Empty plates raise awareness of world hunger

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WFP MENA with the participating food bloggers and calligraphers, published posts of empty plates with beautiful art work by different calligraphers sending messages giving and caring. (WFP website)
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The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. (WFP website)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Empty plates raise awareness of world hunger

JEDDAH: “Food for thought,” a collaboration between the Saudi Arabian company Cheil and the UN World Food Program (WFP), is using Instagram to spread its message via social media.
The campaign aims to spread awareness of hunger problems in the MENA region and to support the WFP in building a world with zero hunger by 2030.
It provides a strikingly different fare from the usual Instagram images, for instead of mouth-watering photos of delicious dishes, the campaign features empty plates.
The campaign enlisted 22 calligraphers from four continents and 28 food bloggers to draw attention to the world’s biggest solvable problem, hunger.
Images of empty plates came with messages such as: “Whoever you feed today, might feed you tomorrow,” “A little for you is a lot for them,” and “Hunger is understood in all languages.”
Although humans produce enough food to feed everyone, hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, according to WFP, affecting the lives of 815 million people worldwide.
Abrar Al-Ghamdi, who works for Cheil as a copywriter, told Arab News: “Instagram has become a food exhibition; people post so many photos of food every day, so we chose to launch the campaign on Instagram to remind people that hunger is still a global problem via engaging some the most-renowned regional food bloggers and their social media audiences.
“The feedback and responses the campaign received were more than our expectation; the posts were shared so many times. The WFP MENA number of followers doubled,” she added.
Eradicating hunger by 2030 is one of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development to improve people’s lives.
The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, and has many projects in the Middle East. It provides cash and delivers food to millions of people in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, as well as helping Syrian refugees in neighboring countries rebuild their lives.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.