Saudi environmental center warns against logging

Saudi environmental center warns against logging
(SPA/File)
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Updated 28 December 2023
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Saudi environmental center warns against logging

Saudi environmental center warns against logging

RIYADH: The National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification warned against logging as it harms the environment and biodiversity.

Logging violations include transporting, selling, or storing firewood or local charcoal and collecting local firewood.

The center noted that the fine for these violations starts at SR5,000 ($1,333) for every cubic meter of firewood or local charcoal for the first violation. The amount doubles to SR10,000 for the second violation and reaches SR16,000 for the third violation.

The center’s protection teams monitor vegetation regions across the Kingdom by relying on the latest technologies and artificial intelligence to prevent violations and preserve green spaces.

The center seeks to develop and protect vegetation regions and rehabilitate degraded ones. This includes managing and investing in grazing lands, forests and national parks, along with fighting practices that harm the environment, including logging, and preserving natural resources and biodiversity.


Many Hajj pilgrims begin final rituals before returning home

Many Hajj pilgrims begin final rituals before returning home
Updated 11 sec ago
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Many Hajj pilgrims begin final rituals before returning home

Many Hajj pilgrims begin final rituals before returning home
  • More than 1.8m have performed Hajj this year

MINA: Hundreds of thousands of this year’s total of more than 1.8 million Hajj pilgrims began performing the final rituals of their pilgrimage early on Tuesday morning before preparing for the return home.

Many began stoning the pillars in Mina at noon on Tuesday and then headed to the Grand Mosque to perform the final ritual of circumambulating the Kaaba seven times, known as Tawaf Al-Wadaa, concluding their pilgrimage.

However, those who remain in Mina until sunset on the second day of Tashreeq are required by Islamic teachings to stay for a third day before leaving Makkah.

Speaking to Arab News, Aminatu Haruna, a Nigerian pilgrim, said she will be leaving Makkah on Tuesday to return to her homeland after completing Hajj with her two children.

A majority of this year's 1.8 million Hajj pilgrims began their final rituals early Tuesday morning in preparation for their return home. (AN photo Huda Bashatah)

Talking about the services provided to pilgrims, she said: “All I can say is Alhamdulillah (thank God).

“The Saudi government is really trained, and we have seen so many improvements. They introduced electric cars and scooters. Of course, all the officials, when I stopped to ask them, were always there to help.”

A majority of this year's 1.8 million Hajj pilgrims began their final rituals early Tuesday morning in preparation for their return home. (AN photo Huda Bashatah)

Doran Ahmed and Gina Amin, an Iraqi Kurd couple, were also planning to leave Mina on the same day after fulfilling the stoning ritual.

Ahmed and Amin expressed their gratitude to the Kingdom for preparing Hajj in a “great and seamless way, without any problems.”

They told Arab News: “Today, we bid farewell to this blessed land.”

A majority of this year's 1.8 million Hajj pilgrims began their final rituals early Tuesday morning in preparation for their return home. (AN photo Huda Bashatah)

Many pilgrims, after completing their farewell tawaf, journey to Madinah to pray at the Prophet’s Mosque and visit the city’s numerous Islamic landmarks.

Security staff and Hajj and health officials have confirmed that all their plans were successfully carried out, and no pandemic diseases were recorded.

A majority of this year's 1.8 million Hajj pilgrims began their final rituals early Tuesday morning in preparation for their return home. (AN photo Huda Bashatah)

According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, more than 170,000 personnel have served the 1,833,164 pilgrims who performed Hajj this year. Of these, more than 1.61 million came from over 200 countries worldwide.

About 40 million bottles of Zamzam water had been served to pilgrims up to Monday, while 300 food supply contractors had provided 9 million daily meals.

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Meanwhile, the Presidency of Religious Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque had been preparing to welcome pilgrims arriving to perform the farewell tawaf to complete their Hajj rituals.

A comprehensive package of services had been prepared, including guidance, field awareness, educational lessons, initiatives, and enriching religious activities for pilgrims, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

A majority of this year's 1.8 million Hajj pilgrims began their final rituals early Tuesday morning in preparation for their return home. (AN photo Huda Bashatah)

The Haramain Presidency has painted white more than 11,000 sq. meters of the areas adjacent to the Grand Mosque, using materials which help to reduce the temperature at the site for pilgrims.

This fast-drying chemical can be used both indoors and outdoors, on asphalt or concrete surfaces. The paint used at the mosque reflects sunlight and mitigates the effects of climate change, helping to provide a more comfortable environment for waiting, walking, and gathering.

The temperature in Makkah and Mina reduced from nearly 49 C to 38 C on Tuesday morning, according to a report by the National Center for Meteorology.

 


Islamic affairs ministry starts distributing over 1.8 million copies of Qur’an to departing Hajj pilgrims

Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance has started distributing 1,879,352 copies of the holy Qur’an to pilgrims.
Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance has started distributing 1,879,352 copies of the holy Qur’an to pilgrims.
Updated 18 June 2024
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Islamic affairs ministry starts distributing over 1.8 million copies of Qur’an to departing Hajj pilgrims

Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance has started distributing 1,879,352 copies of the holy Qur’an to pilgrims.
  • The copies, printed by the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, are available in various sizes

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance has started distributing 1,879,352 copies of the holy Qur’an to departing Hajj pilgrims, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The copies, printed by the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, are available in various sizes.

