Philippine troops join search for missing Saudi pilot and his teacher

Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif went missing along with this teacher.
Updated 18 June 2019

Philippine troops join search for missing Saudi pilot and his teacher

  • The island is located northeast of San Jose Airport

MANILA: Philippine troops will comb a rugged offshore island in the search for a missing Saudi student pilot and his teacher whose aircraft vanished a month ago shortly after taking off from San Jose Airport in Occidental Mindoro.

The disappearance of the Beechcraft Baron 55 aircraft carrying Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif, a student at the Orient Flying School, and his teacher, Capt. Jose Nelson Yapparcon, remains a mystery, officials told Arab News on Monday.

The decision to shift the search to the island of Ambulong was taken at a meeting between the Philippines Civil Aviation Authority and other agencies last week, according to Chris Enriquez, officer-in-charge of the authority in San Jose.  

The island is located northeast of San Jose Airport. Enriquez said that searchers believe the aircraft’s pilot may have glided the aircraft toward Ambulong.

“Maybe the aircraft did not explode. No explosion was heard and there was no smoke, so perhaps the pilot was able to glide the plane toward the island,” he said. 

The Philippines Air Force will also assist in the continuing search.

Another official, who asked not to be identified, said the search is considering other angles aside from the “crash,” but stressed that for now, the focus is on the search-and-rescue operation. Asked whether the missing pilots may still be alive, officials said they “are still hoping for the best.”

Muslim World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia

Updated 24 July 2019

Muslim World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia


MOSCOW: The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has awarded the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his efforts to strengthen the relationship between the Islamic world and Russia.

Prof. Vitaly Naumkin, the director of the institute, who represents one of the most well-known academic institutions in the world over the past 200 years, talked about Al-Issa’s career, noting that he has contributed to the promotion of cultural rapprochement among nations through his visits to countries and his connections with different cultures and religions.

Naumkin said that the principles of moderation adopted by the MWL and its secretary-general contributed to the establishment of security in the world, noting that these principles addressed extremism and violence.

The honorary doctorate was given to Al-Issa for his services in the development of Islamic jurisprudence and improving official and popular relations between Russia and the Islamic world, he said.

The MWL secretary-general said that he was proud to receive the honorary doctorate from an institute that is well-known for its dedication and neutrality.

He also praised the Russian Federation’s care for Arab and Islamic culture and its keenness to communicate with the Muslim world, learn its language and understand its culture.

Al-Issa considered the award to be motivation to work on promoting cultural communication and exchange between the Islamic world and Russia.

He said that the institute has contributed to changing the stereotype of Orientalism in the Muslim world and has encouraged cultural communication between nations and peoples.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Russian presidency, the Duma and the Senate, as well as high-ranking diplomats, senior academics of Orientalism, religious leaders and a group of researchers and students.