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Old April 11th, 2019, 07:54 PM   #11921
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Saudi Arabia to change immigration
process for Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims



Bangladeshi Muslim pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia on July 14,2018,
prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah.
April 10, 2019

DHAKA: Bangladeshi pilgrims performing Hajj will now be able to complete immigration procedures before arriving in Saudi Arabia, rather than wait in the aircraft for hours upon landing in the Kingdom. The change comes following high-level exchanges between the two governments on making things easier for the 127,000 Hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh.

Anisur Rahman, from the Religious Affairs Ministry in Dhaka, said pilgrims would now be able to complete immigration formalities at Bangladesh’s main international airport.

The country’s pilgrims were previously required to wait in the aircraft after landing in Saudi Arabia to complete immigration procedures, sometimes waiting for up to six hours.

While half of the Hajj pilgrims will travel with the national carrier, Bangladesh Biman, the rest will be flown to the Kingdom through special flights arranged by Saudi Airlines.

“Now Bangladeshi pilgrims will be able to enter Saudi Arabia through a jet-bridge after landing at the airport without any formalities,” Rahman told Arab News on Tuesday.

Bangladesh has had discussions with Saudi government representatives during the past two years about immigration procedures for pilgrims, and Religious Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah went to Saudi Arabia to take the matter forward.

Saudi Arabia assured Bangladesh it would accept its request to help pilgrims, Rahman said.

“To finalize the last-minute formalities a high-profile 14-member Saudi delegation, led by the chief of the passport and immigration department, is scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on Wednesday at 1 a.m. Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah minister and other relevant secretaries will also join the team,” Rahman added.

“We will have the official meeting Wednesday afternoon and the team will visit all the facilities at Dhaka airport and the Hajj camp on Thursday. Everything will be finalized after this visit.”


The Saudi delegation is scheduled to leave Bangladesh on Saturday. Bangladeshis welcomed the easier landing process.

“I performed Hajj in 2015 and it took four hours for me to complete immigration formalities,” 61-year-old Abdul Malek told Arab News. “If we can do the immigration and customs tasks here at Dhaka, it would be a great relief for the Bangladeshi pilgrims.”

Another Bangladeshi pilgrim, 53-year-old Amena Begum, intends to perform Hajj this year and was grateful for the change.

“I have heard about the immigration hassles from others who have performed Hajj before,” she told Arab News. “But I feel lucky to hear the news of having immigration formalities in Dhaka from this year.”

Bangladesh will increase the number of immigration staff at the airport to 60. It is expected that Saudi Arabia will also send the same number of immigration officials to Dhaka during the month-long hajj flight operation.

“The Saudi immigration team will stay in Dhaka for the Hajj flights and we will provide all types of assistance to them,” Rahman said.

But Bangladeshi pilgrims will also have to complete a 10-finger biometric registration process in line with Saudi immigration rules.

Dhaka has set the minimum cost for pilgrims at $4,145 for this year. The maximum cost is fixed at $5,045. The registration process began on Feb. 19.

Bangladesh exports more than $200 million of goods to Saudia Arabia every year. Last month two agreements and four memorandums of understanding were signed to invest in Bangladesh’s power, chemical, biomedical technology and manufacturing sectors. Bangladesh is expecting more than $30 billion in investment from Saudi Arabia.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1480291/saudi-arabia

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Old April 11th, 2019, 08:01 PM   #11922
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Saudi Arabia's Umm Al Qura to build
Hilton hotels for Makkah pilgrims



Hilton will build two hotels designed for Makkah pilgrims
10 Apr 2019

American hotel giant Hilton has expanded its reach in Saudi Arabia, adding nearly 2,000 rooms in the kingdom through its latest management agreement with Umm Al Qura for Development and Construction Company.

The Hilton Garden Inn with 1,560 rooms and the 392-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton – both located in the Hilton in King Abdul Aziz Road project in the Holy City of Makkah – join the group’s current pipeline of 34 hotels in the kingdom, which represents 9,500 rooms.

Hilton announced the deal with Umm Al-Qura on 10 April, stating both properties are designed to cater to the demands of pilgrims in Makkah.

Umm Al-Qura is responsible for developing the 120ha King Abdul Aziz Road project, which will feature 100,000 residential units; 28,000 hotel rooms; commercial and recreational areas; and a new mosque when complete.

