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Old December 27th, 2018, 04:42 AM   #11801
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‘Rescue Muslim countries
from conspiracies, turmoil’


25 December 2018

JEDDAH: Sectarianism is the region’s biggest menace, according to one of the most senior Islamic scholars in the Muslim world.

Shawki Allam, Egypt’s grand mufti, made the statement at a two-day conference on Islamic unity, which was organized by the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkah.

Allam reiterated that Saudi Arabia remained the “heart of Islam” and commended the MWL for holding the conference amid times of hardship in the Muslim world.

“The challenges and dangers engulfing us are too great to ignore,” he said. “We call on scientists, thinkers and researchers from East to West to find ways to rescue Muslim countries from the turmoil and conspiracies they are being subjected to. Division, sectarian strife and conflict can be quelled through our adherence to the tenets of the Holy Qur’an.”

Allam emphasized that scripture abolishes all forms of discrimination, which includes tribalism and racism, and warned against intolerance exacerbating an already dire level of disunity.

“Rivalry and division have destroyed any sense of brotherhood, which is the essence of Islam,” he said.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1425811/saudi-arabia





Saudi Arabia’s services
to Muslim world lauded


December 27, 2018

JEDDAH: Scholars at an international summit on Islamic unity have been urged to “unify their ranks to strengthen the values of moderation.”

Dr. Pir Muhammad Noor-ul-Haq Qadri
, Pakistani minister for religious affairs, told the Muslim World League (MWL) conference in Makkah that “labeling and seclusion ... have weakened and debilitated the Islamic nation.

“Amid these times of hardship in the Muslim world, scholars and preachers must unify their ranks to help strengthen the values of moderation, and promote cohesion and fraternity between all Muslims,” he said. Scholars at the two-day forum reiterated that Saudi Arabia is the “heart of Islam” in the modern era, and praised the Kingdom’s leadership for its services to Muslims.

Bou Abdullah Gholamallah, president of the Islamic Council of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, said that the conference would help “disperse enmity and suspicion and instill trust and cooperation.

“Most Muslims dream of a united nation founded on the principles of understanding and solidarity in the political, social, cultural, and economic fields,” he said.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1426326/saudi-arabia
arabic: https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php...newsid=1857308





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Old December 27th, 2018, 05:03 AM   #11802
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Pilgrims build ‘a path of peace’
on road to Makkah



Over the centuries, the ancient pilgrimage routes have brought great benefits
in trade, cultural exchange and knowledge bridge between Islamic lands.
27 December 2018

JEDDAH: Caravans of pilgrims from around the world can take many different routes to Makkah — but all paths lead to a single destination. Over the centuries, the ancient pilgrimage routes have brought great benefits in trade, cultural exchange and knowledge, with the journey acting as a bridge of peace and communication between Islamic lands.

The routes were not only used by Hajj pilgrims but throughout the year by travelers seeking to reach different destinations.

The most famous of the Hajj routes are the Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian, Yemeni and Omani paths.

Muslim caliphs and sultans devoted special attention to Hajj routes. The Hajj emir, for example, was responsible for supervising Hajj, establishing stops and rests on the paths, and determining the distances between these stops.

Historical sources have recorded seven main routes to Makkah and Madinah.

The Kufa-Makkah was the most important path for both Hajj and trade. This route was also known as Darb Zubaidah (the path of Zubaidah) and was named after Caliph Harun Al-Rashid’s wife, who helped to establish the route. Its use began after the conquest of Iraq and the spread of Islam across the Levant, and it prospered during the era of the Rashidun caliphate. In the Abbasid era, this route became an important link between Baghdad, the Two Holy Mosques and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

The route was well planned and engineered, with stops and rest areas. Utilities, such as wells, ponds and dams, helped make the journey easier for pilgrims.

After the era of the powerful caliphs ended, the road was targeted by rebel tribes and villages. Some of the road’s stops, such as Rabazah station, were damaged and destroyed and, subsequently, the roadmap was lost and pilgrims ceased to use it unless they were well-protected.

After the Mongols conquered Baghdad in the early 13th century, the road was disrupted and most of its stations destroyed.

Studies showed that the architectural structures on the Kufa-Makkah route represent a unique Islamic architectural style, with meticulous design and high-quality workmanship. Palaces and bars on the road were built with thick walls, and offered superb facilities and services. The ponds were built in rectangular, square and circular shapes, reflecting Muslims’ skill in building water facilities.

The Basra-Makkah route, the second most important Hajj pathway, passed through Wadi Al-Batin in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula, crossed several deserts, and ran parallel to the Kufa-Makkah road until the two paths met at Umm Kharman station in Awtas, 18 km from Zat Irq.

