Muslim World League to supply halal meals for Japan and 2020 Olympic Games

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The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa (C). (SPA)
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Under the agreement, MWL will be the exclusive provider in Japan, generally, and in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, particularly, of halal-certified meals.(SPA)
Updated 18 March 2018
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Muslim World League to supply halal meals for Japan and 2020 Olympic Games

JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, who is also the president of the International Islamic Halal Organization, has made an exclusive distribution agreement with Japan.
Under the agreement, MWL will be the exclusive provider in Japan, generally, and in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, particularly, of halal-certified meals.
The signing ceremony was attended by Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, special adviser to the Japanese prime minister, and Prince Hiroyoshi, the cousin of the Emperor, along with a number of representatives of Islamic centers, Japanese authorities and major companies.
The agreement grants MWL the right to regulate, in cooperation with the Japanese government, halal foods and services to the highest standards.
It will also certify the products and services in accordance with the halal and hygienic standards before they reach the consumers. MWL will also issue halal certification for products designated to Muslim communities in Japan or those to be exported abroad, especially to Arab and Muslim countries.
Japan is a new but sharply growing halal market as the country’s producers are seeking fresh opportunity in the halal sector and striving to seek new local and international markets, especially now that Japan is the officially designated venue for the 2020 Olympics, attracting Muslim tourists from all around the world.
In his address, Al-Issa stressed the importance of this cooperation between MWL and Japan. And he hailed the highest levels of coexistence, national integration and harmony pervasive across all religions, sects, and races, away from extremism, as well as the human values and ethics deeply instilled within the Japanese people.
Meanwhile, Dr. Noka Miyagima, CEO of the NGOs, regarded the signing of this agreement as a historic and empowering event for Japan. He also expressed thanks and appreciation to the numerous social contributions of MWL, wishing further cooperation in the future through the halal project.
He also praised the role the League is playing in raising the awareness of Muslim communities in Japan and in the Islamic world, and promoting their integration into non-Muslim communities.
Al-Issa participated earlier in a ceremony held to mark the seventh anniversary of the tsunami that hit Sendai city, northern Japan, in 2011 and visited the Sendai School for Orphans, which shelters children who had lost their parents in the tsunami.
He also visited, accompanied by members of the League, the Hiroshima Museum, where he examined documents of the atomic bomb dropped on the city.


Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

Updated 20 July 2019
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Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

  • The TV images beamed from 320,000km away in space left viewers astounded but happy
  • The TV coverage influenced thinking and attitudes in the Kingdom just like everywhere else

DUBAI: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before the end of the school vacation, and Saudis had their eyes glued to their TV sets as they waited for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Before July 20, 1969, the idea of a human walking on the moon was the stuff of science fiction. However, almost overnight, sci-fi had turned into reality with a live broadcast showing American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s dramatic descent onto the empty lunar landscape.

Between science fiction and science fact, the live coverage of the lunar landing amounted to an unusual fusion of news and entertainment.

Saudi TV technicians bring the first live images of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing to
viewers around the Kingdom. (Supplied photo)

The historic images — beamed back to Earth more than 320,000 km away — left Saudi viewers astounded and confused, but mostly elated to be witnessing such an epoch-making event.

The event was covered live on television and radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old.

“It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

While most people were aware that going to the moon was risky, many Saudis believed that such a journey was impossible and all but unthinkable.


EVENTS WATCH

1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission control room in Houston has been restored to its 1969 condition and regular tours
will be conducted by the Johnson Space Center.

2. NASA ‘Science Live’ will have a special edition on July 23 on board the aircraft carrier that recovered the Apollo 11 capsule.

3. A summer moon festival and family street fair will be held in Wapakoneta, Ohio, from July 17-20.

4. Downtown Houston’s Discovery green will host a free public screening of the ‘Apollo 11’ documentary, with an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.

5. Amateur radio operators will host a series of events on July 20-21.

6. The US Space and Rocket Center is staging a special ‘Rockets on Parade’ exhibition.


The Apollo 11 mission prompted discussions across the Middle East over the reality of what people saw on their TV screens. Some Saudi scholars found it hard to believe their eyes.

“I watched it, and I clearly remember each and every detail of the coverage,” Hayat Al-Bokhari, 68, a retired school principal in Jeddah, said.

“My father, Abdul, was 56 at the time. He said the landing was faked. He couldn’t believe or accept that a human could go to the moon.”

Khaled Almasud, 70, a retired university lecturer, was a student in the US state of Oregon at the time of the mission. “Americans were stunned and over the moon, happy with their national achievement. But many Saudis like me were either in denial or insisting on more proof.”

Since the beginning of the 1960s, King Faisal had been rapidly transforming Saudi Arabia, inviting foreign-trained experts to help build a modern country with world-class infrastructure.

Billie Tanner, now 90, lived in the Kingdom for many years with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Laurie and Scott, aged six and four. The family had just arrived in Saudi Arabia and headed to the Aramco compound in Ras Tanura in the Eastern Province.

A screengrab of video of the first lunar landing beamed toward Earth and shown on television worldwide. 

“We were going through a culture shock,” she told Arab News. “I wasn’t thinking of the moon landing, but we heard about it on the news from Dhahran.

“My kids tried to see the astronauts on the moon with their binoculars and said they could see them walking around.”

The Apollo 11 spaceflight has become a milestone in the annals of human history and science. Since 1969 space exploration has greatly expanded man’s knowledge of the universe, far beyond Earth’s limits.

The captivating live coverage of the moon landing inspired millions of people around the world, profoundly influencing their thinking and attitudes.

The people of Saudi Arabia were no exception.