Illegal pilgrims flood the Prophet’s Mosque

Updated 03 November 2012

Illegal pilgrims flood the Prophet’s Mosque

The number of illegal pilgrims squatting in the plaza of the Prophet’s Mosque is causing problems of nightmare proportions and is beyond control of the ministry.
Muhammad Al-Baijawi, director of the Madinah branch of the Ministry of Haj was touring the area around the mosque in anticipation of a large influx of pilgrims to the mosque after the completion of Haj in Makkah.
Al-Baijawi said, “The huge number of illegal pilgrims is blocking service to foreign pilgrims. They occupy the courtyards of the mosque without any system or order.”
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, chairman of the Central Haj Committee, reported the number of illegal domestic pilgrims reached 1.4 million during Haj this year.
Al- Baijawi said more than 50,000 foreign pilgrims came on individual visas without any arrangements by Haj service companies. Haj regulations stipulate a foreign pilgrim can only come if a licensed Haj service company in the Kingdom provides their accommodations and service arrangements.
More than 32,510 licensed pilgrims arrived in Madinah and 750,000 pilgrims are expected to visit the Prophet’s Mosque over the next two weeks. To date, 1,017 pilgrims have returned to their countries from Madinah.
Egyptian pilgrims numbering 17,174 topped the list of pilgrims currently visiting the city, followed by 2,451 Turks and 2,242 Jordanians.
One attraction for pilgrims, licensed or illegal, who want to visit other religious sites in Madinah is the Uhad mountain illumination. At night the mountain which is closely associated with early Islamic history, appears to be covered in a blanket of snow. The authorities lifted the ban on visiting the mountain at nighttime. The illumination undertaken by the municipality starts from the King Abdullah intersection with Airport Road and continues eight kilometers up to the Prince Naif road. Powerful lamps decorated with colorful lanterns flood the mountain with light.

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.