The service of transporting pilgrims was implemented under the governor of Makkah, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, to provide best facilities. (SPA)
The first route is dedicated to pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America, Australia and the Southeast Asia Foundation
MAKKAH: For the first time during this year’s Hajj season, 43,000 pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia were transported free of charge from Mina to the Grand Mosque to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah.
Adel Qari, the supervisor of the transport sector at the Establishment of Motawifs of Pilgrims of Turkey Muslims of Europe, America and Australia, said that this was part of preparations for future expansion and development of this experiment. Coordination can then be done in advance for the establishment of stops, the use of distinctive buses, and the employment of the largest number of them.
Qari told Arab News that the service of transporting pilgrims from Mina to the Grand Mosque during the Days of Tashreeq was implemented under the governor of Makkah, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, who directed the Supreme Commission for Transport Control to implement the service on four dedicated routes.
43,000 pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia were transported within 30 hours — between 1 p.m. on Dul Hijjah 10 (Aug. 11) and 7 p.m. on Dul Hijjah 11 (Aug. 12) — on 150 buses, which carried out successive trips from their camps in Mina to Jroul Station north of the Grand Mosque.
“The first route is dedicated to pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America, Australia and the Southeast Asia Foundation. The second route starts from the Jamarat facility, passes through the Grand Mosque and ends at Talaat Sidqi Street. The third route starts from the end of the Jamarat facility, passes through the Grand Mosque and ends at Al-Shisha district. The fourth route runs from the King Khalid Bridge to the Grand Mosque,” he said.
OIC Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen. (AFP)
JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, congratulated the leadership, government and people of Saudi Arabia on the success of this year’s Hajj season.
He expressed thanks for the services and facilities provided to pilgrims from their arrival in the holy sites until their return to their countries.
Meanwhile, Arab Islamic affairs and information ministers and heads of pilgrims affairs offices, who led their counties’ Hajj missions, said that this year’s Hajj season was free from any difficulties and praised the cooperation among all bodies working during Hajj days.
From left: British Consul-General Seif Usher, Yasmin Qureshi, MP, and Rashid Mogradia, CEO of the Council of British Hajjis. (Photo/Supplied)
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British Consul-General Seif Usher with pilgrims. (Photo/Supplied)
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British Consul-General Seif Usher with pilgrims. (Photo/Supplied)
The Kingdom welcomed about 26,000 British pilgrims this year
More than 100,000 pilgrims traveled from the UK to perform Umrah
JEDDAH: The head of a British parliamentary group praised Saudi authorities for their efforts in ensuring another successful Hajj season. The Kingdom welcomed about 26,000 British pilgrims this year, many of them first-timers. In addition, more than 100,000 pilgrims traveled from the UK to perform Umrah.
MP Yasmin Qureshi, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hajj and Umrah, was among the British Hajj pilgrims.
“I would like to thank the Saudi government for their logistics and preparations for Hajj, which has allowed British pilgrims to perform the pilgrimage with significant ease,” she said.
“At the Hajj Symposium, I had the opportunity to meet the Deputy Minister for Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat, and Dr. Abdul Aziz Wazzan (an undersecretary at the ministry), who shared with us the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans. They are hoping to increase the number of pilgrims and enhance their experience. The number of Britons who attended Hajj is a promising sign of their future success.
“We look forward to developing close cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the UK.”
British tour operators and pilgrims reported great improvements at Hajj this year, including an immigration process lasting less than five minutes and a journey to Makkah that took only a few hours.
“I was proud to receive the first group of Hajj pilgrims (from Britain) on arrival at Jeddah airport last month,” said British Consul-General Seif Usher. “During the course of Hajj, I have had the privilege of meeting pilgrims from across the United Kingdom. Their commitment to fulfilling this most important of religious undertakings in Islam, and especially during the high temperatures of August, has been an inspiration.”
Rashid Mogradia, CEO of the Council of British Hajjis, also commended King Salman and the Saudi government for developing a range of services that ease and improve the Hajj experience.
“We are witnessing a transformation in the delivery of services for Hajj, and we are adapting by working with licensed Hajj organizers and local Saudi agencies to deliver support for British pilgrims,” he said.
