Saudi Arabia’s public library coin collection reveals history of Islamic world

The King Abdulaziz Public Library’s coin collection falls within its strategy to preserve Arab and islamic heritage. (SPA)
The King Abdulaziz Public Library’s coin collection falls within its strategy to preserve Arab and islamic heritage. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 03 September 2023
Follow

Saudi Arabia’s public library coin collection reveals history of Islamic world

The King Abdulaziz Public Library’s coin collection falls within its strategy to preserve Arab and islamic heritage. (SPA)
  • The Islamic currency began its development at the beginning of the year 692 A.D. during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Abd Al-Malik ibn Marwan
  • The King Abdulaziz Public Library’s coin collection covers all Islamic periods of the past 1,400 years

RIYADH: Historical coins from around the Arab and Islamic world are prominent artifacts that can reveal the religious, political, economic, social, and artistic events that occurred in the era they originated. The King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh boasts a collection of more than 8,100 historical coins made of gold, silver and other metals.

The study of these coins is related to various areas of life as well as to the countries and places where they were minted. The coinage process took place in many Arab and Islamic nations and regions, including Makkah and Madinah, as well as the Islamic Caliphate’s locations, namely in Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Tunisia and Andalusia.

Initially, dinars were minted in the same way as Byzantine bronze coins — portraying the Roman ruler Heraclius with his two sons — at the mint in Alexandria. The Islamic currency began its development at the beginning of the year 692 A.D. during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Abd Al-Malik ibn Marwan.

NUMBER

8k+

The King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh boasts a collection of more than 8,100 historical coins made of gold, silver and other metals.

The King Abdulaziz Public Library’s coin collection covers all Islamic periods of the past 1,400 years. The collection also has a wide geographical coverage which includes India and Central Asia in the East, Morocco and Andalusia in the West, the Caucasus in the North, and Yemen and Oman in the South.

According to some experts, the coins at the library are part of one of the most important and distinguished collections preserved in the Kingdom. The library possesses rare Arab and Islamic coins dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, Ayyubid, Atabeg, Seljuk and Mamluk eras, which were found in the Islamic Levant and Maghreb countries until the Ottoman era.

The first Arab Islamic dinar can be found at the library; it is distinguished by the fact that it is the first Arab Islamic coin to be minted, given that the coins used in the early Islamic era were minted in non-Islamic countries.

According to a report by Saudi Press Agency, the coin is engraved with the inscription of the Shahadah (Islamic testimony of faith), and the obverse shows “a pole on four stands topped with a small ball to the right and Iota Beta in Greek to the left, which refers to the number 12.” The reverse of the coin shows “an image of three persons, the Byzantine emperor and his two sons, wearing Arab traditional costumes which are different from the Byzantine costumes that appear on the Byzantine dinar.” It weighs 3.1 grams with a diameter of 18.3 millimeters.

Most of the Islamic coins at the library cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The library’s collection includes a Sasanian Arab dirham minted in Damascus in 695 A.D., and an Abbasid dirham minted in Basra in 758 A.D. during the reign of Caliph Abu Jaafar Al-Mansour. The term “slave” (originally written in Arabic “abed”) is engraved under the writings on the obverse of the Abbasid dirham coin, which distinguishes it from other coins minted during the reign of Caliph Al-Mansour as well as from those minted in Basra. It is noteworthy that the aforementioned term was never engraved on the coins minted earlier during the caliph’s reign.

The dirham is a valuable addition to the library’s collection, which also includes the Tulunid dinar minted in Palestine in 906 A.D. and the Makkah dinar minted in 1060 A.D., in addition to other coins belonging to the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Arab and Islamic coins at the library fall within its cultural and knowledge strategy to preserve Arab and Islamic heritage using books, documents, photos, and artifacts in order to provide researchers and scholars with diverse historical material, and to highlight the valuable heritage of the Kingdom.

Coins are indexed and classified according to the scientific methods used in classifying international coin collections, and the library creates a database including all the basic data for each coin. The data is entered into an automated system available to the library’s researchers and specialists.

