First pilgrims make journey with official launch of ‘Makkah Road’ initiative

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The official launch of the Makkah Road initiative in Indonesia was marked on Tuesday by the first journey of Indonesian pilgrims from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport to the Holy Land. (SPA)
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The official launch of the Makkah Road initiative in Indonesia was marked on Tuesday by the first journey of Indonesian pilgrims from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport to the Holy Land. (SPA)
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The official launch of the Makkah Road initiative in Indonesia was marked on Tuesday by the first journey of Indonesian pilgrims from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport to the Holy Land. (SPA)
Updated 17 July 2018
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First pilgrims make journey with official launch of ‘Makkah Road’ initiative

  • The official launch of the Makkah Road initiative in Indonesia was marked on Tuesday
  • The attendees were briefed on how the service is organized at the airport and how procedures are being implemented

JEDDAH: The official launch of the Makkah Road initiative in Indonesia was marked on Tuesday by the first journey of Indonesian pilgrims from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport to the Holy Land.
Attending from Saudi Arabia were Major General Sulaiman Al-Yahya, the director general of passports; Osama bin Mohammed Al-Shuaibi, Saudi ambassador to Indonesia; and members of the supervisory committee of the relevant bodies providing services to pilgrims in the Kingdom.
The attendees were briefed on how the service is organized at the airport and how procedures are being implemented. They also met the first Indonesian pilgrims departing through the electronic system in Jakarta and got their feedback on the new system.
The head of the Saudi delegation, Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya, said that the Makkah Road Initiative comes as a function of the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The directives are to serve pilgrims in line with NTP 2020 and Vision 2030 under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Interior, heading the Supreme Hajj Committee.
“The first journey of the Indonesian pilgrims who have benefited from the Makkah Road service has taken off today. Previously, the first two journeys of pilgrims from Malaysia had been launched from Kuala Lumpur Airport. This initiative will be implemented in any country that wishes to benefit from it,” Al-Yahya said.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Hussein Al-Sharif, said that the initiative aims to enhance the pilgrimage services, and facilitate the journeys of the pilgrims.
The Makkah Road initiative was partially implemented during the previous Hajj season in 1438H (2017), processing a limited number of Malaysian pilgrims, and will apply to all Malaysian pilgrims this year (1439H -2018). On Sunday, Saudi Arabia launched two journeys in Malaysia, allowing the Malaysian pilgrims to benefit from immigration pre-clearance and other services that will facilitate their journey to perform pilgrimage.
The initiative includes issuance of visas, completion of customs and passport procedures, ensuring compliance with health requirements, codifying and sorting luggage according to transportation and housing arrangements in Saudi Arabia.
All the above will hugely facilitate the pilgrims’ entry into the Kingdom, allowing them to head directly to their accommodation in Makkah and Medinah, while their luggage is handled by service agencies that transport baggage directly to the visitors’ places of residence.


FaceOf: Dr. Hussein bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, imam at Prophet’s Mosque and high court judge

Updated 53 min 3 sec ago
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FaceOf: Dr. Hussein bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, imam at Prophet’s Mosque and high court judge

Dr. Hussein bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh is a respected imam and sermon performer at the Prophet’s Mosque, as well as a judge at the High Court in Madinah.

A royal recommendation by King Salman made Al-Asheikh the official sermon deliverer on the day of Arafat, 9 of Dul Hijjah. He will give this year’s sermon at Al-Nimra Mosque, one of the holy sites in Arafat, as well as leading Dhur and Asr prayers.

Last year, the Arafat sermon and prayers were performed by Sheikh Dr. Saad Shafaee Al-Shetri. In 2016, Sheikh Dr. Abdurrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, led the prayers.

Born in Bani Tamim in southern Saudi Arabia, Al-Asheikh pursued his scholarly career in Riyadh. He received his bachelor’s degree from Shariah College in Riyadh, and then joined the Higher Judicial Institute, receiving a master’s degree before pursuing a doctorate.

Al-Asheikh studied under great Islamic scholars, getting appointed as a magistrate in 1985. Five years later, he became a judge in the Great Court of Najran. He was transferred a year later to the Grand Court in Riyadh, where he stayed for many years before he joined the Grand Court in Madinah in 1997, receiving the royal decree that appointed him as an imam at the Prophet’s Mosque.

He has been leading prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque for more than two decades, while lecturing at the University of Madinah.

He has delivered many scientific lectures in jurisprudence, Tawheed, Hadith and grammar, in addition to some lectures at places such as the Great Mosque in Riyadh.