“Hilton has been operating in Saudi Arabia for more than 25 years and our largest development pipeline in the Middle East is in the kingdom,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton’s senior vice president development for the EMEA region.

“We are pleased to continue our expansion in the country with the Umm Al Qura for Development and Construction Company and these two remarkable properties.”

The news comes just days after Hilton and Saudi’s Shomoul Holding Company signed a contract to develop and operate four hotels at the $3.5bn (SAR13bn) The Avenues – Riyadh.

Among the four Hilton hotels to be operated at project are a 350-key Waldorf Astoria; a 400-key Conrad; a 500-room Hilton Garden Inn; and a 150-room Canopy by Hilton hotel each.

The Avenues – Riyadh, one of Saudi Arabia's top construction projects this year, will include space for 1,300 stores, in addition to five multi-purpose towers consisting of hotels, exhibition, conference halls, residential apartments, offices, and medical facilities.

https://www.constructionweekonline.c...pilgrim-hotels
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Old April 12th, 2019, 03:13 PM   #11923
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Egyptians who rescued 8 from train
inferno perform Umrah as King’s guests




Waleed Mardhi Hassan Al-Faggi and Muhammad Abdulrahman Kamal
2019-04-06

RIYADH — Two Egyptian youths, who rescued at least eight people from the burning coaches after the Ramses train accident in Egypt in February, are in the Kingdom to perform Umrah as guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Program for Umrah and Ziyarah.

Waleed Mardhi Hassan Al-Faggi and Muhammad Abdulrahman Kamal thanked the King and the Crown Prince for the great honor.

Waleed and Muhammad, who worked at a tea stall near the platform where the accident took place, used jerry cans of water to try to extinguish the train inferno to rescue the trapped passengers.

At least 25 people were killed in the early morning of Feb. 27 at Cairo's main train station, Ramses Station, when a locomotive hit the buffers at the end of the track at platform 6 at high speed, causing an explosion that sparked a major blaze and fireball that blackened the walls of the station. The locomotive could later be seen inside, leaning to one side next to a platform.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...s-Kings-guests
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Old April 13th, 2019, 04:19 AM   #11924
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Federal Aviation Minister announces
Road to Makkah initiative for Hajj-2019


April 13, 2019

KARACHI/Pakistan: Federal Minister for Aviation and Privatization Mohammadmian Soomro announced the Road to Makkah initiative for Hajj 2019, which will facilitate the pilgrims for reaching Makkah from Islamabad now in 6 to 6:30 hours instead of 12 to 15 hours.

This plan was announced in a press briefing at Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Headquarters. Deputy Director General (Airport Services) Syed Aamir Mehboob, Director (P&D) Nadir Shafi Daar, Director (APS) Sadiqur Rehman and Director (Engineering Services) Sumair Saeed were also present on the occasion.

Informing the journalists about the background of the project, Minister said that Prime Minster Imran Khan had requested the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for the provision of the referred service to Pakistan during his recent visit to Islamabad.

Federal Minister said that according to this project, pilgrims will complete all Immigration and Health formalities at Islamabad airport which were earlier being done at Jeddah airport.

Based on its results the Road to Makkah project/process will be extended to other airports of Pakistan as well. “After this initiative now pilgrim will reach at Jeddah Airport from Islamabad as a domestic passenger, this will save their almost half time”: He added.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/457...-for-hajj-2019
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Old April 13th, 2019, 04:26 AM   #11925
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Saudi Arabia to host Sudanese pilgrims
until resumption of flights



Friday prayer at the Prophet's Mosque
April 12, 2019

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will host pilgrims from Sudan until flights to the country are restored, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

All flights in and out of the country were halted earlier in the day after President Omar Al-Bashir was removed from power by the Sudanese military.

King Salman ordered the Minister of Hajj and Umrah to provide for the pilgrims from Sudan until transport links are resumed.

Airports in Khartoum and Port Sudan were closed, which prompted Saudi carriers Saudia and Flynas to announce on Twitter that they had suspended all flights to and from Sudan.

Al-Bashir’s ouster follows months of escalating protests against his rule that have been met with a brutal response by the security forces. Dozens of people have been killed.

