Palestinian refugees eager for Haj reunion

Palestinians wait on August 30, 2016, to leave Gaza for the annual Haj pilgrimage in Makkah. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Updated 09 September 2016
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Palestinian refugees eager for Haj reunion

JEDDAH: Many Palestinian refugees who have been scattered around the world as a result of the Israeli occupation are looking forward to reunions with their relatives during Haj.
In addition to being a religious duty and a spiritual experience, Haj is an excellent opportunity for Palestinian pilgrims to meet their relatives and friends whom they have not seen for years.
News agencies recently carried photos of some 1,200 Palestinian pilgrims at Beirut’s Rafiq Al-Hariri Airport as they waited for their flights to Saudi Arabia. Many of the travelers look forward to being reunited with their dear ones for a few days.
One pilgrim, Umm Ibrahim, said that she was performing Haj for the first time and was hoping to meet her relatives from the Palestinian territories whom she has never seen.
“Words cannot express how thrilled and excited I am. I hope all Muslims will get a chance to perform Haj.
“I was born in Beirut 62 years ago and have never met some of my relatives. And now, I am going to see them for the first time during the Haj rituals,” she said with undisguised happiness and enthusiasm.
The head of Lebanon’s Haj and Umrah Affairs Committee, Ibrahim Etani, said that 4,800 Haj visas had been given by Saudi Arabia to Lebanon; the number includes 1,200 for Palestinian refugees. In Lebanon, there are approximately 460,000 Palestinians living in 12 refugee camps.


Riyadh plane-spotters treated to National Day fly-past by Saudi Royal Air Force

Updated 24 September 2018
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Riyadh plane-spotters treated to National Day fly-past by Saudi Royal Air Force

RIYADH: Keen plane-spotters were treated to a display from the Saudi Royal Air Force on Monday in the skies over Riyadh, to mark Saudi National Day.
A group of fighter jets — Typhoons, Torinos, F15s, F15Cs and MRTTs — were painted in green and adorned with Saudi Arabian livery and performed a fly-past.
Those who could not get to Riyadh will have another chance to see the procession as it will be flying over parts of the eastern region on Tuesday, including the King Fahd Causeway, Al-Khobar Corniche and Al-Aqeer.