‘Makkah a paradise on earth’

Updated 01 October 2015

‘Makkah a paradise on earth’

DAMMAM: At this time of strife and conflicts in some Arab and Islamic countries, pilgrims travel to perform Haj in the Kingdom where a sense of safety and tranquility makes up for what they may not be familiar with in their own countries.
In this regard, some pilgrims of different nationalities spoke about their experiences and the sense of security and faith they felt in the land of the holy places.
Rahmatullah Mohammed Haj, a Rohingya from Myammar, described Makkah as a paradise on earth. He said that the mental images of murder and blood and the memory of the sounds of guns and bullets disappeared completely once he stood before the Kaaba.
Fatimah Ahmad, an Egyptian pilgrim, said that Makkah and Madinah were places of spiritual treatment for the psychological and social pains suffered by some pilgrims. She hopes that the two holy cities will continue to provide a real sense of security.
Mohammed Bakri, a Syrian pilgrim, said: “In the midst of bloody conflicts which have been accompanied by a decline in security, the continuing disruption of peace and stability and unemployment and poverty in our country, the scene in Makkah is completely different. It provides security and stability for all pilgrims.”
Along the same lines, Abu Salman, an Iraqi pilgrim, said: “Once we put our feet on the soil of the Kingdom, we feel the safety and security that we lack in Iraq.” He praised the Saudi leadership for providing such security and safety for its visitors.
Another Iraqi pilgrim said that Makkah provided a sense of safety, stability and peace of mind, after a journey fraught with danger and difficulties. The pilgrim prayed for the end of conflict in Iraq so that its citizens could feel safe in their own country.
Tayyib Muhammad Ali of Kirkuk said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman deserved praise for all services provided to pilgrims which enable them to perform the rituals.
Abu Mazen from Baghdad said: “This is an opportunity for us to escape from the explosions of bombs and cars and the sound of aircraft which has turned our lives into a kind of hell.”


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.”