Algerian, Pakistani and Burkina Faso pilgrims attend Makkah festival

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Muslims from Burkina Faso, Algeria and Pakistan attend the festival which included a short movie about Makkah and its historical role in hosting pilgrims.
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Muslims from Burkina Faso, Algeria and Pakistan attend the festival which included a short movie about Makkah and its historical role in hosting pilgrims.
Updated 17 September 2017

Algerian, Pakistani and Burkina Faso pilgrims attend Makkah festival

MAKKAH: Al-Nuzhah neighborhood center held a festival earlier this week to welcome pilgrims from different countries.
Muslims from Burkina Faso, Algeria and Pakistan attended the festival which included a short movie about Makkah and its historical role in hosting pilgrims.
Adel Hafez, the festival organizer, told Arab News that the pilgrims were able to learn about local culture through the event and recognize the historical value of Makkah’s cultural heritage.
Makkah is rich in historical scenes and full of events which have rich cultural significance, of which all pilgrims should be aware, Hafez said.
He pointed out that the relationship between pilgrims and Makkah as a city should not be only by performing the rituals but they should have access to Makkah’s cultural history.
“Whenever you look at Makkah, you will see historical resources and archaeological publications, museums, and archaeological culture,” Hafez added.
He said that they have dedicated this festival to present a brief overview of Makkah culture and heritage where they can focus on folklore.
“We showed them Makkah from the past and present to let them know how our ancestors lived and how they served pilgrims,” he pointed out.
“We showed them a movie that talks about different historical periods and how Makkah’s people had to help pilgrims, plus, the show explained all the efforts of the Saudi government accorded to pilgrims.”
The festival included a competition to recognize the voices of Al-Haram muezzins — people who call prayers — who had interacted among the arrivals from Pakistan, Burkina Faso and Algeria.
Khalid Mushtag, a Pakistani pilgrim, said: “We appreciate the fantastic show and learned a lot about Makkah’s culture. It also gave us an opportunity to have a cultural exchange which enriched everyone who came.”


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 15 September 2019

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.