Flashes from the Muslim World


Police Use Drones to Check Crime

Bangladeshi police said that they had resorted to using drones to monitor Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar after a spike in criminal activity. Bangladesh hosts over 1.1 million Rohingya who fled neighboring Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017. Most of them live in dozens of cramped settlements in Cox’s Bazar, a coastal region in the country’s east.


Winners of King Faisal Prize Honored in Riyadh Ceremony

The 2021 winners of the King Faisal Prize received their awards at a glittering ceremony in Riyadh. The awards, the most prestigious in the Muslim world, recognize outstanding achievements in service to Islam, Islamic Studies, Arabic language and literature, medicine and science.

The award for services to Islam was received by the Kuwaiti entrepreneur, Mohammed Al-Sharikh, Founder of the Sakhr software company, which created the first Arabic language operating system for computers. Sharikh was honored for his work in developing the first software for English translations of the Qur’an and Hadith.

Each winner received a USD 200,000 prize, a 24-carat gold medal and a certificate in Arabic calligraphy signed by Prize Board Chairman, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.

Ithra Promotes Arabic Calligraphy

The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has been promoting the art of Arabic calligraphy through a special initiative, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Its ‘Year of Calligraphy’ initiative launched by the Ministry of Culture, has celebrated this cultural tradition through programs, activities and workshops. Ithra’s programs have offered people the opportunity to explore the history and design of calligraphy.

The audience was provided with a space to enjoy the beauty of the Arabic language, revive the arts of language, and exchange its rich types.

Electronic Qur’an to Help the Blind

An electronic Qur’an is being introduced at Makkah’s Grand Mosque to help blind and visually-impaired Muslims. Advanced Braille-based technology is being used to create the Haramain Electronic Qur’an, allowing the blind and visually-impaired visitors and pilgrims to read and access the verses of Islam’s holy book more easily.

The device, which is nearly six inches long and four inches wide, means users can move smoothly between pages using high-quality Braille cells.

OIC Chief Urges more Support for Islamic Fund

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called on member states to increase their financial backing for a humanitarian aid fund. Hissein Brahim Taha, said that the OIC’s Islamic Solidarity Fund had provided vital support for Muslims around the world, but that more money was required to fund projects in areas such as helping refugees and victims of natural disasters.

Taha also urged the funds board to continue with its support projects in Jerusalem, and health and educational programs in Palestine.

Smart Robot to Distribute Zamzam Water

The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques has launched a robot for delivering Zamzam water. Badr Al-Luqmani, deputy head of the Zamzam Watering Department for services and field affairs, said that the robot’s technology would allow it to distribute Zamzam water bottles without human intervention, in order to respect precautionary measures against COVID-19 whilst utilizing artificial intelligence in the Service of God.

Al- Luqmani said the robot will be able to distribute 30 bottles per round, with each round lasting for ten minutes, noting that it operates for eight hours at a time and takes 20 seconds to load the Zamzam water bottles.

Upgraded System to Boost Services

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has increased the operational capacity at its sites through works related to technical and operational services offered for visitors. The authority has increased its preparedness to welcome visitors in the coming period through updating its electronic and mechanical systems and has prepared special areas designated for prayer and tawaf.

The Presidency seeks to cover all maintenance works at the mosque through inspecting 8,000 speakers, 32,000 lighting units, 200 escalators, 259 fire extinguishers, water-tankers with a capacity of 1,500 sq.mtr. and sterilization and cooling systems for Zamzam water.


Inaugurates 1.5GW Solar Complex

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, inaugurated a new clean-energy generating complex located in Aswan, in southern Egypt. Having a capacity of 1,465 MW, the Benban Solar Energy Complex was established in partnership with the private sector and international expertise. Benban Complex, which has a cost of USD 4 billion, is set to be one of the world’s ten largest solar parks.

This comes as El-Sisi aims to make Egypt rely more on the production and distribution of electricity from renewable sources, and export power and connect to neighboring countries. The project created 11,720 direct jobs and 23,440 indirect jobs during the implementation period.


OIC Hails Launch of Dialogue

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has welcomed the announcement by the United Nations that it is ready to hold talks between all political parties in Sudan to resolve the current crisis and build sustainable peace and democracy in the country.

The OIC affirmed its support for dialogue and re-conciliation efforts, engaging all Sudanese parties to realize their people’s security and development.


Meets OIC Chief

Gambian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Omar Gibril Salah, recently met the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha, at the organization’s headquarters in Jeddah. During the visit, the Secretary-General expressed his appreciation to the government of Gambia for being an active member in the OIC and for its continued support to the work of the organization. They discussed a number of issues of common interest.

The OIC Chief also thanked the government of Gambia for hosting the 15th Islamic Summit, which will take place in 2022 as part of supporting and developing joint Islamic action among member states. Gambia has been a member of the OIC since 1974.


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