In a televised address, Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, the first vice president and defense minister of Sudan, announced the suspension of the Sudanese constitution and creation of a transitional military council, which will lead the country for two years. Elections would be held after the transition period, Auf added.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1481301/saudi-arabia
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Old April 14th, 2019, 12:48 AM   #11926
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Close to 6 million Umrah visas issued

2019-04-13

RIYADH — As many as 5,730,842 visas were issued to prospective pilgrims since the current Umrah season started late October 2018, according to the weekly cumulative Umrah indicator issued by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah.

The indicator said a total of 5,273,075 pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom until Thursday and 4,801,032 of the left the country after performing the rituals of the minor pilgrimage in Makkah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

It said 472,043 Umrah pilgrims were currently in the Kingdom, consisting of 330,560 in Makkah and 141,483 in Madinah.

According to the data, 4,706,764 of the pilgrims arrived by air via King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah.

The ministry said 504,116 pilgrims arrived overland and 62,195 by sea. The indicator said the largest number of 1,222,459 pilgrims came from Pakistan, followed by Indonesia, which sent 808,698 pilgrims.

There were 513,031 pilgrims from India, 316,034 from Egypt, 250,713 from Turkey, 246,992 from Yemen, 243,793 from Malaysia, 226,538 from Algeria 185,051 from Iraq and 148,041 from Jordan.

The pilgrims were being served by a number of companies, which together have a combined workforce of 10,481 Saudi employees consisting 8,674 men and 1,807 women.

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

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...h-visas-issued

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Old April 14th, 2019, 04:31 PM   #11927
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Islamic Affairs Ministry
sets regulations for transmitting Adhan
and prayers via loudspeakers


2019-04-12

RIYADH — The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance has set regulations for transmitting Adhan (call for prayer) and prayers via external loudspeakers, Saudi Press Agency quoted the spokesman of the ministry Abdulaziz Bin Saud Al-Askar as saying on Thursday.

Al-Askar stressed that the ministry has specified the regulations for loudspeakers in small and large mosques during the holy month of Ramadan only, in line with the circular in force for many years and is updated every year.

The regulations, Al-Askar mentioned, include: The number of external loudspeakers should not exceed four, the volume level should not exceed 4, as mosques are close to one another. The objective is also to prevent disturbing people and confusing worshipers in other mosques.

The prohibition on using external loudspeakers is only for Taraweeh and Qiyaam prayers in the Furoodh (obligatory prayers) mosques. Their use is restricted to large mosques (jawamea), but this should not be in an exaggerated fashion.

This is what is being practiced all these years in line with the circular which is updated annually, Al-Askar asserted.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...a-loudspeakers
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Old April 15th, 2019, 02:30 PM   #11928
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Prophet’s Mosque infested with crickets

2019-04-14

MADINAH — The General Presidency for the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs said it was continuing efforts to combat the swarms of black crickets, in cooperation with the municipality, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture.

More than 150 municipality employees equipped were deployed to spray the areas around the Prophet’s Mosque with pesticides and collect the dead crickets in special bags. They also monitor the movement of these bugs on the roof of the mosque.

They have also closed the domes of the mosque to prevent these bugs from getting inside. The agency also reduced the lights around the mosque, which attract the bugs.

The presidency employed a number of employees around the gates with special vacuum machines for the suction of insects.

They also filled any gaps inside the mosque’s walls and pillars with silicon to prevent the bugs from hiding inside. They agency said they will continue to work around the clock to finish these bugs and ensure the comfort of worshippers.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...-with-crickets











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Old April 15th, 2019, 02:53 PM   #11929
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Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani,
imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah


April 13, 2019

Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani has been an imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah since July 2007.

Al-Juhani was born in Madinah, and completed memorizing the Qur’an under the supervision of Sheikh Mohammed Ayub, former imam of the Prophet’s Mosque. At the age of 16, he participated in a competition for the memorization and recitation of the Qur’an and came first in his category.

Al-Juhani holds a bachelor’s degree in Qur’anic studies from the Islamic University of Madinah, and a master’s and doctorate in Shariah and Qur’anic recitations from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah. He has led the Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan in Makkah since 2008.

Speaking at the Friday sermon at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Al-Juhani said that Pakistan is working tirelessly to eliminate terrorism and extremism. “Pakistan was a cornerstone in maintaining moderation through its involvement in the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.”

