Village south of Qunfudah fights off baboon invasion

Updated 03 February 2013
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Village south of Qunfudah fights off baboon invasion

A minor war has broken out south of Qunfudah in the village of Kiad where large groups of hungry baboons from nearby valleys are attacking residences in search of food and drink. Residents have employed a variety of methods to combat the primates but it is still a daily battle from sunrise to sunset.
Hussein Al-Barakati, a resident of Kiad, said that he feared for his mother’s safety as she lives alone near the valley. Baboons raid her home from time to time in search of water. Weather conditions have left the valley parched and prompted the baboons to forage among the humans.
Hussain said that he did not find it inconceivable that a major disaster would strike the village because of baboons invading people’s homes, noting that some of the animals are quite large.
Adel Medini, from the town of Helli, has his own take on the recent scourge of baboons: “It’s a daily game of hide and seek. The baboons are targeting empty houses and are well aware of what they are doing. The assault on the village is not random, as some believe. They proceed according to studied plans. That’s why their attacks do not fail. For example, imagine a resident who is absent from their home for a period of time. Even though it’s just one day, he is surprised to return to find his home in disarray. Some people in this situation thought that thieves had broken into and ransacked their houses … The problem is that the village’s houses are old and non-roofed, and our daily guest is hungry.”
Salem Al-Barakati said that the main reason that the baboons are difficult to stymie is because of their high intelligence. They easily match wits with those out to drive them away.
Mayor of Helli, Ali Al-Qarni, explained that the baboons arrive in the winter and migrate away in the summer. They live on the slopes of the mountains, and they descend to the valley in the winter to search for food and drink.
He attributed the assaults on residences to the Kiad weekly market where vendors leave vegetable and fruit out to rot, attracting the hungry baboons. The houses attacked, he said, were close to the market.
Al-Qarni explained that the municipality continues to exterminate the baboons by putting poison in bananas. The method was originally successful but the baboons figured it out and stopped eating the poisonous bananas. “We try to change the method from time to time,” he said.


Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

Updated 17 July 2019
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Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

  • Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks
  • At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database

DHAKA: Pre-immigration facilities provided by Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims in Bangladesh have helped reduce waiting times by several hours after their arrival at airports in the Kingdom, several of them said on Wednesday.
The program is part of Saudi Arabia’s Road to Makkah initiative, whereby pilgrims can complete immigration at airports in their home country instead of doing it on arrival in the Kingdom.
From this year, Bangladeshi pilgrims are enjoying pre-immigration facilities at Dhaka airport.
“Among the 127,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims, this year 60,500 of them will have the opportunity to complete the immigration formalities at Dhaka airport,” Bangladeshi Religious Affairs Secretary Anisur Rahman told Arab News.
“From next year, all Bangladeshi pilgrims will enjoy this pre-immigration system at Dhaka airport.”
Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks. Three Saudi organizations are working at Dhaka airport to accomplish these tasks.
At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database.
In addition, at the immigration counter officials take photographs of the pilgrims, Rahman said.
“The pre-immigration system was supposed to be launched from the first Hajj flight on July 4, but due to technical issues we couldn’t do that on the first day. However, things are now running very smoothly,” he added.
Abdul Kayum Bepari, a Bangladeshi pilgrim who completed his Saudi immigration formalities at Dhaka airport, told Arab News: “It’s an amazing experience. All immigration formalities were completed within a minute. When I performed Hajj in 2011, it took more than four hours for me to complete the immigration formalities at the Saudi airport.”
Bangladeshi pilgrim Sadek Ali told Arab News: “Everything is very disciplined. This pre-immigration system has truly eased the hassle of thousands of Bangladeshi pilgrims.”
Pilgrim Bulbuli Begum told Arab News: “My Saudi immigration formalities took only a few seconds to be completed.”
Pre-immigration support for Bangladeshi pilgrims will continue until the last Hajj flight, which is scheduled on Aug. 5.
“We’re trying to ensure maximum support and comfort to the pilgrims,” said a Saudi immigration official at Dhaka airport.
“They don’t even need to worry about luggage. Once the pilgrims land at a Saudi airport, they’ll immediately board hotel-bound buses and will receive their luggage at the hotel.”