RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced that the Kingdom will finance the restoration of the Jakarta Islamic Center after it suffered fire damage during renovation work last month.
Wednesday’s announcement reflects the crown prince’s interest in preserving the site as “it plays a great role in educating young generations and spreading Islam’s tolerance and message of peace,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
It added it is also “an embodiment of the fraternal relations that unite Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.”
Indonesian Ambassador Abdul Aziz Ahmad told Arab News: “I express my deepest gratitude to Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman for attending the G20 Summit in Bali.
“We hope that the presence will further strengthen relations between the two countries, not only at the G20 but especially for the good relations between the two nations that have been established from thousands of years ago.
“We welcome the initiative to finance the renovation of the JIC by the Kingdom, as a reflection of the brotherly relationship between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
“The JIC is an important institution for spreading Islam, not only for the people of Jakarta but also for the people of Indonesia. We believe the initiative will further strengthen the brotherly relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia in the present and the future.”
Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, thanked the crown prince for supporting the restoration.
He also gave his appreciation for the backing of the Kingdom and its leadership in aiding Islamic countries, and said that Indonesia is at the forefront of regions that have enjoyed such support.
He added that the Saudi leadership is keen to support Islamic centers, initiatives and projects to help establish the concept of moderation. It was this enthusiasm that led to the decision to restore the JIC.
Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that the announcement is an extension of the Kingdom’s interest in serving Islam and Muslims, based on its leadership in the Islamic world.
The minister added in a statement that the restoration confirms the crown prince’s enthusiasm for Islamic centers in all friendly countries, and for the role they provide in educating younger generations and spreading Islam’s belief in tolerance and message of peace, moderation and dialogue.
The JIC covers an area of 109,435 sq. meters and includes many facilities, including a mosque which accommodates more than 20,000 worshippers, a research studies center and a conference hall.
RIYADH: The Heart of Arabia team enacting British explorer and scholar Harry St. John Philby’s “Coast to Coast” journey 105 years ago, was welcomed here by the UK Embassy in Riyadh.
Britain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton hosted the small group of UK explorers who are retracing the 1,300-kilometer journey across Saudi Arabia that Philby made in 1917.
The event was held at the ambassador’s residence on Monday night, a day before they set out on their journey. The Heart of Arabia expedition is named after Philby’s book.
“This expedition highlights the historic and enduring relationship between our two kingdoms. It will build on our understanding of the desert and Saudi Arabia and celebrate our history,” said Crompton.
British explorer and team leader Mark Evans, Saudi explorer Reem Philby, British logistics expert Alan Morrissey, and Swiss photographer Ana-Maria Pavalache left Riyadh at 6 a.m. on Tuesday to drive to their first base camp at the remote port of Al-Uqair.
They set out early on Wednesday in the footsteps of Reem’s grandfather, explorer Harry (Abdullah), who started his journey from the same coastal village.
Reem, the Saudi explorer, hopes the trip will inspire young people to take an interest in nature.
“My kids grew up in the outdoors. So, for example, when we visit a country, we will most likely visit the city on the first day and then drive to the outskirts to see the outdoors, mountains, or whatever. When you’re outside, whether you’re a kid or an adult, you learn a lot again; you learn from nature, and you become very humble. You become very in touch with other people from different cultures, and you become very open-minded,” Philby told Arab News.
The team will use the trip to learn more about the desert and research three important international science projects that look at how the world has changed over time: The DRIFT, Bat Distribution, and Green Arabia projects.
The DRIFT project, led by Dr. Nathan Smith at Coventry University, looks at the psychological impact of living in extremely isolated environments. The aim is to produce a psychological support tool to enable humans to thrive on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Evans will lead this research on the trip.
The Bat Distribution project is led by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. More than 30 kinds of bats live in Arabia. They are important to the ecology of the desert because they control the number of insects, and pollinate and spread the seeds of date palms. Philby will lead research into their roosting sites.
The Green Arabia project led by Michael Petraglia, director of the Australian Centre for Human Evolution, will record archaeological artifacts found in the desert. This research will lead to a better understanding of environmental changes in the desert over the past one million years. Morrissey will carry out the data collection.
Evans’ aim is for the expedition to inspire young people to explore the world around them. “If we inspire one person to get out and ask questions, then we will have helped move society forward.”
The Heart of Arabia expedition was launched in September at the Royal Geographical Society in London, with the UK’s Princess Anne as patron and Saudi Ambassador to the UK Prince Khalid bin Bandar in attendance.
RIYADH: On the occasion of International Day for Tolerance, the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue on Wednesday hosted the Tolerance Convention 2022 in Riyadh.
The event was attended by Abdullah Al-Fawzan, secretary-general of KACND, and Mashael Al-Mubarak, general director of volunteering at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.
Al-Fawzan stressed the role of philosophy in the social sciences and how a person can engage, influence and be affected by their environment, emphasizing the tolerant values that are necessary for people to coexist peacefully.