“Our dedicated Hajj Team has been moving with the tour groups and pilgrims throughout Hajj and supporting them as required, giving them reassurance during this enduring journey of faith.”
The head of the British Council in Saudi Arabia praised Hajj authorities on the successful operation of the Islamic pilgrimage. The Hajj authorities “have done a wonderful job” in providing services and facilities to over two million people to ensure the pilgrimage goes “smoothly,” Amir Ramzan said.
President of the Lebanese Islamic Center for Studies and Media said Saudi Hajj efforts are make him proud
Religious advisor from New Zealand said Hajj will help victims of Christchurch terror attack heal
DUBAI: Pilgrims from around the world have thanked King Salman for the new services offered during Hajj, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.
Mused Abduljalil, a pilgrim from the families of martyrs and Yemen’s national army soldiers’ group, visited Makkah as part of “the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ guests’ program for Hajj and Umrah.”
“When I received King Salman bin Abudlaziz’s invitation to perform Hajj, my emotions were mixed with happiness tears that my dream was coming true,” Abdulmajid said.
Anwar Jaafar Al-Murooj. (SPA)
Meanwhile, Serbia’s senior imam and mufti advisor sheikh Anwar Jaafar Al-Murooj said the Kingdom was a leading power in the Islamic world.
The Saudi support for Muslims from around the world, including those from Serbia specifically, left him speechless, he added.
Khaldoon Oraymet. (SPA)
The president of the Lebanese Islamic Center for Studies and Media, judge and Sheikh Khaldoon Oraymet, said he was happy to join “the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ guests’ program for Hajj and Umrah.”
“What the Kingdom does for pilgrims makes us proud, as despite the hardships in Lebanon we feel like Saudi Arabia will stand in the face of those who want to cause trouble in the Arab world,” he added.
Saeed Abdulaziz. (SPA)
In the meantime, the Mufti of Karelia province in Finland Sheikh Saeed Abdulaziz, who has already previously performed Hajj, said the newly implemented technologies by the Kingdom made the experience easier.
He and his group of pilgrims did not face any problems in commuting between their accommodation and the various places of worship, Abdulaziz added.
Mohammed Haneef Kewazi. (SPA)
Meanwhile, one of the advisors of an Islamic association in New Zealand, Mohammed Haneef Kewazi, thanked the King and the Crown Prince for inviting the families and victims of Christchurch terrorist attack.
The happiness of those pilgrims will help them heal from the pain of the shooting incident, he added.
Superintendent Naila Hassan of the New Zealand police. (Supplied photo)
Superintendent Naila Hassan praises Saudi Arabia for Hajj ‘generosity’
“As much as it’s a journey for me, I’m here for the victims,” she says in a video
JEDDAH: Just over four months ago, police superintendent Naila Hassan was giving an emotional speech at a vigil in New Zealand for the 51 people murdered in the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack.
Now Hassan, New Zealand’s most senior Muslim police officer, is in Makkah to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage — and her dream has come true.
“As a Muslim, you just dream about seeing the Kaaba and going to Makkah and Madinah,” she said in a video thanking Saudi King Salman for hosting the Christchurch pilgrims.
“When I saw the Kaaba this morning, I was breathless, I really was.
“But … as much as it’s a journey for me, I’m here for the victims … I’m here particularly for the women and the widows that are here. I’m here to support them.”
Vigil in Auckland
Hassan described how she and about 200 other pilgrims were welcomed with petals, singing and gifts. “I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life,” she said.
“I’m thanking King Salman for his generosity. He has just been unbelievably generous to the people of New Zealand.”
The day after the March 15 Christchurch massacre, Hassan gave a speech at a vigil in Auckland in support of the Muslim community and fellow New Zealanders.
Opening with the Islamic greeting, she reassured the crowd that police were providing support to the Muslim community and everyone affected.
Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said on Sunday that hosting the Christchurch pilgrims was part of Saudi efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.
Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Sunday,
Taya urged pilgrims not to raise any political, doctrinal or racist slogans during the Hajj season
CAIRO: Makram Mohammed Ahmed, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation, hailed Saudi efforts to provide pilgrims with all facilities to perform Hajj easily and smoothly.
