140 Saudis, 14 Americans honored for returning priceless artefacts to SCTH

Visitors look at artefacts on display at the first Saudi Antiquities Forum in Riyadh on Thursday. (Photo by Ahmed Fathi)
Updated 10 November 2017
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140 Saudis, 14 Americans honored for returning priceless artefacts to SCTH

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) honored 140 citizens during the first Antiquities Forum of Saudi Arabia for their contributions in returning a large number of artefacts to the commission.
The citizens stressed that their response was to the call of Prince Sultan bin Salman, the president of SCTH, and handing in the antiques was a national duty which aims to highlight the history and culture of the Kingdom and its role in human civilization.
The pieces will be displayed in museums across the Kingdom and will be seen by citizens, residents and tourists alike. The honored citizens also praised the role of King Salman in the preservation of the national heritage and history, and they advised other citizens who may have antiquities to return them to the SCTH.
Arab News met some of these honored citizens and talked to them about their motives and feelings.
Eid Al-Yahya, the presenter of the famous TV program “In the Footsteps of the Arabs,” is one of the honored citizens.
Al-Yahya said he found the artefacts in different places during his trips to archaeological sites and immediately turned them over to the SCTH.
He added that these antiquities he returned date back to 700 BC; one of them is a statue of a king of Lihyan, which he found in Um Daraj Temple in the town of Al-Ula while filming an episode of his TV program in 2015. He also found a cup which was used for incense during that era.
Another citizen, Mohammed Al-Humud, said he returned 25 artefacts from the Riyadh area. Some of these belonged to the stone age, one to the pre-Islamic era, and some belonged to the beginning of the Islamic era.
Al-Humud said he bought some of the antiquities from auctions in Riyadh. “I want people to see them because they reflect the civilization and history of the Kingdom.”
On the other hand, the Saudi Embassy in Washington honored 14 American citizens, who used to work in Kingdom, for returning artefacts to the SCTH.
The ceremony took place at the embassy and coincided with the first Saudi Antiquities Forum in Riyadh. Sami Al-Sadhan, the deputy of the ambassador, gave certificates of honor to the American citizens.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.