New chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation assumes office

New chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation assumes office
Hissein Brahim Taha was elected last November during the 47th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Niamey, Niger. (SPA)
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Updated 18 November 2021

New chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation assumes office

New chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation assumes office

JEDDAH: The elected secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday assumed office, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Hissein Brahim Taha was elected last November during the 47th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Niamey, Niger.

His OIC term lasts for five years.

Taha is a Chadian diplomat who has held several positions in his country, including minister of foreign affairs, African integration, and international cooperation, diplomatic adviser to the presidency of Niger, minister plenipotentiary, and ambassador extraordinary to France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and the Holy See.

He has also been a senior adviser at the embassy of Chad in Saudi Arabia.

The new OIC chief, who speaks French, Arabic, and English, has been awarded the National Order of Chad, the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, and the honorary ambassador merit.


Muslim pilgrims will head to Mina on Thursday to spend the day of Al-Tarwiyah

Muslim pilgrims will head to Mina on Thursday to spend the day of Al-Tarwiyah
Updated 14 sec ago

Muslim pilgrims will head to Mina on Thursday to spend the day of Al-Tarwiyah

Muslim pilgrims will head to Mina on Thursday to spend the day of Al-Tarwiyah
  • “Tarwiyah,” or the day of fetching water marks the journey of Hajj pilgrims from Makkah to Mina
  • Pilgrims are required to remain in the city until sunrise on the second day of Hajj

RIYADH: Muslim pilgrims on Thursday will head to Mina to spend the day of Al-Tarwiyah, following the way the of Prophet Muhammad to perform different rituals.
Thursday is the 8th day of the Hijri month of Dhu Al-Hijjah, when the Hajj pilgrimage begins and will continue until Tuesday.
It is desired that all pilgrims arrive before noon to Mina where they should be praying Duhor (noon), Asr (afternoon) Maghreb (sunset), Isha (night) and Fajr (dawn) by shortening them to four-prayers without combining them.
“Tarwiyah,” or the day of fetching water marks the journey of Hajj pilgrims from Makkah to Mina.
Pilgrims are required to remain in the city until sunrise on the second day of Hajj, when they leave and travel to Arafat.
Mina, 7 km northeast of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and within its boundaries, would normally be the site of the world’s largest tent city, accommodating about 2.5 million pilgrims.
Meanwhile, the Coordination Council for Institutions and Companies Serving Domestic Pilgrims and the owners of internal pilgrims companies received the first batch of pilgrims from citizens and residents at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah.
The pilgrims are on their way to perform the fifth pillar of Islam, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Muwaihi.
Al-Muwaihi said the influx of pilgrims will continue until Thursday and companies will provide arrangements to receive the pilgrims at the airport and transport them to their camps in Mina to spend the day of perfusion and complete their rituals comfortably and easily.


Group of 185 pilgrims arrives in Jeddah under Saudi king’s guest program

Group of 185 pilgrims arrives in Jeddah under Saudi king’s guest program
Updated 58 min 51 sec ago

Group of 185 pilgrims arrives in Jeddah under Saudi king’s guest program

Group of 185 pilgrims arrives in Jeddah under Saudi king’s guest program
  • The king’s generous gesture comes in line with the Kingdom’s permanent efforts to serve pilgrims, build positive relations with other countries

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Tuesday received 185 pilgrims at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport as part of the guest program of King Salman.

This year’s program enables representatives from the the 41 countries working in the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, along with relatives of martyrs and people injured in terrorist attacks, to perform their Hajj rituals.

The ministry is taking care of the guests to ensure that they will be provided with all the services they need throughout their Hajj journey.

Services include accommodation, transportation, meals and any other services they may need while performing their rituals.

The guest program also provides other services to the pilgrims, most notably securing travel tickets, obtaining visas, providing medical care, as well as providing round the clock buses from accommodation to the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

The king’s generous gesture comes in line with the Kingdom’s permanent efforts to serve pilgrims, build positive relations with other countries and open wider horizons for strengthening ties in the Muslim world.


Palestinians share their joy over performing Hajj

Palestinians share their joy over performing Hajj
Updated 45 min 43 sec ago

Palestinians share their joy over performing Hajj

Palestinians share their joy over performing Hajj
  • Twenty qualified companies are operating in the West Bank to transport pilgrims

RAMALLAH: Walid Ghuneim, 59, from Bethlehem on the West Bank, was overwhelmed with joy when a lottery system chose him and his wife to perform Hajj four years ago.

However, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the suspension of his Hajj performance, and he kept waiting until his name was chosen this year among 1,900 citizens of the West Bank.

