Arab coalition continues humanitarian aid to Yemen

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A displaced Yemeni child sits on boxes and sacks of Saudi-provided humanitarian food aid at a camp in Yemen's northeastern province of Marib on January 26, 2018. (AFP / ABDULLAH AL-QADRY)
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Workers unload humanitarian aid packages from a Saudi air force cargo plane, at an airfield in Yemen’s central province of Marib, on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 30 January 2018

Arab coalition continues humanitarian aid to Yemen

RIYADH: More than 19 ships are at Yemeni ports carrying humanitarian aid for the Yemeni people, said Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition, on Monday.
In addition, 12 aid flights have been sent to Yemen’s port city of Aden within a week to relieve the people’s suffering, he said.
“Yemeni people have a right to humanitarian aid and this right should not be disrupted,” Al-Maliki emphasized.
The colonel then conveyed a message from a Yemeni child who was abducted and taken into the custody of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, and forced to be trained as a soldier. He was 13 years old and had given the message personally to Al-Maliki, warning others like him.
During the past week, many Houthis tried to cross the border and enter Saudi Arabia through various means, one of them being camouflage.
“Ninety-one ballistic missiles have been fired at Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the coalition,” Al-Maliki said. “While the Houthis are laying landmines, the coalition is rebuilding infrastructure.”
Last week, the foreign ministers of the coalition members announced a $1.5 billion humanitarian aid package for Yemen.
“The coalition will coordinate ... $1.5 billion in new humanitarian aid funding for distribution across UN agencies and international relief organizations,” the coalition announced in a statement.
The aid package is in addition to the $2 billion Saudi cash injection to Yemen’s central bank.
The estimated number of Yemeni people in need of humanitarian help is close to 21 million, 10 million of whom are in dire need.
Since 2015 the Kingdom has delivered $8.1 billion in humanitarian assistance as well as $2 billion in development aid.

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

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.