacent to the port, covering 500 families. (SPA)
  • So far, 290 tons of aid transported to provide urgent humanitarian needs to people affected by explosion

JEDDAH: Aid continues to flow into the Lebanese capital Beirut, as the fourth Saudi air bridge plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) arrived on Sunday.
Ninety tons of emergency aid was flown in on the flight, including medical materials and equipment, foodstuff and shelter supplies. Medicines, burn treatments, medical solutions, masks, gloves, sterilizers and other surgical materials will be distributed by special teams on the ground.
The plane also carried food baskets that included flour and dates as well as shelter materials such as tents, blankets, mattresses, and utensils.
So far, 290 tons of aid has been transported from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon as per the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people affected by the explosion at the Port of Beirut.
This aid was provided based on an assessment report of the necessary humanitarian needs resulting from the explosion, in coordination with the Saudi Embassy in Beirut, and the KSRelief branch in Lebanon.
This comes as an extension of the efforts made by Saudi Arabia to show solidarity with the Lebanese people and to provide relief to those affected by the disaster.

FASTFACT

So far, 290 tons of aid has been transported from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon as per the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people affected by the explosion at the Port of Beirut.

KSRelief provided urgent food supplies to affected people living in the areas adjacent to the port on Sunday, covering 500 families.
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed bin Abdullah Bukhari told Arab News that special committees would oversee and review reports on the Lebanese people’s needs.
“Aid will continue to flow into Lebanon after assessing the required needs of the Lebanese people in cooperation with the relevant authorities in Lebanon,” he said.
Countries around the world have come together to help Lebanon in the wake of the explosion on Aug. 4, which devastated large areas of Beirut, damaging and destroying infrastructure, buildings and homes, including all port facilities and the country’s grain storage silos.

This article was first published in Arab News

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A history of the management of the Kaaba

Time: 30 July, 2020

Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal handing over the Kiswa. (Supplied)
  • The Bani Al-Shaiba family have held the keys to the Kaaba for 16 centuries — an honor through the ages

MAKKAH: More than 150 technicians and manufacturers replaced the Kaaba’s Kiswa (black cloth) with a new one on Wednesday.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, on behalf of King Salman, handed over the Kaaba Kiswa last week to the senior caretaker of the Kaaba, Saleh bin Zain Al-Abidin Al-Shaibi.
The cloth is manufactured at the King Abdul Aziz Complex for the Kaaba’s Kiswa in Makkah’s Umm Al-Joud neighborhood. It is made of a special natural silk that is dyed in black. The garment is 14 m tall. On its upper third is a belt which consists of 16 square pieces surrounded by a square of Islamic motifs. The belt is 95 cm wide and 47 m long.

The Kiswa consists of four pieces, each covering one of the faces of the honorable Kaaba and the fifth the curtain placed on its door. The making of the curtain is a multi-stage process, as the fabric is combined from the four sides of the Kiswa. The belt and curtain pieces are later added in preparation for its installation over the Kaaba.
More than 110 Kaaba caretakers have been honored through history with the caretaking of the Grand Mosque. The centuries-old tradition has been passed down for generations.
The caretakers have protected their historical God-given legacy and are supported by the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The Kaaba’s caretakers, Bani Shaiba, have had the honor of holding the keys to the Kaaba for 16 centuries.
Before Islam, the descendants of Qusai bin Kilab bin Murrah took care of the Kaaba, whose descendants Bani Shaiba are the current caretakers. They are the ones to whom the Prophet returned the key to the Kaaba after the conquest of Makkah.


Saleh Al-Shaibi, holder of the Kaaba key and its caretaker. (Supplied)

Kaaba caretaking is an old profession, which consists of opening, closing, cleaning, washing, cladding and repairing this cloth if it is damaged.
The washing of the Kaaba is done with Zamzam and rose water. Its four walls are wiped and washed with perfumed water and a prayer is performed.
“Our grandfather, Qusai bin Kilab, who was also the Prophet’s grandfather, was responsible for the caretaking of the Kaaba, who passed it on to his oldest son Abd Al-Dar, who in his turn passed it on to his children,” Anas Al-Shaibi, one of the Grand Mosque’s caretakers, told Arab News.
He added that since the beginning of time, the caretaking of the Kaaba is a God-given blessing until the final day. The keys of the Kaaba are preserved at the senior caretaker’s home.
“The commandments of the fathers to their children were the fear of God, in addition to preserving the great principles of Islam; honesty, humility and keeping the key in a dedicated bag made of green silk and gold, while moving it to open the Kaaba,” Al-Shaibi added.

