Spiritually thrilled after Umrah, Dilip Kumar extends Makkah stay

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Updated 12 January 2013

Spiritually thrilled after Umrah, Dilip Kumar extends Makkah stay

Legendary Indian actor Muhammad Yousuf Khan — who attained world fame with his screen name Dilip Kumar — and his actress wife Saira Bano have been so touched and spiritually exhilarated by their journey to Makkah that they have extended their stay in the holy city by a couple of more days.
“Dilip Kumar performed Umrah along with a 21-member entourage three days ago … He was absolutely thrilled and spiritually charged,” said Faisal I. Farooqui, a close family friend and CEO of mouthshut.com.
Farooqui tweeted about the thespian’s visit to Makkah and Madinah and posted interesting pictures on Twitter account (@faisalMouthshut).
Talking to Arab News yesterday, Farooqui said one of the most poignant moments during the journey was when Dilip Kumar was performing the circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba.
“He was full of energy and was reading aloud verses from the Holy Qur’an while performing the ‘tawaf.’ When we all heard him speak aloud, we started repeating the prayers after him,” said a very excited Farooqui. “Those were very touching moments, especially because Sahib is a man of few words.”
During the circumambulation, Dilip Kumar was in total awe. “He was involved in all aspects of the religious rituals ... whether it was the donning of the ihram in Madinah, or performing the ‘tawaf’ or saee in Makkah, he was a picture of total submission to Almighty Allah. He was fully engrossed,” said Farooqui. “I have not seen him in a more composed and serene manner in such a long time.”
Farooqui said two people should find special mention while writing about Dilip Kumar’s journey to the holy land. “They are Saira Bano and her brother Sultan Ahmad. Without Saira Baji’s extraordinary energy and Sultan Bhai and his family’s support, the whole trip would not have been possible,” he said.
He said “Sahib and Saira Baji” were touched by the generosity extended by everyone during their stay in Madinah and Makkah. “All of them were gracious and polite. They understood the family’s concern for Sahib’s well-being and were very supportive. The people in Madinah ... the people in Makkah ... they were all very, very helpful.” Farooqui, whose family has been friendly with Dilip Kumar for the last 30 years, said the legendary actor and his entourage were to leave for Mumbai last evening. “But such has been the impact of the journey on them that they decided to extend their stay in the holy city,” he said. “No one feels like leaving Makkah.”
Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmad Kidwai met them at the Makkah Hilton on Thursday evening and said one could clearly see happiness on Dilip Kumar’s face. “He speaks very little, but one could easily read his radiant face; he seemed contented.”
During their conversation with the consul general, they expressed their interest of coming back to the Kingdom soon. “Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano intend to perform Haj this year. This is their intention and we all should pray for their dream to come true,” said Kidwai. “Saira Bano said they don’t feel like leaving Makkah and that is the reason why they have extended their stay.”
Kidwai kept his men in Makkah on standby for any possible help. “This is their private visit, but it was our duty to extend all help to this great symbol of our country,” he said.
Farooqui echoed the consul general’s sentiments. “Let us all pray that they come back to the holy land. We all are truly blessed to accompany them to Makkah and Madinah.” The entourage included eight of Dilip Kumar’s longtime support staff, including his personal doctor and a cook.
Born on Dec. 11, 1922, in Peshawar, Yousuf Khan joined the film industry in 1944. He is rightly considered as the Subcontinent’s first method actor and an inspiration for generations of filmstars.
Yousuf Khan has been an inspiration behind many generations of actors. His dialogue delivery, flawless Urdu and acting abilities have all endeared him to his fellow actors and fans. In his days, he was the king of Indian film industry and his dialogues in the film “Mughal-e-Azam” — a true love epic — was on the lips of every moviegoer and literature lover. In one of his famous observations, noted film director Mahesh Bhatt said: “Where would Indian cinema be without Dilip Kumar’s heart-wrenching performances in Mughal-e-Azam? The wells from where we drink water were dug by this giant called Dilip Kumar.”


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.