OIC reacts to the US announcement of Jerusalem as capital of Israel

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Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Dr. Maher Karaki (right), Palestinian Authority's permanent representative to the OIC. (AN photo)
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Mahmud Asadi, Palestinian consul general in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 07 December 2017

OIC reacts to the US announcement of Jerusalem as capital of Israel

JEDDAH: The Israeli occupation of Palestinian and the Arab territories is a core issue for the whole world including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); therefore, the general secretariat expressed its anger regarding Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The organization expressed its rejection of the decision, which undermines the political, legal and historical status of Jerusalem, a clear violation of international laws and resolutions, and a departure from the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem, and the requirements of peace in general, thus undermining the American role as a sponsor of the peace process.

The organization stressed it will convene an extraordinary summit for leaders of OIC member states in Istanbul on December 12 and 13 to discuss the repercussions of the American decision, and to formulate a unified Islamic position on this dangerous escalation.

The Palestinian issue remains the most prominent political challenge at both the regional and international levels. Israel, the occupying power, persists in defying the will of the international community through its forceful occupation of Palestine and the Arab territories since June 4, 1967, violating international conventions and UN resolutions.

The secretary-general of the organization, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, in a speech he gave on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, expressed the organization’s deep regret over the declaration of the US administration to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of its embassy to it, stressing that the organization strongly condemns any steps or actions which contribute to changing the legal and historical status of Jerusalem.

“This decision violates the rights of the Palestinian people, and violates the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly regarding the Palestinian issue, and undermines the efforts to push forward the peace process and the chances of realizing the vision of a two-state solution,” he said.

The OIC stressed its commitment to working with the representatives of the international community to confront this irresponsible decision and to support Arab and international efforts to achieve peace based on the vision of a two-state solution, and to reestablish the State of Palestine with its capital Jerusalem and end the Israeli occupation.

Mahmoud Al-Asadi, consul general of the State of Palestine in Jeddah, said: “Allah has forever painted the historical relationship between the Muslims and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem was and will always remain the eternal Arab Islamic capital of the State of Palestine.”

He told Arab News: “On December 6, Donald Trump the president of the United States, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel … However, this decision, which he has taken does not make any difference because our right in Jerusalem is a clear and fixed right.”

He added: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine.”


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”