DUBAI: The Saudi Falcons Club participated in Expo 2020 Dubai through events marking World Wildlife Day on Dec. 30.
It organized a display on Thursday and Friday at the Gulf Cooperation Council pavilion, showcasing different falcon types to acquaint exhibition visitors about the birds, their biological nature, and their role in maintaining ecological balance and protecting wildlife, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The club aims to consolidate the Kingdom’s leading role in the falconry sector and to enhance its position as a home for falcons and falconers, and to introduce this tradition to expo visitors.
The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day was “Life on Earth.”
JEDDAH: A village dating from the early days of Islam has been found in Yanbu by a team of Saudi enthusiasts who are documenting the Kingdom in an innovative way.
The head of the project, Abdulaziz Al-Dakheel, who is the founder of Erth Aerial Photography Team, told Arab News that the team surveyed vast stretches of the region by remote sensing and helicopter in search of Al-Oshairah. “After recording its presence from the air, the team then found the settlement that was lying under the sands,” he said.
Al-Oshairah is thought to be the place where the first battle of Islam took place and where the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) and his companions stayed for more than a month.
The Erth Aerial Photography Team, which was founded in 2015, is a nonprofit national documentary initiative that is documenting Saudi Arabia from the sky. It is made up of 13 members with different skills — photographers, pilots, guides, historians, and others — who want to document various topographical and geographical areas of the Kingdom using a powered parachute aircraft and other technology.
When the Erth team began searching for Al-Oshairah, they followed the research of Abdul Ullah Al-Aiashi, a historian on the team, which suggested a different location from the one that has become generally accepted.
After gathering all details, the team used satellite images and aerial photographs to search in different locations in the region.
Some are significant to Islam while others hail from the pre-Islamic period, such as Mada’in Saleh, the 2,000-year-old area of AlUla and natural landscapes of the Western region, including volcanoes and wells.
Abdulaziz Al-Dakheel, Founder of Erth Aerial Photography Team
“After 75 minutes of flying, the team was able to discover a destroyed village that is believed to be Al-Oshirah, mentioned in the Sunnah of the noble Prophet’s biography.”
“Our team is comprises of individuals who contribute to the missions by providing every detail needed. Abdul Ullah Al-Aiashi led us to the location of Al-Oshairah, which is located in the valley of Yanbu. It is one of the main destinations used by pilgrims while heading to Makkah,” Al- Dakheel said.
“You can’t find the site of the battle or recognize the village it took place in, but we were able to distinguish some pillar structures of the ancient village from a bird’s eye view.”
The Erth Aerial Photography Team will leave the study of the site and the validity of its claim for the site of the battleground to the competent authorities.
Al-Dakheel said that every day they find new archaeological sites, hidden or lost monuments that are often of great interest.
“We document different historical civilizations in the Kingdom, mainly in the western region, such as castles and tombs. We also document the religious and historical landmarks of the Arabian Peninsula. Some are significant to Islam while others hail from the pre-Islamic period, such as Mada’in Saleh, the 2,000-year-old area of AlUla and natural landscapes of the western region, including volcanoes and wells.”
He revealed that last month the team discovered the ancient city of Al-Juhfa, which is located on the left bank of Wadi Al-Ghaidah, east of the city of Rabigh in the Makkah region. It lies about 5 km north of the Miqat Al-Juhfa on a rocky ridge. “It thrived hundreds of years ago, but the sand flooded it, leaving only a part of a single building.”
“The remains are of a fortress called Alia Palace, whose architectural style dates back to the Abbasid era and is still covered with sand, with many pieces of pottery and glass scattered around the site.”
Al-Dakheel explained that the team has overcome so many obstacles but will continue against all the odds: “It is a long process of trial and error. It is worth it, as images of such historical landmarks speak a thousand words and go a long way in preserving the history of Saudi Arabia.”
In their documenting missions, the team uses a two-seater powered parachute and a two-seater gyroplane.
Their innovative approach and their efforts to preserve Saudi Arabia’s archeological and historical landmarks have earned the Erth Aerial Photography Team first prize in the National Cultural Awards.
“It’s our duty as passionate explorers to document and show the beauty that our country has. For us it is not a business, we enjoy what we do from the air and we aim to make people aware of all these landmarks,” Al-Dakheel said.
The team have so far documented more than 12,000 aerial images in 50 different locations.
ALGIERS: Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif arrived in Algeria on Saturday.
He was received at Houari Boumediene Airport by Algerian Interior Minister Kamal Beldjoud, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Algeria, Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Bassiri, and several senior officials, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
An Algerian delegation led by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aimene Benabderrahmane took part in the Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh recently.