As for the what traits make a good caretaker, Nizar Al-Shaibi said the job requires a head of a family who is responsible for the home’s caretaking. He must be honest and possess good morals.
Al-Shaibi said the Kaaba key’s character has not changed through time.
He said the reason behind a change in the key’s appearance is a failure to open the Kaaba, where it is then repaired or replaced.
The key has a unique appearance and does not resemble a normal key. Al-Shaibi said it must be different and contain a special character unique to the Kaaba. It is also designed in a unique artistic way so no one but the caretakers know how to use it.
Regarding the clothing of the Kaaba, Al-Shaibi said that the Yemeni King Tubba was the first to clothe it. People from all over the world visited him to obtain his consent and gifts. The Quraish tribe never visited King Tubba. When he asked about them, he was told about the Kaaba, so he secretly rode with his army and tore it down.
Al-Shaibi also said that during the king’s preparation of the army, he suffered from severe illness. They tried to treat it to no avail and he was told it was a disease from the heavens. A wise man told him he had bad intentions and to refrain from acting upon them. When he decided to back down from his plans, he miraculously recovered from the disease.
King Tubba sent countless gifts to the people of Makkah and was the first to cover the Kaaba in different colors, until founder of Saudi Arabia King Abdul Aziz established a Kiswa factory, where the cloth is delivered to the senior caretaker each year.

As for the family traditions and whether disputes arise regarding caretaking practices, Al-Shaibi said that the head of the family is the one who takes charge of the duty, adding that his family is cohesive and that any difference is resolved internally.
According to the Prophet, “Only an oppressor will take caretaking away from the Al-Shaibi family.”
God chose this family to be the caretakers of the Grand Mosque 16 centuries ago and the duty is a divine role for which this blessed family has been chosen.
The number of Kaaba caretakers who assumed the honor of caring for the Kaaba is 110.
Before caretaking of the Kaaba was passed down through the Bani Shaiba family for generations to the present day, the tasks of caretakers consisted of opening and closing the door of the Kaaba, supervising its clothing, maintaining what needed to be repaired, built or assembled, using incense, in addition to washing, cleaning and guarding the shrine of Ibrahim.
Now the caretaker’s tasks are restricted to opening and closing the Kaaba. Al-Shaibi is also contacted if the Kaaba must be opened for visits by the Kingdom’s guests.

This article was first published in Arab News

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The Place: Al-Tayebat International City of Science and Knowledge, the house of Islamic heritage

20/06/20

Photo/Saudi Tourism
  • The museum includes the house of Saudi Arabian heritage

Al-Tayebat International City of Science and Knowledge, located in Jeddah’s Al-Faisaliyah district, is billed as a ‘must-see’ museum and houses an extraordinary range of exhibits.
Bringing pre-Islamic and Islamic history to life across 300 rooms in 12 buildings, the museum includes the house of Saudi Arabian heritage, the house of Islamic heritage, the house of international heritage and the public heritage exhibition. This photograph was taken by Radhwan Gamal as part of the Colors of Saudi competition.

This article was first published in Arab News

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$100m Saudi aid hailed by Palestinian PM

