PHOTOS: Dubai records over 500 traffic accidents in 6 hours

Dubai police recorded a total of 564 accidents in 6 hours. (Abu Dhabi Police)
Updated 09 February 2018
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PHOTOS: Dubai records over 500 traffic accidents in 6 hours

Dubai police recorded a total of 564 accidents in 6 hours on Thursday morning due to foggy weather, UAE daily Gulf News reported.  
The Command and Control Unit said that it logged over 3,000 emergency calls during 6am and 12pm local time.
The most severe accident involved 28 vehicles that injured nine people were injured in the incident.
(Abu Dhabi Police)

“Heavy fog was the main reason,” Brigadier Al Mazroui said, explaining that the accident caused a tailback on Emirates Road towards Abu Dhabi.
Due to the accident, Dubai Police blocked the traffic on Emirates Road and diverted trucks to designated parking areas.
Patrols spread along the road to warn other drivers to slow down to allow ambulances and rescue patrols to get through.
(Abu Dhabi Police)

Fog continues to engulf many parts of the country, with poor and limited visibility reported on Friday, weather forecasters said.
Earlier in the week a lorry crash caused a 44-car pile-up that left 22 people injured. Footage captured the moment a man avoided being crushed under the lorry by just seconds before the big crash.
Another video showed the destruction left behind, filming crushed bodies of cars and debris littering the flood of the road in the thick fog.


Book Review: ‘It’s the thought of Makkah that keeps me alive’

Updated 20 August 2018
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Book Review: ‘It’s the thought of Makkah that keeps me alive’

  • Paulo Coelho’s novel highlights merchant’s powerful narrative about the pilgrimage
  • Coelho has a Guinness World Record for the most translated book by any living author

JEDDAH: One of the famous books that refers to the Islamic pillar of Hajj is “The Alchemist,” a novel by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho that has been translated into more than 80 languages and sold more than 30 million copies.

The novel highlights the Hajj dream when a young shepherd, Santiago, working for a crystal shop owner tells his employer about his desire to visit the pyramids, which leaves the latter asking why the young boy was so determined about to see the pyramids.

“You’ve never had dreams of travel,” the shepherd boy tells the shop owner in Tangier, the Moroccan city that used to be a part of Al-Andalus until 1062.

The crystal merchant had never thought of traveling, except for Hajj — traveling to Makkah had long been his dream and only thought.

However, the merchant explains to the boy that he lives by the book of Qur’an, and that Islam has five pillars which are mandatory for Muslims to fulfill.

After explaining the first four pillars, the merchant suddenly stops with tears in his eyes. So the boy asks him about the fifth obligation.

The merchant answers: “Two days ago, you said that I had never dreamed of travel. The fifth obligation of every Muslim is a pilgrimage. We are obligated at least once in our lives to visit the holy city of Makkah.

“When I was young, all I wanted to do was to put together enough money to start this shop. I thought someday I’d be rich, and could visit Makkah.”

The merchant refers to those who pass by his shop on their way to Makkah, and to those pilgrims who have performed Hajj and are proudly showing that off on their house doors.

However, when Santiago asks the merchant why he never made the trip and fulfilled his dream, he answers that if he did, he would no longer have anything to live for.

“Because it’s the thought of Makkah that keeps me alive.

“I’ve already imagined a thousand times crossing the desert, arriving at the Plaza of the Sacred Stone, the seventh time I walk around it before allowing myself to touch it. I’ve already imagined the people who would be at my side, and those in front of me.”

Meanwhile, the merchant’s business grows after he agrees to Santiago’s suggestion to sell tea. The tea becomes popular in the town and the merchant hires more staff.

As a result of the shop’s success, Santiago also becomes rich and decides that it is time for him to leave.

One day he wakes early and tells the merchant about his decision to leave and buy a large flock of sheep.

Santiago encourages the merchant to travel to Makkah. However, the merchant believes that he will not go to Makkah because it is “maktub,” which means “it is written,” as his destiny.

Coelho has a Guinness World Record for the most translated book by any living author.