Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

  • Saudi moon observers could not see the new moon on Tuesday evening
  • The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian moon observers said that there was no sight of the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday, meaning millions of Muslims around the world will begin the holy month on Thursday. 

According to reports on Saudi Arabian state TV, bad weather made observation of the crescent difficult. The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees.

Muslims around the world are set to mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.

Fasting is intended to bring Muslims closer to Allah and remind them of those less fortunate.

The Islamic world follows a lunar calendar, and the traditional moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart

This year, Ramadan falls on long summer days for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere. For Muslims who live in regions where Islam is not the dominant religion, challenging fasts are believed to come with greater blessings.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, annual charity -- known as "zakat" -- and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.

 


Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Updated 20 min 43 sec ago
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Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Since June 2018, Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri has been the deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). He was previously the deputy governor for research and international affairs at the same agency, a position he held for two years from 2016.

Al-Shathri served as an economic adviser to the Ministry of Finance between 2000 and 2011, and in 2009, he joined the board of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

In 2011, Al-Shathri was appointed an adviser to the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. Later that year, he was appointed an alternate executive director of the IMF, before becoming an executive director — and an executive board member — in 2013.

Al-Shathri holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from King Saud University and a master’s degree in economics from King Saud University in Riyadh. He received his Ph.D. in public finance from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He has written analytical columns for several Saudi publications on issues related to the US, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Earlier this month, Al-Shathri attended the inauguration ceremony for First Abu Dhabi Bank’s (FAB’s) new Riyadh Branch, along with several other officials, including Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, governor of SAMA; Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of FAB’s board executive committee; Jassim Mohammed Al-Siddiqi, chairman of FAB’s board audit committee; and other members of the bank’s leadership team.

The opening of FAB’s Riyadh Branch is expected to further strengthen commercial ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.