Researcher helps discover Saudi archaeological sites, petroglyphs

Murdhi Jalbakh Al-Fahiqi said that old scripts, such as Musnadian, Thamudian, and Nabataean, are not far from the Arabic language. (Supplied)
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Murdhi Jalbakh Al-Fahiqi said that old scripts, such as Musnadian, Thamudian, and Nabataean, are not far from the Arabic language. (Supplied)
Researcher helps discover Saudi archaeological sites, petroglyphs
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Researcher helps discover Saudi archaeological sites, petroglyphs
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Researcher helps discover Saudi archaeological sites, petroglyphs
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Researcher helps discover Saudi archaeological sites, petroglyphs
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Updated 15 March 2022

Researcher helps discover Saudi archaeological sites, petroglyphs

Murdhi Jalbakh Al-Fahiqi said that old scripts, such as Musnadian, Thamudian, and Nabataean, are not far from the Arabic language. (Supplied)

MAKKAH: Saudi researcher Murdhi Jalbakh Al-Fahiqi has helped with the discovery of archaeological sites and petroglyphs in Tabuk, Taima and the northern region, delivering antiquities that have been selected as masterpieces and displayed in countries around the world.
His interest in research began more than 20 years ago, and his fieldwork has unearthed Aramaic, Dadaani, Nabataean, and Thamudian inscriptions, and prehistoric drawings depicting the daily activities of Stone Age people.
“As a researcher interested in antiquities, I provided the National Museum with more than 24 antiquities, including Aramaic, Lehayani and Thamudian,” he told Arab News. “I also guided authorities to archaeological sites, the most important of which are cumulative burial sites west of Taima, circular burial sites south of Taima, as well as stone installations near Taima Great Wall.”

The pieces I handed over were chosen from among the masterpieces of the Kingdom’s antiquities that were presented to some countries of the world.

Murdhi Jalbakh Al-Fahiqi

He was featured in Prince Sultan bin Salman’s book “Friends of Antiquities” as someone who was interested in antiquities and inscriptions. “The pieces I handed over were chosen from among the masterpieces of the Kingdom’s antiquities that were presented to some countries of the world,” he added.
Al-Fahiqi said that old scripts, such as Musnadian, Thamudian, Safaitic, Lihyanite, Dadaani, Aramaic and Nabataean, were not far from the Arabic language, especially the ancient Arabic dialects known as defunct Arabic or the Arabic of inscriptions.
“The dialects are divided into southern and northern. The area of ancient Arab tribes extending from Damascus to AlUla is full of inscriptions. Reading and translating the symbols, writings and inscriptions of the rocks show that the northern Arabic alphabet consisted of 28 letters and, according to scientific and historical studies and archaeological surveys, it is a classical Arabic language.
“The ancient southern Arabic dialects that spread in the south of the Arabian Peninsula consisted of 29 letters, which focused on geometric consistency in writing.”
As for the Nabataean script, from which the Hejazi Arabic script was derived, Al-Fahiqi said it consisted of 22 consonant characters. Although it was a script used by the northern Arab tribes, it belonged to a family of other scripts as it came from the Aramaic line, whose alphabet also consisted of 22 consonant characters.
It was used by the Aramaic tribes that inhabited the far north of Arabia, and they were the ones who derived the Aramaic script from the Phoenician script and developed it.
He said that Saudi universities taught ancient languages in the peninsula, especially in tourism and archaeology colleges, and in scientific centers abroad such as the Islamic University of Minnesota, and in European universities in Germany, Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Russia.
He said that Orientalists began arriving in the Arabian Peninsula about 200 years ago to explore its history and study its legacies.
Those interested in the Thamudian inscriptions included the German linguist Emil Rieder in 1837, followed by his compatriot Wilhelm Philippe Schimper in 1841, then the Frenchman Charles Huber, who arrived in northern Saudi Arabia and collected about 130 Thamudian inscriptions from Taima, Jebel Hasma, and Madaen Saleh.
In 1882, he collected Thamudian inscriptions from the region of Hail. Huber made a third trip to Taima, Tabuk, AlUla and Al-Jawf and collected about 825 inscriptions.
He was followed by the German researcher Julius Euting, who collected about 800 Thamudian inscriptions.
The English traveler Charles Doughty, who made expeditions in 1875 and 1877 to the north of the Arabian Peninsula, was followed by a number of Orientalists such as John Philby, Lankester Harding, and others.
Between them they collected many Thamudian, Musnadian, Nabataean and other inscriptions.
Al-Fahiqi said the inscriptions were a historical asset because they talked about the history of the Kingdom and its deeply rooted civilizations.
Saudi Arabia was, he explained, an open-air museum that included thousands of ancient inscriptions from different eras, as shown by archaeological discoveries such as those related to the beginning of horse domestication and the oldest human bone in history, as well as ancient trade routes.
They revealed information about the social, economic, political and religious conditions in the Arabian Peninsula, and provided many insights into names, families, tribes and kingdoms.
They also revealed linguistic and biblical content, serving as an important historical source for the pre-Islamic ages.
Rock inscriptions reveal different types of ancient scripts, including Thamudian, Safaitic, Sabi, Lihyanite, Dadaani, Nabatean, Aramaic, Greek and early Islamic inscriptions.
They are generally spread over a large area of the Kingdom’s territory to the north and south.
Nabatean inscriptions are concentrated in the area of AlUla, Al-Hijr, Tabuk and Taima.
Thamudian inscriptions are mainly concentrated in Hail, Al-Jawf, Qassim, the Northern Borders, and the area of Tabuk around Taima governorate.
The inscriptions of the Sabi and Minaean scripts are spread in the south of the Kingdom in Najran, around the area of Hima, Al-Ukhdud, Tuwaiq and the Al- Kawkab Mountains, Al-Faw, the capital of the first Kindah kingdom in Wadi Al-Dawasir, and the region of AlUla around the site of Al-Khriba.


