Four million Burmese entitled to get iqama

Updated 16 March 2015
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Four million Burmese entitled to get iqama

Four million Burmese residents in the Kingdom are now entitled to obtain an ‘iqama,’ turning many of their dreams of long-term residence and stability in the Kingdom into a reality.
Sheikh of the Burmese community in Makkah, Abu Alshamaa Abdulmajeed, said a large number of Burmese citizens have been living in the Kingdom for more than 70 years, arriving here as a result of injustice and torture against Muslims at the hands of their former governments and various extremist groups.
The sheikh praised the role of the Saudi government in assisting the Burmese community and supporting them as they resettled in the Kingdom. He said that the recent status correction decision issued by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, which calls for the granting of free Iqamas to members of the Burmese community, has now solved a plethora of logistical problems for many members of the community, and will serve to facilitate their freedom of movement and permanent residence.
“Additionally, due to this new government move, students who are studying in schools run by charitable organizations will now have the opportunity to study in public schools from the primary to secondary stages,” he added.
Abdulmajeed said, “The dream of returning to Burma has faded from the hearts of members of the community due to a lack of passports, especially as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi embassies have refused to grant them passports. The fear of prosecution and torture against Muslims also makes this dream impossible at this time.”
So far, 170,000 iqamas have been granted to Burmese.


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
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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.