Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques

Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
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Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
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Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
3 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
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Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
5 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
6 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
7 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
8 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
9 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
10 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
11 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
12 / 12
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month. (Supplied)
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Updated 23 March 2022

Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques

Major operational plans unveiled for Ramadan at Two Holy Mosques
  • Al-Sudais said everything was being done to ensure the provision of the best possible services and environment for worshippers to perform their rituals with ease

MAKKAH: Major organizational plans for Ramadan covering the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah were on Monday unveiled by Saudi government officials.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the launch of one the biggest ever operations at the two sites for the holy month.

Speaking during a press conference held at general presidency headquarters in Makkah, alongside Minister of Commerce and acting Minister of Media Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, he pointed out that despite the gradual easing of precautionary measures against COVID-19, health and safety practices would continue to be applied at the same levels as during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Sudais said everything was being done to ensure the provision of the best possible services and environment for worshippers to perform their rituals with ease.

He noted that the latest technology had been employed to improve the visitor experience including artificial intelligence systems, digitization programs, and electronic apps in a range of languages.

Nearly 12,000 male and female workers had been lined up to cater for the needs of pilgrims during Ramadan, and the Third Saudi Expansion, the King Fahd Expansion, and all the courtyards of the Grand Mosque would be open for worshippers, Al-Sudais added.

The presidency had also allocated the courtyard, ground floor, and basement of the Mataf for pilgrims only in order to ensure the smooth flow of people, while special attention had been paid to the elderly and those with disabilities through the designation of specific paths and dedicated sites equipped with the latest technologies.

After a two-year hiatus, Al-Sudais announced the return of iftar travel to the Grand Mosque by issuing 2,000 permits, adding that Zamzam water would be sent to soldiers stationed on the Kingdom’s southern borders throughout the fasting period.

Al-Qasabi said: “I am honored to participate in the general presidency’s inauguration of the Ramadan plan, and its media campaign for 2022, which enhances the role of the media in conveying the voice and message of the Two Holy Mosques to the whole world, and broadcasting translated Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers live, in addition to the targeted awareness and educational programs.”

General presidency spokesman, Hani bin Hosni Haidar, said seven members of the Council of Senior Scholars would participate in lessons at the Grand Mosque, while the teachers at the Makkah site would offer 425 lessons for visitors and pilgrims. He noted that the general presidency would also be providing three hi-tech awareness centers to support its vision 2024 aims, with 60 sheikhs on hand to answer questions.

Haidar pointed out the use of AI and interactive screens, including the deployment of robots for sterilization work, distributing Zamzam water, and answering inquiries, and the installation of eight interactive, 34 spatial guidance, and four guidance screens in different languages.

He added that the King Abdulaziz, King Fahd, and Baab-al-Salaam gates had been allocated for the entry and exit of pilgrims, along with 144 entrance doors for worshippers, and the Ajyad, Al-Shabaka, and Al-Marwah bridges.


Saudi Arabia signs a $10 million memorandum of understanding to help solve the Safer oil tanker crisis

Saudi Arabia signs a $10 million memorandum of understanding to help solve the Safer oil tanker crisis
Updated 7 sec ago

Saudi Arabia signs a $10 million memorandum of understanding to help solve the Safer oil tanker crisis

Saudi Arabia signs a $10 million memorandum of understanding to help solve the Safer oil tanker crisis

Saudi Arabia sends fifth aid plane to Pakistan 

Saudi Arabia sends fifth aid plane to Pakistan 
Updated 25 min 38 sec ago

Saudi Arabia sends fifth aid plane to Pakistan 

Saudi Arabia sends fifth aid plane to Pakistan 

Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian organization KSRelief sent its fourth and fifth aid plane to Pakistan for victims of the deadly floods, SPA reported on Sunday. 

The humanitarian efforts were directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

The relief materials were received by the National Authority for Natural Disaster Management to be distributed to the affected people in a number of regions in Pakistan.


Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs meets with Egypt’s Minister of Endowments 

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs meets with Egypt’s Minister of Endowments 
Updated 25 September 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs meets with Egypt’s Minister of Endowments 

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs meets with Egypt’s Minister of Endowments 
  • The two officials met on the sidelines of the 33rd International Conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh met with Egypt’s Minister of Endowments Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Jumaa on Saturday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 

The two officials met on the sidelines of the 33rd International Conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs currently being held in Egypt, in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt Osama bin Ahmed Nuqali.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed a number of issues of common interest in the Islamic field, serving Islamic work in accordance with the approach of moderation, combating hate speech, and confronting extremism, according to SPA. 

The Egyptian minister said that the Kingdom has been the pioneer of the Islamic world and its efforts in serving the Two Holy Mosques are appreciated by Muslims all over the world, SPA reported. 

He also highlighted the distinction of the Kingdom’s participation in the conference, which he described as a scientific and intellectual addition.


Community of Adidas Runners bids to empower Riyadh women

Community of Adidas Runners bids to empower Riyadh women
Updated 24 September 2022

Community of Adidas Runners bids to empower Riyadh women

Community of Adidas Runners bids to empower Riyadh women
  • The group brings together people from various walks of life and uniting them with the goal of becoming a better version of themselves

RIYADH: As the sounds of Fajr (early morning) prayers are heard in Riyadh, the sun still submissive to the night sky, you will find a group of women around Wadi Hanifa every Wednesday, pounding a path for anywhere between 4 and 8 km.

Adidas Runners is an international community of joggers and runners that brings together people from various walks of life, uniting them with the goal of becoming a better version of themselves.

Their women’s-only group creates a safe space for individuals to empower each other to achieve their aspirations.

The runners see the 4 a.m. wake-up call as a small price to pay for the experience, given the health benefits and friendships it brings them.

Asma Azhari, 31, has never considered herself the consistent athletic type. From mindful yoga to swimming sessions and breezy bike rides, she wanted to try it all and never committed to just one discipline. Only in June 2021 did she discover the Adidas Runners community.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Asma Azhari, 31, has never considered herself the consistent athletic type. From mindful yoga to swimming sessions and breezy bike rides, she wanted to try it all and never committed to just one discipline. Only in June 2021 did she discover the Adidas Runners community. The thought of a women’s-only running club intrigued her, but the first steps toward commitment were discouraging.

• Another member, Hadeel Ashour, told Arab News: ‘I don’t think that if I started off running on my own in public, I would be as motivated and persistent in the sport as I am today.’ Ashour, 23, had been physically active for years, but a year on from discovering Adidas Runners, she has found that her training helps to complement her participation in CrossFit (interval training) and cycling.

• Club member Nourah Alshehri, 38, told Arab News: ‘I’m ecstatic for all the wonderful positive transformations in my country and the justice that women have obtained in various fields. I am very fortunate to have experienced fair regulations and laws that guarantee freedom for everyone without harming anyone or anything.’

The thought of a women’s-only running club intrigued her, but the first steps toward commitment were discouraging.

“I felt like dying,” she said. “It was my first run and I thought, ‘I am not cut out for this sport.’ But after a few months I tried again, and committed even though it was way out of my comfort zone. And here I am now, a runner,” she told Arab News.

While she began her journey barely completing the 4K run, Azhari is now training for her first 21K trail race. She aims to participate in a full international marathon next year.

What kept her coming back every week was the community surrounding the running group. She said: “The people, the spirit, the energy, the commitment that everybody shows every single morning before sunrise, and of course the love and support everyone is getting, all of these aspects helped to get me into running. I’m loving it.”

On a personal level, running has benefited her by laying the groundwork for discipline in many aspects of her life, including work and family. It has also done much for her physical and mental health. “Sports should be accessible for everyone regardless of gender, age and ethnicity,” she said.

Another member, Hadeel Ashour, told Arab News: “I don’t think that if I started off running on my own in public, I would be as motivated and persistent in the sport as I am today.”

Ashour, 23, had been physically active for years, but a year on from discovering Adidas Runners, she has found that her training helps to complement her participation in CrossFit (interval training) and cycling.

She said: “I generally love outdoor sports and activities that give me a sense of community. Running for me was a beautiful combination of both these things.”

While the health benefits of running are plenty, including better sleep and eating habits, Ashour emphasized the mental profits of the exercise.

