King Salman makes Indonesian grandfather’s Hajj dream come true

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Hajj authorities will aid the man and his family with their Hajj travel. (Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta)
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Updated 18 July 2019

King Salman makes Indonesian grandfather’s Hajj dream come true

  • The man said he and his family can’t financially afford to perform Hajj
  • He was welcomed by the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia

JAKARTA: Nonagenarian Uhi had all but given up on his dream of going on the Hajj pilgrimage when his family had an idea: they sat him down to record a video message pleading to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for help – and the rest, as they say, was history.

 

The video went viral and on July 16, Uhi and his family were invited to meet Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Essam bin Abed Al-Thaqafi who told them the video had reached Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Uhi’s Hajj dream was about to come true.

 

Under the current Hajj quota system in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world with over 227 million people there professing Islamic faith, Hajj aspirants must wait up to 15 years for their turn to undertake the pilgrimage.

But for Uhi, a miracle had happened, and now the Indonesian grandfather and his closest family members are about to embark on the spiritual journey in the coming weeks.


GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.