Al-Kharj expo promotes cultural values

Updated 09 June 2014
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Al-Kharj expo promotes cultural values

The Al-Kharj Municipality in Riyadh province has launched a national expo as part of a comprehensive campaign to promote the rich cultural heritage and values of the Kingdom.
The expo entitled “Our Homeland is a Trust,” which kicked off Thursday, will run for a year, organizers said.
Shebaily bin Majdo Al-Majdo, mayor of Al-Kharj, is a patron of the exhibition, while a number of local public and private organizations are participating in the expo.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) branch in the Al-Kharj Municipality is also extending its cooperation to the expo to guarantee its success.
Director of the SCTA branch in Riyadh, Saad Al Mahana, said: “This exhibition is part of a comprehensive campaign to enhance national values in the municipality.”
The year-long campaign will include a number of programs, cultural and heritage events, entertainment and competitions.
According to the organizers, the programs will also highlight local archaeological and heritage landmarks including the heritage water wells, King Abdul Aziz Mosque, which is the oldest landmark in Al-Kharj, and the King Abdul Aziz Palace in the city, which is undergoing renovation by the authorities in the Riyadh region to transform it into a historical center in line with plans to establish a museum for Al-Kharj municipality inside the historical palace.
The authorities are also raising awareness of the importance of cultural assets to transform them into an economic resource for the benefit of local communities as a source of employment.
With this view, Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz University (SAU), Al-Kharj and the SCTA recently signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in documenting heritage and historical sites, rehabilitation of tourism human resources and supporting the university in the establishment of a college of tourism and antiquities, besides cooperation in the areas of statistical surveys and scientific research in the fields of tourism and national heritage.


Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

Updated 18 July 2019
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Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

  • Authorities estimate the mosquer dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries
  • Rare to find house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers

RAHAT, Israel: Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world’s oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on Thursday.
The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries.
There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Makkah but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.
Excavated at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque — a rectangular building, about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south toward Makkah.
“This is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.,” said Gideon Avni of the antiquities authority.
“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period.”