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Saudis To Build Mosque Near North Pole

Saudis To Build Mosque Near North Pole

IQALUIT — A wealthy Saudi couple will soon begin building a mosque in one of the least hospitable corners of the globe: near the North Pole, in Iqaluit, Canada. The mosque, which will be the northernmost mosque in the world, will face extreme Arctic weather conditions, including lows of -40 degrees Celsius. The town of Iqaluit is reachable to the outside world only by boat or airplane.

According to Al Arabiya, the mosque will, for the moment, serve mostly immigrants who have come to the Arctic for work from Arab countries, as well as from India and Somalia. Iqaluit’s population is composed primarily of Eskimos, of which only one, a 26-year-old fireman, has converted to Islam. Out of a local population of 8,000, 80 residents are Muslim.

The husband-and-wife Saudi benefactors, Dr. Hussein Qusti and Dr. Suzanne Ghazali, may hope that, with a new mosque in town, the local Muslim population will grow. In an interview with Al Arabiya, Qusti recounted the stories of six Eskimo women he knew who had converted to Islam upon marrying Muslims living in their area.

Despite evident challenges, the Iqaluit mosque is not the Saudi couple’s first adventure into “extreme” mosque building. They have previously built other mosques in Canada’s arctic climate, including in the region of Manitoba, where temperatures can reach -40 degrees Celsius.

(Photo - Aaron M. Lloyd)

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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