Kingdom’s Haj arrangements impress Taiwan delegation

Updated 06 November 2012

Kingdom’s Haj arrangements impress Taiwan delegation

JEDDAH: Ibrahim Chao, a Taiwanese adviser to the Chinese Muslim Association, called upon foreign Haj missions to educate their pilgrims about Haj matters before their arrival in the Kingdom.
“About one third of Hajis are not accustomed to modern facilities such as the train system and elevators. We should educate them properly about such facilities so that they can use them without any difficulty,” said Chao.
The adviser came to perform Haj this year, heading a 33-member delegation from Taiwan. He praised Saudi authorities for making excellent arrangements for the nearly four million pilgrims.
Chao noted Muslims’ readiness to pay for the Haj pilgrimage despite global depression. “Many people thought the number of pilgrims would decline this year due to global economic crisis. By the grace of God, a record four million performed Haj this year. This reflects the growing economic strength of the Muslim world,” he added.
Chao urged Muslims all over the world to get united, inspired by King Abdullah’s call. In his keynote address to foreign Haj missions at Mina, the Saudi king urged Muslims to get rid of their differences and work for unity.
According to Chao, about 120,000 Muslims live in Taiwan. He disclosed plans to establish more Islamic centers and mosques in Taiwan to meet the needs of Muslims in different parts of the island state.
Jacques Wu, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Jeddah, said, “Muslims are like one family, despite their racial, language and color differences. They come from different parts of the world to perform Haj, a symbol of Muslim unity.”
He highlighted the growing Saudi-Taiwan business relations. More than 20,000 Saudi tourists visit the country every year. Taiwan intends to launch a marketing campaign to attract more Saudi tourists.


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.