Malaysia aims to be the cleanest at this year’s Hajj

Malaysians are known for their well-behaved and disciplined image worldwide. (SPA)
Updated 14 August 2018

Malaysia aims to be the cleanest at this year’s Hajj

  • 30,200 Malaysians will perform this year’s Hajj pilgrimage
  • Pilgrims from Malaysia are advised to carry garbage bags and keep their respective areas clean

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Hajj Pilgrimage Fund, Tabung Hajji, has decided to kick-start a massive cleanliness campaign among Malaysian pilgrims during Hajj, as a step to ensure the tents in Mina are “the cleanest among other nations.”

Tabung Hajji will head the massive “gotong-royong” exercise for the first time in the tent city of Mina during Masyair. “Gotong-royong” has a strong cultural root in Malaysian society.

Masyair involves a large-scale movement of some three million pilgrims from all over the world. During this time, the once-empty desert of tents will be brimming with pilgrims and thus cleanliness will be the utmost challenge for many worshippers. 

Known for their well-behaved and disciplined image worldwide, 30,200 Malaysians will perform this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage. All will be managed and facilitated by Tabung Hajji, which has urged the Malaysian pilgrims to live up to this year’s tagline of “Cleanliness reflects one’s Hajj purity.”

“We aim for our Malaysian tents in Mina to be the cleanest among all the countries here,” the head of Malaysian Hajj delegation of Tabung Hajji, Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman, told the press on Sunday.

He added that in addition to the cleanliness campaign in Mina, the Malaysia Hajj body will also launch similar campaigns in Arafah and Muzdalifah. Pilgrims are advised to carry garbage bags and keep their respective areas clean.

Syed Salleh emphasized that maintaining a good reputation is important and can result in many benefits provided by the Saudi government.

The Tabung Hajji has built a solid reputation as an effective Hajj management body which is recognized and admired by the Saudi government and pilgrims from all over the world.

This year, Malaysian Hajj pilgrims will enjoy a more comfortable living space in which the tents’ interiors are less dusty and paved with ceramic tile flooring. There will also be new double-story toilets in Arafah and Muzdalifah.

Earlier last month, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia kick-started the Fast Track immigration clearance which reduces the processing time of Malaysian pilgrims to Makkah. Starting this year, the Arafah sermons will also be delivered in Bahasa Malaysia to accommodate the large number of Malay-speaking pilgrims during Hajj, alongside Arabic, Urdu, Persian, French and English.


On the go with Saudi Arabia’s first professionally trained cycling club

Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally. (Supplied)
Updated 30 November 2020

On the go with Saudi Arabia’s first professionally trained cycling club

  • Saudi Arabia’s female population is enjoying the new wave of opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle

RIYADH: As sports and other activities continue to gain popularity in Saudi Arabia, residents are seeking out exciting ways to get moving.
The Kingdom’s female population are enjoying the new wave of opportunities that have been made available to them in recent years to live a healthy lifestyle.
Hiking, outdoor yoga and football are all popular choices, but one less familiar pastime on the increase is cycling.
Events such as the annual Saudi Tour and the General Sports Authority’s highly successful all-women’s cycling race in Jeddah in 2018 have fostered a growing interest in the sport.
Studies have shown that cycling improves overall health, more specifically improving mental health, strengthening the immune system, promoting weight loss, reducing heart disease and cancer and more.
Riding a bike can be one of the easiest forms of returning to fitness when you are bouncing back from an injury or illness.

Doves Ride organizes rides for all levels, from the gentle trails suitable for beginners to the more challenging routes for hardened cyclists. The group offers lessons that can help any beginner ride a bike safely. (Supplied)

A group of bike enthusiasts from Riyadh intend to spread the word and make people more aware of the healthy advantages of cycling and the joy that can be had on the back of a bicycle.
Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally. Shahd Alturki, Doves Ride’s founder and a professional cycling trainer, spoke to Arab News about why she set up the team.

HIGHLIGHTS

• A group of bike enthusiasts from Riyadh intend to spread the word and make people more aware of the healthy advantages of cycling and the joy that can be had on the back of a bicycle.

• Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally.

• Riding a bike can be one of the easiest forms of returning to fitness when you are bouncing back from an injury or illness.

“I founded Doves Ride to create an environment for women and families where they could get into sports,” Alturki said.
Based in Riyadh, Doves Ride’s goal is to create an environment where Saudis can discover what biking is like and meet others with similar interests.
“The idea was to create a team that would motivate Saudi society to start biking, and to raise awareness in general about sport and movement. We also wanted to help teach Saudis to cycle by creating a program to teach people in all categories,” she said.
Doves Ride organizes rides for all levels, from the gentle trails suitable for beginners to the more challenging routes for hardened cyclists.
“We welcome participants at any level, whether they are looking for a long-term membership or just to try it out,” said Alturki.
She also spoke about the benefits of the sport and hopes to encourage people to try it out for themselves.
“Biking is more than just a fun sport; it raises your fitness levels and can also boost your mental health,” she said.
For the more hesitant, Alturki reassures them that she is well-equipped to train them and get them on the path to biking like a pro.
“We have bike-riding lessons for zero-experience learners, licensed by the British Cycling Federation. Children, men and women are all welcome to take them. These lessons can help any beginner ride a bike safely, and teaches them all the necessary skills and basics,” she said.
Doves Ride can be contacted via their Twitter or Instagram accounts, @dovesride.