Two senior ministers join Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims

Faizer Mackeen
Updated 30 August 2016
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Two senior ministers join Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims

RIYADH: Two senior ministers from Colombo will join Sri Lankan pilgrims during this Haj, the island’s consul general, Faizer Mackeen, told Arab News on Monday.
The VIP delegation will include Mohamed Hashim Abdul Haleem, Muslim religious affairs and posts; State Minister Abdul Hameed Mohamed Fowzie; and legislator Mujibur Rahman.
Of the 2,240, the diplomat said, half of the Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims have arrived already in the holy cities.
The island’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and other carriers, are ferrying the pilgrims from Colombo.
During the arrival of the first group of pilgrims, Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, Consul General Faizer Mackeen and senior diplomats welcomed the pilgrims.
“This year, we had a limited quota because of the ongoing development works in Makkah,” Mackeen noted. The consulate has deployed a team at the Haj terminal of the Jeddah airport to welcome Sri Lankan pilgrims, he added. The officials offer refreshments to pilgrims on arrival, and attend to their needs until they leave for the holy cities.
Four teams have been formed in Makkah, Jeddah, Mina and Madinah to assist the pilgrims. In addition to the mission’s staff, the diplomat said that he had solicited the cooperation of volunteers, who will help the pilgrims in Makkah, Madinah and at the Haj terminal. “A medical team has also arrived with the pilgrims to look after their health needs.”
“The Saudi government, in cooperation with Colombo, has introduced new software to the system to streamline all Lankan Haj activities,” he said, adding that pilgrims’ movements will be monitored and the travel agents held responsible if anything untoward happens to the pilgrims.
He pointed out that due to the limited number this year, the first timers were given preference in the pilgrim selection process, and the government has stipulated the minimum cost for each pilgrim, which should include airfare, accommodations and internal travel. Travel operators who try to exploit the pilgrims will be severely dealt with by the government in Colombo.


Road safety event for female drivers launched in Saudi Arabia

The event aims to educate women about road rules and safety, and features cultural and educational exhibitions. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Road safety event for female drivers launched in Saudi Arabia

  • The event was held at Riyadh Park Mall in cooperation with the General Directorate of Traffic, the STC and other government entities
  • The director of Tabuk’s Traffic Department said it is preparing to issue 60 permits for new trainees who applied for licenses at the women’s driving school in the region

JEDDAH: A three-day recreational and educational event for women about driving cars was launched on Thursday by the director of the Riyadh Traffic Department, Maj. Gen. Abdulrahman Al-Kharsan, and Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) CEO Nasser Sulaiman Al-Nasser.

The event was held at Riyadh Park Mall in cooperation with the General Directorate of Traffic, the STC and other government entities.

In his speech, Al-Nasser stressed the STC’s eagerness to support preparations to implement the royal decree allowing women to drive from Sunday. 

“This royal decree falls in line with the company’s initiatives and programs in the field of social responsibility,” he said. 

“The STC’s participation in the event focuses on the principle of safety first, and on raising awareness of traffic laws.”

The event aims to educate women about road rules and safety, and features cultural and educational exhibitions.

Tabuk to issue 60 more licenses for female drivers

The director of Tabuk’s Traffic Department said it is preparing to issue 60 permits for new trainees who applied for licenses at the women’s driving school in the region. 

The department has already issued 40 permits as part of preparations to implement the royal decree allowing women to drive, said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Al-Ateeq.

The process is divided into three categories: Women holding a valid license, those with expired ones, and women not holding any permit.

Women holding a valid license will undergo a test before being issued their new Saudi license, replacing their foreign one. 

Women with expired licenses will be trained for six hours, after which they will be tested. 

If they pass, a license will be issued immediately, but if they fail, they will be able to do four more hours of training.