Peace and harmony will bring success to nation

Updated 04 February 2015
0

Peace and harmony will bring success to nation

The celebration of this 67th anniversary of our Independence is of special significance as it sees the launch of a new era of good governance in the country.
This comes with a new commitment to the unity of our people, to safeguard freedom and democratic rights, and proceed to a future that moves further from the re-emerging forces of colonialism.
The strengthening and progress of peace in our country requires social, political and economic policies that give the highest priority to the needs of the people. This includes social welfare, economic progress and a determined move toward good governance, which is in keeping with the traditions of tolerance and understanding of our country.
The continuing strength of our freedom that was won 67 years ago, requires the advance of our youth through the acquisition and development of new skills, access to new knowledge and technology, and re-kindling the spirit of freedom throughout our land.
This celebration of freedom is the time to pay our tribute to the security forces that defended our sovereignty and territorial integrity with great sacrifice in the battle against terrorism.
It also reminds us of the great freedom fighters of the past from all communities, religions, and ideologies who carried on the struggle for freedom from colonial rule.
This is also the time to remember the spirit of unity that has prevailed in our land through the centuries, and drives us to work hard to achieve national unity in all its aspects, with reconciliation that comes through Metta or Loving Kindness to all.
We remain committed to our policy of Non-Alignment in our foreign relations, looking forward to greater friendship with the world community, and international relations that will support our moves for peace, stability, democracy and prosperity.
The progress of our nation in unity and understanding calls for patriotism that not only transcends the barriers of geography and community, but also focuses on the elimination of corruption in all its forms, and encourages genuine service to the people by their leaders.
As we move forward in freedom, let us ensure the strengthening of peace and harmony to bring every success to our children and future generation who will inherit this land.
Let us join in a pledge to build a future of peace, freedom and prosperity in the shining light of honesty of purpose and good governance.

Maithripala Sirisena
President of Sri Lanka


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
0

Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.