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#5116 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2015 01:40
 
80% of Umrah companies fail to renew licenses

Monday 23 February 2015

Maher Saleh Jamal, chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has said the companies in the Umrah and Haj sector are considered the most prominent among all sectors in the Kingdom. In fact, the Umrah and Haj sector acts as a catalyst for other sectors like transport, housing, nutrition, and retailing.

During the annual meeting with the owners and managers of Umrah companies, Jamal said more attention should be paid to improving this sector given that it is one of the most important ones for diversifying the Kingdom’s income sources.

He said the role of the chamber is to link investors and companies with authorities in order to work on overcoming obstacles and challenges.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Haj said new mechanisms for the renewal of permits of companies in the sector will be applied. While the ministry has not yet disclosed specific requirements and controls, expected controls include increasing the working capital of companies in the sector.

About 80 percent of Umrah companies, or about 48 companies, have yet to renew their licenses.

A meeting with company owners is scheduled for the month of Rajab (after two months) to discuss these new licensing requirements, as the 90-day period for the Ministry of Haj to develop detailed guidelines of the regulations has come to an end.

Osama Felali, head of the National Committee for Haj and Umrah, said one of the greatest accomplishments is the decline in the number of undocumented pilgrims.

Other notable accomplishments include the development of an electronic website with a list of information of foreign agents in order to enable the signing of contracts with companies in the sector, as well as the facilitation of meetings among various government and private sector authorities to discuss services, operational and strategic plans, said Abdullah Omar Qadi, vice president of the committee.

According to Qadi, the committee also successfully participated in the Third Annual Umrah Festival in Sudan, which has led to successful negotiations and discussions regarding challenges faced by Saudi and Sudanese companies. Six outstanding cases between Saudi and Egyptian pilgrim servicing companies were also resolved.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/708581
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#5117 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2015 01:41
 
Umrah pilgrims appeal
for regular MERS-CoV updates

February 20, 2015

Umrah pilgrims are asking health authorities particularly in Saudi Arabia to continuously update them with the latest on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), citing their vulnerability to the disease.

“They (pilgrims) strongly urge all the relevant authorities that vulnerable pilgrims must not be deprived off vital life-saving information about the preventive measures and how they should safeguard their health and wellbeing,” according to a statement by the Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims).

The group noted that lack of awareness of preventive measures against MERS-CoV will make “a vast majority of pilgrims” at high risk of contracting it.

Citing the Ministry of Health, the group said Saudi Arabia has reported 34 MERS-CoV cases this week, bringing to 46 the total number of new patients for the month.

According to the World Health Organization, since June 2012 the causalities have reached 886, including 483 deaths.

“Pilgrims have always been at high risk of contracting infectious diseases due to their close proximity with millions of people from around the world during the pilgrimage,” noted the Association of British Hujjaj.

It added that unlike Hajj, Umrah—a lesser pilgrimage— is performed throughout the year by millions of pilgrims from around the world.

“Health experts stress that prolonged contact with infected individuals within confined space, facilitates the spread of deadly infectious diseases, which are transmitted through direct person-to-person contact via droplets of nasal or throat secretions as well as blood and body fluids of infected individuals,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia once again reminded Filipinos in the Kingdom, especially those working in the health sector, to take the necessary precautions against the MERS-CoV.

It also appealed to Filipinos there to postpone their planned visit to the Philippines if they have MERS-CoV symptoms.

“Mas mainam rin, na ipagpaliban muna ang pag-uwi sa Pilipinas kung kayo ay nakakaramdam ng mga sintomas upang maiwasan ang panganib na mahawaan ang inyong mga pamilya at kaibigan,” a statement from the embassy said.

A Filipino nurse from Saudi Arabia has been the first confirmed MERS-CoV patient in the Philippines.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story...rs-cov-updates



MERS-CoV: UN warns of ‘critical knowledge gaps’

Tuesday 24 February 2015

LONDON: UN health experts said on Monday that the Kingdom has to do more to investigate and control a deadly new MERS virus that has killed hundreds of people here and remains in many ways a mystery,.

The experts said cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are surging again, but health officials and scientists in the Kingdom appear unable to explain where the infections start and how they spread.

The UN group — an international delegation of scientists and public health experts from WHO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization — visited Saudi Arabia last week to investigate a sharp rise in MERS cases.

“Critical gaps in knowledge remain, and several challenges ... will require further work,” it said in a joint statement. “How and why infections occur in the community is yet to be understood, and this is critical for stopping the outbreak.”

Initial scientific studies have linked MERS to camels, but disease experts say it is not at all clear how the infection passes from the animals. Many people infected in the community and in hospitals report no contact with camels, they note.

