1,141,998 Hajj pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia so far, says Passport Department

Pilgrims are seen visiting a holy site in Madinah on Sunday.  Some 194,373 Hajj pilgrims were still in Madinah as of Sunday, awaiting their return flights to their home countries. (SPA)
Updated 10 September 2018
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1,141,998 Hajj pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia so far, says Passport Department

JEDDAH: The total number of Hajj pilgrims departing via land, air and sea ports of the Kingdom has reached 1,141,998, according to the statistics issued by the Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat).

The directorate said the number of pilgrims leaving by air was 1,042,305, by land 83,339 and by sea 15,954.

The number of pilgrims who arrived in Madinah reached 553,151, while the total number remaining in Madinah is 194,373, authorities said.

Meanwhile, pilgrims who were part of the Guests of King Salman for Hajj and Umrah program has thanked the Saudi authorities for the welcome they received, and shared stories of the heartbreaking suffering and loss they have endured over the years at home.

King Salman praised the efficient organization of the Hajj, which allowed the pilgrims “to perform their duties with ease, security and reassurance in a serene environment.” The king and the crown prince also thanked Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, head of Supreme Hajj Committee, for ensuring the successful implementation of Hajj plans.

 

 


Writing’s on the wall for unsightly graffiti in 36 Saudi cities

Updated 18 sec ago
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Writing’s on the wall for unsightly graffiti in 36 Saudi cities

  • 5,700 students tapped to replace graffiti with traditional art
  • The massive spruce-up operation will take place in southwest region of Asir

RIYADH: An initiative to clear unsightly graffiti from the walls of 36 Saudi cities and replace it with traditional art has been officially launched.

A 5,700-strong army of students will be drafted for the massive spruce-up operation to take place over a period of 36 hours across the Kingdom’s southwest region of Asir.

Once the walls have been cleaned, the second phase of the project will involve raising awareness about the importance of maintaining public spaces, with the city of Abha the first to benefit. There, a length of wall covering more than 2,000 square meters, will be decorated.

The scheme is partly aimed at encouraging Asir youth to become proactive citizens in their own cities, and role models for other provinces.

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The scheme aims to encourage Asir youth to become proactive citizens in their own cities, and role models for other provinces.

Students from seven education administrations in the region will clean walls on main and side roads, and also suburbs, in 36 cities.

An official statement issued by Asir regional authorities, said the objectives behind the Asir campaign were “to encourage social responsibility among its citizens, empower youth to participate in activities that bring out their potential, and to increase awareness of responsibility toward public ownership.”

Students from seven education administrations in the region will clean walls on main and side roads, and also suburbs, in 36 cities.

Many of the walls will then be decked out with art works including Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, a traditionally female interior wall decoration. In 2017, the ancient art form was added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The statement added that Asir had been embracing cultural art for decades, and Al-Qatt Al-Asiri was now identified with the Asir region around the world. The British Museum and other major international exhibition centers have been acquiring the work of Asir artists in recent years.

Attending the launch of the initiative in Abha, Dr. Walid Al-Humaidi, the secretary of Asir region, said: “This initiative is part of objectives to improve the urban landscape, which is one of the most important programs of national transformation in the municipal sector in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

He added that the second part of the project aimed to increase awareness about the value of artwork and its role in developing a sense of human belonging.