The route is about 1,200 km long and has 27 main stops, four of which are now inside Iraq and Kuwait, while the rest are inside Saudi Arabia.

The third route, the Egyptian Hajj path, was used by pilgrims from Egypt, Morocco, Andalusia and areas of Africa. They first headed to the Sinai Peninsula to reach Aqaba, the first stop on the route, before traveling on to Midian. After reaching Midian, Egyptian pilgrims turned to one of two paths, one inland road and the other coastal.

Throughout the Mamluk and Ottoman eras, caravans of pilgrims from Egypt would gather in Barakat Al-Hajj, near Cairo, then travel through the Suez path, passing through Buwaib and Ajrud until they crossed the Sinai Peninsula to the Gulf of Aqaba. They would then descend the Negev of Aqaba to reach Aqabat Ayla.

Pilgrims’ caravans would leave Aqabat Ayla and journey to Badr. From Badr, the caravan would travel to Rabigh, then Khulays and Asfan before reaching Makkah after having spent a month on the road from Cairo to Makkah.
Hundreds of Arab inscriptions can be found along this route. These were carved by pilgrims on rocks surrounding the path to leave a reminder of their Hajj journey.

The forth Hajj route, the Shami, which connects the Levant to Makkah and Madinah, was also known as Al-Tabukiya as it passes through Tabuk. The route starts in Damascus and passes through Busra Al-Sham in Daraa.

The Yemeni Hajj route has linked Yemen and Hijaz since ancient times. Caravans departed toward Makkah from Aden, Taiz, Sanaa, Zabid and Saada in northern Yemen.

Yemen’s pilgrims traveled three roads: The coastal road, inland road and the top road, with each offering particular hardships.

One of the Yemenis’ favorite routes passed through northern Yemen and crossed the mountainous region of Asir until it reached Taif and then Makkah. The road passed through difficult terrain, but pilgrims and other travelers preferred it because its numerous villages offered water and food.

The Omani Hajj route starts from Oman and passes through Yabrin, then continues through Bahrain, Yamamah and Dharih. According to geographical sources, pilgrims from Basra and Bahrain met in Dharih and, from there, separated. The pilgrims of Basra headed north, while Bahrain’s pilgrims headed east.

The Bahrain-Yamamah-Makkah Hajj route was an important branch of the Basra route, which passed through central regions of the Arabian Peninsula. Pilgrims traveling this route were offered protection against bandits.

Early Muslim geographers referred to the convergence of the Yamamah road and the Basra Hajj route since Yamamah has two paths to Makkah. One passes through Al-Qaryatayn while the other crosses Marat. After the Bahrain road meets the Basra route in Dharih, it passes through several stops, including Jadilah, Faljah, Al-Dfeinah, Qiba, Maran, Wajrah, Awta, Zat Irq and Al-Bustan, until it reaches Makkah.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1426291/saudi-arabia



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Old December 27th, 2018, 05:36 AM   #11803
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Aerial view of the Holy Mosque 1385H / 1965
at Janadriyah festival


During the First Saudi expansion




المسجد الحرام وما حوله ١٣٨٥(١٩٦٥م). من مكة المكرمة من السماء في الجنادرية وفاء وولاء



via @Makkitter - Dec 21, 2018



@WMITech - Dec 23, 2018
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Old December 29th, 2018, 03:10 AM   #11804
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Over 2 million Umrah pilgrims arrive

2018-12-28

RIYADH — More than two million Umrah pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom during the current Umrah season, the Saudi Press Agency reported. As of Thursday, Dec. 27, the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has issued a total of 2,386,346 Umrah visas, according to the latest figures released by the ministry on Friday.

A total of 2,002,857 pilgrims have so far arrived in the Kingdom to perform the ritual. The number of pilgrims staying in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah at present accounts for 468,241, of which there are 326,886 pilgrims in Makkah and 141,355 in Madinah. A total of 1,534,616 Umrah performers have left the Kingdom.

Pakistan tops the number of pilgrims with 558,139 while Indonesia and India came next to it with 362,038 and 267,318 respectively. Malaysia, which sent 127,385 pilgrims, came fourth and it was followed by Yemen with 99,588 pilgrims, the ministry said. The ten countries which sent the largest number of Umrah pilgrims also include Algeria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh.

