First Saudi antiquities forum opens next week

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, addressing a press conference at the National Museum on Monday. (Photo courtesy: Bader Al-Hamad)
Updated 31 October 2017
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First Saudi antiquities forum opens next week

RIYADH : The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) will organize the first National Antiquities Forum next week, from Nov. 7 to 9, in Riyadh under the patronage of King Salman.
Addressing a press conference at the National Museum on Monday, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTH, said the forum would be organized under the umbrella of the Program for Caring of Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage.
The opening ceremony and the exhibition will be held at the National Museum, while a scientific conference and workshops will be held at the library and hall at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center, he added.
The SCTH president said the major aims of the maiden forum will document and highlight the efforts exerted by the leadership of the country as well as government agencies and individuals in caring for the Kingdom’s antiquities throughout history.
It further aims to raise awareness, promote national belonging among citizens, educate Saudi youths about what monuments are about; what the country has as its cultural heritage, and highlight the position of the Kingdom nationally, regionally and internationally in terms of history and civilization.
The forum will feature a scientific conference during which a number of working papers covering different historic periods, from prehistory until the end of the 14th century of the Hijri calendar, will be presented.
Themes for the scientific conference include pre-history antiquities, ancient rock art, trade and Hajj routes, antiquities of the Arabian peninsula before Islam, antiquities of the Islamic eras, sunken antiquities, ancient Islamic writings, oral heritage sites and job opportunities in cultural heritage.
Moreover, the workshops to be held during the forum will discuss specific issues in the field of antiquities, such as modern techniques in archaeology, restoration, rehabilitation and development of archaeological sites, the role of media and citizens in raising awareness on the importance of antiquities, preservation of antiquities, and counterfeiting of antiquities and alleged treasures.
A number of exhibitions will be held at the National Museum lasting for 50 days from the date of the launch of the forum.
They include a recovered antiquities exhibition, one on latest archaeological discoveries, a historical photo gallery, a Saudi Geological Survey exhibition, a commemorative stamp show, a fine arts exhibition and a Saudi handicraft show.
Moreover, a number of projects will be launched during the forum including an inauguration of the latest issues of the Saudi Antiquities Yearbook (Atlal), and an inauguration of an antiquities register and archaeological records.

Winners
The SCTH chief announced the winners of the Abdul Rahman Al-Ansari award for best serving the Saudi heritage and antiquities in different categories.
The winners include Al-Turath Charitable Foundation, Sheikh Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari, Sheikh Mohammed bin Bilaihad, Sheikh Hamd Al-Jasir and Abdullah bin Hasan Masri among Saudi pioneers, and Sheikh Abdullah Feilbi in non-Saudi pioneers.
In the young pioneers category Abdullah bin Ali Al-Zahrani and Khaled bin Fayez Al-Asmari were named winners, while among non-Saudis the winners include Romelo Loretto (Italian) and Jerome Romer (French).
The SCTH also announced partnership agreements between the Commission and the Customs Authority and Saudi Postal Corporation in the field of antiquities restoration.


Saudi Arabia praised for services and facilities for Hajj pilgrims

Updated 16 August 2018
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Saudi Arabia praised for services and facilities for Hajj pilgrims

  • Guests laud King Salman’s efforts to unify ranks
  • Tatarstan’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Kamil Ismailov hailed the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety

MAKKAH: King Salman received thanks from guests at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for welcoming and supporting pilgrims. They also thanked him for hosting them so that they can perform Hajj rituals. 

The king’s guests praised the services provided for them from the moment they arrived in the holy lands. This underscores the depth of the Saudi experience in dealing with crowds and successfully hosting millions of pilgrims each year.

Tatarstan’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Kamil Ismailov hailed the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety.

“The expansion projects in the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites, as well as the readiness of all medical and security teams, constitute strong evidence of Saudi Arabia’s capacities and ability to organize and manage the crowds with every Hajj season,” he added.

Ismailov pointed out that Muslims represent 70 percent of the population in Tatarstan, and that it is the first country in the region to adopt Islam as a state religion since 922.

Sheikh Mustafa Jusufspahic, the grand mufti of Belgrade, in Serbia, said that King Salman’s hosting of pilgrims from all over the world continues a tradition of the leadership of this blessed land assisting and unifying Muslims. It continues the path of good and giving by the Kingdom’s leaders toward Islamic work in the world, accounting for its prestigious position in the Muslim world, he added.

Jusufspahic expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for his great gesture that enables Muslims to perform Hajj easily and conveniently. He praised all services offered in the program, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Mohammed Amin, a professor from Ethiopia, who is making his first visit to Makkah, commended King Salman’s invitation to Muslims from all over the globe. He also saidthat the Ethiopian people were well aware of the financial and cultural support provided by the Kingdom.

The imam of the Central Mosque in Ethiopia, Ibrahim Khalil, expressed his admiration for the warm reception he and his delegation received upon their arrival, their speedy entry into the country and the journey to their residence.

Guinean Islamic preacher Mohammed Idris said the infrastructure and the scale of the preparations in Makkah reflect the tremendous efforts from all sectors there. “The Kingdom endeavors to develop organization and management of the Hajj season every year, a fact highly acclaimed among Muslims in Guinea, who consider Saudi Arabia to be the heart of the Islamic world,” he said.

Professor Bassim Berniavorates, from the faculty of medicine at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia, said he was happy he had the opportunity to perform Hajj for the first time in his life, and was eager to meet Saudi people, to learn about their customs and traditions, and to visit popular markets that reflect the historical richness of Makkah.

He added that the Bosnian people were grateful for Saudi Arabia’s support throughout history, which has enabled them to overcome obstacles and crises and achieve their aspirations in building a civilized and democratic nation.

Bassim, a professor of anesthesia at the University Hospital in Sarajevo, noted that the program helped to extend bridges of communication with the world. “The Bosnians became more familiar with the Saudis and proud of this cultural fusion in the holiest parts of the earth,” said Bassim.

Dr. Mekhtbakh, from the Sports Academy in Kyrgyzstan, said that by visiting the holy land he had achieved a life-long dream. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for his generous patronage and keenness to host Muslims from all over the world.