Makkah imam urges best efforts for Hajj pilgrims

Time: July 21, 2019  

Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais. (SPA file photo)

MAKKAH: Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, has urged employees of the Prophet’s Mosque and the Agency of General Presidency for the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs to make a success of the agency’s plan for pilgrimage this year.

He stressed the need to develop and improve the level of performance to achieve Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, the National Guides Establishment in Madinah organized a lecture on first aid in cooperation with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority as part of the Prince Naif first aid program.

The director of the training department of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Madinah, Musaid bin Hamed Al-Hajjili, said that the lecture was to raise awareness for the pilgrimage season. He said that the National Guides Establishment dealt with more than one-and-a-half-million pilgrims and had more than 3,000 employees who faced emergency cases that required rapid intervention.

He said that the training lecture included several specialized courses on how to deal with injuries, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency heart conditions. The lecture also included information about bleeding and fractures, along with a talk about voluntary work and its impact on society. SPA Madinah

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Moroccan king praises Saudi Arabia’s efforts in serving pilgrims

Time: July 19, 2019  

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI waves after talks with France’s President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris May 24, 2012. (Reuters)
  • King Mohammed VI also urged Moroccan pilgrims to abide by the rules and regulations whilst performing Hajj

JEDDAH: King Mohammed VI of Morocco has praised King Salman’s efforts to serve Hajj pilgrims and provide services that allow them to perform their rituals with comfort and ease.

“We appreciate the generous efforts that our brother King Salman continuously makes to receive pilgrims and provide the best conditions for comfort and reassurance… and his keenness to improve the conditions of the Hajj constantly,” said King Mohammed VI in a letter to Moroccan pilgrims.

King Mohammed VI also urged Moroccan pilgrims to abide by the rules and regulations whilst performing Hajj.

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King Salman makes Indonesian grandfather’s Hajj dream come true

18/07/19

Hajj authorities will aid the man and his family with their Hajj travel. (Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta)

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First group of Sundanese pilgrims arrives in Jeddah

18/07/19

Saudi Arabia welcomes the first group of Sudanese Hajj pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom by sea. (SPA)

  • Jeddah Islamic Port will receive pilgrims until Aug. 6 and more than 266 personnel will be involved in overseeing this year’s Hajj season
  • The president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and other dock officials greeted 1,633 pilgrims as they disembarked at Jeddah Islamic Port following their voyage from Sawakin, Sudan

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has welcomed the first group of Sudanese Hajj pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom by sea.
The president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI), Saad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, and other dock officials greeted 1,633 pilgrims as they disembarked at Jeddah Islamic Port following their voyage from Sawakin in Sudan.
Al-Khalb said the operational plan prepared for this year’s Hajj aimed to receive 22,000 pilgrims through Jeddah Islamic Port, a 37 percent increase on 2018. He added that 22 trips using four ferries were planned, representing a 29 percent rise in the number of sea journeys on the previous year.
The authority, in cooperation with different government sectors and agencies, aims to ensure Hajj pilgrims’ comfort during their stay in the Kingdom.
Jeddah Islamic Port will receive pilgrims until Aug. 6 and more than 266 personnel will be involved in overseeing this year’s Hajj season. These workers will include maritime pilots, ship captains, technical and operational supervisors, security teams, staff responsible for operations at the station, and technical affairs managers.

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Saudi Arabia to distribute 8 million copies of the Holy Qur’an to Hajj pilgrims

Time: July 18, 2019  

Copies of the Holy Qur’an are prepared for shipping at the King Fahad Complex for the Holy Qur’an in Madinah on June 17, 2019. (SPA file photo)

RIYADH: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has started preparations for its Hajj season book distribution program. The ministry will provide pilgrims with books concerning the rituals upon entry to the Kingdom, as well as the Holy Qur’an and translations of its meanings. Finally, pilgrims will be offered guidance books upon their departure.

The program aims to spread legitimate awareness among pilgrims and promote adherence to the correct methods of belief, worship and behavior.

The undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan, said that it has approved 52 books in more than 30 languages for this year’s Hajj season. He added that more than 8 million copies of the Holy Qur’an, ritual books and manuals will be distributed.

Al-Hamdan said that the Islamic electronic library had issued a platform containing all of the ministry’s written and audio versions of the books of Hajj and Umrah to every international airport in the Kingdom, several exit-port centers and some mosques and important sites. The platform is available to all at www.islamic-ebook.com. SPA Riyadh

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Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

17/07/19

Pre-immigration facilities provided by Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims in Bangladesh have helped reduce waiting times by several hours. (AN photo/Shehab Sumon)

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Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

17/07/19

A picture taken on August 23, 2018 shows the walkway leading to the pillars where Muslim pilgrims partake in the symbolic stoning of the devil at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, near Mecca, which marks the final major rite of the Hajj pilgrimage. – Muslims from across the world gather in Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the annual six-day pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, an act all Muslims must perform at least once if they have the means to travel to Saudi Arabia. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year. (File/AFP)

  • The ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage
  • Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year.
Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: https://qh1440.haj.gov.sa

The ministry called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously and “cooperate in order to allow its citizens to perform Hajj easily.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups.

The embargo includes transport restrictions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the Kingdom has taken measures to ensure pilgrims from Qatar can travel freely for Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry said on Saturday it had taken several steps to ensure pilgrims could enter Saudi Arabia for for Hajj, which starts next month. But the ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a recent meeting with a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country arriving in the Kingdom, the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreements to enable access for it citizens, according to the ministry.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said that Qatari pilgrims could complete their applications upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.

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 First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

17/07/19

The first batch of Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims are seen before their departure at Colombo Airport on Monday evening. (Photo Courtesy: Traveler Global)

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government.

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.

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King Salman issues directive for Saudi Arabia to host families of Christchurch attack victims during Hajj season

Time: July 17, 2019

Saudi Arabia will host 200 Hajj pilgrims of families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on the orders of King Salman. (SPA)
  • Directive from King Salman announced on Tuesday by Minister of Islamic Affairs
  • Ministry was working with Saudi embassy in New Zealand

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will host 200 Hajj pilgrims of families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on the orders of King Salman, a Saudi Press Agency report said.
The attack in March by Brenton Tarrant on two mosques in the city killed 50 people and wounded dozens more.
The directive from King Salman was announced on Tuesday by Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abulaziz Al-Asheikh, the Minister of Islamic Affairs.
Al-Asheikh said the hosting of the families during the Hajj season was part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all forms.
Al-Asheikh added that his ministry was working with the Saudi embassy in New Zealand to ensure the invitees have everything they need to perform Hajj during their visit.

An armed police officer (R) stands guard outside the Al Noor mosque, one of the mosques where some 50 people were killed by a self-avowed white supremacist gunman on March 15, 2019, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (AFP file photo)

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Saudi Arabia offers one million SIM cards and internet access to Hajj pilgrims

Time: July 17, 2019  

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The move aims to serve pilgrims who are keen to communicate with their dearest ones back home. (SPA)
  • The move aims to serve pilgrims who are keen to communicate with their dearest ones back home

MAKKAH: One million SIM cards and free internet will be offered as gifts to pilgrims performing Hajj this year upon arriving at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

The initiative is part of a program aimed at serving pilgrims who are keen to communicate with their nearest and dearest back home.

A field team will be working 24 hours during the Hajj season to offer this service to the arriving pilgrims so that they can share their experience with their families.

The project comes as part of  efforts by the Kingdom to serve pilgrims under directions by King Salman and the Crown Prince to allow pilgrims to perform their rituals with ease.

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