Protection sought for heritage sites in Makkah and Madinah

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.

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.


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.


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