Bahrain king receives Saudi foreign minister in Manama

Bahrain king receives Saudi foreign minister in Manama
Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Bahrain’s King Hamad. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 28 September 2023
Follow

Bahrain king receives Saudi foreign minister in Manama

Bahrain king receives Saudi foreign minister in Manama
  • Officials reviewed the historical ties that unite the two countries

RIYADH: Bahrain’s King Hamad received Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday at Al-Sakhir Palace, Saudi Press Agency reported.
During the reception, Prince Faisal conveyed the greetings of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and their wishes of continued progress and prosperity for Bahrain and its people.
King Hamad extended similar greetings to Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince.
The two discussed historic relations that unite their countries and reviewed the latest developments in regional and international affairs.




Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa at Al-Zahir Palace in Manama. (SPA)


Earlier, Prince Faisal was received by Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa at Al-Zahir Palace where they held a session of talks.
The Bahraini crown prince also held a luncheon in honor of the foreign minister and his accompanying delegation.




Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani in Manama. (SPA) 

Prince Faisal was also received by his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani earlier on Thursday.
The ministers reviewed bilateral ties and ways to strengthen and develop them in various fields of joint cooperation and coordination.
Prince Faisal expressed his sincere condolences on behalf of Saudi Arabia to Bahrain’s leadership and people, and to the families of three Bahraini serviceman who died following a Houthi drone attack on Monday against forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen on the Saudi-Yemeni border.


The sacred sites in Makkah and Madinah that Hajj pilgrims have a chance to experience

The sacred sites in Makkah and Madinah that Hajj pilgrims have a chance to experience
Updated 41 min 29 sec ago
Follow

The sacred sites in Makkah and Madinah that Hajj pilgrims have a chance to experience

The sacred sites in Makkah and Madinah that Hajj pilgrims have a chance to experience
  • The act of welcoming Muslim pilgrims throughout the ages has resulted in a distinct cultural identity and legacy
  • Visitors are urged to gain a deeper insight into the spiritual and historical significance of the two holy cities

JEDDAH: During the pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah, devout Muslims seek out sites that deepen their understanding of Islam and its rich heritage.

The historical sites and archaeological museums in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Madinah Al-Munawara offer a profound educational experience to millions of visitors from around the world who flock to the two holy cities each year.

After completing their religious rites, such as Umrah and Tawaf, and paying their respects at the Haram, pilgrims yearn to immerse themselves in the history of Makkah and Madinah.

With histories going back thousands of years, these cities are embodiments of the origins of Islamic culture, having welcomed pilgrims down the ages and developed a distinct cultural identity in the process of doing so.

The Hira Cultural District in Makkah is among the must-visit landmarks for pilgrims. (SPA)

To grasp the historical importance of these cities and gain a deeper insight into their religious significance, visitors are urged to venture beyond the well-known landmarks like Jannat Ul Mua’lla, the Cave of Hira in Jabal Al-Nour, Mount Arafat and Masjid-e-Ayesha.

Nestled beside the renowned Jabal Al-Nour, the Hira Cultural District offers a distinctive fusion of cultural, historical, and engaging encounters. Encompassing 67,000 square meters, this district offers pilgrims an immersive voyage through time, enabling them to forge a connection with the vibrant history of Makkah.

Near the Haram lies the historic site of Hudaibiyah, where Prophet Muhammad signed the crucial treaty of Hudaibiyah. A mosque now stands at the site, alongside a weathered structure of unknown origin.

A mosque now stands in the historic site of Hudaibiyah, where Prophet Muhammad signed the crucial treaty of Hudaibiyah. (Supplied)

In 809, during a time of extreme water scarcity in Makkah, Queen Zubaida, the wife of Abbasid Caliph Harun Rashid, undertook a pilgrimage to the holy city. Witnessing the challenging conditions faced by pilgrims, she took immediate action by ordering the construction of the Zubaida Canal.

This canal, built more than a thousand years ago, has continued to supply water to pilgrims visiting Makkah ever since. 

