Diriyah’s historic role in annual Hajj pilgrimage

The historic town, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, was established to cater for groups of travelers passing through Al-Yamamah region, in terrain that traditionally presented many dangers and challenges. (Supplied)
The historic town, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, was established to cater for groups of travelers passing through Al-Yamamah region, in terrain that traditionally presented many dangers and challenges. (Supplied)
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Updated 05 July 2022

Diriyah’s historic role in annual Hajj pilgrimage

The historic town was established to cater for groups of travelers passing through Al-Yamamah region. (Supplied)
  • Under the rule of Manea Al-Muraydi, Diriyah became one of the greatest states of the Arabian Peninsula

JEDDAH: For almost 600 years, Diriyah has been a key stopping-off point for caravans of pilgrims en route to perform Hajj.

The historic town, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, was established to cater for groups of travelers passing through Al-Yamamah region – Najd in modern-day Saudi Arabia – in terrain that traditionally presented many dangers and challenges.

Diriyah’s strategic position established it as the most important resting spot for worshippers headed for Makkah on the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Wadi Hanifah provided the chance to stock up on food and water for the journey along historic routes such as the Qiddiya highway, Seven Bends Way, and Al-Nasrah pass.

FASTFACT

• Diriyah’s strategic position established it as most important resting spot for worshippers headed for Makkah on the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

• Wadi Hanifah provided the chance to stock up on food and water for the journey along historic routes such as the Qiddiya highway, Seven Bends Way, and Al-Nasrah pass.

Under the rule of Manea Al-Muraydi, Diriyah became one of the greatest states of the Arabian Peninsula. In later years, his son Abdulaziz expanded by adding new districts in a bid to boost financial revenues and he played a major part in securing more Hajj routes and offering high-quality services to pilgrims during Hajj season.

Imam Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed, the state’s third leader, became the first Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The area of his rule also covered the shores of the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, making movement safe for pilgrims traveling along different routes.

The modern-day Saudi leadership has continued to work toward improving Hajj services and accessibility for worshippers making their way through the country to perform their religious duties, and the Kingdom now hosts millions of pilgrims and visitors every year.


Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents

Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents
Updated 24 sec ago

Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents

Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents
  • Yemeni residents can pay fees for the service until Aug. 23

RIYADH: Yemenis residing in Saudi Arabia will have their visitor IDs automatically extended for six months until Dec. 7, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

In an SPA statement, the General Directorate of Passports said the six-month extension applies to Yemeni residents who regularly renew their visitor IDs.

Beneficiaries would be required to pay the fees in a service available until Aug. 23.

“The extension will be done automatically without the need to visit the directorate’s offices,” the authority said.


Saudi artist with a disability blows minds with his paintings

Ahmed Hakeem’s paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar. (Supplied)
Ahmed Hakeem’s paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar. (Supplied)
Updated 56 min 51 sec ago

Saudi artist with a disability blows minds with his paintings

Ahmed Hakeem’s paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar. (Supplied)
  • Ahmed Hakeem’s love of creativity helps him to forget the difficulties he faces to draw some amazing art pieces
  • Hakeem has not let his disability be an impediment to what he likes doing, which is painting

RIYADH: With joy, Ahmed Hakeem holds his brush, starts picking vibrant colors, and then he paints cubic and abstract shapes on an empty canvas.

Hakeem is a 34-year-old Saudi artist who has a mild intellectual disability. Individuals with mild ID are slower in all areas of conceptual development and social and daily living skills.

But Hakeem’s love of art helps him to forget the difficulties he faces as a person with a disability to draw some amazing art pieces. He has not let his disability be an impediment to what he likes doing, which is painting.

Not only that he is good at painting, but he is also an athlete. He is a good swimmer, he plays basketball, he loves running, he has won bronze and silver medals in sports.

He is also good at ping pong, padel, hiking, and loves animals.

During the pandemic, Hakeem unleashed his creative side and started to learn to paint. He enrolled in classes, and he started drawing abstract and cubic art.

FASTFACTS

• Hakeem is a 34-year- old Saudi artist who has a mild intellectual disability. Individuals with mild ID are slower in all areas of conceptual development and social and daily living skills.

• He has not let his disability be an impediment to what he likes doing, which is painting.

• He is also an athlete. He is a good swimmer, he plays basketball, he loves running, he has won bronze and silver medals in sports.

His paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar, which is a help center and non-profit organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities, and he wants to have his own gallery in the future.

