Saudi sisters’ deaths in New York ruled suicide

Sisters Rotana, left, and Tala Farea, were found on the banks of New York City's Hudson River in October. (NYPD via AP)
Updated 23 January 2019

Saudi sisters’ deaths in New York ruled suicide

JEDDAH: The deaths of Saudi-born sisters Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, in New York’s Hudson River last October were the result of drowning by suicide, said the office of the city’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Samson.
“My office determined that the death of the Farea sisters was the result of suicide, in which the young women bound themselves together before descending into the Hudson River,” Samson said in a statement.
The two bodies were discovered by a passer-by just before 3 p.m. on Oct. 24. The New York Police Department (NYPD) said police responded to a 911 call and “upon arrival, officers discovered two unidentified females unconscious and unresponsive with no obvious signs of trauma.” Emergency personnel declared them dead at the scene.
An official at the Saudi Embassy in Washington refuted an Associated Press (AP) claim that the mother of the sisters said she had received a call from the embassy requesting that the family leave the US because the daughters had requested asylum. 
“Any/all communications with the mother had nothing to do with a supposed asylum claim,” the Saudi official told Arab News. 
The NYPD denied releasing any information regarding an alleged asylum request. The family declined an Arab News request for comment.
 


Saudi’s Qassim prepares over 200 mosques for Friday prayers

Updated 04 June 2020

Saudi’s Qassim prepares over 200 mosques for Friday prayers

  • Volunteers will help worshipers disperse between mosques
  • The first call to prayer will be announced 20 minutes earlier

DUBAI: Islamic authority in Qassim region have approved 205 mosques to perform Friday prayers according to new regulations, state news agency SPA reported.

The first call to prayer will be announced 20 minutes earlier, and khutbas – religious address delivered by the imam – to last at maximum for 15 minutes.

Also, volunteers will help worshipers disperse between mosques.

Mosques across the Kingdom, except for those in Makkah, have opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday, May 31, as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh called on Muslims to respect ongoing safety measures inside mosques, such as bringing their own prayer mats, wearing masks and washing hands prior to entering the vicinities.

Al-Asheikh said preventative measures will remain in place to ensure a safe return of worshipers to mosques for Friday prayers from May 31 until June 20.