The sermon was attended by more than 50,000 worshippers and was part of Al-Juhani’s visit to Pakistan to participate as a guest of honor in the Fourth International Message of Islam Conference, to be held in Islamabad on Sunday.

Al-Juhani said: “We thank God for the progress we see in the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in all fields of interest to both countries.”

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1482046/saudi-arabia





Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad





Faisal Mosque in Islamabad
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Old April 16th, 2019, 02:23 AM   #11930
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Technical glitch delays Makkah train

2019-04-15

MADINAH — A trip of the Haramain Train was delayed for about an hour on Saturday because of a technical fault, the Arabic daily Al-Madina reported on Monday.

Train No. 201, from Madinah to Makkah via King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and Jeddah, suddenly stopped half an hour after departing the Madinah railway station on Saturday evening.

The train was carrying passengers of various nationalities who started panicking when the train came to an abrupt halt in the middle of nowhere.

Some passengers said the train stopped several times since the first halt about 30 minutes after leaving Madinah.

They said they were informed that there was a technical glitch in the system and it was fixed but the train continued to stop many times on the way increasing their worry.

The frequent stops slowed down the train and it reached Jeddah at 11:15 p.m., an hour later than scheduled.

A female passenger said the train left Madinah at 8 p.m. and should have arrived in Jeddah 75 minutes later at 10:15 p.m. but it actually arrived at 11:15 after an hour’s delay.

She said the passengers got panicked because the train continued to stop amid darkness all around them.

Al-Madina said it contacted the railway company for details, but it did not receive a reply until late Sunday.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...s-Makkah-train

Makkah Haramain Station







@MoutazBukhari


Madinah Haramain Station



@Ahmad_q2h
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Old April 16th, 2019, 03:08 AM   #11931
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Project development near the Prophet's Mosque




Project development of the vicinity near the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah,
on an area of more than 34 thousand square meters and is a historical area
within the borders of mosques Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Omar bin Al-Khattab and Al-Ghamama Mosque


مشروع تطويرالمناخة بالقرب من المسجد النبوي في المدينة_المنورة، على أرض تفوق مساحتها 34 ألف م2
وتعد منطقة تاريخية تضم داخل حدودها مسجدي أبو بكر الصديق وعُمر بن الخطاب ومسجد الغمامة


source: https://twitter.com/SaudiProject/sta...76932751659008








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Old April 17th, 2019, 02:23 AM   #11932
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Ministry tightens conditions
for pilgrim accommodations


Building inspectors cover all aspects
including safety and hygiene


2019-04

MAKKAH — The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has started comprehensive inspections of all buildings that accommodate pilgrims in the holy city of Makkah to make sure they are prepared to receive the guests of Allah.

Emad Rukun, director of the ministry›s department for services and accommodation, told Makkah daily that every housing unit applying to obtain a license to accommodate pilgrims will be thoroughly inspected before it is granted the permit.

«The ministry›s accommodation committee starts very early checking of all houses to make sure that they are ready to accommodate pilgrims and provide them with all the services they may require,» he said.

Rukun said earlier the committee would only be concerned with the safety measures and the constructional aspect of the building but now it inspects even paper towels, garbage bins, bed covers and other amenities before the building is declared fit for accommodating pilgrims.

He said the previous conditions for granting the license did not include cleanliness or the condition of furniture, bedding and other facilities.

«Now the conditions for granting the license include all aspects that will make the stay of pilgrims extremely comfortable,» he said.

Rukun said in the past many of the buildings were not fully suitable yet they were granted licenses to accommodate pilgrims because there was a shortage.

«This is a thing of the past now. The building has to be safe, comfortable and must have all the required services to be granted a license to house the pilgrims,» he said.

He said if the committee was convinced that the building was quite ready, it would be granted license and if not the owner would be asked to cover all the loopholes before it was okayed to accommodate the guests of Allah.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...ty-and-hygiene


Previously the authorities issued permits for buildings if the safety conditions were met because there was shortage of available
housing units to accommodate pilgrims in the central area of Makkah, but with the ongoing development it is a thing of the past.
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Old April 17th, 2019, 04:05 AM   #11933
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Madinah 2019
_____________________________________

Prophet's Mosque








Quba Mosque







Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque
Uhud Battle site





via @imarat_almadina

https://twitter.com/imarat_almadina/...52714520170497
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Old April 18th, 2019, 05:56 PM   #11934
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In Pakistan, Makkah Grand Mosque imam
stresses media’s importance
in spreading ‘moderate Islam’



Sheikh Abdullah bin Awad Al-Juhani, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah,
with Muslim leaders in Lahore.
April 18, 2019

LAHORE, PAKISTAN: Saudi Arabia’s mission is “the message of peace, security and stability to all the peoples of the world,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Awad Al-Juhani, the imam of the Grand Mosque, said.