Lastly, Mount Abu Qubais, where a miraculous event involving the moon occurred, serves as a reminder of divine intervention in Makkah’s scenery.

One of the must-visit attractions in Makkah is the Assalaamu Aleyka Ayyuhan Nabiyyu Museum, which educates visitors about the life of Prophet Muhammad through innovative displays and artifacts.

By providing glimpses into the type of dwelling he may have inhabited and showcasing clothing from his era, the museum offers a unique insight into his life, allowing guests to delve into the lives of his ancestors, wives, children, and descendants.

The Assalaamu Aleyka Ayyuhan Nabiyyu Museum in Makkah. (Supplied)

The collaborative effort of more than 150 scholars ensures the museum’s authenticity in religious, and archaeological details, creating a comprehensive and accurate portrayal of Prophet Muhammad’s life and legacy.

“I have been guiding pilgrims on deeply spiritual journeys for nearly 15 years, introducing them to the holy city’s lesser-known treasures,” Ahmed Khan, a private tour guide, told Arab News.

“Pilgrims are always thrilled and grateful when we visit sites where the legacy of Prophet Muhammad and the rich heritage of Islam resonate with each step.”

Another private tour guide, Aman Javaid, emphasized the importance of providing pilgrims with accurate information about the sites they visit.

“It’s crucial for me to ensure that I share all the correct details about these places,” he told Arab News. “Many pilgrims often mention the Cave of Hira, but I make it a point to take them to the Cave of Thawr as well.

The Thawr Cave, located in the Jabal Thawr mopuntain, is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companion Abu Bakr hid from the Quraysh during the migration to Madinah. (Supplied)

“This revered site is where the Prophet Muhammad and his companion Abu Bakr sought refuge during their migration to Madinah. Sharing the story of how they escaped their enemies and found solace there always piques the pilgrims’ interest. I make sure I have comprehensive knowledge about these sacred sites.”

The Cave of Thawr underscores the importance of seeking refuge and divine guidance during adversity, marking a pivotal moment in Islamic history. Pilgrims honor the legacy of the prophet and Abu Bakr by offering prayers and paying their respects in this sacred place.

Located at the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, the Makkah Al-Mukarramah Library serves as a hub for knowledge and research. With a collection of more than 350,000 rare books and manuscripts, this esteemed institution stands as a testament to Makkah’s cultural and intellectual heritage.

Within the King Abdulaziz Complex lies the renowned Kiswa Factory, where artisans annually produce the exquisite black silk coverings for the Holy Kaaba. Adorned with intricate silver and gold embroidery and Quranic inscriptions, these coverings are a symbol of reverence and tradition.

Inside the King Abdul Aziz Complex, workers fabricate the kiswa, the cover of the Holy Kaaba. (AN photo/File)

The factory, now known as the King Abdulaziz Complex for Kiswa, showcases the artistry of silk knitting and embroidery, preserving a centuries-old craft.

Madinah, as the second holiest city in Islam, holds immense importance for Muslims undertaking Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages. Pilgrims visit to pay their respects at renowned mosques and historical sites steeped in cultural and religious significance.

The city is home to historic mosques dating back to the time of Prophet Muhammad, offering a spiritually enriching experience.

Masjid Al-Qiblatain stands out with its traditional design and renowned twin mihrabs, where it is believed Prophet Muhammad received a divine command to change the qibla direction. Rebuilt during King Fahd’s reign, this mosque remains a beautiful and significant place for prayers in Madinah.

Masjid Al-Qiblatain, meaning “two directions,” was built two years after Prophet Mohammed arrived in Madinah, a city known for its rich Islamic history, and a customary stop for millions of Umrah and Hajj pilgrims every year. (SPA)

Another notable site is Masjid Abu Bakr, honoring the first caliph and close companion of the prophet, reflecting the deep bond between Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhammad through its modest yet serene setting and inviting visitors to draw inspiration from Abu Bakr’s unwavering faith.

