Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman has ordered the constitution of a committee to identify historical sites in the central area next to the Prophet’s Mosque. The committee, to be headed by Madinah’s secretary-general, Khalid Abdulqader Taher, will comprise representatives from the province’s governorate, the Madinah Monawarah Development Authority (MMDA), the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), and the Ministries of Islamic Affairs, Education and Finance.
The committee, which is expected to submit its report in a month, will come up with recommendations to preserve these sites during the process of renovation and expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque with the aim of retaining the identity of Madinah.
According to reports in the local media, the directions came following a letter written by the Education Directorate in Madinah to Prince Faisal, clarifying the importance of preserving historical landmarks in the central area, including Teibah Secondary School, Dar Al-Qalam and two archaeological buildings constructed in 2011.
The Madinah Educational Directorate is entrusted with the task of preserving the identity of these buildings. They called on the Ministry of Finance to exempt these sites from expropriation because they are archaeological sites.
The contention is that the expansion program affects archaeological sites like mosques, buildings, mountains, valleys and wells and that these should be out of the purview since they are Islamic, historical archaeological sites that carry the identity of Madinah.