Time: 08 June, 2020

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad yesterday hailed an emergency $ 100 million donation received from Saudi Arabia after Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas visited the Kingdom recently.
“Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Palestinian people thank Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah after he instructed the Saudi Finance Ministry to transfer $ 100 million to the Palestinian Authority treasury at the request of President Mahmud Abbas,” Fayyad’s office said, according to an AFP report. The money, the office added, would “support the Palestinian Authority and assist them in overcoming the financial crisis they are suffering from.”
Abbas on Friday had asked King Abdullah for emergency financial assistance for his West Bank Palestinian Authority government, which is facing a shortfall that officials have said is the worst in the government’s history. On Friday, the top Palestinian diplomat in Riyadh, Jamal Shobaki, told AFP that the PA’s debts stood at $ 1.5 billion.
Citing statistics from Fayyad’s government, Shobaki said an estimated $ 500 million was needed in urgent aid to tackle the current crisis, which has left the government unable to meet payroll for its employees.
“This $100 million is important and significant because it’s coming from a leading Arab state, and this hopefully can be an example for other countries to follow,” Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian government spokesman, told Reuters.
With the Kingdom’s aid offer, Palestinians may hope for an end to the shortfall in pledges by traditional Arab benefactors.
“This generosity added to the track record of financial and political support by the Kingdom,” the Palestinian prime minister added.
“This support will have a deep impact in deepening the steadfastness of the Palestinian people,” he said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia completes iftar program in 18 countries

23/05/20

The iftar program distributed 74,605 food baskets to over 1 million people in 100 cities around the world. (SPA)

This article was first published in Arab News

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How Saudi Arabia’s King Fahad National Library is preserving Islamic history for posterity

Time: 15 May, 2020

King Fahad National Library has been playing a key role in ensuring that present and future generations continue to benefit from Islam’s contributions to civilization. (Supplied)
  • Institution in Riyadh holds more than 6,000 rare and original manuscripts and over 73,000 transcripts
  • Kufic Qur’an, written on deer skin and dating to the 9th century CE, is among the library’s collection

RIYADH: The big truth about history is that it inevitably fades into the past, but history can also be captured and preserved for posterity.

In fact, it can be housed and lovingly nourished and tended to withstand the onslaught of time.

Saudi Arabia’s King Fahad National Library has been undertaking this endeavor for the past three decades, playing a seminal role in the preservation of Islamic heritage and ensuring that present and future generations continue to benefit from Islam’s contributions to civilization.

Established in 1990 in Riyadh, the library is home to more than 6,000 original manuscripts — many of them rare and ancient, including the exquisite Kufic Qur’an, dating to the 9th century CE — and a total of 73,000 paper and electronic transcripts.

“The King Fahad National Library has been interested in preserving manuscripts and heritage since its establishment in 1989, to a point where a royal decree has been issued to the library for the preservation of manuscripts,” Abdulaziz Nasif, the head of the manuscript department, told Arab News.

“The library estimates the manuscript’s value and sets its price when we receive it. Regarding the possession of manuscripts, we welcome everything that is presented to us and everything that is worth owning.”

FASTFACT

  • King Fahad National Library has 6,000 original manuscripts and nearly 73,000 photocopied transcripts, with 7,000 of them digitized for online readers.

The Kufic Qur’an at the library, distinguished by its Kufic calligraphy, has one of the oldest scripts in Arabic, a highly angular form of the Arabic alphabet used in the earliest copies of the Qur’an.

It originated in Kufa, a city in southern Iraq, an intellectual hub during the early Islamic period, now known as Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.

“It’s not written on paper but on deer skin,” Nasif said. “Having holy verses written on leather is a form of honoring the text. But the cover is new.”

The Kufic Qur’an was bought from the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula almost 20 years ago and recently rebound to increase its longevity.


AL IGNAA LITALI AL INTIFAA 
Written by Moussa bin Ahmad bin Al-Hijjawi in 968 AH.
Transcriber: Abdullah bin Suleiman bin Ahmad.
Font type and transcription date: Naskh, Friday 16 Shawwal 1901 AH
Observation: An important copy in two volumes, on the sidelines of which are many clarifications. The edges of its first pages are damaged and restored with adhesive tape. ​​​Black ink was used for writing and red was used for the heads of chapters. It has a modern binding.
Number of sheets: 177+149 Sizes: 30.5×20 cm
Number of lines: 29
Saved under: 699/ Al-Ifnaa

The library has other Qur’an manuscripts written in ancient script, besides special books such as the poetic works of Al-Ahnaf Al-Akbari, a famous poet in Baghdad who died in 995 CE.

It also has a copy of Ibn Daqiq Al-Eid’s book “Ahkam Al-Ahkam,” written in the late-14th century. Al-Eid is counted among Islam’s great scholars in the fundamentals of Islamic law and belief.

