British MP Vaz lauds KSRelief activities

Visiting British legislator Keith Vaz holds talks with KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah in Riyadh. (Photo courtesy KSRelief).
Updated 08 December 2017
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British MP Vaz lauds KSRelief activities

RIYADH: A visiting British MP praised the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) for helping refugees worldwide, including in Yemen.
Keith Vaz made the statement at KSRelief’s headquarters in Riyadh after meeting on Wednesday with its General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah.
Vaz said KSRelief’s activities in Yemen and Djibouti are highly commendable, and he thanked King Salman for his support in helping the needy.
Al-Rabeeah told Vaz that KSRelief has helped 38 countries, and is carrying out several projects in Yemen to help women and children.
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi told Vaz that his warning in September 2012 to then-British Prime Minister David Cameron about Iranian interference in Yemen had come true.
Hadi praised the efforts of Vaz, who was born in Aden, in promoting Yemeni-UK relations.
Vaz hailed Hadi’s efforts in serving Yemen, and invited him to visit the UK and address Parliament.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik Al-Mekhlafi told Vaz that the ongoing conflict “was not the choice of the government, but imposed by the rebels who sabotaged the political process, invaded cities, killed and displaced thousands of people, and rounded up thousands of others.”
The internationally recognized Yemeni government has responded positively to all UN peace proposals, but the rebels have undermined those initiatives, Al-Mekhlafi added.
 


More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj

Updated 20 August 2018
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More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj

  • Pilgrims spent the day praying and repenting and praying for personal strength in the future
  • 'We’re doing this to get closer to Allah, to be absolved'

JEDDAH: Millions of pilgrims gathered on Monday on the plains of Mount Arafat to perform the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage.
On Arafat pilgrims spent the day praying and repenting and praying for personal strength in the future.
It is the most important part of the Hajj pilgrimage, during which the Khutbah (sermon) of Hajj is narrated and Dhuhr and Asr prayers are offered together.
Buses could be seen parked around the hill as workers hurriedly picked up empty water bottles near a yellow sign that read “Arafat starts here” in both English and Arabic.
Carrying brightly colored umbrellas under the blazing sun, worshippers scaled the rocky hill southeast of the holy city of Makkah.

Arms raised, pilgrims repeated “There is no God but Allah” and “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
“The feeling is indescribable,” said Umm Ahmad, 61, who made the journey from Egypt, told AFP.
This year almost 2.4 million Muslims, from every corner of the world, left Mina headed to Arafat. The pilgrims made the journey with ease the movement of traffic was smooth, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Traffic authorities, security personnel and staff from various government and private sector organizations, in addition to 4,000 Saudi scouts, have been deployed to assist and guide the pilgrims in several languages.
The Saudi leadership ordered authorities to provide more comfort, security and tranquility for pilgrims to complete their rituals.
Some of the pilgrims — men in white seamless garments and women in loose dresses — pushed elderly relatives in wheelchairs on the second day of the Hajj.
Jai Saleem, a 37-year-old Pakistani, said he cried when he and his wife arrived on Mount Arafat, where Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon.

 


“It feels great,” he said. “I have always seen this area, since my childhood, in photographs and on television.”
After sunset prayers, pilgrims made their way down Mount Arafat to Muzdalifah, another holy site where they will sleep under the stars to prepare for the final stage of Hajj, a symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual.
“We know that it’s a difficult task,” said Amna Khan, a 35-year-old American Muslim pilgrim.
“That’s why we are all here. We’re doing this to get closer to Allah, to be absolved.”
A hot wind blew across the hill and the surrounding plain after a downpour late Sunday. Many faithful could be seen sipping from bottles of water throughout the day.
“I knew it would be a little hard to climb Mount Arafat,” said Nigerian pilgrim Saidou Boureima.
“So I prepared for this challenge by working out. And God willing, we can see it through.”
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which every Muslim is required to complete at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so.
Arafat includes an open plain and Mount Arafat, which is also called Jabal Al-Rahma (Mountain of Mercy), that is 300 meters wide and 70 meters high.
Arafat is surrounded by an arc of mountains and Wadi Arana and is located east of Makkah.
Muslims on Tuesday observe the first day of Eid Al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj.
They traditionally slaughter sheep for the three-day Eid Al-Adha, a tribute to the Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of a lamb after God spared Ishmael, his son.
They will consume some of the meat and give the rest to poor people unable to buy food.