King Salman to inaugurate Janadriyah Festival on Feb. 7

National Guard Minister Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf, second from right, and Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh, third from right, address a joint press conference in Riyadh on Sunday. (AN photo)
Updated 05 February 2018
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King Salman to inaugurate Janadriyah Festival on Feb. 7

RIYADH: A grand cultural extravaganza popularly known as Janadriyah Festival will be inaugurated by King Salman on Wednesday on the northern outskirts of the Saudi capital, featuring a mega camel race, an operetta and dance.
It is held in Janadriyah village annually to celebrate the heritage and symbols of Saudi identity. On behalf of India, the guest of honor at the festival this year, Sushma Swaraj, minister of external affairs, will attend the opening ceremony.
Addressing a joint news conference here on Sunday, Minister of National Guard Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf said: “The National Heritage and Cultural Festival of Saudi Arabia seeks to encourage our people to uphold values and heritage as well as enhance cultural exchange.”
V. K. Singh, Indian minister of state for external affairs, also addressed the conference.
Prince Khaled said the first day of the festival will witness the launching of the mega camel race with the participation of GCC and Arab countries. “Some 600 camels of different breeds and genres will join the race,” said the minister.
A group of well-known singers, including Mohammed Abdu, Abdulmajeed Abdullah, Rashid Al-Majid, Rabih Saqr, Majid Al-Muhandis, and Rashid Al-Faris, will present an operetta called “Imams and Kings,” written by Prince Badr bin Abdulmohsen and produced by the Rotana Company.
Prince Khaled said several Saudi legends, including the late Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the late journalist Turki bin Abdullah bin Nasir Al-Sudairi and Dr. Kahiriyah Bint Ibrahim M. Al-Saqqaf, will be honored during the festival.
The Saudi traditional Ardhah dance will be performed on Feb. 13 in the Sports Complex in Al-Diriyadh in the evening. Prince Khaled noted that Janadriyah today is “no longer just a camel race. Lots of other attractions are brought about every year celebrating many aspects of culture.”
He said: “The Janadriyah festival reflects the unity of the country, and also cohesion between the leadership and the citizens.”
On the sidelines of the press conference, Khalid Al-Jidie presented the electronic application of the Janadriyah Festival. Khalid pointed out that the JanadriyahApp would guide visitors to the gates, indicating highest or lowest crowds, the desired wings, pavilions or any required function and performance or where the visitors’ cars are parked.
Indian Minister of State V.K. Singh said: “We do give utmost care to the strategic and cultural relations between India and the Kingdom, relations which have gained a momentum after the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016,” he added.
He said: “Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the opening session of the festival on Wednesday.”
On the cultural side, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations will send nine teams to perform shows and dances every evening during the festival.
There will be no entry fee for visiting the festival. The first five days, from Feb. 7 to 11, have been reserved for men only; whereas women and families will be allowed to visit the festival from Feb. 12 to 24. The festival will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.