Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
Updated 16 May 2018

Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

  • Saudi moon observers could not see the new moon on Tuesday evening
  • The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian moon observers said that there was no sight of the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday, meaning millions of Muslims around the world will begin the holy month on Thursday. 

According to reports on Saudi Arabian state TV, bad weather made observation of the crescent difficult. The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees.

Muslims around the world are set to mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.

Fasting is intended to bring Muslims closer to Allah and remind them of those less fortunate.

The Islamic world follows a lunar calendar, and the traditional moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart

This year, Ramadan falls on long summer days for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere. For Muslims who live in regions where Islam is not the dominant religion, challenging fasts are believed to come with greater blessings.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, annual charity -- known as "zakat" -- and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.

 


Saudi Arabia wins praise for showcasing ancient cultural heritage

Updated 40 min 30 sec ago

Saudi Arabia wins praise for showcasing ancient cultural heritage

  • It has introduced Saudi and Arab heritage to more than 5 million people across the world

RIYADH: Alessandra Capodiferro, director of the National Roman Museum, on Monday, expressed pride that her museum was hosting the exhibition “Roads of Arabia: Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia Across the Ages.”

The exhibition, which was inaugurated by Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah on Nov. 26, has already been hosted by a number of prominent international museums.

Capodiferro praised the international reputation achieved by the exhibition, which features many important artifacts, including hunting gear, weapons, jewelry, utensils made from precious metals, glass, alabaster, ceramics, sculptures and wall paintings — all of which are an expression of local production, trade exchange and cultural contact.

She said that the most important achievements of the research conducted in the Kingdom over the decades by Saudi specialists and archeological missions, including those headed by Italian teams, revealed the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula mentioned in ancient literature. Excavations conducted on these missions have led to the discovery of a significant number of artifacts dating back to several epochs — prehistoric, ancient, Roman Imperial and late antiquity.

The exhibition highlights the successive civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula, and provides examples of cultural interaction between Arab and Roman civilizations. It will continue for three months in Rome, its 17th station. Hosted in the most prominent international museums in European, American and Asian cities, it has introduced Saudi and Arab heritage to more than 5 million international visitors.