He noted that the unification of Saudi Arabia was based on the importance of tolerance and giving. These values were adopted by King Abdulaziz, Al-Fawzan said, adding that the ruler overcame feuds to establish the country and unify the Saudi statelets, tribes and families under a single strong umbrella from which pride and ideology derive.
The secretary-general shed light on tolerance within the Saudi Vision 2030 program and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in opening the Kingdom to the world. The Human Capability Development and Quality of Life programs are important for promoting tolerance for all members of society, he added.
Al-Fawzan stressed KACND’s efforts in consolidating Islamic values and principles through organizing strategic programs represented by the tolerance index and social studies, dialogue sessions and the Naseej program, as well as dual dialogue, dialogue exhibition and training programs that have involved 20 training schemes to promote tolerance in 13 regions, benefiting 1,753 men and women from the nonprofit and government sectors, including education institutions.
In a paper titled “Soft Force and its role in promoting tolerance,” Al-Mubarak clarified the role of tolerance in voluntary work and the study of the International Association for Volunteer Effort on the impact of volunteering in humanitarianism, and its impact on the evolution of the youth’s sense of charity and acquisition of skills.
She reviewed the most notable initiatives and humanitarian positions on voluntary work, as well as the recent achievements and social effects of a range of programs.
Al-Mubarak noted the role of voluntary work in disseminating and promoting tolerance, adding that volunteering is a symbol of social solidarity between all groups of society, and that it promotes the importance of a humanitarian sense among the youth.
TABUK, Saudi Arabia: The age-old city of Tayma, located in the province of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia’s northwest, was one of the most important commercial centers of the ancient world — one that served as a meeting point for civilizations from the East and Mediterranean.
The Royal Commission for AlUla has revived and restored heritage sites such as Tayma; Al-Najim market; Hadaj Well, which dates back over 2,500 years; and Al-Rumman Palace, a fortress built in 1919 and named after Prince Sheikh Abdul Karim Al-Rumman, ruler of Tayma at the time.
The earliest mention of Tayma can be found in ancient Assyrian inscriptions, which described it as a rich city of water wells.
Tayma, one of three oases in the area, including AlUla and Khaybar, will be open to the public after restoration.
“These three oases — AlUla, Khaybar and Tayma — served as important stops on the ancient incense route,” said Ahmed Aliman, the first official tourist guide in AlUla to receive his license from from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage.
Aliman, who has been giving tours of the region since 2008, has strong roots in the area, which has been home to his family for at least six centuries.
A 136-year-old rock inscription by his great grandfather was recently discovered nearby.
On Nov. 11, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula launched the inaugural “Ancient Kingdoms” festival to celebrate the revival of these ancient oases, and to connect AlUla with the governorates of Tayma and Khaybar through a range of cultural and historical experiences.
The festival, which takes place until Nov. 27, aims to foster domestic and international tourism to the region, and features cultural experiences that revive traditions dating back thousands of years.
Taher Al-Muaddi has been the general manager of funding requests and business units support at the Government Expenditure and Project Efficiency Authority in Riyadh since July.
He is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of policies, procedures and standards to manage all funding requests on a national scale.
He also supervises high-level technical reviews, as well as the implementation of operational plans, such as risk and quality assessments, to achieve consistency in all recommendations coming out of the authority.
Before his current position, Al-Muaddi served at the authority for two years, and was promoted into several positions, including as a senior consultant in January 2020. He then served as the senior consultant and technical enablers lead by the end of that year.
Six months later, he was promoted to director of enablement central operations, leading the establishment of satellite offices and change management in all government entities.
In 2014, Al-Muaddi joined the food and beverages firm PepsiCo., where he worked for five years in many cities, including Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, starting as production shift manager, then category operation manager in 2016.
From 2017 to 2018 he was the category operation and manufacturing support manager. In 2019, he was promoted to senior category operation and manufacturing support manager, then to senior PC (potato chips) operation manager, where he led the startups of several production lines and contributed to the biggest automation project in the region.
Al-Muaddi also served in Sunbulah Group, one of the largest food manufacturing companies in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, for three years.
From 2011 to 2013 he worked at the firm as a process engineer. In 2013, he was promoted to planning and production manager overseeing a department of 60 employees.
Al-Muaddi received a bachelor’s degree in science of system industrial engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 2010. He is also a certified KPI professional from the KPI institute in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2020, he became a certified change management professional from a professional training and coaching institute in Washington, US.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Seoul, South Korea on an official visit on Wednesday.
Prince Mohammed was welcomed at Seoul Air Base by the Prime Minister of South Korea, Han Duck-soo.
The two officials held talks during which they reviewed relations between the two countries, prospects for bilateral cooperation, and ways to develop and enhance it in various fields.
An official reception ceremony was also held for the crown prince, during which the Saudi and South Korean anthems were played, and a guard of honor was inspected.
A number of officials including Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman and Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif are accompanying the crown prince on his visit.
The visit comes after the crown prince attended the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.