Pilgrims stone ‘devil’ in last major Haj ritual; Eid Al-Adha begins

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Updated 06 October 2014
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Pilgrims stone ‘devil’ in last major Haj ritual; Eid Al-Adha begins

MINA: Pilgrims stoned the devil on Saturday in the last major ritual of this year’s Haj in Makkah, and Muslims around the world began celebrating Eid Al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice.
The stoning ritual took place in Mina, about five kilometers east of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah.
Pilgrims had moved to Mina overnight Friday on foot, motorbikes, and buses from Mount Arafat after the Haj reached its zenith with a day of prayer, as well as tears by pilgrims moved by the sanctity of the spot where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is believed to have given his final sermon 14 centuries ago.
In the stoning ritual, pilgrims throw pebbles, which they collected at Muzdalifah on the way to Mina, at walls to emulate Prophet Abraham (pbuh), who is said to have stoned the devil at three locations when the devil tried to dissuade him from God’s order to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
In conjunction with the stoning, pilgrims offer sacrifices by slaughtering a sheep, whose meat goes to the needy.
Nowadays, pilgrims do not carry out this rite themselves, but agencies do it for them by distributing the meat to Muslims in many countries.
A total of about 1.5 billion Muslims around the world were celebrating Eid Al-Adha with sacrifices of sheep, goats and other animals.
This year’s Haj attracted just over two million believers including almost 1.4 million from abroad, according to statistics published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The balance of almost 700,000 came from within the kingdom, both Saudis and expatriates.
These numbers are roughly the same as last year.
The Haj has drawn a cross-section of humanity, everyone from presidents — Sudanese leader Omar Al-Bashir was among them — to commoners including a wounded Syrian rebel war veteran, as well as rich and poor pilgrims alike.
The Haj, which officially ends on Tuesday, is the world’s largest Muslim gathering.
It is one of the five pillars of Islam that every capable Muslim must perform at least once, the high-point of his or her spiritual life.


Sakani program to add 11,000 homes in Jeddah

The Housing Ministry has deals with two real-estate companies. (Reuters/File)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Sakani program to add 11,000 homes in Jeddah

  • The first project, Rawabi Hijaz, is on private-sector land and will includes 9,502 units
  • The Ministry stressed its keenness to work with qualified developers to add to housing stock

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Housing has signed agreements with two real-estate development companies to add more than 11,000 homes in Jeddah for the Sakani program. The deals were signed on October 15 during an event announcing the program’s 10th batch of beneficiaries.
The first project, Rawabi Hijaz, is on private-sector land and will includes 9,502 units, while the second, Jeddah airport housing, is on land owned by the Ministry and will includes 2,203 units.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Minister of Housing Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hugail, National Housing Company CEO Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Bati, and officials from the ministry and the Real Estate Development Fund. They follow previous agreements signed by the Ministry of Housing with a number of developers to build housing in various regions of the Kingdom. Sixty projects providing more than 90,000 diverse homes, with prices ranging from SR250,000 to SR750,000 have already been launched.
The Ministry stressed its keenness to work with qualified developers to add to housing stock and support supply in the sector, to encourage competition between companies to meet the needs of citizens in a way that suits local markets and ensures the provision of continued maintenance services for the residential units.
“The real-estate developers with whom we signed contribute along with the Ministry to the service of citizens in order to provide a suitable residential environment on the levels of prices and specifications, while presenting the beneficiaries with the guarantees needed,” the Ministry said.
“These projects will be completed and handed over to the beneficiaries within a period not exceeding three years. These housing projects are integrated in terms of services and public facilities. They include mosques, public parks and green areas as well as government buildings.”