Sri Lankan diplomat mourned

Faizer Mackeen
Updated 31 March 2017
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Sri Lankan diplomat mourned

RIYADH: Members of the Sri Lankan community and diplomats mourned the death of Faizer Mackeen, Sri Lankan consul general in Jeddah, who passed away at a city hospital in the western province on Saturday.
His funeral took place after noon prayers in Makkah attended by people from all walks of life including the Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim.
Mackeen’s body was brought from the hospital morgue to Al-Amoudi Mosque, opposite the Sri Lankan Consulate, for the funeral prayer, and for people to pay their last. Later, the body was taken to Makkah for burial.
Mackeen who was 64 suffered a cardiac arrest when he was addressing members of his community at the consulate to mark his country’s National Day on Feb. 4.
He underwent open-heart surgery and was in the intensive care unit at the time of his death.
During his ailment, the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo appointed U.L.M. Niyas, a diplomat from the Riyadh Embassy, to act as consul general in Jeddah.
Niyas said news of the death sent shock waves among the members of the community since Mackeen had earned the goodwill of his compatriots.
Former Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Mohammed told Arab News from Sri Lanka that the country lost a devoted diplomat who had done so much for the community in a short period.
Duty-free allowances
The Sri Lankan government has announced new duty-free concessions for its overseas workers who have spent more than 12 months abroad.
According to a circular issued by Parakrama Basnayake, Customs deputy director, the government has decided to further extend the duty concession granted to Sri Lankan expats on their return to the country.
Basnayake earlier said expats were granted a customs duty concession to purchase goods valued at $1,500. But now expats returning home after a one-year stint would be allowed to bring in several goods without any duty.
The goods include bathroom equipment, bedroom furniture, solar energy panels, computers, laptops, printers, two mobile phones, motorcycles under 350cc engine capacity, scooters and 55-inch TV sets.


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.