500 imams honored

Updated 01 August 2013

500 imams honored

Procedures to legalize the status of Burmese nationals holding Pakistani, Bangladeshi or other passports living in the Kingdom will commence shortly according to Abdullah Maarouf, secretary general of the Council for the Burmese community.
“They will also be given iqamas valid for four years and will be permitted to transfer their sponsorship without any fees,” he said speaking at a function organized by the council’s reconciliation committee in Taif.
The function was organized to honor 500 imams from the Burmese community for leading taraweeh prayers in various mosques, a local daily reported on Sunday.
The function was held with the approval of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal at the Al-Salam Hall.
The meeting noted the humanitarian welcome accorded by the Kingdom to the Burmese community who had to flee their country under religious oppression.
The meeting commended the efforts of the Makkah governor’s office to rectify the status of the Burmese community and its achievements in a comparatively short time.
Among the priorities of Prince Khaled after taking over as the governor was to correct the legal status of people living in the unplanned districts of the Holy City.
He raised the issue with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who ordered to form a ministerial committee to develop unplanned districts and study the situation of the Burmese community.
“The Burmese community will never forget the welcome extended by the rulers and people of the Kingdom to it when it was being oppressed,” Maarouf said.
More than 130,000 Burmese have their status normalized with their receiving of residency free of charge, according to an official statement two weeks ago.
The remaining cases of 120,000 people will be dealt with by the end of the current Hijri year. Close to a quarter of a million Burmese nationals are residing in the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Labor has given special status to Burmese workers by considering four to be equivalent to one expatriate worker in the Nitaqat system.
Maarouf said the Burmese community will soon have a community center with a large hospital and recreational facilities shortly, adding that the headquarters on Lith Road will have facilities including a 500-bed hospital in south Makkah, children’s park and playgrounds.

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.