Third mosque discovered during excavations at Al-Abla in Asir

The SCTH has implemented four excavations in Al-Abla. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2019

Third mosque discovered during excavations at Al-Abla in Asir

  • The excavations are part of an initiative to protect the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.

BISHA: A third mosque has been discovered during excavations at the site of ancient mining colonies at Al-Abla in Bisha, in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia.

The discovery was made by a team from the Department of Archeology and Museums at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH). 

The excavations are part of an initiative by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program as part of the commission’s efforts to protect the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.

“The excavations kicked off at the facade of the mosque, which has an area of 2,616 square meters, where we discovered walls of stone covered with white plaster,” said Abdullah Al-Aklabi, the head of the excavating team.

The floor consists of crushed gravel mixed with sand and water, covered with a layer of fine gravel, he added. At the center there is a half-circle mihrab, and in the southeast side two rooms have been found, one of which was used to provide light for the mosque.

The SCTH has implemented four excavations in Al-Abla. 

It is considered one of the most important ancient mining sites, as it was located in what was the historical southern sector of the ancient trade route for spice and incense, linking southern and northern Arabia.

The site bears witness to the economic activity of the ancient southern kingdoms of Arabia, a role that thrived during the peak of trade by the Quraish, a tribe of merchants in Makkah. 

Al-Abla retained its mercantile role after the rise of Islam as it was an important stop on the pilgrimage route linking Sanaa to Makkah, in addition to its economic role as a mining colony, in particular during the first few centuries of Islam.

Archaeological excavations are being carried out at the site to reveal and understand the socioeconomic hierarchy of the time, and to identify the various epochs of settlement at the site.

Future archaeological works are expected to explore the transformation in the production of ores in pre-Islamic and post-Islamic times, and shed the light on the urbanizing role of the site.


Mohammed Abdul-Jawad, former Saudi footballer

Updated 2 min 28 sec ago

Mohammed Abdul-Jawad, former Saudi footballer

  • Abdul-Jawad was the left-back for the Saudi national team
  • Abdul-Jawad was born in November 1962 in Jeddah

Mohammed Abdul-Jawad, former Saudi national football team’s left-back, has recently been appointed coach of the Brazilian club Internacional de Minas’s youth team. 

Abdul-Jawad was born in November 1962 in Jeddah. He joined Al-Ahli team in 1980 at the age of 18. He is famous for his loyalty to the team, as he never switched sides.

His excellent skills helped him earn a spot in the Saudi national squad. He successfully remained part of the national team for 15 years during which he continued to play for Al-Ahli and won several domestic and regional titles.

Abdul-Jawad was part of the Saudi national team that won the Asia Cup in 1984 and 1988, and participated in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 as well as the World Cup finals.

Mario Zagallo, former Brazilian coach of the Saudi team between 1981 and 1984, gave him shirt number 13, which was Zagallo’s number when he played for his country in the 1950s.

In a TV interview, Abdul-Jawad said that Zagallo admired the way he spoke Brazilian and gave him his number as a gift.

The first international appearance for the left-footed defender was in 1981 against Kuwait, which had great strikers like Jasim Yaqoub and Faisal Al-Dakheel. Abdul-Jawad showed excellent performance.

Abdul-Jawad was known for his ability to score beautiful goals from outside the area. The Saudi fans will not forget his goal against Cameroon in the Afro-Asian Cup of Nations championship. The flying-defender, as he was always called, shot from more than 30 yards outside the box and into the Cameroon’s net.

Abdul-Jawad, father of six, hung his boots in 1995 and started another career as a football agent and a pundit for TV football programs. His fluency in English and Portuguese helped him succeed in both careers.