Saudi Arabia assigns 135 imams to provide Hajj guidance

Saudis and foreign residents circumambulate the Kaaba (Tawaf) in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Makkah. (File/Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah/AFP)
Saudis and foreign residents circumambulate the Kaaba (Tawaf) in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Makkah. (File/Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah/AFP)
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Updated 15 July 2021

Saudi Arabia assigns 135 imams to provide Hajj guidance

Saudi Arabia assigns 135 imams to provide Hajj guidance
  • The imams will be available to answer inquiries related to the pilgrimage
  • A phone line has also been set up to provide queries in 10 languages

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs has assigned 135 scholars and imams to offer religious guidance to pilgrims during the upcoming Hajj.
The imams will be available to answer inquiries related to the pilgrimage.
The move is “in line with the directives of the Saudi leadership to provide all services for pilgrims to perform their rituals with ease and peace of mind,” the ministry said.
A phone line has also been set up to provide automated responses to pilgims queries in 10 languages: Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Hindi, Urdu, Hausa, Indonesian, Bengali, Amharic.


Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation
Updated 27 May 2022

Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call on Thursday from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Kingdom’s official SPA news agency reported.
During the call, they reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries, and discussed opportunities for joint cooperation in a number of fields.


Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health

Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health
Updated 27 May 2022

Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health

Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health
  • Al-Jalajel said that the Kingdom is one of the first countries that, during its leadership of the G20, initiated the extraordinary summit to combine efforts and contain the pandemic

GENEVA: Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel has praised the contributions made by the Kingdom to support global public health.

His remarks came during a speech he delivered at the 75th session of the World Health Organization General Assembly in Geneva, where he headed the Kingdom’s delegation.

Al-Jalajel said that the Kingdom is one of the first countries that, during its leadership of the G20, initiated the extraordinary summit to combine efforts and contain the pandemic, which resulted in unprecedented global cooperation.

Al-Jalajel noted that the Kingdom contributed to the establishment of the WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools and COVAX Facility initiatives.

The Saudi minister further said that the total aid provided by the Kingdom through the initiatives and with direct support to developing countries amounted to approximately $770 million.

Al-Jalajel congratulated WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his reelection for a second five-year term and the renewal of the international community’s confidence in his leadership. 


No entry to Makkah without permit for expats

No entry to Makkah without permit for expats
Updated 27 May 2022

No entry to Makkah without permit for expats

No entry to Makkah without permit for expats
  • Measure will maintain order and security around holy sites, experts say

MAKKAH: The General Directorate of Public Security has required expatriates wishing to enter Makkah for Hajj to obtain a permit from authorities starting Thursday.

For expatriates to enter the holy city, one of the following documents is required: An entry permit to work in the holy sites issued by the competent authority, a residency permit (iqama) issued from Makkah, an Umrah permit or a Hajj permit.

Brig. Gen. Sami Al-Shuwairekh, the spokesman for Public Security, said that the measure was in line with the regulations for the Hajj pilgrimage for this year.

“As per these instructions, only expatriates who obtain a permit for entry to Makkah will be allowed into the holy city from Thursday. They can obtain permits from the competent authorities. All vehicles and residents that do not have the required documents will be turned back,” Al-Shuwairekh said.

Ahmed Saleh Al-Halabi, who specializes in Hajj and Umrah services, told Arab News that the changes are a result of years of monitoring entry to the holy sites. Practical measures can safely organize the entry of residents to Makkah, he said.

“This is in order to eradicate all sorts of infiltration of the holy sites, especially for residents who do not hold permits, and who are on vacation from their work and head to Makkah to work, or stay with their relatives and friends, and then infiltrate the holy sites to perform the pilgrimage. And as a result, they stay on sidewalks and sleep there which would impact the environment and the level of public cleanliness,” he added.

Dr. Othman Qazzaz, head of the media research and studies department at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research, told Arab News that the Kingdom is also making efforts to improve logistics services during Hajj, aiming to host a successful pilgrimage season.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties
Updated 26 May 2022

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties
  • The two sides agreed on the importance of consolidating relations in various fields, in light of the challenges facing the world, foremost of which are the situations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia

WASHINGTON: During his official visit to the US, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha met US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the headquarters of the State Department in Washington, DC.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations between the OIC and the US and ways to enhance them, as well as the outcome of the first round of the strategic dialogue between the OIC and the US held May 23-24 in Washington.

The two sides agreed on the importance of consolidating relations in various fields, in light of the challenges facing the world, foremost of which are the situations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

They also concurred on the importance of continuing consultations on various issues that top the agenda of the OIC and the US, foremost of which is the fight against terrorism, extremism and Islamophobia, and international efforts to combat COVID-19 and its health, economic and social implications.

Recently, the OIC has spoken of how highly it values the social, cultural and economic achievements of the African continent. The OIC indicated it will spare no effort directing its various development projects to serve Africa. 


Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 

Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 
Updated 26 May 2022

Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 

Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 
  • The center prepares claim files to improve output and increase efficiency

RIYADH: Saudi Justice Minister Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani on Thursday inaugurated the Case Preparation Center, which prepares claim files to improve output and increase efficiency.

“The center employs well-qualified staff who have the expertise and skills required for operation. This will result in a better experience for litigants through specific criteria and indicators,” the ministry said.

The center provides various services, including for example preliminary study of a claim, the management of notices, summarizing minutes and briefs and composing draft rulings, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Osama Ghanem Al-Obaidy, adviser and professor of law at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh, told Arab News: “The launching of the Case Preparation Center is a good move towards improving case-related services provided by the Justice Ministry. This move will help raise the efficiency of court dockets and the review of cases in an expeditious manner and without unnecessary delay.”

He added: “The move will reduce the time spent in needless corrections and hearing delays due to cases and claims having insufficient, missing or inaccurate information or documentation.”