First day of Hajj confirmed as Aug. 9

Muslim worshippers pray and circumambulate around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 August 2019
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First day of Hajj confirmed as Aug. 9

  • Pilgrims will spend the day on the plains of Mount Arafat on Saturday August 10
  • Eid Al-Adha will start on Sunday August 11

RIYADH:  The Saudi Supreme Court confirmed Thursday that the crescent moon of Dhu Al-Hijjah had been sighted. 

Hajj will therefore begin on Friday August 9, pilgrims will spend the day on the plains of Mount Arafat on Saturday August 10, and Eid Al-Adha will start on Sunday August 11. 

As of Wednesday, 1,249,951 Hajj pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom for the pilgrimage according to statistics issued by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.

Many pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Tunisia have been arriving in Saudi Arabia as part of the Makkah Route initiative. 

Launched last year with Malaysia and Indonesia as the first to try, the "Makkah Route" initiative includes processing of requirements for Hajj pilgrims such as issuance of visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements, and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries.

Pilgrims who get cleared through the program can bypass the procedures upon arrival in Saudi Arabia and head directly to buses waiting to transport them to accommodations in Makkah and Madinah, thus easing congestion at airports. Service authorities deliver pilgrims’ luggage to their accommodation in the holy cities.


KSRelief chief presented with 2019 moderation award

Updated 50 min 41 sec ago

KSRelief chief presented with 2019 moderation award

MAKKAH: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, has been named the winner of the 2019 moderation award.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal made the announcement at a ceremony held on Wednesday in Jeddah.

The award, in its third year, is considered one of the most important in promoting the values of moderation and combating extremism, both internally and externally.

Al-Rabeeah has held 13 positions that contributed to his selection for the award, most notably minister of health, and pediatric surgery consultant, a role in which he performed 47 operations for conjoined twins from 20 countries.

The Saudi National Siamese Twins Separation Program is a global reference and one of Saudi Arabia’s most distinguished medical humanitarian initiatives worldwide.

In December 1990, Al-Rabeeah hit local and international headlines after making history in the Kingdom by performing complex surgery to separate the first conjoined Saudi twins at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah

The case of the conjoined Malaysian twins Ahmed and Mohammed was particularly demanding. The family of the two children appealed to the Kingdom’s government to conduct the separation operation, and Al-Rabeeah carried out successful surgery lasting 23.5 hours in September 2002, by royal request.

After taking over as general supervisor of KSRelief, Al-Rabeeah oversaw 176 projects in 37 countries, including key areas such as food security, health, water, sanitation, education, women, children, vaccination and shelter.

He also implemented the directives of King Salman, providing various humanitarian and relief programs and building partnerships and community support with other countries.

The center executed 1,050 projects in 44 countries in addition to 225 projects dedicated to women and 224 for children.