In addition, the library also owns “Yatimat Al-Dahr,” a book by Abu Mansur Al-Thaalibi, a writer of Persian or Arab origin famous for his anthologies and collection of epigrams.

Once the library acquires a manuscript, a rigorous and exacting approach to its conservation and maintenance is adopted.

“Each manuscript is first sent to the restoration and sanitization department and then returned to our department to be indexed,” Nasif said.


HOLY QUR’AN WRITTEN IN KUFIC SCRIPT IN THE 3RD CENTURY HEJIRA
Holy Qur’an, written on vellum (the skin of animals). Its writer took care to present it in a delicate and beautiful manner. The Qur’an manuscripts were produced on horizontally oriented vellum, a common form for such Qur’ans and eras.
It was written in black ink. Short vowels are marked in red ink. The letter
Hamza is written is yellow ink and the shaddah in green ink.
This Qur’an begins with verse 50 of Surah Al Imran and ends with
the end of Surah Abasa.
The two existing binding covers date back to a later time.
Number of papers: 165 Dimension: 25 x 17.5 cm Number of lines: 17 Archive No: 2500/library

However, not every manuscript is sent for restoration “because, sometimes, it can ruin (it),” he said.

The restoration is followed by the indexing process, which is a thorough exercise.

Nasif explained: “To fill the index card, we use information that is listed on the first page, starting with the title, the author’s name, the manuscript’s sizes (height and length), the transcriber’s name (the person who wrote it), and what is written at the end of the manuscript, so that we are able recognize one manuscript from the other having the same specifications.”


AL-MUWATTA
Al-Muwatta narrated by Mohammed ibn Al-Hasan, compiled by the Imam Malik ibn Anas
Date: 179 Hijri
Name of the reproducer: Abdulqader bin Mohammed Al-Qurashi Place of Reproduction: Al-Azhar Mosque
Type of script and the history of reproduction: Naskh, Thursday 10 Rabih Al-Thani, 719 Hijri
A precious copy written by the modern Hanafi jurist, Abdulqader Al-Qurashi, author of the book “Tabaqat Al Hanafiyah.” There is an interview on the original audio and the date of the transcription is the date of the interview. The copy is internally divided into ten parts, written in black ink.
Number of papers: 123 Dimension: 17.5 x 26 cm Number of lines: 21 Archive No: 193/Fatwa

Given the age and pricelessness of the manuscripts, their preservation methodology — which is at the core of library’s mission — is equally critical.

“Manuscripts should be kept in cold temperatures, to prevent insects and bacteria from surviving, because they can damage the paper and even the animal skin that was used in some manuscripts,” Nasif said.

The manuscripts are sterilized every year or every six months to prevent their deterioration.

The age of digitization places its own demands on repositories of knowledge such as libraries with their physical wealth of history, and the King Fahad National Library is keeping pace with these demands.


HOLY QUR’AN
Copy of Sherif Al- Mu’min bin Mohammed Naseer Al-Qummi, Naskh Al-Majood script, Shaaban 122.
Decorated with intense adornment of geometric and floral motifs. Gold roundel verse markers, text panels within gold and polychrome rules. Surah headings in red ink over a golden background.
It is decorated in a colorful botanical form surrounded by a gilded frame and decorated with a repeated plant unit.
Number of papers: 270 Dimension: 17 x 26.5 cm
Number of lines: 14
Archive No: 369/Library

It is working to complete the digitization of all its manuscripts. “Most of the transcriptions are still on microfilm but we are working on digitizing them on CDs and hard disks,” Nasif said.

The library also enables researchers, history lovers and general readers to access its precious collection though a range of electronic services.

Users can log in and browse through the vast collection and place their requirements. Researchers can request a specific manuscript, a rare book or a photograph to aid in their work.