Hakeem, who works at Juffali Heavy Equipment as an assistant, also talked about how hard it is for people with disabilities to find a good job.

“You need to know about the challenges that I am having with the community in general. Most people with disabilities are usually unemployed and don’t have access to powerful governmental aid, but their families have to enroll them in special clubs, and this can be financially stressful to the parents, so there is a lack of community and activities for us,” Hakeem told Arab News.

Nour Hakeem, his sister, said: “Because Hakeem looks normal and is not in a wheelchair, many places we go, they see him as a normal person, and every time we go out, I have to have proof that he is mentally challenged, which is very hard.”

“Even though the plane’s tickets are more expensive than the economy ticket and the discount they give us isn’t that much, so basically we book him a normal economy ticket but hopefully with time this is going to change soon because there is more attention by the authorities on people with disabilities,” she said.

According to APD, the official association of people with disabilities, the percentage of people with disabilities in the Kingdom is 7.1 percent, or 1,445,723 people out of a population 32.94 million. The association is set to organize its efforts and build an integrated institutional system to remove barriers to people with disabilities and empower them to live in society without discrimination.

 


King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans

King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans. (SPA)
King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans. (SPA)
Updated 07 August 2022

King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans

King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans. (SPA)
  • The King Fahd National Library recently added to its collection Chinese books donated by the National Library of China

RIYADH: The King Fahd National Library has opened an exhibition of rare Arabic manuscripts, including medieval copies of the Qur’an, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The library’s Secretary-General Dr. Mansour bin Abdullah Al-Zamil launched the opening, which includes books printed prior to the Kingdom’s unification during the reign of King Abdulaziz.
Saleh Al-Aboudi, director of the library’s Anecdotes and Collections Department, gave a presentation explaining the exhibition’s contents, which boasts Qur’ans dating back to the third century AH as well as local manuscripts, miniatures, antiquities, inscriptions, and other Arab and Saudi publications.
The King Fahd National Library recently added to its collection Chinese books donated by the National Library of China.
The books — covering subjects including history, economy, tourism and culture — are distributed in Arabic and English. They include literature related to China, including books on the Chinese language and children’s books, which serve as an opportunity for Saudis to get to know the country and its culture.

 


Makkah governor receives US consul general in Jeddah

Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Updated 07 August 2022

Makkah governor receives US consul general in Jeddah

Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah. (Supplied)
  • Faris’ other past assignments include assistant information officer in Amman, Jordan, and public diplomacy officer with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq

MAKKAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal received US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah on Sunday.
They discussed topics of common interest. Asad also concurrently serves as the US representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, headquartered in Jeddah. He joined the US Department of State in 2004 as a foreign service officer.
Most recently, Faris served as political chief at the US Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from 2018-2020.
Faris’ other past assignments include assistant information officer in Amman, Jordan, and public diplomacy officer with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq.

 


 


Saudi aid agency inaugurates 2nd phase of free eye surgery projects in Yemen

KSrelief inaugurates 2nd phase of free eye surgery projects in Yemen. (SPA)
KSrelief inaugurates 2nd phase of free eye surgery projects in Yemen. (SPA)
Updated 07 August 2022

Saudi aid agency inaugurates 2nd phase of free eye surgery projects in Yemen

KSrelief inaugurates 2nd phase of free eye surgery projects in Yemen. (SPA)
  • The Noor Saudi program aims to perform 6,000 specialized eye surgeries over the course of the year

ADEN: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center launched on Friday the second phase of its project to provide free eye surgeries, part of the Noor Saudi program, which will be implemented in the governorates of Aden and Mukalla, Yemen.
Director of the KSrelief office in Aden Saleh Al-Thibani said that the campaign aims to combat blindness and assist patients who cannot afford the costs of treatment.
The Noor Saudi program aims to perform 6,000 specialized eye surgeries over the course of the year, which will be implemented following a series of projects to cover as many patients in need of eye operations as possible.
Each project, Al-Thibani explained, consists of performing 400 operations, in addition to providing necessary medicines and eyeglasses.
Undersecretary of the Yemeni Ministry of Health Dr. Ahmed Al-Kamal expressed appreciation for the center’s continuous support of the Yemeni health sector and its humanitarian work in the country.
KSrelief concluded the volunteer training program in Mukalla on Sunday.  

Around 712 individuals benefitted from the program that focused on providing first aid for bicycle accident victims, common injuries, life  psychological first aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training among others.