100 years old bulb at Prophet’s Mosque creates online buzz

The photo shows a 100-year-old electric bulb, first used in the Holy Mosque in Madinah in 1325H.
Updated 13 June 2016
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100 years old bulb at Prophet’s Mosque creates online buzz

JEDDAH: The social media is abuzz with a photo of an electric bulb used in the Holy Mosque in Madinah in 1325H, more than 100 years ago.
According to information inscribed on the bulb, the date of its installation was the same date when electricity entered the Arabian Peninsula, about 112 years ago.
According a Madinah Municipality website, the mosque’s construction and its expansion during the era of Ottoman ruler Sultan Abdul Majid took place between 1265 and 1277H. Oil lamps were used at that time. Electricity was introduced by Sultan Abdul Majid and the electric bulb was lit inside the Holy Mosque of Madinah for the first time on Shaban 25, 1326H.
The expansion work during King Abdul Aziz’s times took place between 1370H and 1375H. During this period, a special power station was established for lighting the Holy Mosque of Madinah when the number of bulbs or lamps reached 2,427.
Mohammad Al-Sayyid Al-Wakeel wrote in his book, “The Holy Mosque of Madinah,” that the mosque was originally lit by palm fronds. When Tameem Al-Dari came from Palestine in 9H, he changed to oil lamps as was narrated by Abu Nuaim referring to Abu Hurairah who said that the one who first lit a lamp in the mosque was Tameem Al-Dari.
Some historians say that the one who first lit lamps in the mosque was Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab when people gathered there for Taraweeh prayer. The lamps were then lit by oil.


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.