Saudi artifacts on a worldwide tour, kicking off with Japan

This photo taken on April 16, 2015, a Saudi man walks next to Kaaba door curtain at Riyadh National Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Saudi artifacts on a worldwide tour, kicking off with Japan

RIYADH: Saudi author and social media influencer Sultan Al-Mousa urged Hhistory buffs to visit the new displays of ancient artefacts showcased in the National Museum in Riyadh. “I urge you to visit them before they are transferred for the planned tour in Japan, and worldwide.”

The National Museum in Riyadh is home to many different antiquities, manuscripts, documents and display boards that showcase eras of the Kingdom’s past in visual form.

Al-Mousa, who is captivated by history and human civilizations, has accomplished much in the field of anthropology, through his love of history and ancient civilizations. Also a member of the Vatican religious dialogues, Al-Mousa is working to bridge religions through his work.

“This field intrigues me; I consider myself a veteran in it, the reason being, I’ve lived through two different phases. The first, a few years ago, was unwelcome and uninteresting to some. You might say there was a struggle in this field of knowledge, to convince people that it would be an asset to us. The next phase was one of awareness, with the 2030 Vision, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s approach to concentrating on the cultural depth of the Kingdom, and now, views have changed.”

Al-Mousa talked about Saudi history and the civilizations that existed in the Arabian Peninsula, and counted various civilizations that still stand in Saudi: “We have many and vast historic civilizations. There is Madaan Saleh, which is mentioned in the Qur’an. We have Kinda’s civilizations, the first and the second, Fao, Al-Daydan and Aad and Thamud that were in the Empty Quarter, and the Ouk in Tabuk.

“The problem is, that all past civilizations were considered a religious taboo; many were told that it was forbidden. If you visit Madaan Saleh, you will find some statues broken into pieces by bullets. Extremists wanted to destroy these precious monuments that were registered with UNESCO in 2008.”

“The Qur’an has mentioned these sites and civilizations as lessons for Muslims,” explaims Al-Mousa.

The Saudi cultural scene is witnessing a phenomenal transformation. In 2013, The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage invited two sheikhs from the Supreme Council of Saudi Scholars, Abdullah bin Suleiman Al-Manee and Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, to visit Maddan Saleh in an effort to dispel old beliefs that historical sites are forbidden. The video of the two sheiks was uploaded on YouTube.

Al-Mousa pointed to the importance of history: “When the Greek economy collapsed, it was saved by the temples of the ancient gods. History has a way of preserving the past, present and future. Concentrating on our past civilization and our history, as well as the history of the world will help our economy boom.”

His latest book, a historical novel based on the life of Nefertiti, has captured the hearts of many. The “perfect woman” has found success among many readers. Relating the tale of the late Egyptian queen, it was welcomed by many Egyptians who admired the novel and thought very highly of it.

In the future, it will be turned into a movie or series: “We are looking for the perfect woman to cast as the ‘perfect woman’.”


Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

Updated 6 min 58 sec ago
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Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday he was seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after a struggle by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, he told reporters in Riyadh.

The Prosecutor said Khashoggi’s body parts were then handed over to a local Turkish agent outside the consulate grounds, the spokesman said, adding that the drawing of the agent has been prepared and will be handed over to the Turkish authorities.

He said that the head of Khashoggi’s repatriation team was the one who ordered the killing of the victim, adding that the investigations into the whereabouts of the victim’s body are still ongoing.

He noted that the mission of the team was to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom.

The prosecutor said a former adviser had been due to meet the team that was ordered to repatriate journalist Khashoggi, who was killed after efforts to negotiate his return failed.

He added that the ex-advisor had been banned from travelling and remained under investigation, and that the case has been transferred to court while investigations continue.