Saudi Arabia, Turkey working closely to combat terrorism

Updated 08 January 2017

Saudi Arabia, Turkey working closely to combat terrorism

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Turkey, whose top leadership strongly condemned the deadly Istanbul terror attacks that left 39 people dead and scores of innocent men and women wounded, are working closely to combat terrorism.
Turkey and the regional bloc, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), have also stepped up efforts to tackle the threat posed by terror organizations like Daesh and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
“Turkey’s cooperation with the Kingdom on the one hand and the GCC countries on the other is outstanding in combating terrorism,” said Turkish Ambassador Yunus Demirer here Saturday.
Demirer, while commending the efforts of the GCC and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), pointed out that “FETO has been designated as a terror organization by GCC and OIC.”
The diplomat expressed his “heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the wounded.” “My thoughts and prayers are with my Saudi brothers and sisters, as well as all victims, who lost their lives in this cowardly act of terror,” he added.
“This attack clearly showed once again that terror claims innocent lives and hurts people without any discrimination,” said the envoy, adding that the perpetrators of this inhuman crime will be duly punished. “We are grateful to the leadership and people of the Kingdom for their support, solidarity and sympathies,” said Demirer, while referring to the support extended by friendly countries and allies like the GCC member states.
He said that “Turkey is determined to eradicate this evil and foil attacks against our country.” In this regard, he pointed out that Turkish authorities are taking all necessary measures to ensure “security and peace” in the country and for every citizen and foreigner visiting Turkey. “I am sure that the current challenges Turkey faces will be overcome in a short time,” he said.
Asked about the strategy that Ankara will put in place to foil terror plots after a string of attacks last year and on Jan. 1 this year, Demirer said that Turkey is fully determined to continue its fight against Daesh, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), ethnic Kurdish ‘People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) and FETO terrorist groups. He called on the UN member states to stand united against terrorism, saying that the fight against terrorism requires international cooperation.
Saudi Arabia has reiterated its full backing of Turkish military operations in northern Syria against Daesh and Kurdish militants and suggested a military solution remained the strongest option to get rid of Bashar Assad.
Turkey has embarked on an international effort to inform foreign officials and media about terrorist organizations, especially about FETO, said a report published by Anadolu agency, a state-run press agency of Turkey.

“Turkey has given around 10,000 foreign briefings about the FETO since the July 15 coup attempt,” said the report. Moreover, a total of 8,390 civil servants were dismissed and three new statutory decrees made late Friday. The Turkish Official Gazette has published the statutory legislations aimed to help law enforcement in its fight against terrorism, said the report.


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).”