“There are so many aspects of the virus that are still unknown,” said Berhe Tekola, director of the FAO’s animal production and health division.

Keiji Fukuda, a WHO virus expert who led this mission, said that despite progress in fighting MERS in hospitals, key infection prevention and control measures are still breached. “When health workers are infected at work, this puts other health care workers at risk, but also can be a risk to all other patients,” he said.

“Understanding where the breach in these measures is occurring and taking the steps needed to fully implement infection prevention and control measures can put an end to these ... infections.”

http://www.arabnews.com/news/709181
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#5118 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2015 01:47
 
Indonesian Haj staff get coaching to up services


Indonesian Haj personnel pose with senior officials at the two-day coaching program to upgrade
the competency of Haj personnel at the Indonesian Haj affairs office in Madinah recently.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

JEDDAH — A two-day coaching program was organized to upgrade the competency of Haj personnel and increase the quality of services provided to pilgrims at the Indonesian Haj affairs office in Madinah.

Attended by more than 150 staff of the Indonesian Consulate, Consul General Dharmakirty Syailendra Putra dwelt at length on leadership, decision-making and problem solving.

He discussed how to become an effective and efficient leader and Islam’s emphasis on honesty, commitment, transparency and wisdom, four values he believed were characteristics of good leadership.

Drawing on examples he encountered while inspecting Haj service operations, he said: “Leadership styles will influence the problem-solving and decision-making process significantly.

“So, to make a healthy and minimum risk decision, good leaders should engage their people as best as they can to absorb any input from them, even from those on a technical level.

“Then act promptly to reach a solution.”

Ahmad Dumyathi Bashori, Indonesian Haj consul, emphasized on the importance of human resource development.

He told delegates: “You should always bear in mind that you are serving the guests of God.

“So you must be highly committed to displaying an approachable and likable attitude and be attentive and responsive to every single complaint from pilgrims.

“React promptly anytime you receive complaints from our pilgrims.

“Any delay in tackling a problem will bring about another.

“Always put yourselves in their shoes.

“As they are strangers here, they easily lose their way.

“As a result, they are not only physically exhausted and but have had their valuable time wasted.”

Dumyathi also emphasized the importance of teamwork, sincerity, honesty, patience and commitment in extending the best services to pilgrims so they can perform their rites during their stay in Makkah and Madinah and other holy sites comfortably.

Another speaker, Muhammad Jasin Hutasuhut, founder of the MHJ Quality Control and Reliability Consulting Company based in Canada, said all Haj service personnel should be creative and innovative.

This year about 168,800 Indonesian pilgrims will arrive in the Kingdom to perform Haj.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20150225234938

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#5119 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:10

 

New Madinah Airport

Photo session & video shooting
of the New Madinah Airport


16 February 2015






Aerial video shooting of the New Madinah Airport




Airport Mosque













https://twitter.com/MadinahAirport

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#5120 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:15
 
New Madinah Airport
*Experimental opening*



17 February 2015

(1)- Preparations - Experimental opening (Trial Scenario) of the new Prince Mohamed Bin Abdul Aziz Int'l Airport
in Madinah took place today in Madinah with an active participation of Madinah residents, students & officials,
a wonderful lifetime experience for all participants made all of us feel so proud of such piece of art in Madinah.


















More pics: https://twitter.com/MadinahAirport

https://www.facebook.com/madinahairport/photos_stream
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#5121 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:16
 
King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran

New translation of the meanings
of the Holy Quran in "Japanese and Hebrew"


Madinah, Jumada I 5, 1436, Feb 24, 2015, SPA

King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran in Madinah is currently working on the issuance of translations of the meanings of the Holy Quran into the Japanese and Hebrew languages.

The Secretary General of the complex Dr. Mohamed Salem Aoufi explained that the translation into Japanese will be ready for printing in the next month of Ramadan while the translation into Hebrew will be ready for printing within a few days.

http://www.spa.gov.sa/english/print.php?id=1331426



Shop under the scanner for selling free Qur’an copies
Wednesday, 25 February 2015

JEDDAH — The library section of a famous shop in Jeddah was caught selling copies of the Holy Qur'an that were be to given as gifts to pilgrims, Makkah reported on Tuesday.

The copies had been printed by the King Fahd Qur'an Printing Complex in Madinah and were given as gifts to the guests of God by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The copies were being sold for SR40 to SR69 depending on their size. They were displayed at the library section of the shop.

The name of the shop was not disclosed but the daily said it had deliberately deleted the English phrase "A gift from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" from the cover and the inside pages.

