Saudi Arabia proud to create partnerships with Muslims all over the world: Islamic minister

Saudi and international delegates pose at the opening of the 30th session of the International Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Muslims in Sao Paulo on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 17 September 2017
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Saudi Arabia proud to create partnerships with Muslims all over the world: Islamic minister

SAO PAULO, Brazil: Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Saleh Al-Asheikh said the Saudi government and people are proud to communicate and create partnerships with Muslims all over the world, notably Latin America, in serving Islam and strengthening the moderate approach of Islam.
The minister’s remarks came at the opening of the 30th session of the International Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Muslims which started in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Friday. The ministry’s undersecretary, Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Ghannam Al-Ghannam, who is leading Saudi delegation at the conference, addressed the conference on behalf of the minister.
He said the Kingdom used to support the moderate Islamic approach which combines preservation of originality and constant Islamic teachings; promotes good dealing with Muslim and non-Muslims, irrespective of their sects and religions; strives for positive interaction in serving the security, stability and coexistence of societies; and faces all risks that could distort the good image of Islam or stir up divisions and spread hatred among communities.
Al-Ghannam also lauded the good message and objectives of the conference which are represented in deepening the Islamic identity through the family, mosques, and Islamic, educational and media institutions, as well as the enhancement of communication between the Islamic institutions in the Latin American and the Caribbean countries.
He said the session comes in light of critical conditions and changes at the world level and big challenges facing Muslims which require enormous efforts to preserve the Islamic identity.
For his part, the director of the Islamic Call Center in Latin American and the Caribbean countries, Ziyad bin Ahmed Al-Saifi, welcomed the Saudis and other delegates to the conference. He lauded the Saudi ministry’s efforts in organizing the current 30th session and the Kingdom’s continued efforts to support Muslim minorities and spread Islamic teachings.
Addressing the conference, Brazilian Parliament member Antonio Gollart affirmed the importance of the conference at it deals with a topic concerning humanity in general. He also expressed his admiration over the teachings of Islam which guarantee the rights of families and protects their original values and customs.
Palestinian Ambassador in Brazil Ibrahim Al-Zain also addressed the conference and appreciated the efforts of the Saudi government in supporting issues of Islam and Muslims around the world.
Sheikh Ahmed Al-Marzouq, from Lebanon, gave an address on behalf of the preachers participating in the conference. He expressed thanks to the Kingdom for its concern over the Islamic call and Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs’ support to preachers in different parts of the world.

For his part, adviser to the Palestinian president for religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, stressed the importance of human communication and building of one humanitarian family based on the principles of tolerance, love and brotherhood with their different religions and faiths.
The head of the Women’s Section at the Islamic Call Center in Latin American and Caribbean countries, Braa bint Ahmed Al-Saifi, appreciated the Kingdom’s efforts in sponsoring the current 30th session and its continued support to Muslim minorities in different parts of the world.
Bishop of Sao Paulo Carlos Lima Garcia also addressed the event and conveyed his greetings to leaders, scholars and preachers. He said the divine religions share with Islam its concern over families, their ethics, and youths and their protection from what is harmful to their societies.


All eyes on Mina as Hajj begins today

A Hajj security man takes care of a child. Security forces have been deployed around the clock to deal with all emergency cases. (SPA)
Updated 19 August 2018
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All eyes on Mina as Hajj begins today

JEDDAH: Around 2 million pilgrims arrived in the Holy Land from outside and inside the Kingdom in preparation to set out from Makkah for Mina.
They will retrace the noble tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and spend the Tarwiyah Day on Sunday in Mina. Here they will make final preparations for the Standing (Wuquf) at Arafat, which marks the climax of the annual pilgrimage, on Monday.
To be able to serve the pilgrims and enable them to perform Hajj rituals with ease and comfort, the government and private sectors concerned with Hajj and pilgrim affairs intensify their preparations, under the direct supervision of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman, the governor of Makkah region and chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, and followed up by his deputy, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar.
The Ministry of Health will provide intensive and continuous health services supported by skillful human cadres and state-of-the-art medical technologies, in order to provide the best health services for pilgrims. The Ministry of Health has employed a total of 29,495 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and technicians to provide extensive health care to the pilgrims.
According to the ministry, its manpower during the Hajj consists of 780 consultants in various medical specializations, 1,248 specialists; 2,718 general practitioners; 1,428 pharmacists; 3,553 nurses; 1,173 technicians and lab specialists; 198 specialists in nutrition; 5,587 administrators; 165 engineers; and 1,491 ambulance drivers.
The General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque will operate and maintain all technical devices and systems of lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation, sound and control systems, cameras, communication devices and electrical stairs, buildings and libraries in the Two Holy Mosques.
Air-conditioning has been installed in the basement and ground floor and many other areas. Thousands of fans have been installed in the Two Holy Mosques and their yards.
The area around the Two Holy Mosques has been equipped with more than 8,441 toilets, as well as more than 6,000 ablution units. All power supply lines have been prepared to make sure there is power 24/7.
More than 10,000 male and female employees will be available to follow up on work and monitor it during Ramadan, in addition to a large number of cleaners.
Among the services also provided by the Presidency are translation of Friday sermons into 10 languages, organization of various scientific programs, and competitions.
A total of 210 doors in the Grand Mosque and 100 doors in the Prophet’s Mosque have been prepared, as well as 28 escalators in the Grand Mosque and four escalators in the Prophet’s Mosque. There are 38 doors for people with special needs and seven for women.
The Saudi Red Crescent deployed 127 emergency centers, 361 ambulances, 20 motorbikes, and more than 1,861 people to work in the ranges of Makkah and Madinah.
There will be 22 operational hospitals in Madinah and the holy sites, 15 temporary emergency centers, supported with more than 87 ambulances and 653 paramedics.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs mobilized its human and mechanical capabilities to enable pilgrims to perform their duties in a safe and healthy environment by employing more than 26,000 individuals and 717 mechanisms to implement the hygiene plan in Makkah and the holy sites, as well as specialized field teams to control 33,069 food facilities in Makkah.
Civil defense teams will be deployed around the clock to deal with all emergency cases, where the injuries will be transferred using stretchers and wheelchairs to several medical evacuation sites inside and outside the mosque.
These teams will also be carrying out extraction and rescue operations inside the Holy Mosque and the surrounding area, in addition to providing urgent first aid, and transferring critical cases to the nearest hospitals and health centers, in coordination with the Red Crescent teams around the Holy Mosque. The Hajj security forces leaderships announced their readiness to maintain the security and safety of pilgrims during the pilgrimage season.
The General Command of the Air General Security is supported by all the security services and various government sectors.
In preparation for the Hajj season, the Saudi General Security Aviation Command announced that it has started implementing the first phase of its security plan to ensure the safety of pilgrims in the Kingdom. The aviation command will commence security operations over the holy sites, where special helicopters will monitor the activities surrounding the Hajj season this year. The planes are stationed in the designated locations in Makkah and Madinah from various bases to carry out the tasks assigned to them, namely traffic and security, logistical support for other security bodies, humanitarian services and the monitoring of pilgrims not following the rules.