 


Saudi military industries authority to participate in Farnborough airshow

Saudi military industries authority to participate in Farnborough airshow
Updated 49 min 3 sec ago
Follow

Saudi military industries authority to participate in Farnborough airshow

Saudi military industries authority to participate in Farnborough airshow
  • Participation in FIA aims to highlight the capabilities of the Saudi military and defense industries sector
  • GAMI welcomes investors from around the world who are interested in investing in the military industries sector

RIYADH: The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) will participate in the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) 2024, one of the world’s largest and most influential defense and aerospace exhibitions.

The event will occur from July 22 to 26, 2024, in Hampshire, London, United Kingdom.

GAMI aims to showcase its efforts in developing the military industries sector in Saudi Arabia, with the goal of enhancing national military manufacturing capabilities and making the sector a significant contributor to the Saudi economy and its defense and security independence.

The participation in FIA aims to highlight the capabilities of the Saudi military and defense industries sector and the achievements made by GAMI in building industrial and service capabilities in the Kingdom, in line with its strategic role in localizing over 50 percent of government spending on military equipment and services by 2030.

GAMI welcomes investors from around the world who are interested in investing in the promising military industries sector in the Kingdom.

The authority will showcase the supply chains it has established for small and medium-sized local and foreign companies as part of its efforts to create numerous investment opportunities in the military industries sector, in addition to strengthening international partnerships to achieve strategic independence for the military industries.

This will enable the sector to develop military and security systems and industries.

This participation comes at a time of rapid development and localization in the military industries sector in the Kingdom, as well as an increase in investment opportunities and abundant local capabilities to meet the operational needs of military devices.

It is in line with the Kingdom’s focus on the sector by creating strategic partnerships and engaging with international investors interested in investing in Saudi Arabia.


AlUla forges ahead with prestigious accreditation award

AlUla forges ahead with prestigious accreditation award
Updated 17 July 2024
Follow

AlUla forges ahead with prestigious accreditation award

AlUla forges ahead with prestigious accreditation award
  • Process required satisfying more than 100 performance standards
  • Phillip Jones: Completing the DMAP is a significant milestone for AlUla as we strive to develop a tourism industry and eco-system that is best-in-class and future-thinking

ALULA, Saudi Arabia: AlUla, with its seamless blend of ancient and modern, has been awarded a prestigious internationally recognized accreditation.

The oasis city has achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the first destination in the Middle East to be accredited by Destinations International; the USA based global association for destination professionals, as officially announced today at the Destinations International Annual Convention in Florida.

The accreditation falls under the Destination Marketing Accreditation Programme (DMAP), an industry standard for quality and professionalism among destination organizations and comes a year after AlUla made history by becoming the first member of Destinations International from the Middle East.

Supported by a calendar of year-round events and authentic hospitality options, AlUla is as one of Saudi Arabia’s main tourism sites and has been operational and open to global tourists for four years. The latest accreditation is testament to AlUla’s vision and mission to spark a new wave of tourism excellence globally, centered around creating a sustainable, community-oriented experience economy.

Phillip Jones, chief tourism officer at the Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “Completing the Destination Marketing Accreditation Programme is a significant milestone for AlUla as we strive to develop a tourism industry and eco-system that is best-in-class and future-thinking. This recognition strengthens our commitment to ensuring the highest standards within our destination, and establishing trust among visitors, community, stakeholders and our partners. By being part of Destinations International, an incubator for best practices, we hope to share our unique methodology with the world and showcase just why AlUla is one of the most innovative and coveted luxury destination in the world right now.”

To receive DMAP accreditation, a destination organization must satisfy more than 100 performance standards in domains including governance, financial management, human resources, sales and marketing, stakeholder engagement and destination development. The standards are set by an independent panel of industry veterans representing a range of destination organizations. Standards are updated regularly to reflect the evolution of best practices in the industry.

For AlUla, this latest recognition adds to several recent accolades. In May, the 2024 World Travel Awards honored AlUla as Middle East’s Leading Festival & Event Destination, Saudi Arabia’s Leading Cultural Tourism Project and Middle East’s Leading Cultural Tourism Project. Also in May, RCU received a five-star rating for organizational excellence from the European Foundation for Quality Management and an award of excellence from the Middle East Facility Management Association.

