Saudi inventor working to create digital Qur’an for visually impaired

Al-Harasani explained how the digital mus’haf would ease the process of reading the Qur’an for the visually impaired compared with their normal version of the Qur’an in braille. (Supplied)
Updated 12 June 2019

Saudi inventor working to create digital Qur’an for visually impaired

  • Al-Harasani is responsible for more than 50 inventions in various humanitarian and social fields

JEDDAH: The visually impaired face many challenges in their lives, even when it comes to religious practices such as reading the Holy Qur’an. 

With the help of technology, Saudi inventor Meshal Al-Harasani is working on creating a digital mus’haf for the visually impaired to facilitate reading the Holy Qur’an.

For the 30-year-old inventor, who is also an adviser at King Abdul Aziz University, this is the latest in a series of ingenious creations he has been making since he was 13 — he is responsible for more than 50 inventions in various humanitarian and social fields.

“It is an electronic board with 28 characters and each character has six braille letters, and the board page contains 28 rows,” Al-Harasani told Arab News.

“The visually impaired can read the Qur’an easily and navigate through the pages easily as the entire Qur’an is registered on the board,” he said.

Al-Harasani explained how the digital mus’haf would ease the process of reading the Qur’an for the visually impaired compared with their normal version of the Qur’an in braille.




Meshal Al-Harasani

“The visually impaired read the Qur’an in braille in six large volumes that make it difficult for them to reach the page, passage or Surah. Carrying them and storing them is difficult too because of the size.”

Al-Harasani was inspired to create the digital mus’haf when he visited the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah to participate in a Qur’an teaching seminar for those with special needs.

“I researched on Qur’an reading for those with special needs, especially for the visually impaired. And from there, the idea of creating a digital mus’haf for the visually impaired came to be.”

His invention is still being developed and is expected to be launched in a year.

“So far, the electronic board contains 28 characters and 28 rows to absorb the same number of characters as the pages of the paper Qur’an in braille. The idea is now in the development stage. My team and I are working on pursuing the work step by step and as soon as possible.”

Al-Harasani said that part of the team he is working with are visually impaired individuals.

“I work with a distinguished group of people, including visually impaired people, and this is what drives me to work harder, when I see the sense of amazement and happiness on their faces when pursuing this honorable work,” he told Arab News.

His previous inventions have included a mobile phone for the visually impaired, a currency for the visually impaired and a passenger seat to accommodate those with special needs onboard an airplane.


Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.