Ushaiger restored to past glory

Updated 26 April 2013
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Ushaiger restored to past glory

Ushaiger, the small village in the northwest of Riyadh, has been restored to its former glory to preserve its heritage and revive ancient customs and lifestyles.
Visitors to Ushaiger, or “Najd’s Womb” as it is referred to by residents for having raised many well-known Islamic scholars and historians, will find a green oasis in the middle of the desert. It has mud houses, markets, mosques, narrow alleys surrounded by 600 orchards, 30 towers and 80 freshwater wells engraved hundreds of years ago.
All of this is in an area of no more than four square kilometers amid sand dunes, near Shaqra Province, 200 km northwest of the capital city. Ushaiger means "Small Blonde,” which is a description of the small sandy-brown mountain located north of the village. The village is on Al-Washim plain in the Najd region.
Ushaiger has over 400 mud houses and 25 mosques within seven districts with its narrow pathways that end at palm groves and orchards. It is surrounded by a thick wall that has wide doors made of ithal (tamarisk) wood and high massive towers. The doors are decorated with brandings of circles, disks and geometric designs, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The ruins of Ushaiger were lovingly restored by a number of citizens who wanted to preserve their rich heritage and turn the village into an attractive tourist spot.
Ushaiger prides itself for producing several prominent men of letters including the renowned religious reformer Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab, Islamic scholar Sheikh Al-Othaimeen and many poets and thinkers.


Maldives issue warning amid spike in tourist drownings

This file photo taken on August 17, 2007 shows the Coco Palm resort on Boduhithi Island in the Maldives. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Maldives issue warning amid spike in tourist drownings

  • The tourism ministry was in the process of identifying safe zones for ocean swimming and diving after the spike in drownings, officials said

COLOMBO: Five tourists including a honeymooning couple have drowned in a single week in the Maldives, officials said, prompting a nationwide safety warning to holiday resorts in the pristine islands.
Tourism officials said all resort operators in the paradise archipelago were urged Monday to keep a close eye on their clients after the spate of deaths.
Strong currents caused by a north-east monsoon were blamed for the slew of drownings in the idyllic atoll nation, where such accidents are usually few and far between.
Around 1.4 million tourists visit the Maldives every year but the latest government data shows just 31 people drowned in 2017.
On January 13, two Filipino newlyweds were swept to their deaths by a powerful undertow.
The man got into trouble and his wife went to his aid, but both perished. Their bodies were recovered and repatriated to the Philippines, officials said.
An 84-year-old Czech tourist and a 66-year-old South Korean woman died within two days of each other at a resort near the capital Male while snorkelling.
A Russian woman on a dive trip was the latest casualty on Sunday.
A Pakistani holidaymaker came close to death but was plucked to safety and taken to hospital.
The tourism ministry was in the process of identifying safe zones for ocean swimming and diving after the spike in drownings, officials said.
The Maldives relies on tourism and visitors come for the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the islands scattered some 800 kilometers (500 miles) across the equator.