The prime minister said the whole world was praising the Saudi initiative and its endeavors aimed at creating a common environmental vision to unify efforts to combat climate change in the Middle East and the world.
He also stressed that Algeria fully believed in the importance of protecting the environment and achieving sustainability for it.
He said Algeria was fully ready to support the Middle East Green Initiative and every similar initiative that would research and find solutions to the problem of climate change and combating desertification, drought and forest fires.
The prime minister drew attention to the situations that the world was going through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had doubled the challenges for governments and people.
He stressed the need for everyone to join hands to find practical solutions to confront these challenges and dangers that threatened the planet.
JEDDAH: The mountains of Tabuk were capped with snow Saturday morning after a huge drop in temperature overnight.
Videos of the storm, and people celebrating the snowfall, circulated widely on social media, with impressive scenes of Jabal Al-Lawz, located in the northwest of the Kingdom, covered with snow.
Several hikers were keen to snap the scene and enjoy the atmosphere, and there were excited comments from Tabuk residents, while those in other regions looked on in envy as the snow encased the mountaintops.
Several hikers were keen to snap the scene and enjoy the atmosphere while those in other regions looked on in envy as the snow encased the mountaintops.
Saudis took to social media platforms to express their excitement and joy at the wintery weather.
“Every year, snowfall brings tourists from across the Kingdom to Tabuk, and while the COVID-19 pandemic will mean fewer visitors than usual this year, some people still drove from as far as Qatar to capture the snow on camera.
A Qatari citizen appeared in a video clip on Twitter from Jabal Al-Lawz, in which he said: “Our people in Qatar did not believe that dazzling snowfall scenes exist in the Kingdom.”
Another wrote: “What a breathtaking scene. The area needs to be developed and the local authorities must use the weather in Tabuk to the country’s advantage. It could be a marvelous attractive destination for tourists not only from inside the Kingdom but also for other GCC countries especially at this time of the year.”
A third wrote: “What a wondrous sight, like something out of Europe. I’m not sure it’s even here.”
The National Center of Meteorology had forecast, in its weather report, that thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds in Asir, Jazan, Madinah, Hail, the northern borders and Al-Jawf, as well as the Tabuk region, where more snow was not ruled out on higher grounds.
BAHA: Light shows illuminated the facades of 58 palaces in the archaeological village of Dhee Ayn in Baha to celebrate the addition of Arabic calligraphy to UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The Saudi Heritage Commission said the celebrations would last for a week and that light shows inspired by Arabic calligraphy, accompanied by audio shows, would highlight the value of this art form and its heritage as a symbol of Arab identity.
According to UNESCO, Dhee Ayn is one of the most important archaeological villages in the Kingdom.
UNESCO said Arabic calligraphy was the ‘artistic practice of handwriting Arabic script in a fluid manner to convey harmony, grace and beauty.’
Its 58 multi-story stone palaces sit atop a mountain and surround a mosque that forms the nucleus of the village. It is famous for its abundant agricultural wealth and freshwater spring that has been spurting for hundreds of years.
The people of Dhee Ayn were proud of their village being chosen to celebrate the addition of Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Saudi Press Agency reported, especially since many delegations and visitors from inside and outside the Kingdom went to the village to learn about its heritage and history.
The addition of Arabic calligraphy on the UNESCO list follows the efforts of the Kingdom in cooperation with 15 other Arab countries.
UNESCO said Arabic calligraphy was the “artistic practice of handwriting Arabic script in a fluid manner to convey harmony, grace and beauty.”
Ibrahim Radi Al-Radi was appointed Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic in April 2021.
He has held many positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since joining it in 1989, including general director of public services and general director of archives and records.
He was second secretary and first secretary at the Department of Political Analysis and Studies between 2003 and 2016, and third secretary at the Deputy Ministry for Economic and Cultural Affairs in 2000.
He was an attache at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Russia in 1992.
He has completed courses in international relations, international law, strategic planning in diplomatic work, modern diplomatic management, leadership creativity, and developing positive work trends, as well as undertaking language courses in English, Russian and Spanish.
Al-Radi believes that politics and the economy are linked and play an important role in resolving many issues.
As the first line of defense, the diplomat plays an important role in contributing to a country’s development and prosperity, as well as a vital role in addressing problems.
The ambassador has attended numerous international meetings and conferences both at home and abroad, and he has received letters of appreciation from former foreign ministers, including Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Adel Al-Jubeir, as well as from officials in other government sectors.
He has a master’s degree in economics from King Saud University’s Faculty of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree from the same university.