Meet the parents taking their children to Hajj

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Many parents chose to take their children on Hajj with them. (AN photo/Essam Al-Ghalib)
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Many parents chose to take their children on Hajj with them. (AN photo/Essam Al-Ghalib)
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Many parents chose to take their children on Hajj with them. (AN photo/Essam Al-Ghalib)
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Many parents chose to take their children on Hajj with them. (AN photo/Essam Al-Ghalib)
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Many parents chose to take their children on Hajj with them. (AN photo/Essam Al-Ghalib)
Updated 11 August 2019
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Meet the parents taking their children to Hajj

  • Pilgrims tell Arab News the benefits of taking their children with them on pilgrimage

ARAFAT, SAUDI ARABIA: Pilgrims who take their children to the holy sites mainly do so for two reasons: No one can look after them and the educational value.

Ayman Dafaalah, a Sudanese worshipper, is bringing his two young children along with his wife. He Arab News that brought his children because there were no relatives back home to take care of them. 

“We had no other choice. So, we decided to take them with us. Otherwise, we could not perform the rituals,” Dafaalah said.

He said that he and his wife are teaching their children the steps of Hajj.

“They have accompanied us on Umrah before, but this is their first time on Hajj. It is really hard to bring children, but it is sometimes even harder to leave them alone or with a relative,” he added.

Dafaalah said that they made sure that the elder son had learned his mobile number by heart. He said that he is always carrying his the younger son.

“Even if he got lost, I am sure that we could find him with the help of the security people who are everywhere here in Arafat,” he added.

Like Dafaalah, Egyptian pilgrim Rajab Ahmed Abdul-Ghani and his wife brought their 3-year-old son because they would have been worried if they left him behind.

“We cannot leave a child at this age, no matter how great the caretaker is. The child would emotionally suffer from our absence,” Abdul-Ghani said.

Iraqi pilgrim Muslim Rifaat Al-Jibari, who is bringing his 8-year-old daughter, said that the whole family are coming for Hajj so he could not leave her behind.

“We do have relatives but we thought it would be a good chance to take her with us, and teach her about the rituals. She will always remember this experience.”

Lina Abu Zinada, a supervisor at the Lost Children center, told Arab News that they had only one missing girl. They are trying their best to reunite her with her family.

“We only have only lost child here in Arafat. She is from Chad and was brought to us in Mina on Friday at 8 p.m. Since then, we have received no enquiry about her,” she said.


Pompeo meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks on Aramco attacks

Updated 21 min 27 sec ago

Pompeo meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks on Aramco attacks

  • Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an 'Iranian attack'
  • Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. 

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday described strikes on key Saudi oil installations as an “act of war” as he landed in Jeddah to meet with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an “Iranian attack”.

He said it had not come from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants and that there was no evidence the attacks had been launched from Iraq.

Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

Pompeo's visit comes as President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after Saudi Arabia's display of remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in the I that was "unquestionably sponsored" by Tehran.

"There are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we'll see," Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. "I'm saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war."

Trump, who earlier said on Twitter that he had ordered the US Treasury to "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran, told reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours.

Trump's tweet followed repeated US assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday's attack on Aramco facilities and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a "test of global will."

Earlier on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had spoken with US President Donald Trump about the Aramco attack, and agreed that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Also on Wednesday, Kuwait's army released a statement announcing it was raising its preparedness level for some units, given the tensions in the Middle East region.