19,000 British nationals to perform Haj 2016

FULL CONSULAR SUPPORT: Members of the British Haj Mission, including Rashid Mogradia, 3rd left and Ayaz Zuberi, 5th left, with British Consul General Barrie Peach in Jeddah on Thursday. (AN photo)
Updated 10 September 2016
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19,000 British nationals to perform Haj 2016

JEDDAH: Approximately 19,000 British pilgrims are in the Kingdom to perform Haj this year.
The pilgrims have come through 94 UK-based Haj operators which are licensed by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Haj and Umrah.
The British Haj Mission met with British Consul General Barrie Peach in Jeddah on Thursday and discussed support available to British nationals during Haj.
The mission is being led by the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) with volunteers from the Council of British Hajis (CBHUK) and the British Haj Medical Team.
Saudi Ambassador to the UK Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf is a trustee of the ICC in London.
Ayaz Zuberi, who is leading the mission, said: “We are fortunate to have the prince’s support.”
On behalf of ICC Director General Dr. Ahmad Al-Dubayan, Zuberi extended warmest regards to the British consul general and reaffirmed the commitment to serve and support British pilgrims during Haj.
“We continue to work closely with the Saudi Embassy in London and it is very important that we strengthen our relationship with the British Consulate in Jeddah and partners to ensure the highest standard of service for British pilgrims,” said Zuberi.
Consul General Barrie Peach promised full support to the pilgrims.
“We will be providing consular assistance and advice as necessary to British pilgrims,” he said. “Consular staff can be contacted on a 24-hour helpline (+966-501-004268) in case of emergency.”
Rashid Mogradia, CEO of CBHUK, who is also performing Haj, said: “We are honored to be on the ground to support British pilgrims during Haj this year. We have been working actively to ensure pilgrims were briefed prior to departure on any health and safety risks and they have been told that the British Consulate is at the their service and is here to serve them.”
Dr. Mohammed Jiva from the British Haj Medical Team said British doctors would be available during Haj to treat pilgrims. “Having British doctors on hand, who are familiar with the NHS system in the UK, will make follow-up easier for the pilgrims on their return,” he said.
The British Haj Mission will operate until Sept. 19.


DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy to celebrate 4th International Yoga Day

Updated 14 min 36 sec ago
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DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy to celebrate 4th International Yoga Day

RIYADH: The Indian Embassy in Riyadh has organized an event to celebrate the fourth International Day of Yoga on Thursday.
It will be held at the Al-Madi Park in the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh under the supervision of Indian Ambassador Ahmad Javed.
The program is expected to be attended by Saudi men and women, as well as foreign diplomats and members of the Indian community.
The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on June 21 since its inception in 2015.
The UN General Assembly in September 2015 responded positively to India’s request that June 21 be commemorated worldwide each year as International Yoga Day.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice attributed to India; June 21 is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and shares special significance in some parts of the world.
In the run-up to the celebration, the embassy organized the yoga day function at the International Indian School-Riyadh (IISR). About 200 IISR male and female students participated in the program in the school auditorium.
Saudi yoga trainer Dr. Nouf Marwaai has also been honored with one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Shri, for popularizing yoga. She was the first certified yoga instructor in Saudi Arabia. Marwaai is also the founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation, which was established in 2010. It was the first yoga organization in the Gulf region.