The shop has also covered the same phrase on the inside page with a sticker and attached it to the next page.

Makkah said it had bought a medium size copy at SR40 and discovered that the inside page that carried the phrase that it was a gift was hidden by a sticker and attached to the next page, making it impossible to read.

Talal Al-Aqeeli, director of the Jeddah's branch of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance vowed that the matter would not go unpunished. “The ministry will take a stern stand against the shop after investigating the source from which it has obtained these copies,” he said.

The director said the books are not for sale and were a gift from the country's ruler to Haj and Umrah pilgrims. He said: “This is the first incident of its kind. We will thoroughly investigate the issue and take appropriate measures against the wrongdoers.”

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20150225235017
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#5122 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:18

 

General statistics
of the Umrah season 1436/2014-15




Until 3 Jumada Awal 1436 - 21 February 2015

Total Number of the Mutamirs:

2,452,055
______________________________________
Number expected for the whole Umrah season
6,000,000

* Mutamir/s: is/are the one who come into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
to perform Umrah rituals and visit the Prophet's Holy Mosque.

Statistics from Ministry of Hajj



23 February 2015


21 February 2015

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#5123 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:20
 
Begin to rebuild the Ottoman porticos
in the Grand Mosque


البدء في إعادة بناء الرواق العثماني في الحرم المكي

Monday 2015/02/23

شرعت الشركة المنفذة لتوسعة الحرم المكي الشريف في عملية إعادة تركيب أعمدة وقباب الرواق العثماني في المواقع الجديدة حول صحن المطاف، وذلك بعد أن تمت إزالتها لصالح توسعة صحن المطاف في مرحلته الثالثة والأخيرة.

وقد نجحت الشركة المنفذه للمشروع بالتعاون مع الرئاسة العامة للمسجد الحرام والمسجد النبوي في المحافظة على الشكل القديم للرواق مع إظهار القباب بألوان جديدة ولامعة مزجت بين التراث والحداثة مع الاحتفاظ بزخارفها الداخلية والخارجية.

الجدير بالذكر بأن الشركة المنفذه ستقوم مع اكتمال المشروع نهاية العام الحالي، من إعادة تركيب وترتيب الرواق العثماني في صحن المطاف بما يتماشى مع التطورات الجديدة الإلكترونية في مجال الصوتيات والسماعات الصوتية ونظام الحرائق في ظل التوسعات العملاقة الذي يشهدها الحرم المكي الشريف.

http://www.alriyadh.com/1024387

 

Google translation: Executing company began to expand the Haram al-Sharif in the re-installation of columns and domes of the Ottoman portico in new locations around the Mataf the process, and after that has been removed in favor of the expansion of the Mataf in the third and final phase.

The company is executing the project has succeeded in cooperation with the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in maintaining the old form of the gallery with a show domes new and shiny colors mix between tradition and modernity while retaining the internal and external Bzacharvha.

It is worth mentioning that the company executing the project is completed will be with the end of the current year, the re-installation and arrangement of the Ottoman portico in the Mataf, in line with new developments in the field of electronic music and audio headsets and fire system under which the giant expansions taking place in the Haram al-Sharif.




Translation:

Historic Columns: 112 +2
New Columns: 95
Total: 209

1st row Domes: 66 Large
2nd row Domes: 48 Small +3
Last row Domes: 6 Small (only for 2 Mukabbariyahs)
Total: 123



pics by mohammed idrees - Friday 20 february 2015


































via Aymen Mamdouh Basha

via @afattah035


via @zeyad_alsd7an


via @tlq_almohya

via @R_111M


Insta Video:



building a second floor










via @sal07man

[IMG]


via @ali_albadran




via @danaalnjar


via @admntk07f
tiling



Before:

via @cucubeyi


After:


























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#5124 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:28
 
All Makkah projects ‘must display Islamic identity’

Friday 27 February 2015

Makkah Gov. and Chairman of the Central Haj Committee Prince Khaled Al-Faisal stressed the need to ensure all projects in Makkah are designed to display an Arab and Islamic identity.

During a meeting in Jeddah on Thursday with members of the Higher Supervisory Committee of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques expansion projects, Prince Khaled said efforts must be unified, swiftly completed and stick to the allocated budget.

Faisal Wafa, chairman of the technical committee overseeing the projects, briefed the governor on the completed stages of the projects, as well the remaining tasks. According to Wafa, the completed portions of the expansion projects have greatly increased the capacity of the mosque and the mataf (the area for the circumambulation of the Kaaba). Wafa also pointed out that greater achievements are expected as the project enters its third stage, covering the southern region from the King Fahd expansion area to Safa, a total of 81,567 square meters.