Al-Juhani’s comments came as he inaugurated the Holy Qur’an channel in the Paigham network, an Islamic educational media group supervised by the Ahl Al-Hadeeth Central Association in Pakistan.

Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, and Sajid Mir, chairman of the Ahl Al-Hadeeth Association and member of the Pakistan Senate, attended the inauguration along with officials and heads of Islamic associations.

The ceremony took place at the General Assembly of the Ahl Al-Hadeeth Association in Lahore.

Al-Juhani stressed on the importance of the media in spreading the Islamic call, and highlighting the true image of moderate Islam, which fights extremism and terrorism.

The Kingdom under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “seeks to promote good deeds to the whole world,” he said.

“The Kingdom’s mission is the message of peace, security and stability to all the peoples of the world,” he added.

Al-Juhani said that the Kingdom has always stood by Pakistan and its people in all matters, including cooperation in the service of Islam and Muslims.

Mir said: “The Holy Qur’an channel ... will be a permanent link between the viewer and the book of God, to read the wise verses to everyone’s ears.”

He praised the efforts of the Kingdom and its leadership to distribute and spread the Qur’an, and support those who work in this field.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1484136/saudi-arabia
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Old April 18th, 2019, 06:14 PM   #11935
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The Minarets of King Abdul Aziz Gate
rise to 36 meters


الأربعاء 11 شعبان 1440 - 17 أبريل 2019

وصل مشروع إنشاء المنارات الخاصة بباب الملك عبدالعزيز إلى ارتفاع 36م حيث تعمل الرئاسة العامة لشؤون المسجد الحرام والمسجد النبوي واللجنة الفنية للإشراف على مشروع توسعة المسجد الحرام حاليا على تركيب الواجهات الرخامية الداخلية والخارجية إضافة إلى العمل على تركيب رخام الأعمدة الداخلية.

وأوضحت الرئاسة لـ»مكة» أن العمل جار على إنشاء الجدار الداخلي للمنارات الخاصة بباب الملك عبدالعزيز، حيث تم إنشاء الجدران إلى ارتفاع قدره 12م، مبينة أنه بلغ عدد قطع الرخام المركبة 1057 قطعة من إجمالي 3103 قطع بنسبة إنجاز وصلت 34%.

يذكر أن رئاسة شؤون الحرمين وعلى مدار ثلاثة أعوام تفتح باب الملك عبدالعزيز بالمسجد الحرام بشكل موقت في المواسم وتغلقه بعد موسم الحج، من أجل استكمال أعمال التشطيب والتمديدات الكهربائية وشبكات المياه والتصريف، حيث تعمد إلى تحويل مسار الداخلين للمسجد الحرام للأبواب المجاورة.

مشروع باب الملك عبدالعزيز

36 م الارتفاع الذي وصلت إليه المنارات
وصل ارتفاع الجدران الداخلية إلى 12 م
تركيب 1075 قطعة رخام
3103 إجمالي قطع الرخام

https://makkahnewspaper.com/article/...AA%D8%B1%D8%A7

Google translation:

The construction of the minarets for the King Abdulaziz Gate reached a height of 36 m where the General Presidency for the Holy Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque and the technical committee to supervise the expansion of the Holy Mosque currently work on the installation of interior and exterior marble facades.

The construction of the interior wall of the King Abdulaziz Gate was completed. The walls were built to a height of 12 m. The total number of pieces of marble was 1057 pieces out of a total of 3103 pieces with a completion rate of 34%.

The presidency of the affairs of the two holy mosques over the course of three years open the door of King Abdul Aziz in the Holy Mosque temporarily in the seasons and shut down after the pilgrimage season, in order to complete the work of finishing and electrical installations and water networks and discharge, where deliberately divert the path of entrants to the Holy Mosque of the neighboring doors.

