Hajj brings peace to those who lost their loved ones

Hajj brings peace to those who lost their loved ones
Oum Walid, a 69-year-old Egyptian lady, performed Hajj for her late husband. (Hula Bashattah/AN)
Short Url
Updated 30 June 2023
Follow

Hajj brings peace to those who lost their loved ones

Hajj brings peace to those who lost their loved ones

MINA, Saudi Arabia: On the first day of Tashreeq, when pilgrims flock to Jamarat in Mina to throw stones at the devil, Arab News in French met at Jamarat Al-Aqaba Oum Walid, a 69-year-old Egyptian lady who was performing Hajj for her late husband.

She was seated in the shade, reading the Qur’an.

Oum Walid told Arab News: “This year, I am performing the pilgrimage for my husband. He died in 1994.

“I found myself alone in raising my four children. The first three knew their father, but my youngest did not have the chance to. I thank God for his goodness and mercy. My kids have grown up, they’ve graduated, they’re married, and they have kids,” she said.

This is not Oum Walid’s first pilgrimage; she performed one for herself back in 1997.

“After many years and with the help and support of my children, I came this year for my late husband, the father of my children,” she said.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, and performing it is an obligation for those physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah. In cases in which a person is experiencing severe financial hardship or a serious illness that does not allow him or her to travel, it is possible to delegate a family member or a friend to perform Hajj or Umrah. Some write it in their will, so that after they have passed away, a loved one may perform the pilgrimage on their behalf. In order to perform Hajj on behalf of someone, the delegated person must have performed Hajj and Umrah before.

Oum Walid hailed this year’s Hajj organization, saying: “We have been well received. The military, the scouts, and the volunteers who came to our aid all showed patience and generosity. They carried out their mission with seriousness.”

Arab News left Oum Walid on her chair, happy to have accomplished what she had always wanted — to come to Makkah and perform Hajj for her late beloved husband.


Princess Seetah award honors pioneers in social work

Princess Seetah award honors pioneers in social work
Updated 11 sec ago
Follow

Princess Seetah award honors pioneers in social work

Princess Seetah award honors pioneers in social work
  • Minister announces eight winners of prestigious Saudi accolade in Riyadh

RIYADH: Eight community partnership leaders have received the 11th Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Award for Excellence in Social Work.

Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi announced the winners of the prestigious Saudi accolade in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Established in 2012 by royal decree, the Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Foundation for Excellence in Social Work encourages and supports community upliftment programs.

The award aims to encourage competition among pioneers of social work, and to support excellence in social work both locally and internationally.

A total of 1,177 candidates applied for the 11th award. Among them, 95 advanced to the scientific evaluation stage, and 15 to the final judging stage. Following thorough screening and field visits for each candidate, the judging committee selected eight winners.

Al-Rajhi, chairman of the board of the foundation, praised the award, highlighting its societal value and pioneering role and alignment with the ministry’s objectives for community development, national initiatives and innovation.

A number of princes and individuals interested in social work attended the ceremony for the Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Excellence Award for Social Work in Riyadh. (Supplied)

Princess Nouf bint Abdullah bin Saud Al-Kabeer, chair of the foundation’s executive committee, said that the award was in line with the state’s direction in social work.

She stressed the award’s pivotal role in fostering and motivating creative work while adopting ideas, initiatives and projects for regional development in social, humanitarian and charitable work within the Kingdom.

Princess Nouf praised the award’s diverse partnerships with government, non-government and civil society organizations. These partnerships enhanced the award’s objectives, especially in empowering young individuals and improving their skills.

Dr. Fahad Al-Maghlouth, the foundation’s secretary-general, said that the common goal was to serve the nation and enhance citizens’ lives.

He said that the 11th award’s theme, “Community Partnerships in Meeting Humanitarian Needs,” reflected Saudi Arabia’s support for the social sector.

Al-Maghlouth also highlighted the award’s interest in human needs and its efforts to align with the state’s objectives, asserting that social responsibility was a collective obligation for all.

The excellence in national achievement award went to Mohammed bin Saleh Albuty, CEO of the National Housing Co., and Firas Aba Al-Khail, deputy general manager of business at the Human Resources Development Fund.

The excellence in Islamic endowment award went to Mansour bin Mohammed Al-Jumaih, deputy secretary-general of the Mohamed Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Jomaih Endowments Foundation.

The excellence in social work programs award went to Nora Al-Rashid, deputy chairperson of the board of the Abdul Moneim Al-Rashid Humanitarian Foundation.

Prince Sultan bin Salman received the award in the category of excellence for social work pioneers.

The corporate social responsibility award went to Mohammed Al-Abbadi, CEO of the transport and operators unit at Saudi Telecommunication Co., and Abdulmalik Al-Rajhi, chairman of the board of Hail Cement Co.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Mushaikeh, a former member of the Saudi Shoura Council, received the environmental sustainability award.


Klaija Festival boosts local economy with $5.3m in sales

Klaija Festival boosts local economy with $5.3m in sales
Updated 2 min 52 sec ago
Follow

Klaija Festival boosts local economy with $5.3m in sales

Klaija Festival boosts local economy with $5.3m in sales
  • The 20-day event, which ended on Feb. 27, was held at the King Khalid Cultural Center

RIYADH: The 15th Klaija Festival in Buraidah has recorded SR20 million ($5.3 million) in sales, marking a boost to the local economy.

The 20-day event, which ended on Feb. 27, was held at the King Khalid Cultural Center.

Over 20,000 people visited the festival each day which is held annually to boost local entrepreneurship, cuisine and handicrafts.

Organized by the Qassim Chamber of Commerce, the festival featured participants from Gulf countries, along with 217 families and 20 craftsmen specializing in handicrafts.

In response to the increased demand and attendance, Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal had extended the festival by 10 days.

Nayef Al-Mansaleh, the executive director of the festival, said more than 700 young men and women from various organizations had supported the event.

The klaija dessert is one of the leading products of the region and has helped to create jobs for local producers. Klaija’s ingredients include wheat flour, sugar, lemon, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and molasses. The dough is stuffed with some of the ingredients and baked to a crisp.

Diplomats from Ghana, Finland, Algeria, Maldives, accompanied by their families, had attended the event in Buraidah earlier this month.


Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project

Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project
Updated 28 February 2024
Follow

Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project

Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project
  • Ithra in Dhahran hosts event which includes Alexandria and Rabat
  • Goal is to read 500,000 pages and plant 5,000 trees in 3 Arab cities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture launches Thursday a three-day reading marathon and anti-desertification project, that will take place in three Arab cities.

Also known as Ithra, the center will host the event in cooperation with the Library of Alexandria and the Moroccan National Library. It will be held simultaneously in the Kingdom’s city of Dhahran, Alexandria in Egypt and Rabat in Morocco, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The center is promoting reading, especially in public libraries, and all three cities will ensure a tree is planted for every 100 pages read.

The aim is to have participants read 500,000 pages and plant 5,000 trees.

To plant the trees, the Ithra center is working with the National Center for Vegetation Development to Combat Desertification in Saudi Arabia, and authorities in Egypt and Morocco.

Each reader will receive a commemorative medal for participating.

Bronze medals will be awarded to those who read 100 pages, silver for 200 pages, and gold for 1,000 pages.

The first edition of the marathon was held inside the Ithra library, achieving 162,000 pages read and 1,622 trees planted. The second edition was also held in the Ithra library and two libraries in Riyadh and Tabuk, with 422,000 pages read and 4,222 trees planted.

The planting of seedlings took place in October in the Al-Ahsa National Park with the participation of several readers.


Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh

Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh
Updated 28 February 2024
Follow

Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh

Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh
  • Saudi-Ukrainian relations, latest developments in Ukrainian-Russian war were discussed
  • Crown prince stressed Kingdom’s support for all international efforts aimed at resolving crisis

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Riyadh on Tuesday.

During their meeting, aspects of Saudi-Ukrainian relations were reviewed, and the latest developments in the Ukrainian-Russian war were discussed, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The crown prince stressed the Kingdom’s support for all international endeavors and efforts aimed at resolving the crisis and achieving peace, and continuing efforts to alleviate the humanitarian repercussions of the war. 

Zelensky wrote on social media platform X that he would discuss prisoners of war and deportees with the crown prince.

“The Kingdom’s leadership has already contributed to the release of our people. I am confident that this meeting will also yield results,” he wrote. 

The crown prince was involved in securing the release of 10 foreign prisoners captured in Ukraine in September 2022 which then enabled a major prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine.

The president added that he will discuss “promising areas of economic cooperation and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction” during his visit. 

Zelensky left Riyadh later on Tuesday evening and was seen off by deputy govenor of Riyadh Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz.


Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy

Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy
Updated 28 February 2024
Follow

Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy

Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy
  • The parties discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the countries in digital government

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha on Tuesday met his Qatari counterpart Mohammed Al-Mannai in Doha, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The parties discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the countries in digital government and the digital economy, and techniques to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship system.

“This is in line with the aspirations of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council to support and strengthen the partnership between the two brotherly countries,” the SPA’s statement said.

The meeting was attended by several leaders of national technology companies in the fields of business, digital transformation, and digital health solutions, along with other representatives from both parties.