Translations of the holy book are available in more than 77 languages, a testament to the ministry’s commitment to inclusivity and respect for all pilgrims departing for their home countries via King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah Islamic Port, and other crossings.

Hajj 2024 ended on Tuesday and some pilgrims have started departing for their home countries having visited Madinah before the pilgrimage.


Saudi health minister hails success of Hajj plans

Saudi health minister hails success of Hajj plans
Updated 18 June 2024
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Saudi health minister hails success of Hajj plans

Saudi health minister hails success of Hajj plans
  • Fahad Al-Jalajel: Despite the large number of pilgrims and the challenges posed by high temperatures, we experienced no outbreaks or public health threats
  • Al-Jalajel praised the Supreme Hajj Committee for its measures to protect pilgrims from extreme heat and other health risks during rituals

RIYADH: The Saudi minister of health has hailed the success of preparation for Hajj after no outbreaks or threats to public health were recorded during the annual pilgrimage.

Fahad Al-Jalajel said in a statement: “I am pleased to announce the success of this year’s Hajj health plans. Despite the large number of pilgrims and the challenges posed by high temperatures, we experienced no outbreaks or public health threats.

“The health system was equipped with 189 hospitals, health centers and mobile clinics, offering a bed capacity exceeding 6,500. Over 40,000 medical, technical, and administrative staff and volunteers were mobilized, supported by more than 370 ambulances, seven air ambulances, 12 laboratories and 60 trucks.

“We also provided more than 1,860 medical supplies and, in a significant move, deployed three mobile medical warehouses across the holy sites,” he added, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

More than 390,000 pilgrims received healthcare services during the pilgrimage this year, of which 28 underwent open heart surgery, 720 received cardiac catheters and more than 1,169 had dialysis sessions, the minister said.

Virtual health services through Seha Virtual Hospital were provided to more than 5,800 pilgrims, and heat stress cases were managed with appropriate medical care. Proactive awareness efforts helped limit the increase in cases.

The minister attributed the success of the plans to the integration among all government agencies, including the Makkah Health Cluster of the Health Holding Company, the Red Crescent Authority, the Public Health Authority (Weqaya), the Food and Drug Authority, and significant contributions from the National Unified Procurement Company (NUPCO), the Health Volunteering Center and other entities in the Kingdom.

Al-Jalajel praised the Supreme Hajj Committee for its measures to protect pilgrims from extreme heat and other health risks during rituals. He also expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Interior for its active role in executing the health plans.

The achievement reflects the integration of all government entities and preparation for the Hajj season within the framework of the Guests of God Program, the minister said.

He highlighted the Central Hajj Committee’s recommendation for pilgrims to avoid peak heat times, saying the guidance contributed to maintaining safety and managing heat stress cases.


Niger PM leaves Jeddah after performing Hajj

The Prime Minister of Niger Ali Lamine Zeine leaves Jeddah on Tuesday after performing Hajj. (SPA)
The Prime Minister of Niger Ali Lamine Zeine leaves Jeddah on Tuesday after performing Hajj. (SPA)
Updated 18 June 2024
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Niger PM leaves Jeddah after performing Hajj

The Prime Minister of Niger Ali Lamine Zeine leaves Jeddah on Tuesday after performing Hajj. (SPA)
  • Zeine attended a Hajj reception hosted by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday

RIYADH: The Prime Minister of Niger Ali Lamine Zeine left Jeddah on Tuesday after performing Hajj, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Zeine attended a Hajj reception hosted by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday.

Other notables who performed Hajj this year include Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the Prime Minister of Yemen’s internationally recognised government Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.


Minister praises efforts of workers during Hajj 

Minister praises efforts of workers during Hajj 
Updated 18 June 2024
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Minister praises efforts of workers during Hajj 

Minister praises efforts of workers during Hajj 
  • Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi praised the efforts of workers and volunteers during Hajj, saying their work had ensured that pilgrims could perform their rituals with ease and in safety
  • Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched several services and initiatives as part of its efforts to serve pilgrims, workers, and establishments during the Hajj

MINA: The Saudi Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi has praised the efforts of workers and volunteers during Hajj, saying their work has ensured that pilgrims can perform their rituals with ease and in safety.

He added that their efforts were in line with the directives of leadership, which call for providing support and facilitating many services for pilgrims, through integration and cooperation with all government and private sectors.

His comments came during his visit on Tuesday to the main operations center of the human resources and social development system for Hajj.

He was briefed on the progress of work and the efforts of the ministry’s inspection teams in enhancing the compliance of establishments operating during Hajj.

He also observed prominent initiatives, services, and tasks carried out by volunteer teams within the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the holy sites.

The ministry has launched several services and initiatives as part of its efforts to serve pilgrims, workers, and establishments during the Hajj season, including enabling seasonal work through the Hajj employee service and the seasonal visa service.

The ministry’s inspection committees, in partnership with the relevant authorities, carry out continuous monitoring of the work system provisions. The ministry has also launched an anti-begging initiative for the season in multiple languages, and supervised over 22 child hospitality centers in Makkah and the holy sites through another scheme, in addition to several other volunteer and service plans to serve pilgrims.

These efforts are a continuation of the work being done to enhance and improve the effectiveness of services, while increasing volunteer opportunities to facilitate Hajj rituals and serve pilgrims.