Ramadan — a time to bring families closer

Ramadan encourages heightened social interactions among loved ones, with these games playing a central role in the collective experience. (Supplied/Ramadan Season)
Ramadan encourages heightened social interactions among loved ones, with these games playing a central role in the collective experience. (Supplied/Ramadan Season)
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Updated 22 March 2024
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Ramadan — a time to bring families closer

Ramadan — a time to bring families closer
  • Recreational activities and games can strengthen social bonds during the holy month

JEDDAH: From breaking fast together to exploring Ramadan souqs and engaging in fun experiences, the holy month of Ramadan is an opportunity for family and friends to get together and elevate the spirit of togetherness and joy.

While games such as carrom, UNO, Jackaroo, Cluedo, and Jenga are enjoyed throughout the year, they hold a special significance during the month of fasting. Emphasizing the importance of strengthening family ties, Ramadan encourages heightened social interactions among loved ones, with these games playing a central role in the collective experience.

Playing card games such as tarneeb or baloot holds an important place in Saudi culture. Following the end of the fast and the late-night Taraweeh prayers, adults within families and friend groups often choose to spend their evenings engaged in card games.




Ramadan encourages heightened social interactions among loved ones, with these games playing a central role in the collective experience. (Supplied/Ramadan Season)

“In this month, families, including those we haven’t seen in a while, come together. Our get-togethers transform into lively family conversations while we enjoy challenging card games. We have a great time chatting and laughing, all while adhering to the game’s strict rules,” said Mohammed Hamza, a self-proclaimed “king of cards.”

Reflecting on his experience, he added: “I learned to play cards from my father, and it’s a traditional game with deep roots. Occasionally, card games are played at spots in Al-Balad, and special tents with seating arrangements are set up for playing during Ramadan.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Recreational activities and games to bring the youth together in Ramadan, rather than being engrossed in mobile phones and television.

• After Taraweeh prayers, families and friend groups often choose to spend their evenings engaged in card games.

Abdullah Ghamdi, another card-game enthusiast, emphasized the importance of providing entertainment to bring the youth together, rather than being engrossed in mobile phones and television.




Ramadan encourages heightened social interactions among loved ones, with these games playing a central role in the collective experience. (Supplied/Ramadan Season)

“Engaging in enjoyable activities can unite individuals, strengthen relationships, and foster a sense of camaraderie within the community. The tradition of playing cards, inspired by our ancestors, has been embraced in Saudi Arabia, where the game is played with a spirit of sportsmanship and fairness,” he said.

Many stores offer special Ramadan packages for children, including games and Islamic books. Some online stores are providing engaging activities in Ramadan boxes for youngsters to learn and participate in activities related to the holy month.

One store, Lionstory, offers a personalized book that details traditions and obligations during Ramadan, making it a meaningful gift option. The store features a custom book on Ramadan traditions suitable for children aged 3 to 7, a Muslim girl plush doll, a handmade prayer mat, and a wooden prayer steps puzzle. For more information, visit their Instagram @lionstory.books.




Ramadan encourages heightened social interactions among loved ones, with these games playing a central role in the collective experience. (AN photo)

Similarly, Wardah store, @wardahstore.sa, offers Islamic stories that can be shared and read with children, accompanied by art activities. Reading these books can unite families and children in engaging with Islamic education. For those eager to explore Islamic history further, Jarir Bookstore offers an Islamic Trivia Card Game featuring significant events from the time of Prophet Muhammad to the lives of various companions, as well as the names of Allah.

Sara Junaid, a mother of two, said: “Playing trivia cards with my children and extended family after breaking our fast has become a cherished tradition that not only brings us closer but also serves as a wonderful opportunity to delve deeper into our Islamic knowledge. Through these joyful moments, we enrich our understanding of our faith.”

Among the array of games enjoyed during Ramadan, volleyball stands out as a favorite, bringing families and friends together in friendly competition and camaraderie.

The volleyball net is typically set up in open grounds near the home, encouraging interaction and unity during this special time of reflection.

Instead of opting for shopping or watching TV, families and friends can gather and spend quality time together with all these activities.

 


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Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

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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.


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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.


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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