DIWAN ABI TAMMAM
For Habib Ibn Aws Al-Ta’i, known as Abi Tammam, Type of script and the history of reproduction: Accurate vowelized naskh, 7 Ramadan 1065.
A similar and corrected copy written by Mohammed Jalabi bin Mohammed Agha, alias Qazdaghly, on which colophon has attribution to Mohammed bin Omar Al-Ardi Al-Halabi.
There are some comments in his handwriting. There is another colophon with attribution to Yahya Khaled, a teacher at Ared school. It was written is black ink and the poems with red ink.
Number of papers: 175
Dimension: 13 x 20.4 cm
Number of lines: 29
Archive No: 382/Library Diwan Abi Tammam
Gift from King Salman

The service is available to all members of the community from within and outside the Kingdom.

King Fahad National Library has also obtained microfilm photographs of one of the most important Arabic manuscript collections in US libraries, the Princeton University Library.

It also possesses 1,140 photocopied manuscripts on film slides from the Library of the Jewish University.

Last but not least, the manuscripts of the Riyadh Library “Dar Al-Iftaa” — a total of 792 documents — were transferred to the King Fahad National Library on the orders of King Salman when he was the governor of Riyadh and general supervisor of the library.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia aims to fight hunger in Muslim world

Time: 07 May, 2020

  • Hajj meat project has distributed about 33 million animals to 100 million people in last 37 years

The numbers 1-84-27 may seem mysterious but, to cut the reader’s confusion short, they are related to the Saudi Project for the Utilization of Hajj Meat. They simply mean that, last year, the project was able to slaughter about 1 million animals in 84 hours and distribute them to deserving beneficiaries in 27 Muslim countries. Distribution started with the poor in the Haram area of Makkah.

This pioneering and outstanding project was launched 37 years ago. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is honored to manage it on behalf of the government. The project has helped facilitate the performance of rituals, protect the environment of the holy sites from pollution and prevent waste by providing meat to the needy. Providing food to the poor and the hungry receives special attention from Saudi Arabia. In this context, the IsDB is working with the Kingdom to expand the scope of the project to include fighting hunger throughout the Muslim world, especially in the light of a steady increase in the numbers of the poor and hungry in IsDB member countries.

Before the project, livestock would be slaughtered and thrown in Mina between camps and on the road. In the evening, vehicles of the municipality, or Holy Makkah Municipality, would collect the meat and bury or burn it. There are photographs, films, articles and novels from that period showing the scale of soil, air and groundwater pollution and describing the persistent smell of dead livestock for nearly two months after Hajj. The government was spending about SR20 million ($5.3 million) on landfills to accommodate these carcasses.

However, after the issuance of a fatwa authorizing the use of sacrificial meat for distribution to the poor of Haram as well as among the Muslim poor, the Kingdom established this outstanding project. In its first year, 63,000 animals were slaughtered, and that number has continued to increase along with the rise in the number of pilgrims, until it reached nearly 1 million last year. The distribution of meat to the poor of Haram starts on the first day of Eid Al-Adha, and shipping to Muslim countries starts on the first day of Muharram. In addition, meat is distributed within the Kingdom through 250 charities that are accredited by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and which have refrigerators and freezers to preserve the meat and help transport it to the deserving beneficiaries.

The total amount of sacrificial meat distributed from the beginning of the project until last year was about 33 million animals to 100 million people in the Muslim world.

When the coronavirus pandemic emerged in the Kingdom, the project participated in the “Birran Bi Makkah” campaign launched by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the Governor of the Makkah Region, to help the needy. The project, in cooperation with charities, neighborhood associations and “awqaf” (endowments) in Makkah, has distributed 15,000 carcasses or 150,000 kilograms of meat. Nearly 13,000 carcasses were also distributed to various charities throughout the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s support for the project is unlimited. In the context of facilitating the performance of the rituals and expanding the project’s role in providing food to the Muslim poor, the Kingdom has allocated more than SR2 billion to establish new slaughterhouses equipped with an integrated, automatic system for skinning and meat cleaning, cutting, transport, packaging, preservation, distribution and canning. Also planned are a renewable energy plant, a wastewater treatment plant and a central complex to accommodate 1.5 million carcasses with the possibility of expanding the capacity to about 5 million carcasses. This is upon the instructions of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Studies and designs have been prepared and offered for bidding.

The Kingdom’s support can also be seen in the exemption of more than 20,000 project employees from visa fees and support for livestock voucher purchases, among others.

