Arab League holds emergency meeting to discuss Iran

This file photo shows a general view of the League of Arab States, in Cairo, Egypt.
Updated 19 November 2017
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Arab League holds emergency meeting to discuss Iran

CAIRO: Arab League foreign ministers held an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday to discuss ways to combat Iranian interference in the affairs of regional countries. The meeting was requested by Saudi Arabia, supported by the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, and will be attended by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The ministerial meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Arab Ministerial Committee on Intervention in Arab Internal Affairs, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain.
The Kingdom’s request follows the launch of an Iranian-supplied ballistic missile at Riyadh from Houthi militia-held territory in Yemen on Nov. 4, and an explosion and fire at a Bahraini oil pipeline last Friday, also blamed on Iran.
Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has accused Iran of “direct military aggression” against the Kingdom by supplying the Houthis with ballistic missiles.
In a memo requesting the meeting, Saudi Arabia attacked the “sabotage” and “terrorism” of the pipeline fire, which temporarily halted oil supplies from its territory. The memo referred to the fire and the missile attack “in addition to the violations committed by Iran in the Arab region, which undermine security and peace, not only in the Arab region, but around the globe.”
Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that his country reserved the right to respond to Iran’s “hostile actions.”
Al-Jubeir also said on his Twitter account that Iranian interference in the region harms neighboring countries and international peace and security.
Iran manufactured the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward the Saudi capital and remnants of it bore “Iranian markings,” the top US Air Force official in the Middle East said last Friday.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa also tweeted that Iran was the real danger to the region.
On Saturday, Al-Khalifa blamed Iran for the pipeline explosion.
“The attempt to blow up the Saudi-Bahraini pipeline is a dangerous escalation on Iran’s part that aims to terrorize citizens and to harm the world’s oil industry,” he said.


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.