There are 9,634 Saudi officials and employees, including 1648 women, involved in serving the pilgrims at various Umrah companies and establishments, the ministry statement added.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...ilgrims-arrive
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Old December 29th, 2018, 04:23 PM   #11805
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27 engineering offices to approve
fitness of pilgrim accommodation


2018-12-29

MAKKAH — The Makkah municipality has announced that it has approved 27 engineering consultancy offices to inspect the fitness of buildings that will accommodate pilgrims during the upcoming Haj season.

It said the approval of the offices, made in conjunction with the Civil Defense, was to make sure that the buildings were suitable for the accommodation of the guests of God.

The municipality said when found suitable, the buildings would be granted fitness certificates so as to obtain licenses from the Pilgrims' Accommodation Committee.

Chairman of the committee Abdullah Aqeel Bajabir said since it started its work early September, the committee had never disqualified any building.

He said there was no change in the terms and conditions for qualifying the buildings regarding suitability and safety. He asked the landlords to obtain the approval of the engineering offices as quickly as possible so as to obtain the required licenses.

Bajabir has said so far the committee has granted licenses to 286 buildings with 20,271 rooms that can accommodate 90,023 pilgrims.

He added that as many as 203 applications were still under process.

According to the chairman, there were 169 licenses granted to buildings in Azizziyah district to accommodate 56,335 pilgrims and nine in Al-Rusaifa to accommodate 2,459 pilgrims.

He said 39 buildings in Otaibiyah were approved to host 14,115 pilgrims, 20 in Haram for 6,659 pilgrims and 31 in Al-Masfalah to accommodate 10,464 pilgrims.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...-accommodation
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Old January 1st, 2019, 03:54 AM   #11806
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Haramain Railway considering
30 daily trips by end of 2019


Over 118,000 passengers transported since October


The high speed trains carried more than 118,000 passengers in over 310 trips since its launch on Oct. 11.
2018-12-31

JEDDAH — The Haramain high-speed trains transported more than 118,000 passengers through 310 trips since its launch on Oct. 11, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported on Monday.

The Haramain High Speed Railway currently operates eight daily trips between Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.

Sources told Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper that the railway management was currently studying plans to increase the number of daily trips gradually between the two holy cities. They said the plan was to add two trips every month until the total number of daily trips reached 30 by the end of 2019.

They said if the plan was implemented, there would be a trip every half an hour and the railway would have a capacity to carry 30 million passengers annually, in addition to Haj pilgrims who will be using the train as of the upcoming season.

The sources said the railway project succeeded in achieving the targeted revenue. The management at this stage is not concentrating on generating revenue as much as they concentrate on the quality of the service provided, such as adhering to the schedule.

More than 650 Saudi men and women are employed in the operation of the train stations, the management of the trains and in the maintenance wing.

The total number of workers in various departments and companies involved in the project is 1,200. The 450-kilometer railway has five stations.

The Public Transportation Authority approved the prices of the train ticket. The cost of a trip between Jeddah and Makkah is SR40 for economy class and SR50 for business class, excluding tax. The cost of the ticket between Makkah and Madinah is SR150 for economy class and SR250 for business.

It takes an hour and 50 minutes for the trip between Makkah and Madinah and 21 minutes between Jeddah and Makkah. (It seems wrong by the new schedule at the bottom)

Passengers can reserve and buy the tickets through a special application and through the smart machines at the train stations.

The stations started renting locations for commercial activity, but the number of coffee shops and restaurants are still limited.

Over 118,000 passengers transported since October.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...by-end-of-2019


New Haramain railway schedule
starting from January 10, 2019

___________________________________________________

Makkah to Madinah

Makkah to Madinah (without stop) takes 3 hours




Madinah to Makkah


https://twitter.com/haramainrailway/...57695707348992
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Old January 2nd, 2019, 05:48 PM   #11807
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4,000 imams to receive rigorous training

2019-01-01

RIYADH — The Ministry of Islamic Affairs will provide additional training on Islamic moderation and tolerance to more than 4,000 imams, preachers and muezzins around the Kingdom.

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Abdullatif Al-Asheikh has approved the training courses to be provided by the ministry's institute for the imams and preachers.

Director of the institute Fahd Bin Solaiman Al-Khalifa said the training courses and rehabilitation sessions would be presented by accredited instructors and a number of the ministry's officials.

He said the training sessions would cover all regions of the Kingdom and would continue throughout the entire year.

"The training is aimed at further consolidating the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah and reinforcing the principle of obedience to the ruler," he said.

Khalifa said the training would also cement the Islamic concepts of preserving public assets, state security and the nation's savings.

