Pilgrims to flock to Mount Arafat to mark most important day of Hajj

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An aerial view shows Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal Al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy), southeast of the Saudi holy city of Makkah. (File photo / AFP)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 20 August 2018
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Pilgrims to flock to Mount Arafat to mark most important day of Hajj

  • Muslims believe that the Day of Arafat is when one’s sins can be forgiven
  • Muslims who are not performing Hajj observe the day by fasting from dusk till dawn

JEDDAH: Around two million pilgrims will ascend the plains of Mount Arafat shortly after sunrise on Monday for the second day of Hajj. 
Standing on Mount Arafat until the sunset on the 9th day of Dul Hijjah is the most important rituals of the Hajj pilrimage.
Pilgrims converge on the hill, dedicated to prayers and reflection, where Dhuhr and Asr prayers are prayed together.
Chanting “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk” (Here I am O Lord, answering your call), pilgrims sought blessings and mercy from God Almighty.
Muslims believe that the Day of Arafat is when one’s sins can be forgiven. It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad said the day: “Expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.”
It is also narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the Day of Arafat,” in reference to the fires of Hell.
Muslims who are not performing Hajj observe the day by fasting from dusk till dawn.
Saudi authorities announced their optimum preparations for Hajj this year to ensure safety and create comfortable conditions for pilgrims to perform rituals.
After standing on Arafat, pilgrims head to the site of Muzdalifa to spend the night, as per Hajj obligations.
Muzadlifda is the area for performing Jamarat, the symbolic stoning of the devil.


Saudi scholarships: An investment in the nation’s future

Updated 22 July 2019
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Saudi scholarships: An investment in the nation’s future

  • Kingdom provides financial assistance and fully paid tuition to all who qualify for scholarship
  • Many of the current recipients of scholarships are third-generation beneficiaries of the policy

JEDDAH: In an age when it is regarded as both essential and expensive, Saudi Arabia’s scholarship program provides a world-class education, ensuring financial assistance and paid tuition to all those who qualify. 

Beneficiaries of the program study abroad, returning with degrees and skills needed for the Kingdom’s development into a modern society.

In 1928, King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud ordered the first batch of students to be sent on scholarships to Egypt. A total of 14 went to complete their education in medicine, agriculture, engineering and law.

It was a crucial time for the young Kingdom, and the students contributed towards building the formative nation. Many became ministers, councillors, ambassadors and engineers in top positions, helping establish ministries and forming Saudi government entities.

The early Kingdom understood the importance of education as a vehicle for national development. Today, Saudi Arabia is among the leading countries measured by annual expenditure on education, with an impressive SR193 billion ($51.4 billion) allocated for Vision 2030 initiatives, as well as projects across the Kingdom, in 2019.

Success stories abound: Abdullah Tariki, the first Saudi oil minister appointed by King Saud and a co-founder of OPEC, graduated from Cairo University and later obtained his master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas.

The first Saudi woman to obtain a government scholarship was Dr. Thoraya Obaid in 1963, who served as executive director of the United Nations Population Fund and undersecretary-general of the UN from 2000-2010. Success stories like these paved the way for other Saudi women to pursue higher education in the US, UK, Egypt and Lebanon and become prominent names in their fields, both within the Kingdom and abroad.

Many of the latest recipients of Saudi scholarships are third-generation beneficiaries, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.

With the launch of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program in 2005, droves of Saudi students began to explore new avenues of education beyond just the West and Middle East. As of 2018, more than 90,000 Saudi students study abroad. Of these, 850 are at the world’s top 10 universities, and 1,600 are medical residents and fellows.


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