Under the patronage of HRH Prince Faisal Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Reigon, HRH Saud Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Deputy Governor of the Region, inaugurated the first stage of establishing the “Center of Excellence for the Waqf in Madinah” Project. The occasion was attended by the President of the  Islamic Development Bank Group, Dr. Bandar Bin Mohammed Hajjar, Imad Bin Saleh Al-Kharashi the Governor of the General Authority for Awqaf, and a host of experts, scholars and Waqf institutions from inside and outside the Kingdom.

The Deputy Governor of the Region stressed the importance of the role of Waqf in society as one of the tributaries of sustainable social development, pointing out that the Waqf had a distinguished role in covering a large part of the social requirements and filling the economic gaps in the community. “Waqf has preserved the distinctive identity of the Islamic community through its social solidarity including the fulfilment of the needs of community” he said.

He pointed out that Madinah has embraced many Waqf properties, some of which date back to the first history of Islam, adding that Madinah is considered the center point for Waqf in the Islamic world.

The Deputy Governor of the Region stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - and the continuous follow-up by HRH the Emir of the Region is keen to revive the role of Waqf, increase its investments, and benefit from this in development programs and charitable works throughout the Kingdom.

He expressed his thanks to the Islamic Development Bank Group for its cooperation with the Emirate of the Region to launch the workshop which reflects the growing partnership between Madinah and the IsDB Group.

Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Bank Group, thanked HRH the Emir of the Region for his generous patronage of the workshop, pointing out that the Awqaf sector in Madinah is finding unlimited support from him. He also thanked the Deputy Governor of the Region for his presence and honoring of the workshop, stressing that the success of the workshop and its recommendations contribute to support the Waqf sector in the Region.

During the opening session, Dr. Hajjar announced the launch of the "Certified Awqaf Specialist Program", which will be supervised and implemented by the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the IDB Group. He added that the Program will be developed to include a number of specialized courses and provide international professional certificates accredited by the world's top universities.

“Madinah will be an open space for all institutions and specialized bodies in the field of training to partner and build individual and institutional capacities in cooperation with IRTI . It will provide specialized programs in developing human and institutional capacities of the non-profit sector, in particular the endowment sector” he said.

Dr. Hajjar elaborated that the establishment of the Center of Excellence for the Waqf reflects the desire of HRH the Emir of Madinah, to make Madinah a global center for Waqf. “The Center will arrange annual international Waqf conferences, establish an electronic platform that enables networking among innovative initiatives in Waqf and beneficiaries using the highest types of contemporary technology, in addition to training and capacity building for individuals and institutions working in the field of Waqf.