He said the programs of the institute would focus on further augmenting the concept of moderation in Islam by fighting fanaticism and extremism.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...orous-training
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Old January 2nd, 2019, 06:52 PM   #11808
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Aerial view of the Holy Mosque in Makkah
and surrounding areas in 1988 - 1408H


During King Fahd expansion



https://twitter.com/Mal_hothaly/stat...20773654999040
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 04:30 AM   #11809
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Hajj, Umrah Ministry
pavilion showcases projects



The pavilion highlighted the launch of the Hajj Capsule — rooms made of plastic and fiberglass to accommodate pilgrims.
January 03, 2019

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah continues to receive visitors at its pavilion in Jeddah’s Cultural Park, introducing its initiatives and future projects.

The pavilion takes visitors on a 3D virtual tour of the holy sites, and briefs them on the services and equipment provided by the Kingdom at those sites.

The pavilion showcases the programs dedicated to receiving and bidding farewell to pilgrims at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.

There are also smart platforms that aim to enrich the Hajj and Umrah experience, and facilitate the journey and performance of rituals.

The pavilion highlighted the launch of the Hajj Capsule — rooms made of plastic and fiberglass to accommodate pilgrims. Visitors were also briefed on the value of serving pilgrims.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1429581/saudi-arabia











@HajMinistry


@makkahregion


Jeddah’s Cultural Park - @Moalsulami
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 10:29 AM   #11810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roukaya19 View Post
[CENTER]Aerial view of the Holy Mosque in Makkah
and surrounding areas in 1998 - 1408H


During King Fahd expansion
I don't think that date is correct sister.

It must be much earlier. At least 10 years earlier
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 11:13 AM   #11811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abu mohammed View Post
I don't think that date is correct sister.

It must be much earlier. At least 10 years earlier
Yes, he tweeted a correction, it was in 1989, not 1998:

https://twitter.com/Mal_hothaly/stat...13418788114432
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 11:43 AM   #11812
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Sep-2018

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 11:55 AM   #11813
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King Fahad Gate

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 11:56 AM   #11814
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[IMG][/IMG]
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 11:59 AM   #11815
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Old January 6th, 2019, 03:12 AM   #11816
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More than 2.5m Umrah visas issued so far

January 06, 2019

MAKKAH — Saudi Arabia received 2,183,013 Umrah pilgrims till Thursday since the start of the season, the Ministry of Haj and Umrah said in its weekly bulletin on pilgrimage data.

The number of Umrah visas issued by various Saudi missions reached 2,555,201 until 27th of Rabi Al-Thani (Jan. 3).

The ministry said 1,774,420 pilgrims left the country after completing the Umrah rituals while 408,611 of them are in Makkah and Madinah.

The weekly data also gave a breakdown of the number of Saudi employees working with Umrah companies and institutions. They include 8,070 males and 1,668 females.

Most pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom via air while 184,580 entered the country by land entry points and 7,003 via seaports.

According to the ministry, the highest number of pilgrims by nationality was from Pakistan, which sent 600,015 pilgrims. They were followed by 394,027 Indonesians, 281,589 Indians, 130,793 Malaysians, 113,247 Yemenis, 83,299 Algerians, 63,217 Egyptians, 60,086 Turkish, 56,412 Emiratis and 52,848 Bangladeshis.

The weekly indicator was launched by the ministry to enable various agencies to track the number of pilgrims in the Kingdom, and in turn, enrich their experiences by providing high-quality services.

The indicator focuses on four main aspects, which are the number of issued visas, the number of pilgrims arriving in the Kingdom via air, land and sea, the number of pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah, and the number of pilgrims leaving the Kingdom after completing the rituals.

The weekly indicator launched by the ministry at the start of the current Hijri year is in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, which aspires to attract over 30 million Umrah pilgrims annually and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...Umrah-pilgrims

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Old January 7th, 2019, 03:40 AM   #11817
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Agreement signed to boost technical
services at Two Holy Mosques


January 07, 2019

JEDDAH: The General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque on Sunday signed a cooperation agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to upgrade technical and digital services at the mosques.

The signing ceremony was attended by the president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Sudais, and the minister of communications and information technology, Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha.

The agreement aims to create a strong partnership with a view to developing the digital infrastructure, creating an e-business environment and boosting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and augmented reality.

It is the most important agreement signed by the presidency, and is a turning point for visitors of the Two Holy Mosques, Al-Sudais said.

He thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for supporting the presidency so as to enable it to serve pilgrims to its fullest. Al-Sudais also thanked Al-Swaha for supporting the agreement.

Attendees of the signing ceremony watched a documentary about the services provided by the presidency for the last 56 years. Al-Swaha said his ministry seeks through the agreement to activate and support technology and digital transformation to serve pilgrims.