The second phase of the project is scheduled for completion next Ramadan, during which the ground and first floors of the tawaf expansion project will be completed to accommodate more worshippers and pilgrims. According to Wafa, the completed expansions will increase the capacity of the mataf by nearly 105,000 pilgrims per hour and can accommodate an additional 80,000 worshippers.

The project has included the allocation of a separate level to accommodate people with special needs and elderly worshippers, he said. Director of the Umm Al-Qura University Bakri Asas thanked Prince Khaled on behalf of the Technical Committee for his continuous support and dedication to the expansion projects. He also thanked King Salman for his efforts to ensure the rapid completion of the remaining stages of the expansion project.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/710816

 

Makkah: Streets to bear names of Companions
 
Friday, 27 February 2015

MAKKAH — A total of 1,165 streets in Makkah will be named after the Prophet’s Companions, a special committee of the municipality has decided.

The committee, entrusted with naming and numbering the streets, decided to name four of them after the new Saudi leadership.

Four major streets will carry the names of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muqrin, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif and Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20150227235136
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#5125 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 03:33
 
No Umrah for sealed Gazans

Saturday 28 February 2015

GAZA CITY: With the war-battered Gaza Strip’s borders closed, thousands of people have been shut out of a Haj because they cannot leave the sealed territory.

Some 7,500 Gazans have sought to travel to Saudi Arabia, for Umrah but have been turned away. Egypt restricts movement in and out of the coastal enclave. Egypt has shut its border with the Gaza Strip since Oct. 24, citing security concerns in its northern Sinai Peninsula. It has opened it only intermittently for students and patients seeking medical care. Israel heavily restricts exit from the territory.

The closure is affecting a population already disaffected by a war against Israel last summer that destroyed thousands of homes and has displaced tens of thousands of people.

“I wait hour by hour. We feel every day that passes without leaving as though it’s a year,” said Fares Hayek, 80, who is among those waiting to make the pilgrimage. He applied in November along with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Travel agents who facilitate the yearly pilgrimage say they’ve taken a hit from the closed borders. Awad Abu Mazkour, the head of a group that represents travel agents, said agents in Gaza are losing some $140,000 in license fees, bank guarantees and hotel bookings each month because of the closed crossing.


http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/711316

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#5126 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 04:01
 
‘Madinah is in the heart of every Muslim’
 

Monday 2 March 2015

The Egyptian pilgrim, Sayyed Elwan, is in the Kingdom for the second time to perform Umrah.

Impressed with “many changes and developments in the Kingdom” since his first visit, Elwan praised the expansion projects of the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah, the Mashaer railway project, the Haramain High Speed Rail as well as tens of multiple projects.

He referred to the Saudis’ good hospitality, in particular, in welcoming their guests, which he said could be noticed at the airport itself.

“The reception at the airport was very classy and the employees were very welcoming as they completed the formalities in no time,” he added.

Elwan said the relationship between the Egyptian people and their Saudi counterparts are brotherly relations

“Egyptians have feelings of love and respect to the Kingdom and the Saudi people as they stood by the Egyptian people in difficult times,” he said.

The Egyptian pilgrim said he came to the holy city of Madinah after performing Umra in Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah.

“I visited the Prophet’s Mosque and had the honor of sending blessings and salutations upon the Prophet (peace be upon him),” he said.

Elwan visited the popular archaeological and historical sites and mosques in Madinah.

“Madinah is close to my heart. It has a rich history of archaeological and historical treasures and yet it looks like an international city with its great developmental projects such as the luxurious hotels, malls, roads, tunnels and bridges,” he said.

“Madinah is in every Muslim’s heart.”

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/712411

 

Many Madinah sites need better care
 

Sunday 1 March 2015

Several residents in the city of Madinah have drawn attention of the competent authorities toward multiple Prophet’s heritage sites and relics in the area, including wells, mountains, valleys and the Al-Faseh Mosque, which they say need better care.

These sites of importance have been turned into a waste dump, they say.
Mohammad Al-Ahmadi, a resident, said the mosque, which is an important Islamic relic, is in need of care and that many visitors are surprised to see the poor state of the mosque. He urged the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities for conducting a survey on the prophetic locations in the city in order to rehabilitate them.

Mohammad Al-Fayez, another citizen, said: “Many remains of the Prophet era need renovation and proper attention, because they hold heritage values and were involved in historical events during the times the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Visitors in general make it a priority to visit Madinah and these historical places. They like to pray in the Al-Faseh Mosque, he said. One such visitor, Haj Al-Turki Mahmoud, said he came to visit the Al-Faseh Mosque, but found it to be in poor conditions and in need of much attention and care.