He said that the Muslim world and the international community greatly admire and appreciate those efforts.
Meanwhile, the president of the Shoura Council of Kyrgyz Muslim Scholars, Habibullah ibn Nabi Al-Din, lauded the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.
A guest of this year’s program, he thanked the Saudi leadership for its care and interest in Islam and Muslims.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Egypt’s Ministry of Awqaf, Dr. Jaber Taya, said Saudi Arabia provides the best services to pilgrims every year.
He praised all efforts exerted by the government and private sectors in the Kingdom to help pilgrims perform their rituals easily, comfortably and safely.
Taya urged pilgrims not to raise any political, doctrinal or racist slogans during the Hajj season.
Muslim worshippers pray at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (AFP)
CAIRO: Saudi Arabia has been lauded for its “outstanding” efforts in servicing the needs of millions of Muslims from around the world performing Hajj and Umrah.
Chairman of the Egyptian Parliament’s tourism and aviation committee, Amr Sadqi, praised the Kingdom for the development of the Hajj season to facilitate the pilgrimage.
Meanwhile, in a separate tribute, a member of the Jordanian House of Representatives, Hafez Al-Fayez, thanked the Saudi leadership and people for the services and facilities provided to pilgrims which enabled them to perform Hajj in “ease and tranquility.”
A policeman helps a pilgrim capture a souvenir photo at Arafat. (File/AN photo/Ahmad Hasshad)
“the work the government has to do here in the Kingdom on the connectivity side when there is Hajj is amazing,” says expert
RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) have been praised for their efforts to improve the Hajj experience through the use of technology.
A senior official from the Internet Society, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the internet, congratulated the ministry and the industry regulator for the incredible achievement of providing reliable connectivity to the millions of pilgrims who visit the country each year.
Speaking to Arab News Jane Coffin, senior adviser to the CEO and president of the Internet Society, said: “One thing that is fascinating about the ministry and the regulator, the CITC, is that the work the government has to do here in the Kingdom on the connectivity side when there is Hajj is amazing.
“They have a lot of people coming in and they have worked to ensure total readiness to help with the connectivity … which is impressive.”
More than 2 million people visit Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj each year and Coffin said a huge amount of work is needed to ensure reliable connectivity for such a large number. People not only use their phones for data, text messages and instant messaging but they also take and share photos and videos, she noted.
“The burden on the network to deliver that traffic is immense,” she said. “It is an amazing achievement by the ministry and the regulator.”
Coffin is responsible for development strategy at the Internet Society, where her work focuses on coordination of collaborative strategies for expanding internet infrastructure, access and related capacities in emerging economies.
She was visiting Riyadh for an event, organized by the society and ministry, focusing on best practices for a vibrant digital environment. She said that it included discussions of internet safety and internet exchange points (IXP), the physical infrastructure through which traffic passes from one network to another, which are an integral part of the global internet infrastructure.
“We do workshops like this and work with the communities all over the region,” she added. “To bring in more internet connectivity to help with the IXP, that was the part of reason we were here.
“We are trying to help make the internet cheaper, better and faster here and create a more level playing field for everybody.”
Coffin also praised the ongoing program of reforms in support of Saudi Vision 2030, and highlighted the role of digital transformation as part of the process.
“I am sure they will carry out the mission; Vision 2030 is very impressive and it means that the Kingdom is thinking of moving in another direction, which is very important for development including literacy, business and the health sector, because connectivity underpins everything.”
She also pointed out that Riyadh will host the 15th G20 summit next year, which also represents another major boost to digital transformation in the country.
Regarding the potential for future cooperation and partnerships with the Saudi ministry, she said that while there are currently no specific plans to work together, “we are definitely talking to them more about what we can do.”
The King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah performed 163 heart operations on Hajj pilgrims in July. (SPA)
The operations included 160 cardiac catheterization procedures and three open-heart surgeries
RIYADH: The King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah performed 163 heart operations on Hajj pilgrims in July.
The operations included 160 cardiac catheterization procedures and three open-heart surgeries.
The executive management of the city said that the heart center had made preparations to ensure that it is able to serve Hajj pilgrims and treat them in the best manner around the clock.
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