JEDDAH: A Georgian man living in Saudi Arabia has spoken of his joy and surprise about being chosen to perform the Hajj this year. Ruslan Margoshvili moved to Saudi Arabia 17 years ago to learn Arabic. He and his wife Milana are among the expats who will be performing the Hajj this year which, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is being held amid tough measures to contain the spread of the virus. There are severe restrictions on pilgrim numbers and only those pilgrims with permits can enter the holy sites. “I didn’t expect there to be a Hajj this year, with the ongoing circumstances all around the world,” Margoshvili said. “We heard about the website where we can apply for Hajj and we signed up.” Margoshvili expressed his gratitude for the help he received from the moment they signed up. “I can’t describe their cooperation. Every day, we are contacted by operators who help educate and inform pilgrims about the upcoming journey. A person who has performed Hajj is cleansed of all their sins. Imagine how that can feel for a Muslim who is about to embark on the Hajj.” He is completing a doctorate at King Saud University while Milana is completing a degree at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University. The couple are raising their two children in Saudi Arabia, where they were born. Margoshvili said that he had never felt himself to be a stranger in the Kingdom. “Even during vacations when I would travel back home, I miss this country,” he added. Social media users reacted warmly to his heartfelt words. Inssan Karim tweeted: “This is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you shall never feel like a stranger here.” Abdulmajeed Al-Otaibi said: “Such a beautiful statement. ‘I’ve become one of you’ and I truly felt his sincerity. May Allah accept your good deeds.” “He’s got a beautiful way with words and such eloquence. Congratulations to him!” said Abdullah Al-Amoudi. The majority of those performing the Hajj this year are expats living in Saudi Arabia. Margoshvili told Arab News that although he had performed the Hajj, his wife had not because the opportunity had not previously arisen.
Saudi Arabia announces 15 more COVID-19 deaths
- The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 331,330
- A total of 5,296 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far
LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced 15 deaths from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 323 new infections on Sunday.
Of the new cases, 62 were recorded in Madinah, 41 in Riyadh, 29 in Yanbu, 24 in Makkah, 9 in Jeddah and 6 in Dammam.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 331,330 after 335 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 5,296 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
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