Among the historic mosques in Madinah, Masjid Al-Ahzab holds a significant place in Islamic culture, marking the site of a pivotal battle where the prophet’s du’a led to victory.

Meanwhile, Masjid Al-Ghamamah, though small in size, remains an important site for seeking blessings during ziyarat in Madinah. Visitors are encouraged to respect the mosque’s guidelines, including observing prayer times and maintaining modesty, to fully appreciate the spiritual significance of these revered locations.

Another fascinating site relates to the Battle of the Trench, also known as the Khandak Battle — a significant military confrontation in 624 between the Muslims of Madinah and the Makkan army, which was attempting to suppress the spread of Islam.

The Khandak Mosque stands in the place where the Khandak Battle took place in 624 between the Muslims of Madinah and the Makkan army, which was attempting to suppress the spread of Islam. (Supplied)

Fought near the Badr wells, it proved to be a decisive victory for the Muslims, highlighting their strength and Prophet Muhammad’s leadership.

Likewise, the Garden of Hazrat Salman Farsi in Madinah is a historic site where Prophet Muhammad planted 300 date palms to free Salman Farsi from slavery. Located near Masjid Quba, the garden remains lush with date palm trees and features a date shop for visitors to enjoy tea amid the greenery.

Meanwhile, the city’s oldest museum, Al-Madinah Museum, highlights Islamic history and the life of Prophet Muhammad through rare artifacts and models of city landmarks.

A general view of the Hira Cultural District in Makkah. (SPA)

Similarly, As Safiyyah Museum and Park, located near the Prophet’s Mosque, offers a unique cultural experience with a focus on educational enrichment and enjoyment.

The centerpiece is the Story of Creation Museum, which utilizes advanced technology to visually depict the creation narrative.

Madinah's Safiyyah Museum and Park, located near the Prophet’s Mosque. (Supplied)

Finally, the Hejaz Railway Museum is housed in the historic railway station and provides insights into the significance of the Hejaz Railway, which was built to facilitate pilgrimages to the holy cities. The museum displays vintage locomotives, historical photographs, and documents detailing the railway’s history.

These sites not only deepen pilgrims’ understanding of Islamic history but also foster a greater appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Through these visits, pilgrims connect with the legacy of their faith, making their pilgrimage a truly holistic journey.
 

 


SDAIA develops AI-powered Smart Makkah Operations Center to serve Hajj pilgrims

SDAIA develops AI-powered Smart Makkah Operations Center to serve Hajj pilgrims
Updated 17 June 2024
Follow

SDAIA develops AI-powered Smart Makkah Operations Center to serve Hajj pilgrims

SDAIA develops AI-powered Smart Makkah Operations Center to serve Hajj pilgrims
  • The operations center uses the latest technologies based on AI techniques to do so

MAKKAH: The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) has developed the Smart Makkah Operations Center (Smart Moc) to ensure the safety and comfort of Hajj pilgrims and facilitating their movement and the services provided to them, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The operations center uses the latest technologies based on AI techniques to do so, SPA added.

A team of experts in a variety of fields, including programming, data, and AI, are employed at Smart Moc on a round-the-clock basis to monitor the operational processes of the platforms and provide precise analyses of their progress.

This is in accordance with SDAIA's commitment to utilizing the most advanced technologies and AI to assist pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque.

Among the center's major achievements is the "Basier" platform, the first real-time computer vision system in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest crowd management systems in the Middle East, used to manage crowds in the Grand Mosque, regulate their movements, and facilitate the flow of vehicles.


Deputy governor of Makkah region hands over Kaaba Kiswa to gatekeeper

The Kaaba’s Kiswa was handed over to the gatekeeper of the holy site on Monday. (SPA)
The Kaaba’s Kiswa was handed over to the gatekeeper of the holy site on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 17 June 2024
Follow

Deputy governor of Makkah region hands over Kaaba Kiswa to gatekeeper

The Kaaba’s Kiswa was handed over to the gatekeeper of the holy site on Monday. (SPA)
  • The hand-over was signed off by Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah and the deputy chief gatekeeper Abdul Malik bin Taha Al-Shaibi

RIYADH: The deputy governor of the Makkah Region Prince Saud bin Mishal bin Abdulaziz handed over the Kaaba’s Kiswa to the gatekeeper of the holy site on Monday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The hand-over was signed off by Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah and the deputy chief gatekeeper Abdul Malik bin Taha Al-Shaibi.

The Kaaba will be adorned with its new Kiswa on Muharram 1, the stat of the new Islamic year.


Umm Al-Qura University volunteers extend support to pilgrims in Mina during Tashreeq

Umm Al-Qura University volunteers extend support to pilgrims in Mina during Tashreeq
Updated 17 June 2024
Follow

Umm Al-Qura University volunteers extend support to pilgrims in Mina during Tashreeq

Umm Al-Qura University volunteers extend support to pilgrims in Mina during Tashreeq
  • Hajj Volunteer Program was established 12 years ago

MAKKAH: Volunteers from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah continued to provide field health services to pilgrims in Mina on the first day of Tashreeq on Monday, during the 2024 Hajj season.

Ahmad Hassan Mufti, the vice dean of the College of Medicine for Development and Entrepreneurship at the university, told Arab News that the training program, known as the Hajj Volunteer Program, was established 12 years ago.

He said: “It is part of the medicine and surgery bachelor’s program, enabling students to acquire various skills while offering primary health services during the Hajj season.”

Mufti said the medical volunteer program offered five different tracks, and added: “Students in the Makkah hospitals track collaborate with city hospitals to provide healthcare services.”

For the holy sites hospitals and centers track, students offer healthcare services in locations in Mina and Arafat.

Mufti said that students in the education track provide educational materials and awareness programs to pilgrims, helping them to understand health risks and preventive measures.

Meanwhile, the research and innovation track involves students conducting various research projects on health issues during the Hajj season and developing innovations to benefit pilgrims.

Field volunteers are located in sites such as the pedestrian corridor in Mina, as well as the majority of hospitals in the city and holy sites.

Mufti said: “Approximately 600 male and female students are taking part in all tracks this year, with the number increasing annually.”

When the program began 12 years ago, only 30 students participated.

The number of working hours and days varies according to each track. Field teams participate approximately six hours per day, while working hours at hospitals range from eight to 10 hours each day.

Mufti added: “Medical students constitute 90 percent of the participants, but participation is available to other health specialties as well.”

The program aims to assist pilgrims visiting the holy sites but also aims to develop medical professionals.

Students will be equipped with various skills to help with health issues during the Hajj season.

Mufti said: “The program also aims to enhance students’ leadership abilities, train them in handling disasters and emergencies, and teach them effective communication skills with patients from diverse backgrounds.”

The goal of the Hajj Volunteer Program is to enlist volunteer healthcare professionals from various health colleges at Umm Al-Qura University.

This enables them to serve visitors in Hajj and Umrah, as outlined in the principles of volunteering in Saudi Vision 2030. The program aims to inspire students, target future leaders, provide training in disaster management, and help administer emergency medical assistance.


King Salman pays sacrificial animal expenses for 3,322 pilgrims

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. (File/SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. (File/SPA)
Updated 17 June 2024
Follow

King Salman pays sacrificial animal expenses for 3,322 pilgrims

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. (File/SPA)
  • The pilgrims are all guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Hajj, Umrah and Visit and are from 88 countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has paid the expenses for the sacrificial animals of 3,322 Hajj pilgrims at his own expense, Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The pilgrims are all guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Hajj, Umrah and Visit and are from 88 countries.

Most pilgrims are required to slaughter an animal as a reminder of the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim was prepared to offer — of his son, Ismail — as a mark of absolute submission to God.

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh considered the gesture an extension of the king’s generosity toward all Muslims.