King Abdul Aziz Gate Project

36 m height
The height of the inner walls reached 12 m
Installation of 1075 marble pieces
Total marble pieces 3103









****************



Friday - April 13, 2019 @Anaserafi
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Old April 18th, 2019, 08:37 PM   #11936
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Meet the funeral man of Makkah

Abdul Mujeeb helped bury over
2,000 dead pilgrims in three decades



K. Abdul Mujeeb during one of his missions to help the families of the dead in Makkah
2019-04-17

JEDDAH — Millions of faithful from around the globe visit the holy city of Makkah every year. A significant number of these people are elderly and sick people who come to fulfill their lifetime dream of visiting the birthplace of Islam.

Some of them die in the holy city unable to bear the travails of the harrowing trip at an advanced age or due to natural causes.

In most cases when a pilgrim dies in the holy city, family members accompanying them wish their relative to be buried in the holy land. However, most of them are not aware of the procedures and services that are available for burying a dead pilgrim.

Grief-stricken family members run from pillar to post to complete the last rites of their loved ones and this is where K. Abdul Mujeeb, a humanitarian worker from the Indian state of Kerala, plays a crucial role.

Mujeeb, hailing from the Muslim-majority Malappuram district of Kerala, has been living in Makkah for about three decades. He is busy most of his free time visiting the sick and burying the dead. The 49-year-old can be spotted quite often at Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, the largest medical facility in the holy city with a large number of beds and a spacious mortuary.

Mujeeb claims that he helped bury at least 2,000 dead pilgrims during the three decades he had spent in Makkah. Visiting mortuaries and graveyards has become part of his routine. He also pays regular visits to the sick admitted to various hospitals in the holy city.

Starting from hospital, Mujeeb helps complete all formalities with the police, other local authorities and foreign missions. He also helps wash the body and take it to the funeral prayer and then to the graveyard for burial. He does all these services free of charge and only seeking his reward from Allah Almighty.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Mujeeb said he never heard any family members asking to repatriate the bodies of their dead relatives back home to be buried in their countries. Instead, they all want their died ones to be buried in holy land.

Recalling his first experience that prompted him to plunge in this social service, Mujeeb said, “It was in 1990s when I saw the pain of an elderly pilgrim who fell down in the street in Misfalah district. I took him to hospital for treatment. While in the hospital, I saw a woman desperately seeking help to bury her dead husband. I helped the woman and buried her husband with the help of the concerned authorities.”

When asked about the most tragic case that he had encountered in his three decades of serving the dead, Mujeeb said he could not forget the fatal accident involving an Indian school bus on its way from Makkah to Jeddah in 2004 in which seven students and a teacher were killed.

Tears rolled down his cheek when he recalled the scene where all eight bodies were kept in an auditorium in Makkah for their friends and relatives to see them for the last time.

Praising the Saudi authorities for their prompt action and humanitarian support to people in distress, Mujeeb revealed the Civil Defense forces deployed a helicopter to airlift the dead body of a pilgrim sho died on Jabal Noor in 2004. The pilgrim, who came from Dubai, died on the spot due to a lightning strike during a thunderstorm.

“The helicopter was not able to land or pick the body using equipment due to heavy storm. With the help of some others, I carried the body down from top of the steep mountain on our shoulders,” Mujeeb said.

Mujeeb also recollected the tragic incident of a 23-year-old Indian house driver named Anas, who was brutally murdered by the son of his employer for not allowing him to drive in Makkah. The boy pumped three bullets straight into the chest of Anas, who was only obeying the instructions of his employer.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...-man-of-Makkah
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Old April 18th, 2019, 08:58 PM   #11937
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Charity to refurbish Juhfa miqat
to enhance pilgrim experience



The reception center for Haj and Umrah pilgrims at Al-Juhfa was proposed by HAS Fondation three months ago.
2019-04-17

JEDDAH — Hassan Abbas Sharbatly Foundation (HAS Foundation) has recently launched its innovative, award-winning “Miqat Rituals and Culture” initiative, which aims to transform the miqat experience for those wishing to perform Haj and Umrah.

In Islamic religious terminology, the miqat refers to the boundary where it becomes necessary for pilgrims to make the intention of entering the ihram, a state of consecration when certain otherwise permissible things become impermissible, and adorn special ihram garments in the case of male pilgrims.

If a pilgrim crosses the miqat boundary except in a state of ihram, he or she is bound to make expiation by sacrificing an animal in Makkah or by fasting for 10 days.

