Saudi Arabia allows mosques to open for Friday prayers

Visitors walk on the esplanade in front of the Hasan Anani mosque in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 May 2020

Saudi Arabia allows mosques to open for Friday prayers

  • Mosques will open for Friday prayers in all regions except Makkah
  • Imams must ensure worshippers abide by health instructions

RIYADH: Mosques in Saudi Arabia are to reopen for Friday prayers this week as the Kingdom relaxes measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs said mosques will be open to the public for the weekly prayers from May 31 until June 20, except in Makkah.
A circular issued to mosque staff by Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Asheikh, the Islamic affairs minister, said windows and doors must be open at all times and copies of the Qur’an must be temporarily withdrawn.
“Worshippers must keep two meters apart and leave a row of space empty between each row,” he said.
“They must also wear face masks at all times, bring their own prayer mats and perform ablution at home.”
Imams must ensure worshippers avoid crowding when entering and exiting the mosques and children under 15 are not allowed to enter.
Water coolers and the distribution of food and drinks are not permitted, as well as incense and miswak, which is used to clean teeth. Mosques must also close all toilets and places of ablution.
The instructions follow other announcements in the Kingdom relaxing aspects of the lockdown, including reducing curfews and allowing more movement of people. 
The circular to mosque staff also said educational programs and workshops for memorizing the Qur’an should continue remotely online until further notice.
Smaller mosques can open 15 minutes before the call to prayer and should close 10 minutes after they finish.
Mosques with larger crowds can open 20 minutes before prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish, and the sermon should not last more than 15 minutes.
The Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which attract millions of travelers from around the world, will remain suspended until further notice, the ministry said.


Saudi Arabia opens world’s largest camel hospital

Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal, left, during a briefing on the world’s largest camel hospital that he inaugurated in Buraidah on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 07 July 2020

Saudi Arabia opens world’s largest camel hospital

  • The emir also toured sheds spread over a large area which can accommodate 4,000 riding camels at the same time

Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal on Sunday inaugurated the world’s biggest camel hospital in Buraidah. The Salam Veterinary Hospital will also have a modern research facility to diagnose diseases related to camels.
The governor said the project worth SR100 million is a national achievement and it will help enhance veterinary facilities in the Kingdom.
Prince Faisal toured the facility’s specialized central laboratories equipped with modern devices to conduct over 160 different types of analyses.
The emir also toured sheds spread over a large area which can accommodate  4,000 riding camels at the same time.
He was briefed on the model for the young camels unit, the ICU, CT scan unit, and the surgical theaters. The hospital is constructed on an area of 70,000 sq. meters.
Among the goals for establishing the hospital is to bring about a shift in embryology and the traditional fertilization process of camels, whose age ranges between 25 to 30 years. At present, they produce seven young camels per season. Additionally, the hospital will contribute to raising the rate of fetal production in camels from 100 fetuses to 700.