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Saudi Arabia highlights rules for secure Hajj


RIYADH: With Hajj just around the corner, the King Abdulaziz Public Library is diligently carrying on its work preserving manuscripts and photographs that depict the rich culture and history of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The historic library is a treasure trove of knowledge, housing rare artefacts that showcase the profound significance of the Two Holy Mosques in Islam.

As pilgrims worldwide prepare to embark on this spiritual journey, the library serves as a beacon of enlightenment, offering educational resources for those eager to learn more.

The library includes over 6,000 items consisting of rare holdings of manuscripts, books, coins, miniatures, and pictures. (Supplied)

The library includes more than 6,000 items consisting of rare holdings of manuscripts, books, coins, miniatures, and pictures. They are also part of the library’s database assets.

Among the manuscripts in the library’s possession related to the ritual of Hajj are “The Golden Poem on the Hajj Rites” by Mohammad Al-Halabi, and “Sawaanih Al-Hijaz” by Bahaa Al-Din Al-Harithi Al-Dhahani written in 1622.

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The library includes more than 6,000 items consisting of rare holdings of manuscripts, books, coins, miniatures, and pictures.

The library has published several books about Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques, including “A Japanese in Makkah” which was translated and commented on by Dr. Samir Ibrahim and Sarah Takahashi.

The King Abdulaziz Public Library is a treasure trove of knowledge, housing rare artefacts, including historic photographs that showcase the profound significance of the Two Holy Mosques in Islam. (Supplied)

Other books include “Pilgrimage to Mecca” written by Zainab Cobbold, “Viewing the Two Holy Mosques and the Aspects of Hajj through the Lens of Hajj” by Ahmed Mirza, who is considered to be the first Indian professional photographer to capture Hajj. Mirza performed Hajj in 1907. The 240-page book includes an introduction to the Two Holy Mosques in old maps, ancient drawings and miniatures, and photographs.

Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar, the general supervisor of the library, said: “Today, we live in the age of knowledge. It does not only include one field of culture, literature, languages, sciences, or economy. It is a comprehensive system in a world where technology and diverse technological tools are spreading, motivating us to give reading our utmost attention.”

The library includes over 6,000 items consisting of rare holdings of manuscripts, books, coins, miniatures, and pictures. (Supplied)

The library has approximately 365 previously unpublished photos of the Two Holy Mosques, photographed by the international Egyptian photographer Ahmed Pasha Helmy.

Helmy was commissioned by King Farouk of Egypt to photograph the Two Holy Mosques during King Abdulaziz’s entry into Makkah.

The King Abdulaziz Public Library is a treasure trove of knowledge, housing rare artefacts, including historic photographs that showcase the profound significance of the Two Holy Mosques in Islam. (Supplied)

The library also screened the 2009 film “Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta,” which depicts Hajj rituals and efforts of the Kingdom to build the Two Holy Mosques.

Over 2,000 people from 24 countries took part in the project, inspired by Ibn Battuta’s journey to Makkah in the 14th century.

The film was screened in several international cities such as London, Paris, New York, and Singapore, and has received awards at three film festivals, including a prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

The library’s Restoration Centre was launched on June 21, 2022, with the main focus on sterilizing, restoring, treating, sewing, binding, and preserving rare and valuable cultural artifacts.

Their restoration efforts go beyond just fixing items but also creating ideal conditions for their long-term safety and accessibility.

The centre works on preserving and restoring rare cultural heritage items like documents, manuscripts, books, Qur’ans, photographs, maps, periodicals, coins, and artefacts held by various entities, including the library.

The meticulous preservation efforts of the library staff ensure that future generations will have access to these priceless works of art and literature.

Hajj culture is a dynamic and vibrant tapestry that continues to evolve, and the King Abdulaziz Public Library is a testament to this sacred tradition’s enduring legacy.

 

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