Expats guard against coronavirus

Updated 28 April 2014
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Expats guard against coronavirus

Indian and Sri Lankan missions have launched extensive awareness campaigns and alerts among their nationals about the rapidly spreading Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Sri Lanka has alerted its missions in the Middle East to take precautionary measures among its expatriates in the region.
Mangala Randeniya, spokesman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), told Arab News from Colombo that the bureau has alerted all its overseas missions about the deadly virus.
“Even though not a single Sri Lankan has been affected so far, we, as a government, are tasked with alerting our overseas workers,” Randeniya said.
There are 1.5 million Sri Lankans living in the Middle East and nearly one third of them are in the Kingdom, he said.
“Colombo International Airport has been alerted to take note of any arriving passenger suspected to be infected with the coronavirus,” he said. “Our SLBFE desk at the airport will identify such incoming passengers and provide them with immediate medical treatment.”
Paba Palihawadana, chief epidemiologist at the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit, said the authorities have put in place a mechanism to create awareness among community members. “There are educational programs conducted through the Bureau of Foreign Employment, travel agencies and Sri Lankan embassies to ensure that travelers and workers to the region are aware of the risks,” she said.
The Indian Social Forum in Jeddah (ISFJ) has launched a coronavirus awareness campaign to raise public understanding about the virus among its nationals. The forum organized a series of camps in Jeddah and other parts of Western Province with the support of the Ministry of Health.
Acting Indian Consul General Mohammed Shaikh inaugurated the campaign on Friday.
Muneera Balahmar, director of health education and community medicine consultant at the Health Ministry, gave a detailed overview about the virus and ways to prevent its spread.
Forum President Ashraf Morayur said the campaign would focus on areas of large gatherings in Jeddah, a port of arrival for thousands of pilgrims.


Saudis, expats share Eid experience in the Kingdom

Eid Al-Adha prayers held in different locations of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 22 August 2018
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Saudis, expats share Eid experience in the Kingdom

  • This Eid is a source of immense joy to Muslims as they decorate their houses, wear new clothes and give as much as they can to the poor

JEDDAH: Muslims celebrate their second beloved Eid, the Eid Al-Adha, the second Eid of the year after the Eid Al-Fitr.
It is the biggest festival of the year, to commemorate the valor, bravery and faithfulness of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his son Ismail (peace be upon him). Prophet Ismail was brave and young and willingly offered himself for sacrifice, when his father was asked to sacrifice his most beloved possession.
Moments before Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his beloved son, Allah sent a ram to take Ismail’s place, and now millions of Muslims celebrate this day by sacrificing animals and dividing them into three parts. One third is distributed among the poor, one third among relatives and the last third is kept for the family.
This Eid is a source of immense joy to Muslims as they decorate their houses, wear new clothes and give as much as they can to the poor. It focuses on food more than any other events. After the obvious distribution, giving to the poor and worshipping, people tend to hold dinners with the main dishes made with meat, or hold barbecues, to celebrate with friends and families.
In many different countries, people have different traditions they follow: In China, families go to their ancestors’ graves and pray for their forgiveness in front of Allah. In the West, gifts are given to children, and in the Middle East youngsters are given money called “Eidi” or “Eidiya.”
Children are the most excited about this event as they get to enjoy their favorite food and receive money and gifts from elders.
Ghala Al-Otaibi, a Saudi citizen of Taif, said: “We celebrate Eid with relatives living at a distance and parents; there is usually a variety of food.”
Mohammad Al-Harthy, also from Taif, said: “We visit our families and enjoy a lot, we usually slaughter a sheep or a camel. Most of the people celebrate Eid in the same way, but the only difference may be in food traditions.”
Amna Abbasi, a Pakistani mother from Jubail, said: “During Eid, adults and children wear new clothes and exchange gifts with each other. Children love to participate in this process as they learn the value of giving to others and cherishing the smiles of the needy.”