Theme

Culture and Lifestyle

Stories related to society, culture and lifestyles.

 

Editor's choice
News
Climate change makes it harder to protect the faithful during pilgrimages

Climate change makes it harder to protect the faithful during pilgrimages

Hundreds of pilgrims who died of extreme heat during this year's Hajj were not officially registered with the Saudi authorities (the Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims). As a result, many pilgrims were unable to access basic services such as air-conditioned buses and cooling tents. This situation highlights a growing challenge for Hajj organisers in the face of climate change: the requirement for official permits to access these services raises concerns that unregistered pilgrims may increasingly face life-threatening heat exposure. In addition, the high cost of official Hajj packages is leading some Muslims to seek cheaper, unofficial alternatives that do not include the necessary permits, taking advantage of relaxed restrictions on other types of Saudi visas. The lack of permits for unregistered pilgrims is hampering the provision of services and care, according to Colonel Talal bin Shalhoub, the security spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Interior, in an interview on Saudi al-Arabiya television. Critics argue that all pilgrims should be protected from extreme heat, regardless of their registration status, and claim that authorities have cracked down on unauthorised participants this year.
Editor's choice
News
New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

Russia's ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, initiated on 24 February 2022, has caused significant environmental and climate damage, severely impacting global efforts to combat climate change. This is highlighted in the latest report from the Initiative on Greenhouse Gas Accounting of War (IGGAW), which analyses the environmental costs over the past two years. The report was published Thursday (13 June) by the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine in collaboration with climate advocacy groups. The IGGAW report estimates climate-related damages at $32 billion, attributed to activities such as the extensive use of military fuels and the destruction of landscapes and infrastructure. Over 24 months, the conflict resulted in the emission of 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - more than the annual emissions of a developed country like the Netherlands.

Filter archive

Publication date
Editor's choice
News
Climate change makes it harder to protect the faithful during pilgrimages

Climate change makes it harder to protect the faithful during pilgrimages

Hundreds of pilgrims who died of extreme heat during this year's Hajj were not officially registered with the Saudi authorities (the Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims). As a result, many pilgrims were unable to access basic services such as air-conditioned buses and cooling tents. This situation highlights a growing challenge for Hajj organisers in the face of climate change: the requirement for official permits to access these services raises concerns that unregistered pilgrims may increasingly face life-threatening heat exposure. In addition, the high cost of official Hajj packages is leading some Muslims to seek cheaper, unofficial alternatives that do not include the necessary permits, taking advantage of relaxed restrictions on other types of Saudi visas. The lack of permits for unregistered pilgrims is hampering the provision of services and care, according to Colonel Talal bin Shalhoub, the security spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Interior, in an interview on Saudi al-Arabiya television. Critics argue that all pilgrims should be protected from extreme heat, regardless of their registration status, and claim that authorities have cracked down on unauthorised participants this year.
Editor's choice
News
New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

Russia's ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, initiated on 24 February 2022, has caused significant environmental and climate damage, severely impacting global efforts to combat climate change. This is highlighted in the latest report from the Initiative on Greenhouse Gas Accounting of War (IGGAW), which analyses the environmental costs over the past two years. The report was published Thursday (13 June) by the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine in collaboration with climate advocacy groups. The IGGAW report estimates climate-related damages at $32 billion, attributed to activities such as the extensive use of military fuels and the destruction of landscapes and infrastructure. Over 24 months, the conflict resulted in the emission of 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - more than the annual emissions of a developed country like the Netherlands.
Editor's choice
Commentary
Kyrgyz film, Kyz Ala Kachuu, wins Busan International Film Festival award, shedding light on the still deeply entrenched practice of bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz film, Kyz Ala Kachuu, wins Busan International Film Festival award, shedding light on the still deeply entrenched practice of bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Kyz Ala Kachuu is an obvious and unapologetic form of protest by Mirlan Abdykaylkov against the archaic and violating nature of the bride kidnapping traditions in Kyrgyzstan, writes Silvan Lochteken in this commentary for commonspace.eu. Its success at the Busan International Film Festival not only brings the international spotlight on the controversial practice, but reignites the contested debate on bride kidnapping that has polarized the Kyrgyz public for decades.
Editor's choice
News
Iranian political point scoring mars process of reconciliation with Saudi Arabia

Iranian political point scoring mars process of reconciliation with Saudi Arabia

Football, it is often said, can unite nations in love with the game. But in Iran, it appears they see things differently. Saudi Arabia and Iran were at loggerheads for years, but in March, with much fanfare, the Chinese announced they had brokered a deal between the two countries. Diplomatic relations were restored. And from last month, football matches could start being played on their home grounds, instead of in third party venues. But for Iran, political scoring is all important. A furious row erupted on Monday after an Iranian football club tried to use a match against Saudi opponents for political propaganda. The AFC Champions League match at the Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium in Isfahan between Sepahan and Jeddah team Al-Ittihad was called off when the Iranian club refused to remove political banners and busts of the late Revolutionary Guard warlord Qassem Soleimani from the edge of the pitch. Soleimani ran the overseas arm of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was a blunt critic of the Saudi government and the kingdom’s ruling Al Saud family. He was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad in 2020. The Iranians refused to remove the bust. After requesting a delay of half an hour to assess the situation, the Saudi team and staff left the stadium to head to the airport and back to Saudi Arabia.
Editor's choice
News
Women artists make impact on Saudi Arabia's art scene

Women artists make impact on Saudi Arabia's art scene

The role of women in various aspects of Saudi society has been changing dramatically in recent years. One area where great strides has been made is the arts and culture scene, including in various Saudi regions. The women’s art movement in Baha is elevating the Saudi art scene by showcasing regional and national heritage. Visual artist Samia Al-Othman told the Saudi Press Agency that the women’s art movement in Baha has witnessed significant development in recent years. Al-Othman has taken part in local and international exhibitions and forums, and undergone training courses in different art schools, utilizing a range of techniques since 2012. Nada Al-Jabiri said that she discovered her talent at an early age, adding that aspirations for the future can be seen in her drawings, which aligns with empowering women and using their artistic ideas. Women artists in Baha have been influenced by local and global experiences, which is reflected in many of their works. (SPA) She added that visual art is sending a great message by highlighting national identity and introducing Saudi cultural, historic, social and artistic heritage to the world.