With its bevy of regional and global accolades, AlUla continues to solidify its status as a leading luxury boutique heritage destination, where travelers can deeply connect with arts and culture, natural beauty, holistic wellness, and thrilling adventure.


RSG partners with Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation to boost adventure tourism

RSG partners with Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation to boost adventure tourism
Updated 17 July 2024
Follow

RSG partners with Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation to boost adventure tourism

RSG partners with Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation to boost adventure tourism
  • Collaboration is set to revolutionize the tourism landscape by offering thrilling experiences while prioritizing safety and professionalism
  • Partnership will be spearheaded by Akun, RSG’s adventure sports brand, responsible for overseeing all hiking, climbing, and adventure experiences within RSG’s destinations

JEDDAH: Red Sea Global has recently announced a partnership with the Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation aimed at enhancing adventure tourism activities across the Red Sea region.

According to the statement, this collaboration is set to revolutionize the tourism landscape by offering thrilling experiences while prioritizing safety and professionalism.

The partnership will be spearheaded by Akun, RSG’s adventure sports brand responsible for overseeing all hiking, climbing, and adventure experiences within RSG’s destinations, including The Red Sea and AMAALA.

Nicholas King, group chief development officer at Red Sea Global, emphasized the importance of combining adventure with luxury tourism, stating in a press release: “Our partnership with the Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation is ensuring that Akun can offer invigorating experiences that complement the elegance of our resorts in a safe and professional manner. Together, we are propelling the adventure tourism industry across the Red Sea region.”

Through this collaboration, trainees from SCHF will have the opportunity to gain experience through internships with Akun, while also benefiting from training and support provided by qualified SCHF trainers.

Yasmin Gahtani, managing director at SCHF, highlighted the landscapes of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast and expressed the desire to showcase these stunning terrains through climbing and hiking experiences.

She said: “Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, especially along the Red Sea coast. We want to help Saudis and the world discover this dramatic terrain by opening it to exhilarating, yet safe, climbing and hiking experiences. Through this partnership, we can make Saudi and the Red Sea a must-visit destination for the most avid climbers, hikers, and thrill-seekers.”

To promote the Red Sea region as a premier adventure destination, RSG and SCHF plan to host a series of local, regional, and international events, including climbing competitions, hiking events, and festivals.

According to the statement, the federation’s technical and safety assessments will help certify RSG’s developments as world-class adventure destinations.

Looking ahead, RSG and SCHF are exploring the creation of hiking and climbing content tailored to the Red Sea region. This resource will offer valuable information on trails, climbing sites, logistical details, and safety guidelines, positioning the Red Sea as a premier hub for outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.


Training for budding nuclear engineers launched in Saudi Arabia

Training for budding nuclear engineers launched in Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 July 2024
Follow

Training for budding nuclear engineers launched in Saudi Arabia

Training for budding nuclear engineers launched in Saudi Arabia
  • Eight-week program will be held partly in Saudi Arabia and later at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute in South Korea

RIYADH: The Kingdom has launched a summer training program for aspiring nuclear engineers, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The initiative, spearheaded by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, targets undergraduate nuclear engineering students.

According to the SPA, the eight-week program will be held partly in Saudi Arabia and later at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute in South Korea.

The curriculum includes lectures and practical experiments, in addition to visits to nuclear facilities and reactors in South Korea.

According to the SPA, the initiative is a part of the Kingdom’s plan to develop an educated workforce for its nuclear energy industry.


Saudi crown prince congratulates Iran’s President Pezeshkian on his election win

Saudi crown prince congratulates Iran’s President Pezeshkian on his election win
Updated 17 July 2024
Follow

Saudi crown prince congratulates Iran’s President Pezeshkian on his election win

Saudi crown prince congratulates Iran’s President Pezeshkian on his election win

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has congratulated Iranian President Masoud Pezeshkian on his victory in the presidential elections, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. 

During a phone call, the crown prince and the Iranian president praised the “development of bilateral relations between the two countries on several levels, stressing the importance of continuing to enhance cooperation in various fields,” SPA added.

The Iranian president expressed his thanks and appreciation to the crown prince for his good feelings.