Saudi Arabia and UN Alliance of Civilizations review partnership

King Salman receives the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Moratinos at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 02 July 2019

Saudi Arabia and UN Alliance of Civilizations review partnership

JEDDAH: The High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Angel Moratinos, called on King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday.

During the meeting, they reviewed opportunities for partnership between the Kingdom and the UNAOC to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s cultural ties with other nations. 

The UN official praised the leadership of King Salman and the crown prince for taking initiatives to promote dialogue among civilizations.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif and other officials.

In a separate meeting with a delegation of the Saudi National Committee for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ sponsored Initiative for Dialogue among Followers of Faith, Culture and Salam Cultural Outreach, led by Faisal bin Muammar, the vice president of the committee and supervisor of Salam program, Moratinos hailed the Kingdom-run programs for cultural outreach, for embracing cultural visions and working toward building knowledge-based bridges among the Saudi youths and their peers in other countries, all over the world.

Such programs launched by the initiative, he remarked, fall in line with the universal percepts endeavoring to float reach out and interaction among different and various nations and cultures, driven by information technology, media, communications and the worldwide web to bring about a tangible human rapprochement and coming together.

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.