Haj goes high-tech for bloodless Eid sacrifices

The more than 1.8 million pilgrims from around the world had the option of computerized coupons to order a sacrifice. (SPA)
Updated 14 September 2016
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Haj goes high-tech for bloodless Eid sacrifices

MINA: Thanks to computer technology and SMS messaging, pilgrims were able to make their Eid Al-Adha sacrifice without getting blood on their hands.
The more than 1.8 million pilgrims from around the world had the option of computerized coupons to order a sacrifice — without even seeing the animal.
Many among the world’s more than 1.5 billion Muslims themselves pick up a knife and kill sheep or other animals to mark Eid Al-Adha.
“If each pilgrim himself sacrificed a sheep, there wouldn’t be enough space,” said Rabie Saleh, a Sudanese in line at a Saudi Post office at the Jamrat Bridge.
In the past, pilgrims themselves sacrificed animals before handing meat to the poor.
“But now there are millions of pilgrims. If each sacrificed a sheep, that would take days and days,” said 33-year-old Saudi pilgrim Mishal Al-Qahtani.
So the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) devised the electronic coupon system.
For SR460 this year, agencies located around holy sites visited by the pilgrims take charge of the sacrifice.
“As soon as someone buys from us, a request is sent to the bank through our system and a sheep is slaughtered in an abattoir,” explained Mansour Al-Malki, 45, a Saudi Post employee.
The meat is then cut up and handed out to the less fortunate in and around Makkah or sent overseas, said Al-Malki. “Before, there were paper coupons but now it is computerized.”
Al-Qahtani received a receipt showing he had paid for the sacrifice.
“They told me that I will soon get an SMS to tell me that a sheep has really been slaughtered,” Al-Qahtani said.


Saudi Arabia joins International Maritime Security Construct

Updated 30 min 11 sec ago

Saudi Arabia joins International Maritime Security Construct

  • The aim of this international alliance is to protect merchant ships through providing safe navigation
  • The operation covers Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf

RIYADH: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has joined the International Maritime Security Construct, a source from the Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.
The US-led coalition, which includes Australia, Bahrain, and the UK, aims to protect commercial ships and provide safe navigation.
The International Maritime Security Construct area of operation covers Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf.
The Kingdom’s move comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade, and ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy.