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’.”


Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 April 2018
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Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.