Flashes from the Muslim World
Presents Award to MWL Secretary General
Malaysia has granted Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General and Chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, Dr. Mohammed al-Issa, the Hijra of the Prophet Award – the most prestigious award granted to Muslim scholars in the world. The award was presented to Al-Issa as the most influential international Islamic figure in acknowledgement of his efforts in highlighting the truth and humanitarian message of Islam, promoting harmony among followers of different religions and spreading peace. The award is granted annually by the Malaysian government at the start of a new Hijra year to prominent international figures who play a key role in serving Islam and humanity.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
GCC Islamic Insurers See Decline in Profits
Islamic insurers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states may see profitability wane in the second half of 2021 as they face a tough competitive environment amid weak performance in some sectors hurt by the pandemic, according to S&P Global Ratings. “Some smaller Takaful companies will need to raise capital of merge, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where losses have persisted,” S&P Credit Analyst, Emir Mujkic, wrote in a report.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center Invests in Youth
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi organized a series of virtual events over the week to mark International Youth Day. The event highlighted the Center’s keenness to invest in the potential of youth and to develop their talents and abilities. As part of its efforts to portray the country’s true image before the world, the Center organized a virtual cultural tour in different languages, including English, Korean and Arabic. A large number of people from around the world, representing diverse cultures, attended the events on social media platforms. The program focused on the UAE’s core principles of tolerance, coexistence and mutual respects. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center was established to be a nucleus for a cultural and intellectual movement focused on the mosque. This is based on the cultural and national values expressed in the concepts and values established by late Sheikh Zayed.
Women Appointed to Top Roles
Two Saudi women have been appointed to top positions at the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in an ambitious move to empower qualified women. The new positions come in conjunction with a recent decision to appoint an Assistant Undersecretary for Women’s Empowerment, and alongside the recent celebration of the awarding of 20 women with Master’s degrees and doctorates. Everyone at the General Presidency is working on preparing integrated work methodologies and exerting all possible efforts to become a true model of institutional work, governance, quality, supporting women and establishing creative work environments, which would contribute to development and efficiency in a short period.
Dates – Sweet Business
Dates grown in Buraidah, the capital of Qassim region, are increasingly popular in the Kingdom and internationally thanks to their high quality and abundance. More than 400 refrigerated trucks transport hundreds of tons of the dates, including more than 45 varieties, each day. They are taken to specialized factories in Jeddah, Riyadh and Madinah and other places for sorting and packing before being delivered to Saudi and international buyers. Daily sales of dates from Qassim are estimated to be worth more than SR 1.5 million (USD 400,000). As a result, the city of Buraidah has become an important location for dates traders, markets, investors and consumers, which generates a significant amount of economic activity.
Makkah’s Hospitality Sector to Grow
The hospitality sector in Makkah is beginning to look forward to a strong recovery from the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and experts predict hotels could begin to see results within two years. The city, the third most densely populated in the Kingdom, is particularly well-served in terms of hotels – almost two thirds of all those in Saudi Arabia can be found there. Before the pandemic, it was a thriving sector, its growth fueled by the ever-increasing numbers of visitors from around the world who flock to Makkah for the annual Hajj pilgrimage or to complete their Umrah rituals.
Joins UNESCO Heritage List
The ancient rock inscriptions at Hima in southwest Saudi Arabia became the sixth location in the Kingdom to be included on UNESCO’s world heritage list. Saudi Arabia has a rich heritage of human civilizations. Efforts have borne fruit in making it known to the world. Hima, in Najran province, was a hub for caravans on trade and Hajj routes between the southern parts of Arabia and Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt. Travelers left behind a substantial collection of rock-art depicting hunting, wild life, plants, symbols and tools, and thousands of inscriptions in ancient scripts such as Musnad, Thamudic, Nabaaean and early Arabic.
Restoration of al-Bayt Shrines
Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has directed the restoration of the shrines of the al-Bayt family, especially the tombs of Sayyida Nafisa, Sayyida Zainab and Imam Hussein bin Ali. It has been decided to restore the interior halls of the mosques and their sophisticated architectural decorations. The restoration will be in keeping with the historical pedigree of the sites. The development of the surrounding roads, squares and other facilities will also match the heritage of the shrines.
OIC Condemns Terrorist Attack
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned the terrorist attack launched by armed men on a number of villages in the Republic of Mali, which killed dozens of civilians. The OIC reiterated its stance against all forms of terrorism, stressing its full solidarity with the Malian authorities in their fight against terrorism and extremism. Mali, a landlocked and impoverished state in the heart of the West Africa’s Sahel region, has been battling an insurgency since 2012.
Visits King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo
Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, Sheikh Abdul Latif al-Asheikh, recently visited the King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo as part of his official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Minister gave instructions to furnish the mosque – one of the most important Islamic monuments in the Balkans, with 4,000 square meters of the highest quality carpets. He also urged that the mosque increase its education and advocacy program to disseminate moderation, promote a culture of tolerance and coexistence, in accordance with Islamic values.
[COMPILED BY: SYED NEHAL ZAHEER]