Higher water bills create angry waves

Updated 22 March 2016
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Higher water bills create angry waves

JEDDAH: There has been a surge in complaints to the National Water Company (NWC) by Saudis about higher water bills resulting from the increased tariffs announced by the government late last year.
Citizens have registered their displeasure on the company’s social media pages because they claim that their bills have more than doubled since the new prices came into effect. Many also claimed that the NWC had failed to respond to their complaints.
Former Hilal player Faisal Abu Thnain wrote on Twitter: “Did the National Water Company change the quality of water pumped to citizens or has it added vitamins to it?” He claimed that his water bill was now SR30,000, according to a report in a local publication on Monday.
Other users also complained: Majed Al-Saleh wrote that his bill had risen from SR8 to SR1,429, Eman Alarfaj posted a picture of her bill on Twitter showing an amount of SR3,393, and Ibrahim Alasim wrote that his bill had increased from SR86 to SR1,024.
Journalist Tareq Aljasir wrote that he had filed a complaint about his bills over the past two months of SR1,200 and SR1,400, which he has not paid, but has yet to get a response from the water company. Haifaa Altamimi stated that she previously paid SR100 a year and was now forking out SR1,750 every three months.
Others concerned about the hike in prices stated that Saudis should not be treated like Europeans or Americans, because Muslims have to perform ablution five times a day. He said Saudi families are large, consisting of between five and seven members, which should be taken into consideration when looking at consumption.
Minister of Water and Electricity stated on its website that consumption was high in the Kingdom compared to the global average and that the public had reduced consumption despite several awareness campaigns.
Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah Al-Hussayen had earlier said that most citizens would not be affected by the hike in prices, which were among the cheapest in the world. He said 52 percent of subscribers would not pay more than one riyal per day.
He said that supply would not be affected and that they were in line with the specifications of the WHO. The Kingdom ranks third after the US and Canada in terms of average daily water consumption, despite the scarcity of water and the difficulty in desalinating and delivering it to consumers, he said.


FaceOf: Dr. Hussein bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, imam at Prophet’s Mosque and high court judge

Updated 20 August 2018
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FaceOf: Dr. Hussein bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, imam at Prophet’s Mosque and high court judge

Dr. Hussein bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh is a respected imam and sermon performer at the Prophet’s Mosque, as well as a judge at the High Court in Madinah.

A royal recommendation by King Salman made Al-Asheikh the official sermon deliverer on the day of Arafat, 9 of Dul Hijjah. He will give this year’s sermon at Al-Nimra Mosque, one of the holy sites in Arafat, as well as leading Dhur and Asr prayers.

Last year, the Arafat sermon and prayers were performed by Sheikh Dr. Saad Shafaee Al-Shetri. In 2016, Sheikh Dr. Abdurrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, led the prayers.

Born in Bani Tamim in southern Saudi Arabia, Al-Asheikh pursued his scholarly career in Riyadh. He received his bachelor’s degree from Shariah College in Riyadh, and then joined the Higher Judicial Institute, receiving a master’s degree before pursuing a doctorate.

Al-Asheikh studied under great Islamic scholars, getting appointed as a magistrate in 1985. Five years later, he became a judge in the Great Court of Najran. He was transferred a year later to the Grand Court in Riyadh, where he stayed for many years before he joined the Grand Court in Madinah in 1997, receiving the royal decree that appointed him as an imam at the Prophet’s Mosque.

He has been leading prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque for more than two decades, while lecturing at the University of Madinah.

He has delivered many scientific lectures in jurisprudence, Tawheed, Hadith and grammar, in addition to some lectures at places such as the Great Mosque in Riyadh.