ThePlace: Al-Musma mountains, located in Saudi Arabia’s Hail region

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Updated 17 October 2020

ThePlace: Al-Musma mountains, located in Saudi Arabia’s Hail region

  • The trips of Uting and Huber documented a number of Arab and Nabataean inscriptions, as well as primitive drawings of animals

The dramatic Al-Musma mountains in the Hail region of Saudi Arabia are known for their distinctive rock formations and engravings from ancient civilizations.
The range surrounds Hail from the west extending 180 kilometers from the peaks of Al-Aarqoub in the south to Al-Nafud Al-Kabir in the north, taking in mountains such as Ghadab, Sahya, Al-Mudhaibeh, Al-Sataiha, Al-Auja, and Makhrouqa.
Formerly referred to as the Mahjar range (meaning mountains surrounded by sand, inscriptions, and historical landmarks), it has been described as one of the best places in the Kingdom to stargaze.
The area is also a popular destination for amateur and professional photographers from throughout the Kingdom, the Gulf region, and the world. The location of Al-Musma mountains, with their unusual rock shapes, caught the attention of many distinguished European travelers including German Louis Uting, French explorer Charles Huber in 1884, Gertro Debel from Britain, Czechoslovakian Louis Mussel, British adventurer Charles Doughty in 1845, and Italian journeyman Carlo Guarmani in 1860.
The trips of Uting and Huber documented a number of Arab and Nabataean inscriptions, as well as primitive drawings of animals. Today, the mountains are a magnet for hikers and play host to numerous other recreational and sporting activities.

Virus vaccine waiting on Saudi ‘green light’

A man works in a laboratory of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing, China, September 24, 2020. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 min 18 sec ago

Virus vaccine waiting on Saudi ‘green light’

  • Health Ministry reports 398 new COVID-19 cases, 404 recoveries, 20 deaths

JEDDAH: China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine is set to be administered to Saudi patients after passing third stage clinical trials, but remains on hold until approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) signed an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 to be distributed to about 7,000 health workers.
The vaccine has passed the third stage of trials at the King Abdullah Center for the National Guard.
“So far there have been no health complications or allergic reactions in those who have tried the vaccine, except for a fever or mild migraine, but that is normal when vaccination is administered with any virus,” said Aref Al-Amri, head of the Department of Biomolecules and Cytogenetics at the regional laboratory in Riyadh.


The total number of coronavirus cases in KSA reached 346,880.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom reached 333,409.

KAIMRC’s vaccine unit was among 10 global bodies chosen to test and evaluate several vaccines as part of an international alliance by the World Health Organization, CEPI and NIBSC.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 20 new COVID-19-related deaths on Friday, raising the death toll to 5,383. There were 398 new cases reported in the Kingdom, meaning 346,880 people have contracted the disease. There are 8,088 active cases, 766 of which are in critical condition.
According to the Health Ministry, 53 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, while Makkah recorded 32 and Jeddah 37. The ministry also announced that 404 more patients had recovered from the virus, bringing total recoveries in the Kingdom to 333,409.
There were 56,255 polymerase chain reaction tests conducted in the past day, bringing total test numbers to more than 8 million.