Muslim World League, Catholic university sign cooperation agreement

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, and UCSC Rector Franco Anelli during the signing of a partnership agreement in Rome. (SPA)
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Updated 21 January 2020

Muslim World League, Catholic university sign cooperation agreement

ROME: Upon his recent invitation to the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC), the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) presented a lecture on friendship between nations and peoples. 

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa cited many examples of the positive relationship between the Islamic and Christian worlds, a relationship that has been recently reinforced through increased dialogue between the MWL and the Vatican. He emphasized the importance of cooperation based on mutual values and natural law. 

Al-Issa announced the launch of a global initiative that the MWL will be working on to further positive relations across religious and national divides. 

He spoke on the value of friendship, lamenting the various factors that threaten bonds between people, including political and religious extremism. 

Friendship

Al-Issa praised his friendship with Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, saying he was happy to see him visit Saudi Arabia and meet with King Salman. 

Al-Issa and UCSC Rector Franco Anelli signed a partnership agreement between the MWL and the university that aims to develop and improve Arabic-language programs and Arab and Islamic cultural research activities at the university. 

In recent years, the Catholic university has undertaken various initiatives to promote Arabic language and culture.  

Research

Through this partnership, the MWL and the UCSC seek to enhance research in these fields, with plans to implement theoretical and applied research programs at the university’s Arabic Language Research Center. 


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 26 May 2020

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.