Saudi Culture Ministry formed following a major Cabinet reshuffle

Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a new culture ministry in royal decrees broadcast early Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 04 June 2018
0

Saudi Culture Ministry formed following a major Cabinet reshuffle

  • Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al-Saud was appointed as its new minister
  • The Ministry of Culture and Information was renamed Ministry of Information

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced a major Cabinet reshuffle on Saturday with a heavy focus on culture and religion, as the Kingdom undergoes a major image overhaul.
The shake-up is the second significant government change since the appointment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in early 2015. The crown prince serves as deputy prime minister under his father, King Salman.
King Salman announced the creation of a new Culture Ministry in royal decrees broadcast early on Saturday.
The governor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al-Saud, was appointed as its new minister.
For decades Saudi Arabia has combined its culture and information ministries. The Ministry of Culture and Information was renamed the Ministry of Information.
Ahmad Al-Rajhi was named minister of labor and social development, replacing Ali Al-Ghafis, who was appointed to the post in late 2016.
Sheikh Abdulatif Al-Sheikh, a former head of the Haia (religious police), was appointed minister of Islamic affairs.
A new royal commission was created for the city of Makkah and the holy sites. In approval of the crown prince’s proposal, a new body will be established called the Department of the Jeddah Historical Project, which will be administered by the Culture Ministry.
Abdullah Al-Saadan was named chief of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.
The king also issued a royal order forming the Council of Royal Reserves under the chairmanship of the crown prince. Each royal reserve will have a board of directors.
Maps tweeted by state media showed that six nature reserves established by the orders — “to reestablish wildlife, enhance their development and promote eco-tourism” — covered about 265,000 square kilometers of territory.
One of the sites is named for the king and another, located between the proposed NEOM business zone and a Red Sea tourism project, for the crown prince.
In a royal order, Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh was appointed minister of state and member of the Council of Ministers and Council of Political and Security Affairs.
The royal orders also named several new deputies in the ministries of interior, telecommunications, transport and energy, and appointed new heads to the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.
Later, Minister of Information Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad described the royal orders as part of the march of modernization under the leadership of King Salman and the crown prince.
Al-Awwad said that the royal order separating culture from the media and the establishment of an independent Ministry of Culture would support development of both sectors and “help to achieve the ambitious vision of our country.”

Other appointments
The royal orders also named several new deputies and heads, including:
- Nasser bin Abdul Aziz Al-Daoud as deputy minister of interior.
- Abdullah bin Salim bin Jaber Al-Mutani as deputy speaker of Shoura Council.
- Khalid bin Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Sultan as president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.
- Haitham bin Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Ohali as deputy minister of communications and information technology.
- Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Ali Al-AbdulKarim as deputy minister of energy, industry and mineral resources for industry affairs.
- Khalid bin Saleh bin Mohammed Al-Mudaifer as deputy minister of energy, industry and mineral resources for mining affairs.
- Nasser bin Abdulrazzaq bin Yusuf Al-Nafisi as assistant minister of energy, industry and mineral resources.
- Bader bin Abdullah bin Muhanna Al-Delami as deputy minister of transport for road affairs.
- Abdulhadi bin Ahmad bin Abdulwahab Al-Mansouri as assistant minister of transport.
- Mohammed bin Twailea bin Saad Al-Salami as assistant minister of civil affairs.
- Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani as president of the Hafr Al-Batin University, replacing Abdul Aziz bin Abdurrahman Al-Sowayyan.
- Bandar bin Obaid bin Hamoud Al-Rasheed as secretary to the crown prince.
- Ahmad bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Thaqafi as adviser at the Presidency of State Security.


Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Updated 39 min 27 sec ago
0

Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

  • Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival
  • Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year

JEDDAH:  Jamarat facilities in Mina are fully prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims during the throwing of stones.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has deployed sunshades, cooling systems, escalators, closed-circuit TV, guidance and awareness-raising signboards and facilities, and information services.

The ministry’s projects include the installation of fixed and mobile cameras along the paths leading to the holy sites to monitor and manage pedestrian movement.

Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival.

 

Amenities

Many organizations and entities have provided amenities to help pilgrims on Arafat. Umbrellas have been distributed to provide shade and avoid heat stroke, cold water has been provided to quench pilgrims’ thirst, and food and beverages have been handed out. 

Holy Qur’ans have also been distributed to help pilgrims perform an Islamic ritual that abolishes worshippers’ sins.

Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year.

 

Live broadcast

The Media Ministry has launched a live broadcast of Hajj rituals on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as on YouTube.

The ministry has provided 19 channels transmitting in Arabic, English, Urdu, Malay, French and German.

 

Free internet

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has announced it will provide 1GB free for every pilgrim who uses its prepaid services as a gift to pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season. The gift is aimed at facilitating their experience during Hajj on the day of Tarwiya and Arafat.

STC chairman, Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, explained that the company’s gift came as a result of instructions from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to all governmental and private bodies related to the service of pilgrims.

 

Educate pilgrims

Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said the ministry has launched an awareness campaign in six languages — Arabic, English, French, Russian, Chinese and Persian — to educate pilgrims on Hajj regulations, provide them with health advice, and help them follow schedules in order to avoid overcrowding.

The ministry has launched the Manasikana smartphone app to provide pilgrims with services in eight languages, Mashat added.

The app informs pilgrims of grouping and transport plans, helps them find camps, lodgings and companions, and enables them to send reports and complaints to concerned authorities at the ministry.