HAS Foundation’s initiative has won the Cultural Excellence Award, which falls under Makkah Excellence Awards. The initiative is based on rehabilitating Miqat Al-Juhfa site, which is dedicated for pilgrims from Syria, Egypt and North African countries.

“The initiative comes to boost the Haj and Umrah services, support the guests of Allah and complement our government’s efforts in this regard,” Abdullatif Al-Nuqali, HAS Foundation’s general supervisor, said.

“Three months ago, we proposed a plan to build a modern site in Al-Juhfa
. The new site will have the capacity to accommodate 500 people and include all the services and amenities that are going to be provided freely. It will also have a modern park,” Al-Nuqali further explained.

The initiative goes in line with the Guest of Allah Service Program, a major component of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...rim-experience
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Old April 19th, 2019, 04:57 AM   #11938
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Construction of a pedestrian bridge in Mina

March 27, 2019

هيئة تطوير منطقة مكة البدء في تنفيذ انشاء جسر للمشاه موازي لجسر الملك عبدالله لفصل الحركه عن المركبات مشعر منى مشاريع المشاعر المقدسة

Google translation:

The Development Authority of the Makkah Region to start implementing the construction of a pedestrian bridge parallel to the King Abdullah Bridge to separate the movement from vehicles.



Erasing a montain in Mina for pilgrims

April 11, 2019

وزارة الحج والعمرة بالتعاون مع هيئة تطوير منطقة مكة تبداء في تنفيذ مشروع تهيئة الموقع الجبلي شرق ربوة مشعر منى على مساحة 57 الف م2 بهدف تمكين نزول الحجاج بالموقع .. سيتم الاستفادة منه حج هذا العام 1440هـ مشاريع المشاعر المقدسة

https://twitter.com/MakkahAuthority/...40217122836480

Google translation:

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in cooperation with the Development Authority of the Makkah Region begins the implementation of the project of preparing the mountain site east of Mina on the area of 57 thousand square meters in order to enable the arrival of pilgrims on the site .. will benefit from this pilgrimage this year 1440 H.










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Old April 20th, 2019, 05:24 AM   #11939
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The last two of 35 Talgo train sets

April 1, 2019

The last two of 35 Talgo train sets for the Haramain High Speed Railway are undergoing final integration tests at Las Matas before being shipped to Saudi Arabia.

https://twitter.com/railwaygazette/s...48951524663296


Haramain high-speed ridership
exceeds expectations


Saudi Arabia’s Haramain high-speed railway
celebrates six months of operation



Apr 16, 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Haramain high-speed railway is about to celebrate six months of operation. Rayan Abdullah Al Harbi, operations and maintenance director for Haramain High-Speed Rail at Saudi Railway Authority (SAR), revealed how the line is performing to Kevin Smith at Middle East Rail in Dubai.

AFTER a few false starts, Saudi Arabia’s Haramain high-speed line, a 449km double-track connection between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, finally opened on October 17 2018.

The crown jewel in Saudi Arabia’s recent railway developments, the high-speed line has carried more than 250,000 passengers since opening, performing above expectations. Load factors of 82% have been achieved from the more than 450 trips that have taken place while services are operating at 93% punctuality.

So far so good then for the new line. This is particularly satisfying for Mr Rayan Abdullah Al Harbi, operations and maintenance director for Haramain High-Speed Rail at Saudi Railway Authority (SAR), given the difficulties with operating high-speed trains in desert conditions.

“The slab track we are using can become covered in sand and we are working hard to minimise the impact on the railway,” Al Harbi says. “We have been simulating the movement of sand so we can react accordingly. We have managed to overcome certain problems of the desert so far and we are keen to ensure that the 93% punctuality rate is maintained.”

This is likely to remain a challenge as operation on the line ramps up. In the first quarter of the year the operator was running 40 trips per week, or eight trains per day five days a week, with two days reserved for completing infrastructure work. This is increasing to 60 trips per week in the second quarter as the railway shifts to seven-day operation, 100 per week in the third and fourth quarters, and 200 trips per week in 2020. However, with not all of the Talgo trains delivered yet and the next Hajj scheduled for August, the railway will not yet be able to introduce its intensive operation schedule to meet demand for this vast event. “In the long-term it could be up to 500,” Al Harbi says. “During the Hajj, there are up to 30 million visitors. It is like transporting an entire country.”

