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.


Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2018
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Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

  • Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival
  • Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year

JEDDAH:  Jamarat facilities in Mina are fully prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims during the throwing of stones.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has deployed sunshades, cooling systems, escalators, closed-circuit TV, guidance and awareness-raising signboards and facilities, and information services.

The ministry’s projects include the installation of fixed and mobile cameras along the paths leading to the holy sites to monitor and manage pedestrian movement.

Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival.

 

Amenities

Many organizations and entities have provided amenities to help pilgrims on Arafat. Umbrellas have been distributed to provide shade and avoid heat stroke, cold water has been provided to quench pilgrims’ thirst, and food and beverages have been handed out. 

Holy Qur’ans have also been distributed to help pilgrims perform an Islamic ritual that abolishes worshippers’ sins.

Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year.

 

Live broadcast

The Media Ministry has launched a live broadcast of Hajj rituals on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as on YouTube.

The ministry has provided 19 channels transmitting in Arabic, English, Urdu, Malay, French and German.

 

Free internet

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has announced it will provide 1GB free for every pilgrim who uses its prepaid services as a gift to pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season. The gift is aimed at facilitating their experience during Hajj on the day of Tarwiya and Arafat.

STC chairman, Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, explained that the company’s gift came as a result of instructions from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to all governmental and private bodies related to the service of pilgrims.

 

Educate pilgrims

Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said the ministry has launched an awareness campaign in six languages — Arabic, English, French, Russian, Chinese and Persian — to educate pilgrims on Hajj regulations, provide them with health advice, and help them follow schedules in order to avoid overcrowding.

The ministry has launched the Manasikana smartphone app to provide pilgrims with services in eight languages, Mashat added.

The app informs pilgrims of grouping and transport plans, helps them find camps, lodgings and companions, and enables them to send reports and complaints to concerned authorities at the ministry.