Saudi civil aviation authority launches plan to improve Hajj luggage services

Muslim pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport in the Saudi capital on July 14,2018. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2019

Saudi civil aviation authority launches plan to improve Hajj luggage services

  • Initiative to assist pilgrims departing to Indonesia, India and Malaysia

RIYADH: The launch of the EYAB initiative, which aims to end luggage procedures for pilgrims, has been announced by the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA). The initiative, which will begin its pilot phase within the next two days, is set to automatically organize luggage logistics before worshippers arrive at the airport.
It will target pilgrims departing to Indonesia, India and Malaysia during the 2019 Hajj season.
The president of the GACA, Abdulhadi Al Mansouri, said the authority wants to improve pilgrims’ services by reducing waiting times at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah.
He added that the EYAB initiative will serve about 30,000 pilgrims in the first phase at the airports in Jeddah and Madinah. After this phase is completed, the service will expand to serve all pilgrims in airports throughout the country.

 

Mansouri thanked all the governmental and nongovernmental bodies participating in the initiative. He specifically praised the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Presidency of State Security, the National Information Center and Saudi Customs for their work with the GACA.

Decoder

EYAB

It’s an initiative aimed at ending all needed procedures for the transport and shipment of passengers’ luggage from their place of residence and the registration of their departure automatically.


Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. The 86-year-old is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. (Supplied)
Updated 15 August 2020

Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

  • The Syrian Qur’an writer, regarded as one of the world’s finest calligraphers, is on the road to recovery following his recent hospital admission

MAKKAH: Syrian calligrapher Uthman Taha is in good health and recovering at home after a 13-day stay in a hospital where he was treated for what he and his wife initially suspected to be the novel coronavirus COVID-19, although he ultimately tested negative for the virus.

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. His wife, Fatimah Umm Al-Nour, said Taha had a chest infection during his stay at the hospital and stressed that he had been “careful and took all the precautionary measures” and that he had not left the house for five months before his hospital visit.
The 86-year-old calligrapher is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. She praised his doctors, who have consistently checked in with the couple since Taha returned home, and added that she has tested negative for COVID-19 too.
Taha is regarded as one of the most skilled calligraphers in the Arab world. Al-Nour told Arab News that he continues to practice calligraphy daily.
Taha, who has written the Qur’an 12 times at the King Fahd Complex, was born in 1934 and attended school in Aleppo. His father was also a skilled calligrapher, who used the Ruq’ah script, and Taha studied with several of Syria’s finest calligraphers including Mohammed Al-Mawlawi, Mohammed Al-Khatib, Hussein Al-Turki, and Ibrahim Al-Rifai.
When he moved to Damascus for university, Taha began to learn other scripts, including Thuluth, Naskh (in which he is now considered a master), and Farsi. He received his calligraphy certificate from master calligrapher Hamed Al-Amadi in 1973.
He arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1988, and began work as a calligrapher at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. He writes the Qur’an in the Ottoman script, and copies of his work have been distributed throughout the Islamic world.
What makes Taha’s work unique is that each page of the Qur’an that he writes concludes at the end of a verse. The secret, he explains, is to simplify the words — which is the origin of the Kufic script in which the Qur’an has been written since the days of Prophet Muhammad’s companions — keeping the letters close to one another.
Taha spent years perfecting his technique of evenly distributing the words in every line so that the space between the lettering is consistent throughout every page of every book, which means eliminating many of the script combinations that make such consistency difficult.
He explained to Arab News that when he is working on his Qur’an calligraphy he is transported: “When I begin writing the Holy Qur’an, I resort to solitude to allow myself to be invested in the verses and their interpretation, forgetting about the world around me,” he said. “I wish the verses about Jannah (heaven) would never end, and my hand trembles when I write the verses about Jahannam (hell).”