Makkah vendors banned from selling Holy Mosque souvenirs

Pilgrims and visitors are seen at a local market near the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Updated 11 January 2018
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Makkah vendors banned from selling Holy Mosque souvenirs

MAKKAH: The Ministry of Commerce and Investment continues its campaign in Makkah against selling souvenirs of the Kaaba, Maqam Ibrahim and Al-Haram Al-Makki because of what it called “preserving its sanctity” after shops were notified through inspection tours.
According to a source at the branch of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment in Makkah, souvenirs and antiques of Al-Haram were confiscated and the violating shops were notified of the consequences of the act to preserve the sanctity of these places.
Many of these central-based commercial establishments have cooperated with international factories to sell souvenirs of the Kaaba and Maqam Ibrahim because it is profitable.
Economists believe that an antiques and gifts sector in Makkah and Madinah would create employment opportunities for both men and women and that there are large-scale manufacturing opportunities.
Ali Al-Twaim, a professor of Islamic jurisprudence, told Arab News that selling souvenirs containing images of the Kaaba and the holy mosque is an insult to its sanctity and is a wrongful practice.
He stressed that “these souvenirs must take into account the holiness and honor granted by God to these places, in addition to the fact that they could be put in inappropriate places.”
“Many of these souvenirs do not reflect the extent of attachment and affection. There are some Umrah and Hajj pilgrims, and visitors who are passionately fond of whatever is for sale in Makkah, not to mention if it was like the Kaaba, Maqam Ibrahim or Al-Haram Al-Makki,” Al-Twaim said.
Economically, Abdel Moneim Bukhari, the owner of the Al-Meawiah Establishment for Antiques and Gifts, believes that these replicas are a souvenir that many visitors keep and remain a link that connects them to the place that they revere.
Bukhari said that “Umrah and Hajj pilgrims, like all tourists around the world, like to take any souvenirs or gifts with them that remind them of Makkah.”
He said that these goods have positive economic effects on the GDP. “Many of these industrial products are imported from several countries such as China, India, Taiwan and Pakistan, which are far from being specialized factories in Makkah. They should be of high quality and standards of respect,” Bukhari said.
He said that anything from Makkah should be made in Makkah and support the economics of Hajj and Umrah. “One of the pillars of Vision 2030 includes increasing the numbers of Umrah and Hajj pilgrims to 30 million by 2030.”
He added that many economic sectors will adapt to the challenges of this stage, which means that the requirements of Hajj and Umrah and their needs are essential in terms of housing, hotels, living, transport, industries, antiques and gifts.


King Salman welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Jeddah

Updated 40 min 54 sec ago
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King Salman welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with King Salman on Wednesday as part of his first state visit overseas.

During the talks, they reviewed the close relations between their two countries, the prospects for their development and strengthening in various fields, as well as the latest regional developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Advisor to the King, Prince of Makkah Region, Prince Mansour bin Mteb bin Abdulaziz and a number of other officials from both countries.

Khan arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday for a visit expected to focus on bilateral ties, regional security and Pakistan's economic situation.

Earlier, the prime minister was received by the King at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah before the a luncheon was held in his honor.

He then met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who congratulated him on his election as prime minister.

"They reviewed the historical relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to enhance them," SPA said.

 

In an interview with Al Arabiya aired on Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan would always stand by Saudi Arabia, and that anyone who comes into power in the country would visit the Kingdom first.

“Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan's aid when it needed it," Khan said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Khan performed Umrah in Makkah.

He then held a series of meetings, including with the Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday.

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Khan received Al-Falih at his residence in Jeddah to discuss ways of cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

He also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen

Khan, whose Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the July elections, is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other senior members of his cabinet.

On Tuesday, the former cricketer visited Madinah where he prayed at the Prophet's Mosque.