Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saudis Put Jerusalem on New Currency

Source: Reuters via Khaleej Times Online§ion=middleeast&col=

20 May 2007

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia will issue new banknotes this week which for the first time carry the image of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, in a move officials said reflects the kingdom’s concern for the Palestinian issue.

The new notes -- the fifth currency to appear since the kingdom was founded in 1932 -- show familiar images such as that of founder King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Islamic holy sites in Mecca and Medina.

But the 50 riyal ($13.3) note (sse image at left), which come into circulation on Monday, will show on one side the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s old city and the Dome of the Rock, an iconic early Islamic mosque, on the other side.

King Abdullah, a US ally who ascended the throne in 2005, appears on all denominations of the currency notes.

The Aqsa Mosque is regarded as Islam’s third holiest shrine after the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, which both lie in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and considers itself as guardian of the Muslim faith.