Three historical mosques in Hail to be restored under Saudi crown prince project

Three mosques in the region of Hail have joined the first phase of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques in the Kingdom as part of 30 historic mosques
Updated 21 May 2019

Three historical mosques in Hail to be restored under Saudi crown prince project

  • The first phase of the Hail mosques started with Al-Jarad Mosque, Qafar Mosque and Al-Jal’ud Mosque
  • The project is supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

RIYADH: Three mosques in the region of Hail have joined the first phase of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques in the Kingdom, joining 30 historic mosques in 10 regions at a total cost of the first phase of more than SAR50 million ($13.3 million).
The project is supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) represented by “Restoration of Historic Mosques” in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The first phase of the Hail mosques started with Al-Jarad Mosque, Qafar Mosque and Al-Jal’ud Mosque at a total cost of SAR6,211,000.
Al-Jarad Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the historic town of Maghaydah and dates back to 1862 and was restored in 1962.
Prayer services continued in the mosque until 1991.
Prominent imams of the mosque include Abdul Aziz Rashid Al-Jamil, Salem Nasser Al-Jamil and Abdullah Hilal Al-Jamil.
Al-Jarad Mosque is built with mud and stone with a wooden roof. It covers 450 square meters and can accommodate 192 worshipers. It consists of the prayer area which is located in the central part of the mosque with an area of 90 square meters.
Al-Khalwah is an underground prayer area located in the southern part of the mosque with an area of 90 square meters. Al-Sarhah is the open area that lies north of the mosque with an area of 212 square meters, in addition to two entrances located in the northern and southern façades.
Qafar Mosque is located in the village of Qafar, which dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century.
The mosque was founded by Ruqayyah Bint Abdullah after the death of her husband. The mosque was renovated in 1965, where Friday prayers were held and people would come from nearby villages to pray in it.
Qafar Mosque is also built with mud and stone with a wooden roof. The total area of the mosque is 638 square meters and can accommodate 500 worshipers. The prayer area is located in the south of the mosque with an area of 175 square meters. Al-Sarha, which is the open courtyard, is located on the north side of the mosque. It is located on the north side of the mosque with an area of 300 square meters and a modern prayer area with an area of 178 square meters.
The mosque has a rectangular 8-meter-minaret as well as two depots southeast of the mosque.
A modern prayer area was built inside Al-Sarha in 1991, where prayer is held at the present time. Prominent imams of the mosque include Rashid Al-Salami, Sulaiman Rashid Al-Salami, Mohammad Iss+a Al-Khurais and Abdullah Nasser Al-Ghaithi. The present imam is Abdulmuhsin Al-Khwair.
Al-Jal’ud Mosque is located in the province of Samira, south-east of Hail. It dates back to the year eighteenth century and is a station on the pilgrimage route.
Al-Jal’ud Mosque is also built with mud and stone with a wooden roof with a total area of 227 square meters and accommodates up to 120 worshipers. The prayer area is in the middle of the mosque and is about 80 square meters. The mosque was rebuilt in 1928.
Ahmed bin Rajaa Al-Shammari, of SCTH, stressed that the directives approved the implementation of the first phase of the project on time and that the implementation should be of the highest quality.


New Saudi rules on hookah leave businesses, consumers confused

Arab News visited different restaurants in the town and found a few serving hookahs. (AP/File)
Updated 22 sec ago

New Saudi rules on hookah leave businesses, consumers confused

  • Manal Jafar: Everywhere in our city is polluted with smoke, you can hardly find a restaurant where you can safely take your kids

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Rural and Municipal Affairs has imposed new regulations on restaurants and cafes serving hookah. Although many were disappointed following the announcement to allow hookah inside cities, businesses were shocked to know about the fees imposed on them. Nonsmokers have also raised their concerns after they realized that bills will rise by 100 percent if they visit a restaurant that serves hookah.
Arab News visited different restaurants in the town and found a few serving hookahs. Some said that they will still serve it, but will not charge customers any extra fees.
Meanwhile, a trending hashtag in Saudi Arabia addressed the issue of fees on tobacco, with some customers sharing their bills online.
Michel Abou Assaly, director of operations at Shababik Restaurant in Jeddah, said that when they first found out about the new law they were surprised: “We were obliged to stop serving hookah and we had to send all our employees at the shisha department on a short leave until things became clearer.” He added they did not want their customers to pay double the price for the same product. He anticipates a 40 percent drop in sales.
“Thousands of restaurants and cafes will close down and at least 100,000 families will be affected,” Assaly said. He added that investors should ask the ministry to reconsider this law.
Halima Muthaffar, a writer, said that although she hates the smell of tobacco, she still sees this as an unfair decision. She added that it is not the right time, especially as Saudi Arabia is opening up for tourists.

FASTFACT

• The use of tobacco is expected to cost the Saudi economy SR480 billion ($128 billion) for the period 2018-2030.

• Authorities hope to reduce tobacco consumption in the Kingdom to 5 percent by 2030.

• The annual fee for the license to serve tobacco ranges from SR5,000 to SR100,000.

• Fees for licensing tobacco during events range from SR600 to SR3,000.

• 100 percent of fees are imposed on all bills of restaurants and cafes serving tobacco.

Columnist Gassan Badkook said that the authorities will reconsider the way these fees are being calculated. He said that three groups will be negatively affected: Nonsmokers, who will have to pay fees for a product they do not use, investors who might close their businesses and employees who might lose their jobs.
Manal Jafar said she agrees with the fees: “A restaurant should serve food only. Everywhere in our city is polluted with smoke, you can hardly find a restaurant where you can safely take your kids.”
Mohammad bin Hamad said he rarely goes to a restaurant with his family, but they never ask for hookah. “Why should I pay 100 percent fees on top of my bill? We should wait for a few months, many restaurants will stop offering hookah because they will lose so many customers.”