Ghuneim, a building materials trader, did not sleep the night of his journey to Hajj, as his six sons, daughters, and their sons came to bid him farewell, with his brothers, sisters, relatives and friends also seeing him off.

In the early hours of the dawn, he and his wife were the first to arrive at the meeting point of pilgrims in Bethlehem set by the Hajj company. They took the bus to Jericho Crossing and then crossed the Israeli bridge linking the West Bank and Jordan on its way with 52 other passengers to Madinah, the first stop of the three-week pilgrimage.

“I did not sleep last night, and I am delighted and eager to see and visit the Prophet’s Mosque and the Holy Mosque in Makkah and perform Hajj with my wife,” Ghuneim, who is visiting Saudi Arabia for the first time in his life, told Arab News.

“All my bus colleagues and I are pleased with this great journey to perform Hajj,” he added.

Sameh Jbara, director of Palestinian Hajj and Umrah companies, told Arab News that the Saudi authorities had allowed 1,900 pilgrims from the West Bank and 600 from the Gaza Strip to perform the Hajj this year — after a brief hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic — which constitutes 45 percent of the previous allocation for Palestinians before the outbreak.

The costs of Hajj amount to $3,920 (SR14,700) per person, as Palestinian sources told Arab News that there was a slight increase in costs associated with Hajj for this year.

Twenty qualified companies are operating in the West Bank to transport pilgrims. They manage their logistics during the Hajj period, while Palestinian pilgrims spend 21 trips back and forth and performing Hajj, spending the first four days of it in Madinah before heading to Makkah, while Palestinian pilgrims travel by buses from the West Bank via Israel and Jordan, through to Saudi Arabia, on a trip that takes 24 hours to Madinah.

The Palestinian Minister of Awqaf Hatem Al-Bakri told Arab News that his ministry submitted a request to the Saudi authorities to increase Palestine’s quota of pilgrims and received a promise that if there were an increase, it would be a small percentage.

“The arrangements and procedures for this year’s pilgrimage were carried out in full coordination and cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and us according to the protocols signed in this regard,” the minister said, adding: “We have taken into account the health protocols required by our brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and they are fully compatible with the protocols of the World Health Organization.”

The Hajj mission is accompanied by an administrative, media, health and security delegation of 650 people.

Ibrahim Melhem, the spokesperson of the Palestinian government, told Arab News that the Palestinian government had been in cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj for several months to ensure the necessary arrangements. He said that the Saudi authorities were highly organized and had conducted early planning for hotels, buses transporting pilgrims, and moving between the rites of Hajj.

“The country with the most experience in crowd management is Saudi Arabia,” Melhem told Arab News.

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Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief distributes Eid clothes for Syrian refugees in Jordan

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief distributes Eid clothes for Syrian refugees in Jordan
Updated 06 July 2022

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief distributes Eid clothes for Syrian refugees in Jordan

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief distributes Eid clothes for Syrian refugees in Jordan
  • The Kingdom’s aid agency has agreed to sponsor Syrian and Jordanian orphans and their families in Irbid for a whole year

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center distributed Eid clothing and the fifth batch of monthly financial aid to Syrian refugees and host communities in Irbid, Jordan, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The financial aid was provided to 56 families, including 40 Syrian families and 16 Jordanian families, totaling 191 beneficiaries, the majority of whom are orphans and widows.

The financial aid aims to support the families in meeting their basic needs and bringing them joy during Eid Al-Adha.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 675,433 Syrian refugees are registered in Jordan, with 136,104 of them residing in Irbid.

Around 80 percent of Jordan’s Syrian refugees fall below the poverty line, and 60 percent of families are in extreme poverty, UNHCR also said.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s economy continues to struggle. According to the World Bank, Jordan’s GDP and employment growth have averaged 2.4 percent per year since 2011, failing to keep pace with its young workforce.

Thus, humanitarian aid from the international community is critical to supporting Jordan and its population.

KSrelief has agreed to sponsor orphans and their families in Irbid for a whole year, SPA reported.

A similar project has also been launched by the center for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

 


Saudi king receives letter from Bahraini counterpart

Saudi king receives letter from Bahraini counterpart
Updated 06 July 2022

Saudi king receives letter from Bahraini counterpart

Saudi king receives letter from Bahraini counterpart

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday received a written message from his Bahraini counterpart King Hamad, regarding the strong and solid bilateral relations that bind the two countries, and ways to support and enhance them in various fields and on all levels.
The message was received on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Waleed Al-Khuraiji, during a meeting with Sheikh Ali bin Abdulrahman, Bahrain’s ambassador to the Kingdom.
During the reception, they discussed relations between the two countries, and ways of enhancing them in various fields.