For her, running has helped cope with anxiety, build patience and create consistency in many aspects of her life.

She added: “I started running in a stage of my life when I was most vulnerable and unconfident. Running has liberated me from these negative feelings and restored my confidence in myself.”

The group is working toward creating the first-ever women’s training program to run a 5K, starting on Oct. 22 and free to all women in Riyadh.

Ashour is now planning to take part in her first Riyadh 10K, but has set her sights even higher.

She said: “My goal now is training to run the 20K distance in the Tuwaiq Hope Trail Race in November. In the far future, I hope to run full marathons and ultra-marathons both locally and internationally, and aid in expanding the community in Riyadh.”

Like Azhari, Ashour found a home within the running community, which changed her perception of women running in public.

She added: “I had the pleasure to meet strong and influential fellow runners who never failed to push me forward and explore my limits.

“Though the number of women runners is not that big, the presence and persistence of the few makes a big difference. We women are unstoppable when we run together.”

Club member Nourah Alshehri, 38, told Arab News: “I’m ecstatic for all the wonderful positive transformations in my country and the justice that women have obtained in various fields.

“I am very fortunate to have experienced fair regulations and laws that guarantee freedom for everyone without harming anyone or anything."

 The first-ever women’s-only race will take place on Dec. 24 in pursuit of creating a safe and healthy running culture for all in Riyadh.

 


Global Islamic Refugee Fund launched with $100m deposit

KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner sign an a cooperation agreement. (SPA)
KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner sign an a cooperation agreement. (SPA)
Updated 24 September 2022

Global Islamic Refugee Fund launched with $100m deposit

KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner sign an a cooperation agreement. (SPA)
  • The fund will help millions of refugees and displaced persons and their host communities around the world

NEW YORK: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, recently represented the Kingdom at the launch ceremony of the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees.

The fund is supported by UNHCR and the Islamic Development Bank’s Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, with an initial amount of $100 million, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

In his speech, Al-Rabeeah expressed his happiness about the fruitful partnership between UNHCR and IDB to help millions of people around the world who are forcibly displaced, by offering constant support for refugees and displaced persons and their host communities.

HIGHLIGHT

The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development has donated $50 million to the endowment account, while the UNHCR has donated $50 million to the nonendowment account, as an initial capital to launch this initiative with $100 million. The fund also aims to raise additional capital of $400 million as a minimum target by allowing donations from people wishing to contribute.

He noted the importance of strengthening collective action and partnership to better respond and develop innovative, sustainable and comprehensive solutions, in line with the 17th sustainable development goal.

Al-Rabeeah said that the Kingdom was optimistic about UNHCR and IDB’s partnership, which embodies the values of humanity, justice and equality in developing innovative solutions for the refugee crisis.

Al-Rabeeah said: “Amid an increasing number of crises around the world, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation region accommodates the largest number of refugees in the world; we are all aware and fulfill our responsibility by providing all the refugees and displaced people’s needs to lead a safe, healthy and decent life.”

He said that the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees “would help us achieve this humanitarian objective, and given the significant economic challenges the world is facing and due to the limited donor base, this is the best time to present innovative ways to increase the funding modalities.”

Al-Rabeeah said that Islam encourages charitable work, that zakat is the duty of all Muslims who are capable of donating, and that this was the best time to establish the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees. He indicated that the success of this fund relies on the participation of authorized partners and project-based funding, with a transparent monitoring process.

Addressing the needs of refugees and displaced people in the OIC region is an example of zakat and charitable funding, he said, wishing the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees success.

The Global Islamic Fund for Refugees is to be a financing tool for refugees, in compliance with the provisions and principles of Islamic Shariah.

This fund consists of an endowment and nonendowment account to receive and invest donations, in accordance with Islamic financing’s principles. The revenue is deposited in a trust account to fund the response programs for refugees, displaced people and their host communities in the IDB member states.

The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development has donated $50 million to the endowment account, while the UNHCR has donated $50 million to the nonendowment account, as an initial capital to launch this initiative with $100 million.

The fund also aims to raise additional capital of $400 million as a minimum target by allowing donations from people wishing to contribute.