“The infrastructure in the Two Holy Mosques is among the best globally,” he added. “In the previous Hajj season, we launched the Smart Hajj campaign across a number of apps, most notably the Soha app, which enables pilgrims to access the services of a physician anywhere at the holy sites.”

The agreement will establish an institutional framework, transfer knowledge and innovation, and contribute to raising the efficiency of employees and the system, he said.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1431496/saudi-arabia



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Old January 8th, 2019, 04:23 AM   #11818
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7 free minutes before parking tickets


Motorists are allowed seven free minutes in paid parking areas
in Makkah before they are issued tickets.
2019-01-07

MAKKAH — The Makkah Municipality has specified seven free minutes in paid parking for motorists before they are issued a ticket.

If a motorist leaves the vehicle in the parking area for more than seven minutes without paying, he or she will be fined accordingly. According to Makkah daily, an employee making rounds in the parking areas will photograph the plate numbers of vehicles parked without paying. If the car remained in the same parking slot without paying after seven minutes, the driver will be fined immediately.

Seven minutes is the internationally accepted limit for issuing tickets for violators of parking rules.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...arking-tickets



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Old January 9th, 2019, 02:56 PM   #11819
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30 million pilgrims will visit
Saudi Arabia by 2030


09 January 2019

JEDDAH: Officials from Saudi Arabian Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Hajj Ministry on Tuesday to increase tourist packages for pilgrims across the globe.

The MoU was signed by Hajj Minister Mohammed Saleh Bentin and Nasser Al-Jasser, director-general of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Under the agreement, Flynas, the country’s budget airlines, will be able to tailor travel packages for pilgrims through the Hajj Ministry’s central booking system.

“This new liaison will ensure travelers to the Kingdom are offered competitive prices,” said Bentin.

Plans include increasing the number of direct flights and seating capacity and introducing new destinations through the national carrier.

Al-Jasser said integrating government institutions would enhance productivity across the board and enhance airline sales.

“We are happy to continuously be improving the quality of service to pilgrims year after year,” he said. “We hope to have 30 million pilgrims visiting the Kingdom by 2030.”

Under the MoU, Saudi Arabian Airlines will create a digital platform exclusive for pilgrims.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1432641/saudi-arabia

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Old January 10th, 2019, 12:27 AM   #11820
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Grand Mosque in Makkah swarmed
by thousands of black crickets



The municipality later published pictures of the Environmental Protection
Team as they sprayed pesticides in the surrounding areas of the Holy Mosque.
Tuesday January 8, 2019

Makkah: In an unusual and never-before-seen phenomenon, thousands of black crickets on Monday swarmed the Holy Mosque in Makkah and a major parts of the city, forcing some schools to shut down.

Makkah Municipality confirmed the phenomenon, which residents say has never been seen before, and conducted a citywide fumigation process.

“On Saturday night I was praying at the Holy Mosque and the insects were everywhere, the mosque was drawing them in, not only in the yards, but even around the Kabba,” Abdulwhab Soror, 64, told The National.

“I’ve been living in Makkah my whole life, I’ve never witnessed something like this before,” he added.

The phenomenon even baffled insect wildlife experts. Dr Jacky Judas, manager and scientific adviser of terrestrial biodiversity at the WWF and Emirates Nature, said that this was a first.

"This is the first time for me to see this species in big numbers, I am not surprised that people are saying the same," Dr Judas said. "I have never seen this species in these big numbers."

His best guess was that certain operations in the Arabian Peninsula cultivate crickets for bird feed and it could be that a group has escaped and spread through Makkah. He is working on identifying the species but says they could be related to the True Cricket, or Gryllus campestris.

"It could be an incident where one captive breeding has escaped and spread in big numbers, otherwise maybe there has been specific conditions that favour their development and breeding, but I don't know what that would be," he said.

Cricket swarms have been reported in Peru and West Virginia after intense heatwaves. It is still not clear what has caused the cricket swarm in Makkah.

Images of the crickets, belonging to the True Cricket family, have also taken social media by storm. Several images and videos show thousands of the crickets in schools, houses and the Holy Mosque. Mixed in with some images of the crickets are locusts, which are not uncommon for this time of the year.

Regardless of the cause, the municipality has appointed almost 130 people to form teams and begin the clean-up process.

“We are focusing on the areas of reproduction and breeding of insects, sewers, and open water source around the yards of the Holy Mosque and in all toilet scarred in the yards of the mosque,” the statement said.

The municipality later published pictures of the Environmental Protection Team as they sprayed pesticides in the surrounding areas of the Holy Mosque.

http://www.ummid.com/news/2019/janua...in-makkah.html

























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