King Salman center for Yemeni aid welcomed

1 / 2
2 / 2
Updated 17 May 2015

King Salman center for Yemeni aid welcomed

Saudis and Yemenis have welcomed the government’s move to establish a center named after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in Riyadh to coordinate relief and humanitarian activities in Yemen.
The opening of the center by the king on Wednesday follows the launch of Operation Restoring Hope and his directive to correct the legal status of Yemeni workers, including giving them extendable six-month visit visas and allowing them to work.
“This is a wonderful gesture from the humanitarian king,” said one Saudi blogger.
He highlighted the $274 million emergency aid ordered by King Salman to alleviate the sufferings of Yemenis affected by the Houthi attacks.
King Salman’s order to provide jobs to undocumented Yemenis after correcting their status has been widely welcomed. Yemenis staying illegally in the Kingdom by overstaying their Umrah and visit visas will benefit from the royal gesture.
Illegal Yemenis are currently trying to obtain valid passports from the Yemeni embassy and consulate in the Kingdom to benefit from the royal amnesty.
Brig. Mohammed Al-Shahri, director of the Passport Department in Jazan, said his department has deployed more staff members to correct the status of Yemeni workers and answer their queries regarding the amnesty.
He said Yemenis must obtain passports or travel documents from the representatives of their legitimate government to benefit from the royal gesture.
Yemeni Consulate officials operating at Adnan Hotel in Jazan received a large number of their nationals who wanted to correct their legal status and get travel documents.
Ali bin Mohammed Al-Anasi, assistant consul general of Yemen, commended King Salman. “This royal gesture is a continuation of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to protect the Yemeni people from the atrocities of the Houthi militia and its allies,” Al-Anasi told the Saudi Press Agency.
Abdu bin Mohammed Al-Shoukhi, head of the Yemeni community in Jazan, also praised King Salman. “Coordination is under way to open more branches of the Yemeni Consulate to issue travel documents,” Al-Shoukhi said. New offices will start functioning in Samtah and Rayan, he said.
He underscored King Salman’s support for Yemenis during the present crisis caused by the Iranian-backed Houthis. He urged all Yemenis to cooperate with the Saudi authorities and correct their legal status as quickly as possible.
“King Salman’s order to allow illegal Yemenis to correct their status and work in the Kingdom reflects his nobility and generosity,” said Abdu Aqel Mohammed, a Yemeni worker. “The king’s gesture raises the hope of Yemenis,” he added.
Ahmed bin Ali Shaawan, another Yemeni, said the king’s gesture would allow Yemeni workers to make a decent living in the Kingdom. Omar Haj, another Yemeni, spoke highly of Saudi Arabia’s aid to Arab and underdeveloped countries over the years.
According to one report, Saudi Arabia has given more than SR250 billion in foreign aid to various countries over the past 24 years. Of this amount, SR85 billion went to nine Arab countries — Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Morocco, Sudan and Djibouti. Egypt received the lion’s share of Saudi aid for Arabs at 29 percent followed by Yemen at 17 percent.


Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. The 86-year-old is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. (Supplied)
Updated 15 August 2020

Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

  • The Syrian Qur’an writer, regarded as one of the world’s finest calligraphers, is on the road to recovery following his recent hospital admission

MAKKAH: Syrian calligrapher Uthman Taha is in good health and recovering at home after a 13-day stay in a hospital where he was treated for what he and his wife initially suspected to be the novel coronavirus COVID-19, although he ultimately tested negative for the virus.

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. His wife, Fatimah Umm Al-Nour, said Taha had a chest infection during his stay at the hospital and stressed that he had been “careful and took all the precautionary measures” and that he had not left the house for five months before his hospital visit.
The 86-year-old calligrapher is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. She praised his doctors, who have consistently checked in with the couple since Taha returned home, and added that she has tested negative for COVID-19 too.
Taha is regarded as one of the most skilled calligraphers in the Arab world. Al-Nour told Arab News that he continues to practice calligraphy daily.
Taha, who has written the Qur’an 12 times at the King Fahd Complex, was born in 1934 and attended school in Aleppo. His father was also a skilled calligrapher, who used the Ruq’ah script, and Taha studied with several of Syria’s finest calligraphers including Mohammed Al-Mawlawi, Mohammed Al-Khatib, Hussein Al-Turki, and Ibrahim Al-Rifai.
When he moved to Damascus for university, Taha began to learn other scripts, including Thuluth, Naskh (in which he is now considered a master), and Farsi. He received his calligraphy certificate from master calligrapher Hamed Al-Amadi in 1973.
He arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1988, and began work as a calligrapher at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. He writes the Qur’an in the Ottoman script, and copies of his work have been distributed throughout the Islamic world.
What makes Taha’s work unique is that each page of the Qur’an that he writes concludes at the end of a verse. The secret, he explains, is to simplify the words — which is the origin of the Kufic script in which the Qur’an has been written since the days of Prophet Muhammad’s companions — keeping the letters close to one another.
Taha spent years perfecting his technique of evenly distributing the words in every line so that the space between the lettering is consistent throughout every page of every book, which means eliminating many of the script combinations that make such consistency difficult.
He explained to Arab News that when he is working on his Qur’an calligraphy he is transported: “When I begin writing the Holy Qur’an, I resort to solitude to allow myself to be invested in the verses and their interpretation, forgetting about the world around me,” he said. “I wish the verses about Jannah (heaven) would never end, and my hand trembles when I write the verses about Jahannam (hell).”