Saudi education commission approves 2023-2027 strategic plan

Saudi education commission approves 2023-2027 strategic plan
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi education commission approves 2023-2027 strategic plan

Saudi education commission approves 2023-2027 strategic plan

RIYADH: The Board of Directors of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC) has approved its strategic plan for the years 2023-2027.

The ETEC is the competent authority in the Kingdom to evaluate, measure and approve qualifications in education and training.

It covers the public and private sector and raises the quality of education in service of the economy and national development.

The four-year plan aims to develop the education and training sector in an effort to reach a world-leading Saudi model for the industry.

The Saudi model is designed to achieve national development and economic growth through the commission’s work with relevant national authorities.

It also aims to raise the quality of outputs to meet the needs of the labor market and Vision 2030’s Human Capacity Development Program.

The strategic plan covers students, trainees, learning outcomes, practitioners, institutions, programs, the education and training system, and the internal capabilities of the ETEC.

Its objectives are to improve student learning outcomes and performance through modern curricula standards and assessments, and to enhance the excellence and quality of education and training professionals by setting higher standards, granting licenses and pushing the pace of excellence in the field.

This is attained by conducting effective reviews, evaluation and accreditation processes, in addition to establishing a culture of continuous improvement of the education and training system, providing data-based advice to support national decision-making, and developing and strengthening the internal capabilities of the ETEC.

The plan also includes a number of initiatives, projects, performance indicators and targets that fall under the evaluation programs: the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the National Assessment Program for University Achievement.

The commission’s board of directors also approved updated academic accreditation standards in order to raise performance.


Saudi trainee pilot dies after aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 

Saudi trainee pilot dies after aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 
Updated 28 min 21 sec ago

Saudi trainee pilot dies after aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 

Saudi trainee pilot dies after aircraft crashes in Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport 
  • A team was sent to the site of the crash to investigate the cause and circumstances, the bureau said

A Saudi trainee pilot died when the plane he was flying crashed shortly after taking off from Riyadh’s Al Thumamah Airport, Saudi Arabia’s Aviation Investigation Bureau said on Tuesday. 

"The initial information indicates that the aircraft (Tecnam) took off from Al-Thumama Airport at about 6:30 a.m., with its pilot, a Saudi ‘trainee pilot,’ aboard a training flight," the bureau said in a statement. 

“Five minutes after takeoff, a mayday (distress call) was sent out from the pilot shortly before the connection was lost.”

The pilot was the only person onboard.

A search team was sent by the academy to the site of the crash to investigate the cause and circumstances, the bureau said, adding that the wreckage was located 5 kilometers north of Al-Thumama Airport.

The airport is located about 29 kilometers from the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.


KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp

KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp
Updated 16 August 2022

KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp

KSrelief mobile clinics provide treatment for displaced Yemenis in Walan camp

RIYADH: The mobile medical clinics of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) continued providing treatment services for the displaced in the camp of Walan in Haradh district in Yemen's Hajjah province, state-run Saudi Press Agency repoted. 
During the period from July 27 to Aug. 2, the clinics received 222 people with various health conditions, and provided them with the necessary medical services.
The clinics also provided 185 individuals with medications.
Moreover, KSrelief continued distributing food baskets in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.
Some 1,856 food baskets were distributed to the needy people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, benefiting 12,992 people.
This comes within the project to support food security, being implemented by the KSrelief in Pakistan, to alleviate the suffering of the needy and affected people.


Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral

Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral
Updated 16 August 2022

Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral

Saudi man arrested  for shooting gun indiscriminately after video goes viral
  • The culprit has been charged with ‘endangering the lives of others’ state news agency SPA reported

DUBAI: A Saudi national was arrested in Najran city on Tuesday after he fired random shots from a personal weapon.
The culprit has been charged with ‘endangering the lives of others’ state news agency SPA reported. 
Another man, also a Saudi national, was arrested for documenting and publishing a video of the incident on social media. 
The incident comes a day after SPA reported a similar incident, which occurred in a governorate near Riyadh, where a man fired a machine gun ‘indiscriminately’ in a public place – he was arrested and now faces prosecution.


Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 

Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 
Updated 16 August 2022

Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 

Philippines’ foreign affairs minister meets with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador 
  • The two officials discussed issues of mutual concern

The Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo, met with Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to his country Hisham bin Sultan Al-Qahtani, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The two officials discussed issues of mutual concern and ways to enhance bilateral relations between the Kingdom and the Philippines, according to SPA. 

After Monday’s meeting, Manalo said on his official Twitter page: “I had a good meeting with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Hisham Sultan Al-Qahtani, where we exchanged views on points of collaboration beneficial to both our peoples.”