Frenchman commits suicide in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Makkah

An aerial view shows the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Makkah on June 3, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 09 June 2018
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Frenchman commits suicide in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Makkah

  • An expatriate commits suicide in the Grand Mosque in Makkah by throwing himself off the roof and onto the circumambulation ground
  • A spokesperson said the body was rushed to the hospital as an investigation commenced into the reason behind the death

RIYADH: A Frenchman has committed suicide by throwing himself off the roof of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi and French officials said Saturday.
“A foreigner threw himself from the roof of the Grand Mosque in Makkah” to the courtyard below, “resulting in his instant death,” Saudi police told the official SPA news agency.
A French foreign ministry official told AFP in Paris that the dead man was French but gave no further details.
The rare act was not the first of its kind to take place in Makkah, the holiest city in Islam — which, like other monotheistic religions, prohibits suicide.
The body was transported to hospital, with an investigation underway “to determine the victim’s identity, what led to the act and how he was able to commit it despite the existence of a metal fence,” SPA said.
Last year, a Saudi man tried to set himself on fire in front of the Kaaba — the square stone building in the center of the mosque compound — but was stopped by security forces.
Every year, millions of Muslim pilgrims from across the world travel to Makkah and Medina, Islam’s second holiest site, also in western Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince orders restoration and renovation of 130 historical mosques

Updated 37 min 33 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince orders restoration and renovation of 130 historical mosques

JEDDAH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered the restoration of 130 historical mosques within the National Program for the Restoration of Historic Mosques supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.
The support he provided to develop historical mosques covered in the first phase the restoration of 30 mosques in 10 regions, at a cost of more than SR50 million ($13 million).
The National Program for the Restoration of Historic Mosques is one of the programs adopted by Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTH and founder of Al-Turath Charitable Foundation, as part of his concern to take care of and serve mosques and the Islamic architectural heritage. The foundation has undertaken to document and restore a number of mosques of historical value since its launching of the program in 1998.
The program has received the support of the country’s leaders, businessmen benefactors and the regions’ governors. King Salman sponsored the launching of the program to restore and renovate historical mosques in Ad Diriyah and Jeddah, and donated the renovation costs of Al-Hanafi mosque in Jeddah.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s support for the historical mosques comes from his belief in their importance in the Islamic religion and architectural heritage along with the historical, social and cultural richness they represent.
The crown prince’s support is considered the most generous in the Kingdom’s history, given the number of mosques and the overall cost since the launching of the program 20 years ago. The support is in coordination and partnership with SCTNH’s National Program for the Restoration of Historic Mosques, which was launched by the Al-Turath Charitable Foundation before it became a joint program with the SCTH and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, three years ago.
The crown prince’s project for the development of historical mosques will reinforce concern to develop the Kingdom’s historical and heritage regions and restore the mosques to receive worshippers again after they have been abandoned in previous years. The Kingdom has witnessed a rapid architectural growth and thus has neglected most of the old and historical mosques and destroyed some others, which are bein replaced by new mosques. The program will take care of these neglected mosques.
Work teams have started formulating the project action plan under the directions of the crown prince. The first phase covers 30 mosques that will be restored: Each mosque will be ready to receive more than 4,000 worshippers.
The crown prince’s support for this program is among many other contributions to societal and human projects, including the SR100 million donation for charitable associations and his support for the release of prisoners with SR19 million.