Beggars exploit kindness of pilgrims in Madinah

Updated 17 August 2016

Beggars exploit kindness of pilgrims in Madinah

MADINAH: Beggars of different nationalities are using a variety of means and tactics to gain the sympathy of pilgrims in Madinah, reportedly swarming the different locations that are frequently visited by Umrah performers and pilgrims, such as known Islamic and historic places in the city.
Beggars normally take advantage of the compassion and kindness shown by the pilgrims and their eagerness to give alms in this holy city, which beggars see as the best and quickest way of gaining money without any hardship. They often resort to exhibiting some disability, most often, though, simply sitting on road and begging.
Arab News spotted a number of men and women beggars of Asian nationalities who took the top of Al-Rumat Mountain as a place to beg from, away from authorities’ control.
Hiding behind cloaks, the beggars chase pilgrims and utter certain phrases in their own languages, such as Indonesian, Turkish, Urdu of African languages.
In one of the incidents, Arab News detected one woman beggar giving back change to one pilgrim. An Asian male beggar showed his disability to beg.
In a related development, Pakistani pilgrim Shuwaib Abdulrazzaq said beggars were chasing pilgrims and insisting to get money from them which, he said, is uncivilized.
Indian pilgrim Shakir Islam-ul-Deen said he saw many beggars on Al-Rumat Mountain bothering pilgrims and chasing after them everywhere.
Exploiting their kindness, beggars never leave pilgrims until they give them money, he pointed out.

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”