Saudi Islamic minister meets New Zealand senior police officer

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Islamic affairs minister Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh meets with Superintendent of the Auckland Police Department, Naila Hassan. (SPA)
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Islamic affairs minister Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh meets with Superintendent of the Auckland Police Department, Naila Hassan. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2019

Saudi Islamic minister meets New Zealand senior police officer

  • Hassan previously said in a video that she was “breathless” when she saw the Kaaba

MINA: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh met a senior New Zealand police officer who gave an emotional speech following the devastating shootings at two Christchurch mosques, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Dozens of Muslims were killed in March when an Australian white supremacist opened fire at two inner city mosques.
Superintendent of the Auckland Police Department, Naila Hassan, gave a speech at a vigil the day after the massacre. She reassured the crowd that the police were supporting the Muslim community and everyone affected by the tragedy.
Hassan was in Saudi Arabia as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, along with families of victims and people injured in the shootings.
The minister welcomed Hassan in Mina, saying that all the pilgrims being hosted on the program were under the care of King Salman and the crown prince. He said the king and crown prince paid close attention to the program and to the comfort of the hosted pilgrims.
Al-Asheikh commended the crown prince’s efforts in disseminating moderation and spreading a global message of peace and love.
Hassan expressed her thanks to the king, the crown prince and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs for the services provided since the pilgrims left New Zealand.
Hassan previously said in a video that she was “breathless” when she saw the Kaaba.
Earlier, Al-Asheikh said that hosting the Christchurch pilgrims was part of Saudi efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms. 


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”