MAKKAH: For the benefit of elderly pilgrims, a program called Ijlal has been implemented to provide guidance on rituals, facilitate services and direct them toward designated prayer halls.
The program is an initiative of the Field Awareness Affairs Agency, represented by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
Director of the Grand Mosque Authority Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Shehithi explained that the Shariah urges Muslims to be kind and gentle, especially toward the elderly.
Shehithi told Arab News that the initiative came at the directive of the head of the general presidency, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais.
Regular follow-ups are conducted by the agency’s Undersecretary Majid Al-Saeedi to ensure all services are being efficiently implemented.
Rania Shoudry, a volunteer at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, said: “Volunteer work reinforces many moral and humanitarian concepts that Islam urges us to follow…(such as) serving pilgrims by honoring and respecting the elderly who have traveled to perform their rituals.
“It is our duty, as volunteers, to provide all the necessary services to ensure that visitors spend a wonderful time in the Kingdom.”
She stressed that serving pilgrims, particularly the elderly, is an honor volunteers are eager to fulfill throughout the year, especially during the month of Ramadan.
Providing such services has a positive impact that leaves a lasting memory in the hearts of pilgrims, said Shoudry.
RIYADH: The ninth Saudi plane carrying aid for the Sudanese people arrived at Port Sudan International Airport on Sunday.
The plane was carrying 30 tons of food and medical supplies, and is part of a Saudi initiative to provide $100 million in humanitarian aid to Sudan.
On Sunday, the Kingdom and the US called on warring sides in Sudan to extend a fragile cease-fire due to expire on Monday, as weeks of fighting reached a stalemate in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
“While imperfect, an extension nonetheless will facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people,” the statement said.
Saudi technical team arrives in Syria to discuss reopening of embassy in Damascus
During the meeting, the head of the Saudi technical team expressed gratitude to the Syrian side for the warm welcome extended to the team
Updated 28 May 2023
RIYADH: A Saudi technical team arrived on Saturday in Syria, to discuss the reopening of Saudi Arabia's embassy in Damascus, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The reopening the Saudi embassy in Damascus comes after the Kingdom’s foreign ministry announced in April the decision of resuming diplomatic mission work in Syria.
The Saudi technical team, headed by Minister of Plenipotentiary, Ghazi bin Rafi Al-Anzi met with assistant foreign and expatriates Minister Ayman Sousan at the Syrian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Damascus.
During the meeting, the head of the Saudi technical team expressed gratitude to the Syrian side for the warm welcome extended to the team.
The decision comes after the Arab League welcomed back Syria’s government, ending a more than decade-long suspension.
Saudi climate envoy meets Panama deputy environment minister
Updated 28 May 2023
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s envoy for climate affairs met Panama’s deputy environment minister, the Saudi foreign ministry said on Sunday.
Saudi Minister of State Adel Al-Jubeir held discussion with Domilluis Dominguez on Saturday.
They discussed environmental and climate change cooperation and ways to enhance them. The minister outlined the Saudi efforts in this regard, including plans such as the Saudi and Middle East green initiatives.
The meeting was attended by the non-resident Saudi ambassador to Panama, Dr. Hassan Al-Ansari, and the Director General of the Office of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs ambassador Khalid bin Musaed Al-Anqari.
Al-Jubeir met senior Panamanian ministers on Friday as he continued his South American tour.
Saudi Arabia, US urge Sudan’s warring parties to discuss truce extension
The truce is set to expire on May 29
Protection of humanitarian assistance urged
Updated 28 May 2023
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the US are urging Sudan’s warring sides to work to work on extending a short-term truce currently in force in the country.
“Saudi Arabia and the US call on the Sudanese Armed Forces & the Rapid Support Forces to continue discussions to reach an agreement on extending the ceasefire that is set to expire on May 29,” the Saudi foreign affairs ministry said in a statement early on Sunday.
The statements said while imperfect an extension would allow for humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people.
Saudi Arabia and the US, who brokered the current ceasefire, urged the sides to continue to adhere to their obligations even if an extension deal isn’t reach before May 29. The parties signed a Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan agreement in Jeddah, safeguarding humanitarian assistance and access.
Hundreds of people have died after intense urban warfare and thousands have either been injured or have fled for safety since the conflict began in April as the army faced off against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
Japanese calligrapher teaches her art one stroke at a time
She told Arab News: “Seeing how Saudis love anime and manga, I wanted to show them that we have more art forms to offer, such as calligraphy”
Fans of Japanese culture get the chance to learn traditional art forms at City Walk
Updated 27 May 2023
JEDDAH: Japanese calligrapher Yoshimi Fujii is conducting workshops at the Anime Village in City Walk Jeddah, offering participants the chance to learn more about different Japanese art forms.
Fujii, who has achieved the highest level in the Japanese form of calligraphy known as suihou, is based in Dubai and is making her second trip to the Kingdom.
“I’m thrilled to receive an invitation to come here (Saudi Arabia) and teach people of Jeddah the Japanese calligraphy and art of manga (Japanese comic),” she said.
Fujii conducted similar calligraphy workshops and a live show during the Riyadh Season on her first trip.
With a warm smile on her face, she explained to participants how to write in Japanese using traditional calligraphy brushes and special Japanese ink.
“Each line is made with one stroke only,” she said, adding: “Don’t redo it or try to fill the gaps.”
• Yoshimi Fujii, a Japanese calligrapher, is conducting workshops at the Anime Village in City Walk.
• Fujii’s calligraphy workshop is conducted three times a day to allow a large number of visitors to take part.
• This week, Fujii will conduct another workshop about traditional Japanese origami, the art of making different shapes out of paper.
She told Arab News: “Seeing how Saudis love anime and manga, I wanted to show them that we have more art forms to offer, such as calligraphy.”
Fujii said she is enjoying the reactions of the participants, even when they get confused about which direction to start writing in Japanese, which is from top to bottom, unlike Arabic, which is written from right to left.
The workshop is conducted three times a day to allow a large number of visitors to take part.
Rana Alnemari, 21, said that she loved Japanese culture and wanted to learn to write her name in Japanese characters.
“The new characters of the Japanese alphabet really caught my interest and I really had fun learning something new today,” she said. “I might even take professional courses for Japanese calligraphy in the future.”
Wejdan Alomari, 22, said that she joined the calligraphy workshop because she was intrigued by the Japanese writing style.
Seeing how Saudis love anime and manga, I wanted to show them that we have more art forms to offer, such as calligraphy.
Yoshimi Fujii, Japanese calligrapher
“It feels more like a drawing than simple writing,” she said.
Rana Alsaimi, 22, told Arab News that these types of workshops give her an opportunity to try new things like “using traditional Japanese brush to write instead of a calligraphy pen.”
Next week, Fujii will conduct another workshop about traditional Japanese origami, the art of making different shapes out of paper.
Participants will learn how to make Pokemon shapes using origami techniques.