Saudi Arabia offers its expertise for training imams and preachers in Belgium

Special Adviser to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Ibrahim Al-Zaid presenting a memento to Dirk Achten, vice-minister and secretary general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 09 November 2017
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Saudi Arabia offers its expertise for training imams and preachers in Belgium

RIYADH: The Kingdom has offered its assistance for training imams and preachers in mosques and Islamic centers in Belgium, during discussions which took place between the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance and the visiting delegation from Belgium.

The joint meeting between the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi ministry was held on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs Riyadh.

The Saudi team was headed by the special adviser to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Zaid, and the Belgian group was headed by Dirk Achten, vice-minister and secretary-general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, who wrapped up his two-day visit to the capital on Tuesday. Belgian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Geert Criel was also present during the discussions.

Belgium has some 700,000 Muslims out of its 11 million population.

During the meeting, discussions focused on the issues of extremism, the fight against extremist ideas, religious fanaticism at various regional and international levels and its motives, methods of containment and treatment, and the conditions of religious institutions in Belgium.

During the meeting, the Islamic Affairs Ministry told the Belgium delegation what the ministry can provide in the field of training and qualifying imams and preachers in mosques and Islamic centers in Belgium.

Al-Zaid stressed the depth of relations between the Kingdom and Belgium in various fields, noting the Kingdom’s appreciation and respect for the Muslims in Belgium, pointing out that the mosque and the Islamic Center in Brussels was established by the Kingdom during the reign of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz.

The center, which was opened by King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz in 1978, remains as one of the first mosques and Islamic centers established in Europe.

He stressed that this center has been playing a great role in strengthening relations between the Kingdom and Belgium. He described Saudi-Belgian relations in the field of Islamic affairs as “age-old.”

During his brief visit to Riyadh, Achten held talks with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the GCC Secretariat and also visited Mohamed bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care headquartered in Riyadh.

In an earlier interview with Ambassador Criel, the envoy said the talks of his country’s delegates with Saudi officials focused on countering extremism and they were also interested to learn more from the Kingdom’s experience in combating extremism.


Saudi drivers to make racing history with debuts at Ad Diriyah

Updated 13 December 2018
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Saudi drivers to make racing history with debuts at Ad Diriyah

  • Two local heroes to take to the track in the first-ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY contest for production-based electric cars
  • Ahmed Bin Khanen and Bandar Alesayi of the Saudi Racing team will be among the first drivers to test Ad Diriyah track

RIYADH: Saudi motorsport has never looked so good as two drivers prepare for a historic debut in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, the world’s first international championship for production-based electric cars, being launched at the racetrack created at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah.

Flying the flag for Saudi Arabia, the General Sports Authority (SAMF) and the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF), Ahmed Bin Khanen and Bandar Alesayi of the Saudi Racing team will be among the first drivers to take to the track tomorrow.

Saudi fans can cheer them on during their free practice session at 3.45pm tomorrow (Friday, December 14), and see if they make it to the final of eTROPHY at 12.50pm on Saturday (December 15).

Ahmed Bin Khanen, Saudi Racing said: “It’s really great to be part of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship, especially as the first race is in Saudi Arabia with my family and friends. I hope to get a good race result and most importantly, make the race exciting for fans to watch.”

The Saturday eTrophy final precedes the main ABB FIA Formula E race, the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

Single-day tickets from Friday at SR330 are still available at www.ad-diriyah-eprix.com, along with three-day tickets from SR950.