British delegation praises help for Hajj pilgrims

From Left: Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Hussein Al-Sharif; Seif Usher, British consul general; Lord Qurban Hussain, vice chair of the APPG; MP Yasmin Qureshi; and Rashid Mogradia, CEO of CBHUK, during the event in Jeddah. (Photo supplied)
Updated 04 December 2018
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British delegation praises help for Hajj pilgrims

  • British Consul General Seif Usher hosted a UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hajj and Umrah at the British Consulate in Jeddah
  • The parliamentary group was led by MP Yasmin Qureshi and Lord Qurban Hussain

JEDDAH: British Consul General Seif Usher hosted a UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hajj and Umrah at the British Consulate in Jeddah.

At a reception to welcome the group on Sunday, Usher said that the British government was committed to providing the best possible consular service to pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia each year.

“The British consular team works year round to ensure that British pilgrims have a peaceful and trouble-free pilgrimage,” he said.

The parliamentary group was led by MP Yasmin Qureshi and Lord Qurban Hussain.

Usher also extended a welcome to the Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs Dr. Hussein Al-Sharif.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rashid Mogradia, CEO of the Council of British Hajjis, and all the other organizations and tour operators for their efforts to support British pilgrims,” the envoy said. 

Qureshi said: “I would like to thank Seif Usher for hosting the cross-party group in Jeddah. It is important that we understand the issues facing British pilgrims on the ground when they are on Hajj and Umrah, and work closely with the British consulate and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to address any issues so that people have a positive experience.” 

Hussain highlighted the challenges, such as travel fraud, facing the UK Hajj and Umrah industry. He welcomed advances in technology to help pilgrims in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reforms.

Rashid Mogradia, CEO of the Council of British Hajjis, highlighted the work of the charity and the parliamentary group in educating pilgrims when booking a pilgrimage package.

Recent annual Hajj awards held at the Intercontinental Park Lane London had brought a positive outlook to the Hajj and Umrah sector, he said. 

Al-Sharif accepted the award for the ministry’s eHajj system. The British consulate in Jeddah collected the best UK public sector award for services to British pilgrims.


Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan, undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research

Updated 43 min 50 sec ago
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Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan, undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan has been the undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research since June 2018. 

Al-Hamdan recently announced that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance had started preparations for its Hajj season book distribution program, which will oversee the distribution of 8 million copies of the Holy Qur’an, ritual books and manuals to pilgrims. Fifty-two books in more than 30 languages have reportedly been approved as part of the program.

Al-Hamdan also noted that the Islamic electronic library has created a website containing all of the ministry’s written and audio versions of books related to Hajj and Umrah: www.islamic-ebook.com. The portal will be made available for public use at every international airport in the Kingdom, several exit-port centers and some mosques and “important sites.”

In 2018, Al-Hamdan was part of two significant Saudi Arabian delegations overseas. In November, he traveled to the 31st Conference of Muslims of Latin America and the Caribbean in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The conference explored the possibilities of teaching Arabic in Latin America and the Caribbean, and was organized by the Center for Islamic Advocacy in Brazil in cooperation with the Islamic Ministry in the Kingdom.

Al-Hamdan also visited several cities in Serbia where he met with Chief of Scholars in Belgrade Sheikh Saad Nasovic, and other prominent figures from the Muslim community in Serbia.