Five historic mosques to be restored in Asir province

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The historic mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshipers again. (SPA)
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The historic mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshipers again. (SPA)
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The historic mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshipers again. (SPA)
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The historic mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshipers again. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Five historic mosques to be restored in Asir province

  • Abdullah bin Ali Al-Asmari, a 100-year-old resident, said that he had served and supervised the mosque’s services 40 years ago and ascertained that according to some books, the mosque was built 400 years ago

JEDDAH: Five mosques in Asir have been added to the first phase of a SR50 million ($13 million) project to restore historic places of worship in the Kingdom.
The mosques have been added to the “Mohammed bin Salman project for Developing Historical Mosques” project, which includes 30 historic mosques in 10 of the Kingdom’s regions.
The historic Asir mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshippers again.
They have been abandoned in recent years as worshippers became used to visiting modern mosques in the light of urban development in the Kingdom. Some older mosques have been neglected and destroyed despite their historical value.
The historic Al-Mudfat in Abha is one of the mosques included on the list of buildings to be restored. Abdullah bin Ali Al-Asmari, a 100-year-old resident, said that he had served and supervised the mosque’s services 40 years ago and ascertained that according to some books, the mosque was built 400 years ago.
Al-Asmari said that the mosque consisted of a musalla that was six meters wide and 20 meters long, standing on five pillars of juniper trees; 92 branches of juniper trees were used to cover the ceilings.
The musalla has an entrance on the southern side, and an outdoor guest room with an old minaret where the muezzin stands. The lake was removed during previous restoration works and replaced by a modern water tank, he said.
Saudi resident Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Asmari said that the mosque is characterized by the ablution spaces, like the rest of the area’s historic mosques.
The second mosque to be renovated is the archaeological Sadreid Mosque in the north of Al-Namas governorate. The mosque’s features are very similar to those of the rest of the mosques in the area, but it is characterized by historic inscriptions. Saudi resident Mansoor bin Saad Al-Aajlan said that these inscriptions show that it is one of the oldest mosques in the Arabian Peninsula, built in 728, according to credible historical sources.
The Al-Sarou is the third mosque that will be renovated in Asir. Residents said that the history of the mosque remains unknown but that it is very old.
The Aaqisa Mosque in the old village of Asir is also on the list. This mosque is situated near an old fortress and houses and is considered to be very old, according to information from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
The mosque occupies an area of 72 square meters with an outdoor space and a lake for ablution.
Al-Nusb Historic Mosque, the fifth on the list, is situated in the center of Abha city.
A local resident, Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Moufarreh, said that the mosque was built in 1744 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Moufarreh and later restored in 1841 by his grandson Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Moufarreh, and again in 1897 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Moufarreh.


TheFace: Basma Alshaalan, diplomat at Saudi Arabia’s UN mission

Updated 6 min 26 sec ago
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TheFace: Basma Alshaalan, diplomat at Saudi Arabia’s UN mission

  • The author was a former media and communications editor at the World Bank

A culturally diverse environment is the best environment in which to develop skills, and that is what I have gained in working at the World Bank and the UN. I am now working at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN in New York, representing the Kingdom on the Third Committee of the General Assembly, which deals with social, humanitarian and human rights issues.

I was raised in a household in which knowledge, education and support were of vital importance. My father, Hakeem Alshaalan, is a retired chemical engineer with more than 25 years of experience in engineering project management. He helped pave the way for me with his wisdom and unconditional love. My mother, Latifah Alsudairy, the most amiable woman I have ever known, taught me how to be resilient through her adaptive attitude toward life. She is a housewife who devoted her life to supporting her husband and children, and I believe her to be the proud owner of all our achievements.

My siblings are dynamic, each of them with their own paths in life. The youngest two, though still in high school, are the brightest of us all, hence the reason why the family turns to them for the most valuable advice.

Growing up in Saudi Arabia and, later, in three of the world’s most dynamic cities — London, New York and Washington — helped build my capacity to engage with different cultures and people from a variety of backgrounds. I am grateful for how these versatile and vibrant cities have subtly added special meaning to my life and memories.

I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations and national security in the UK and, through persistence, diligence and hard work, earned a spot at New York University, where I graduated with a joint master’s in international relations and international business. The interdisciplinary courses equipped me with the broad knowledge and analytical skills that help me now in my career.

As a result of my interest in understanding community development, the research I conducted during my years in higher education focused on examining various governance models and best practices adopted by governments, non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations, multinational corporations and small-to-medium enterprises.

After graduating, I joined the World Bank in Washington as a media and communications editor, which expanded my knowledge of the operational mechanism of the World Bank’s development initiatives. Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in cultivating innovation and enabling its human capital through the creation of a culture that rewards determination and helps everyone gain the skills they need to achieve their objectives.

I like to spend a lot of time outdoors, and the hobbies I enjoy include endurance activities such as hiking and running. I find the intense yet seamless process of building endurance is very similar to life.

I am extremely proud of the ongoing economic transformation in the Kingdom and passionately believe in the Saudi future we all envision; I can see that we are now spontaneously preparing for the greatest future that awaits us.

On a personal level, I aspire to play an active part in the process of achieving our national and international objectives, and in my professional career I have been able to link Vision 2030 with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda. • AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj