Sun to align over Kaaba on Sunday

Sun to align over Kaaba on Sunday
The sun rises directly over the holy city of Makkah at noon Friday, providing residents and visitors a glimpse of the rare cosmic phenomenon that happens only twice a year. (SPA/File)
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Updated 15 July 2023
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Sun to align over Kaaba on Sunday

Sun to align over Kaaba on Sunday
  • The celestial phenomenon, called “zero shadow,” occurs twice every year at the Grand Mosque
  • Countries that fall in latitudes below 23.5 degrees north or south experience this phenomenon twice a year

JEDDAH: The sun will pass directly above the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Sunday at 12:26 p.m. local time, astronomers have said.
The celestial phenomenon, called “zero shadow,” occurs twice every year at the Grand Mosque because of its location between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer.
This event occurs as the sun traverses the meridian, reaching a solar altitude of about 90 degrees, its zenith, around the time of the Duhr prayer in the Grand Mosque.
Majed Abu Zahra, head of the Jeddah Astronomical Society, said that due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis, the sun travels at 23.5 degrees, resulting in a yearly transition between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and Tropic of Capricorn in the south. This transition occurs as the Earth rotates around the sun.
Countries that fall in latitudes below 23.5 degrees north or south experience this phenomenon twice a year, but at different times depending on their specific latitude. These events are primarily observed in areas located between the equator and the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Abu Zahra said that during the “zero shadow” event, people can manually determine the exact direction of the Kaaba with an accuracy similar to smartphone apps.
By placing a wooden stick vertically in the ground at 12:26 p.m. Riyadh time; the qibla will be in the opposite direction of the stick’s shadow, owing to the sun’s position directly above the Kaaba.
The same phenomenon occurred this year earlier in May, and will occur again in May 2024.


Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq officials have been meeting in Baghdad to discuss border-security issues, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Shayie bin Salem Al-Wadaani, director-general of Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards, led the Kingdom’s delegation at Iraq’s Ministry of Interior headquarters.

During the meeting, the officials discussed ways to enhance security cooperation, the SPA reported.


Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting

Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting

Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting
  • King Salman is undergoing treatment for lung inflammation
  • Crown prince briefed council on outcomes of Arab League Summit

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made reassuring comments about King Salman’s health during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The king underwent medical tests at royal clinics at Al-Salam Palace on Sunday after he suffered from a high temperature and joint pain, SPA said. 

He was diagnosed with lung inflammation and prescribed a course of antibiotics as treatement at the palace in Jeddah.

The crown prince also briefed the council on the outcomes of the Arab League Summit, emphasizing the Kingdom's commitment to Arab issues, joint action development, regional security enhancement, and defending Arab interests.

Minister of Information Salman bin Youssef Al-Dosari stated after the session that the council discussed recent state activities, particularly efforts to strengthen regional and international cooperation.

The council affirmed the Kingdom's commitment to international cooperation in combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and corruption.

The Saudi cabinet also granted authority to the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, to finalize a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan on energy cooperation. 

The cabinet also approved the Kingdom's accession to an international agreement on wetlands of international importance, particularly as habitats for waterbirds.


Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation

Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation

Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Farhan met in Tokyo on Tuesday his Japanese counterpart Masahito Moriyama.

The pair discussed enhancing cultural cooperation between the two countries within the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030.

Prince Badr said the Kingdom’s participation in Expo 2025 Osaka will offer opportunities to learn about the Saudi culture, history, and future vision.

Moriyama thanked Prince Badr for the Saudi ministry’s efforts in opening new horizons to enhance cultural exchange between the two countries.


Saudi deputy foreign minister offers condolences to Iran over death of president

Saudi deputy foreign minister offers condolences to Iran over death of president
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi deputy foreign minister offers condolences to Iran over death of president

Saudi deputy foreign minister offers condolences to Iran over death of president
  • Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian died on Sunday when their helicopter crashed in dense fog

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Waleed Elkhereiji, on Tuesday offered condolences and sympathy to Iran following the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash.

Elkhereiji delivered the message, on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, to the Iranian ambassador to the Kingdom, Alireza Enayatiat, at the nation’s embassy in Riyadh, the Saudi foreign ministry said. He was accompanied by Abdulmajeed Al-Samari, the deputy minister for protocol affairs, who similarly expressed his condolences.

The Iranian president, foreign minister and six other people were killed on Sunday when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed amid dense fog in mountainous terrain near the border with Azerbaijan.


Saudi Arabia, Japan leaders exchange views in video summit meeting

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a productive video meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday. (SPA)
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a productive video meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia, Japan leaders exchange views in video summit meeting

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a productive video meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday. (SPA)
  • The crown prince expressed his desire to visit Japan as soon as possible to further strengthen ties with Japan
  • Kishida expressed his wishes for King Salman’s early recovery

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a productive video meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the prime minister of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.
Kishida offered his best wishes for King Salman’s health, a gesture that was appreciated by the crown prince.
The crown prince expressed his desire to visit Japan as soon as possible to further strengthen ties with Japan. Kishida expressed his wishes for King Salman’s early recovery and said that he was also looking forward to strengthening the strategic partnership between Japan and Saudi Arabia, according to the foreign ministry in Tokyo.
As the two countries approach the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, the Japanese prime minister expressed his desire to work even more closely with Saudi Arabia. He emphasized the shared goal of realizing peace and stability in the Middle East, a sentiment that was echoed by the crown prince. The leaders agreed to establish a “strategic partnership council” chaired by them to further strengthen bilateral relations.
Kishida expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s stable supply of crude oil to Japan over the years. He also expressed his anticipation for Saudi Arabia to continue playing a leading role in stabilizing the global oil market, including through production increases, a sentiment that was appreciated by the crown prince.
Kishida added that he would like to cooperate in establishing a global supply chain for clean energy, such as hydrogen and ammonia, and promote cooperation in the field of mineral resources while using Japanese technology under the “lighthouse initiative” agreed between the two countries in July last year.
The crown prince said that Saudi Arabia would like to cooperate with Japan in various areas, including clean energy, and the Kingdom remained committed to providing a stable supply of crude oil to Japan.
Kishida expressed interest in creating business opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and making direct investments in Japan in a wide range of fields, including construction, power transmission, hydrogen, digital fields, information and communications technology, space, health, medicine, food and agriculture.
He also said that he would like to work together to achieve an early realization of the Japan-GCC free trade agreement. This agreement, once implemented, will significantly boost trade and investment between Japan and the GCC countries, creating new business opportunities and fostering economic growth. Negotiations are scheduled to resume soon.
The crown prince said that he welcomed the resumption of negotiations for the Japan-GCC free trade agreement and cooperation with Japan in fields beyond energy.
On peace and security, Kishida explained Japan’s diplomatic efforts and contributions in Gaza, including humanitarian aid and diplomatic initiatives. The crown prince said that he envisioned continued cooperation with Japan on diplomatic efforts to realize peace and stability, appreciating Japan’s active role in the region.
Kishida said that he would be pleased to hand over the symbolic “torch” of the expo to Saudi Arabia following Expo 2025 in Osaka-Kansai. This act symbolizes the continuation of the spirit of international cooperation and cultural exchange. He added that he would like to encourage cultural exchanges in entertainment, tourism, academia and football.
The crown prince said that Japan was an outstanding country in terms of culture and that he sought to strengthen cooperation with Japan in this area.
Read More: Saudi, Japan discuss ties at Vision 2030 business forum in Tokyo