Saudi Arabia hosts 895,175 Yemeni, Syrian refugees as guests: KSRelief chief

Abdullah Al-Rabeeah Head of the Saudi Arabia delegation attends the High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, at the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, in this April 25, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 07 May 2017
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Saudi Arabia hosts 895,175 Yemeni, Syrian refugees as guests: KSRelief chief

OTTAWA: Royal Court Adviser and General Supervisor of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, underscored the Kingdom’s leading role in humanitarian work and its commitment to the international humanitarian law, which corresponds to the teachings of Islam that call for the preservation of human dignity and sparing mankind suffering.
Al-Rabeeah who is visiting the province of Ottawa made his remarks in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Canada Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi and a group of Canadian journalists whom he briefed on KSRelief’s vision and message, stressing its commitment to international law and collaboration with the UN and other global humanitarian organizations.
He said the Kingdom has been showing utmost concern for the humanitarian situation in Yemen, sending aid to all Yemeni provinces, including areas controlled by the Houthi militia, through KSRelief programs.
KSRelief carried out 127 projects in Yemen providing relief and humanitarian aid, as well as shelter, in addition to agricultural and water programs, Al-Rabeeah said.
KSRelief was able to reach everywhere in Yemen through 81 international and local partners; its programs place special emphasis on children and women projects, he said.
Al-Rabeeah said Saudi Arabia received 603,833 Yemeni refugees with their families who are allowed to move freely and work.
Beyond its borders, the Kingdom offered support to Yemeni refugees in Djibouti and Somalia, he added.
At the same time, the Kingdom, he said, was among the first countries to give support to the Syrian people, of whom it welcomed 291,342 as refugees, allowing them to live in the Kingdom as guests.
Thousands of them work and 114,000 Syrian students are enrolled in government schools. At the same time, similar support is given by the Kingdom to millions of refugees in neighboring countries, he added.
Al-Rabeeah also stressed the Kingdom’s concern over the humanitarian situations in Iraq, Somalia and other disaster-hit countries.
Through KSRelief, the Kingdom has so far provided $700 million worth of aid to 37 countries, he said.
He also spoke about the difficulty of delivering aid through Al-Hudeidah port in Yemen, in view of the fact that the fell under the control of Houthis who seize aid, depriving the Yemeni people of their simplest rights for political ends.
Al-Rabeeah also talked about the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 that aim at building a strong economy and creating job opportunities, and encourage humanitarian and voluntary work.
He stressed that the Arab Coalition forces facing terrorism is performing its role in response to the call of the Yemeni people and in line with the outcome of the national dialogue, UN resolutions and GCC initiative.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.