The project management is working with the IsDB Strategy and Transformation Department to prepare a comprehensive study to expand its role to be one of the Kingdom’s tools to fight hunger in the Muslim world. Some member countries are suffering from famines and, according to the Global Hunger Index, the number of people suffering from hunger is increasing, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, as a result of armed conflicts, droughts, climate change and the spread of diseases and epidemics. The number of people dying from hunger is also increasing. Therefore, the project launched a number of programs, such as the Charity, Birth Sacrifice and Will Program, with the aim of increasing the number of animals distributed among the poor and needy. This program allows a person to sign a contract to allocate a certain amount of money over a number of years to help the project slaughter livestock for the testator after his or her death.

I take the opportunity of the blessed month of Ramadan to invite my brothers and sisters in IsDB member countries and in Muslim communities in non-member countries to help support the project by participating in its various programs. The aim is to increase the number of animals that are being used so that the project can reach larger numbers of deserving beneficiaries.

• Dr. Bandar Hajjar is President of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia sends 200 tons of dates to 24 countries

Time: 05 May, 2020

Photo/SPA
  • The dates are the finest selected from different parts of the Kingdom as a gift to the Muslim community

RIYADH: On the directives from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry dispatched 200 tons of dates to 24 Muslim countries.
The ministry’s deputy undersecretary, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Aqil, said it is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to serve Muslims around the world during the month of Ramadan.
He said despite the ongoing pandemic, the Kingdom’s humanitarian projects are still underway to mitigate the suffering of humanity.
Al-Aqil said the interests of Muslims across the world are always the main focus of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom, he said, not only serve Muslims but is always at the forefront of humanitarian projects across the world without any discrimination.
He said the dates are the finest selected from different parts of the Kingdom as a gift to the Muslim community.

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Saudi Arabia launches iftar projects worldwide

03/05/20

Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri inaugurate iftar project in Islamabad. (SPA)

  • Kingdom has allocated $1.3 million for iftar projects in 18 countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has launched Ramadan iftar projects in a number of countries, which aim to provide meals for 1 million people during the holy month of Ramadan.

King Salman has approved an increase in funding to SR5 million ($1.3 million) for Ramadan iftar projects in 18 countries around the world.

This year’s iftar project will be carried out through the distribution of food baskets in line with precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In Pakistan, Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri inaugurated the initiative in the capital, Islamabad.

Al-Maliki said that the program was within the framework of the support of the king in the service of Islamic action.

Qadri also thanked — on behalf of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government and its people — the king and crown prince for the support provided by the Kingdom to those in need in Pakistan.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, Saudi Ambassador Essam bin Abed Al-Thaqafi launched the iftar project, including the supply of food baskets to those fasting during the holy month.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Islamic Ministry, represented by the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, launched the program there.

Saudi Deputy Ambassador to Argentina Mohammed Al-Aidan said that it was part of a number of projects launched to help Muslims around the world during the holy month.

The director of the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center, Ali bin Awadah Al-Shamrani, said that the program targeted more than 4,000 individuals by distributing 400 food baskets containing all the food requirements of families in the holy month. The center was working on distributing them according to precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, represented by the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Sarajevo, launched the program in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Hani bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Mominah.

The director of the King Fahd Cultural Center, Dr. Mohammed bin Hassan Al-Sheikh, said that given global health conditions this year, the program would be implemented through food baskets distributed to needy people in all regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He indicated that the program would be implemented in the rest of the Balkan countries also covered by the program; it will be implemented in Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, benefiting 60,000 individuals.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia repatriates 296 stranded Filipinos

Time: 30 April, 2020

Saudi Arabia also earlier repatriated around 227 Saudi nationals from Japan as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus global outbreak. (File/AFP)
  • Residents availed of the Awda (return) initiative by registering in the Kingdom’s Absher platform.

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has repatriated 296 Filipino passengers to Manila as part of the Kingdom’s initiative to return residents and tourists back to their countries due to coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported.
Residents availed of the Awda (return) initiative by registering in the Kingdom’s Absher platform.
Saudi Arabia also earlier repatriated around 227 Saudi nationals from Japan as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus global outbreak.

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