Another visitor from Pakistan, Mohammad Ramadan, also noted the site needs road signs to direct people to easy location.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/711891

 

 



 

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#5127 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 04:03

 

General statistics
of the Umrah season 1436/2014-15




Until 10 Jumada Awal 1436 - 28 February 2015

Total Number of the Mutamirs:

2,670,700
______________________________________
Number expected for the whole Umrah season
6,000,000

* Mutamir/s: is/are the one who come into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
to perform Umrah rituals and visit the Prophet's Holy Mosque.

Statistics from Ministry of Hajj






28 February 2015

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#5128 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2015 04:15

 

Mataf expansion updates








Mataf Phase III










where King Abdulaziz Gate once stood


via @abubakr4545


via @BadrBadrah
dome of Haram's library #KAGate #KingFahdExpansion

In the above 2 pictures the transmitter antenna remains at the same place.






via @rhezaariftha


via @hussain07_z


via @i_abu_sultan




Bab Umrah Minarets U/C








Insta Videos:


https://instagram.com/p/zfS4tnvk8C

https://instagram.com/p/zhDV-Jyq8X

https://instagram.com/p/zhVtcdgeSc



ماشاء الله تبارك الله اليوم الأربعاء التاريخ :
٠٦/ جمادى الاولى / ١٤٣٦هجري الموافق : ٢٥ / فبراير / ٢٠١٥ ميلادي










Maintenance & Construction work in King Fahd Expansion Area


via @meccamoon
A bridge that will link 2nd Floor of Expanded Mataf to Door No. 66


via @mrabdula12








via @ateeq28


via @beshoo_al3mri


New columns erected at Bab Fath (top middle) area probably for a new floor.


ماشاء الله تبارك الله
اليوم الخميس
التاريخ : ٠٧/ جمادى الأولى / ١٤٣٦هجري
الموافق : ٢٦ / فبراير / ٢٠١٥ ميلادي

الأركان الأربعة
ركن الحجر الأسود:



الركن العراقي:



الركن الشامي:



الركن اليماني:



المرحلة الثالثة من توسعة المطاف:





via @jul_press


via @one10ne


via @bo3awas


via @sofianmh


via @a.a.a1991


via @mali3787


via @najlalawadhi


via @beautyofmakkah


via @khokhaz
Mirror effect


via @meccamoon
newly opened areas in expanded Mataf






4 historical columns will be placed there



Historical column to be put in place




Insta Videos:



https://instagram.com/p/ziNtQJqVKA/

https://instagram.com/p/zk0M1-xZz9/

https://instagram.com/p/zmb3J7xZ-g/

https://instagram.com/p/zlykL5tP2p/

https://instagram.com/p/znHT-xxjYm/


Time-lapse videos are breathtaking <3

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#5129 [Permalink] Posted on 9th March 2015 15:38
 
Protection sought for heritage sites
in Makkah and Madinah


PROTECTOR: Abdul Aziz Kaki, winner of the King Faisal Prize for Islamic studies, has urged
tough action against those destroying heritage sites in Makkah and Madinah.
Thursday 5 March 2015

There should be further measures taken to punish those who destroy the country’s archaeological sites in Makkah and Madinah, a top Saudi official said recently.

Abdul Aziz Kaki, winner of the King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, said there have been several important landmarks destroyed over the years in the two cities.

Kaki, who is also adviser to the Madinah Development Authority, said the city had been home to many ancient communities, dating back to the Prophet’s time.

Kaki made the comments during his lecture on Monday night at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, which focused on Madinah’s landmarks, architecture and history.

He said there have been several natural calamities that have destroyed some of Madinah’s ancient sites including a volcanic eruption in 1256, fires in 1947 and 1976, and floods over the years.

Kaki said other events that have caused irreparable damage to archaeological sites include the search for gold in places that led to the collapse of castles and palaces, and farming activities. He said that urban development has also had an effect on some of this heritage, with new buildings built over old ones. There should be more public awareness programs launched to educate people about these sites, many of which he documented 30 years ago.

However, he praised some citizens in Madinah for preserving ancient monuments on their property.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/713881
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#5130 [Permalink] Posted on 9th March 2015 15:39

 

Prophet's Mosque expansion

"NEW MODEL"



via @raedalsalem

might be displayed at site office

*Walkways on roof are well connected.
*Both old & new Haram will have 1 upper floor but differ in height.
*Western side has greenery
*Old Haram gates will open in New Haram courtyard


Construction updates





via @anaserafi


by Noor.E.H.


via @raedalsalem
Masjid Imam Bukhari in the backdrop.

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