Makkah mayor chairs virtual meeting to discuss plans for Hajj season

Makkah Mayor Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis chairs a virtual meeting on Sunday to discuss plans for this year’s Hajj season. (SPA)
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Updated 06 July 2020

Makkah mayor chairs virtual meeting to discuss plans for Hajj season

  • Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit this year’s Hajj to worshippers residing in the Kingdom has received support from various countries

MAKKAH: Makkah Mayor Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis chaired a virtual meeting on Sunday to discuss plans for this year’s Hajj season.

Undersecretaries and directors general of Makkah Municipality joined the meeting via videoconferencing.  

They discussed the arrangements for the Hajj season including a plan of action for field service centers.

The mayor pointed out that this year’s Hajj will be safe as all necessary preemptive and precautionary measures will be taken to protect pilgrims from contracting COVID-19. 

Al-Quwaihis stressed the importance of being aware of the responsibilities bestowed on everyone to achieve the best services for pilgrims. 

He said Saudi Arabia, under the guidance of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had mobilized all human and financial resources for the pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit this year’s Hajj to worshippers residing in the Kingdom has received support from various countries.

The Arab League welcomed Saudi Arabia’s announcement and said in a statement that the wise decision came to preserve the health and safety of worshippers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE Hajj Affairs (HAO) said it will not take part in this year’s Hajj season. 

The Egyptian Minister of Endowments and Al-Azhar have also welcomed the decision, as well as the ambassador of Djibouti to the Kingdom Dya-Eddine Bamakhrama. 

Bahrain commended the Kingdom’s efforts to assist pilgrims and care for their health in order to enable them to perform the pilgrimage safely, state news agency.


Better in the long run: 2,600 join Saudi 10-day marathon

Updated 13 August 2020

Better in the long run: 2,600 join Saudi 10-day marathon

  • At least 40 nationalities were represented in all age groups

JEDDAH: More than 2,600 people took part in a 10-day walking and running marathon in the Kingdom, reaching a combined distance of more than 448,000 km.
At least 40 nationalities were represented in all age groups.
The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) launched the “Step Together” initiative as part of a series of competitive walk-runs. The SFA event, the first since lockdown restrictions were eased, took place from July 17-26. About 30 para-athletes joined the competition, making it a hallmark achievement for SFA inclusivity.
Tahani Ibrahem, a 29-year-old Saudi participant, said her Eastern Flames football club training encouraged her to join the marathon.
“I joined one other marathon in 2019 and won fourth place. I’ve loved running since I was a teenager,” she told Arab News.
Ibrahem said that she was happy that para-athletes included in the marathon and praised the SFA for giving people and communities a chance to unite for one goal.
“They are just like us. Disability is something of the mind, not the body,” she said.
Ibrahem completed 42 km in the 10-day marathon, spending five hours a day walking and running.
“We were thrilled to see such high registration numbers for our first ‘Step Together’ event,” said Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, the SFA president.
“The diversity of participants for the first in the walk-run series was important to us. We recruited all ages and abilities for this event and are delighted that they made it their own. It truly was ‘Sports for All’ as we had many children and seniors take part, and we were proud to have a number of disabled competitors,” he said.
Those who met the distance goals were awarded with medals and e-certificates of the achievement. In the 21.1 km event, the fastest time was recorded by Mohammed Ayyash (1hr 11min 5sec), followed by Waleed Homidan (1hr 11min 59sec) and in third place, Osama Ayyash (1hr 23min 5sec).
Ronel Wienand, competing with the Riyadh Road Runners, was the fastest woman, completed the half marathon in 1hr 58min 7sec.