Operation and maintenance, like construction of track structures within the second phase of the project, is the responsibility of the Saudi-Spanish Al Shoula consortium which also equipped the line and supplied rolling stock. The consortium, which comprises 12 Spanish and two Saudi companies (see below) including Spanish national operator Renfe, secured the $US 6.7bn contract in October 2011.

Construction and governance issues within the consortium held up progress, pushing back the initial opening date from the second half of 2016 to January 2017, and then to 2018.

Despite the problems, Al Harbi says one of the biggest success stories of the project was the ability of suppliers from across the world to work successfully together in Saudi Arabia. As well as the Spanish consortium, a Chinese-French infrastructure consortium was responsible for formation, sub-grade and associated civil works in the first phase. German Rail (DB) worked as an engineering consultant, while Siemens provided lineside ETCS Level 2 infrastructure and Alstom was responsible for onboard ETCS installation on the Talgo rolling stock.

“It was truly a worldwide project with all companies operating under the UN flag,” Al Harbi says. “The contractors had to integrate to meet the needs of the project, but this is different from what they would do on a European project – they had to adjust to work in a Saudi Arabian environment. They had to take this onboard and integrate all systems in a single envelope to provide a safe operating system, which they have achieved.”

SAR operates a fleet of 35 300km/h Talgo 13-car T350 high-speed trains as well as an additional set for use by the Saudi royal family. The trains have capacity for 417 seated passengers, and are formed of two power cars, four business-class coaches and eight standard-class vehicles as well as a café for a total length of 215m. The power cars have a combined output of 8MW and are adapted for operation in desert conditions, with a certified thermal resistance of up to 50oC. An auxiliary power supply is also available to keep the air-conditioning system working for more than two hours in the event of a traction power outage.

In addition, the trains feature blowers positioned close to the wheels to clear sand off the track, positive atmospheric pressure, military-grade air filters, reinforced door seals to prevent dust ingress, and polyurethane coatings on the driving cab windscreen to reduce wear from blowing sand.

Test phase


Familiarising the public with the railway was a major part of the test phase. More than 15,000 passengers were carried on 170 test runs beginning on December 29 2017, which Al Harbi says provided vital feedback to adjust the service to better meet passenger needs. “This was all about letting people see and feel and understand what a railway is,” Al Harbi says. “Many people have never been on a train before, or don’t understand what a platform is and how it works.”

Al Harbi says the goal is to transport 60 million passengers per year, operating seven trips per hour between Mecca and Jeddah, and two trains per hour between Mecca and Medina with capacity for 12 during the Hajj. From Medina, the journey time to King Abdullah Economic City is 1h 1min, a further 36 minutes to King Abdul-Aziz International Airport from where it is 14 minutes to Jeddah, and then 21 minutes to Mecca.

Al Harbi says the operation model for Mecca station is similar to an airport in the way it handles high volumes of passengers. He says fast transit via the high-speed line from Jeddah and the airport, the principle entry point to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims, was critical to the railway’s viability.

“There is no airport in Mecca city, so the only way to get there was by car or bus, which takes around five hours from Medina,” Al Harbi says. “We connect the two holy cities in less than two hours and the station is 5km from the holy mosque. People who are visiting the mosque are now starting to use the railway. And with our trains more than 80% occupied, it shows it was the right decision to build the line.”

As well as continuing to operate a safe and reliable railway and to meet its ridership targets, the goal now is to continue the “Saudisation” of the project.

Government policy requires the Al Shoula consortium to meet a minimum Saudi employment of 70%. According to Al Harbi this is currently at 80% and shows that the railway is Saudi Arabian rather than a European import. Much of the top management is now Saudi and he believes that the railway can help spur development in the country. Saudi Arabia it seems is only just beginning to realise the long-term benefits of its new world-class piece of infrastructure.

“The service is a game changer,” he says. “It will change the urban landscape of the country and help to regenerate areas that people have left to move to the city, helping to restore original values and culture. People will now be able to travel at 300km/h and take the train to work in the large cities. This has lots of implications for quality of life and we expect a lot of development in this in the coming years.”

Haramain high-speed contractors

Al Shoula consortium members
Consultrans: consultancy services
OHL, Copasa and Imathia: track construction and maintenance
Inabensa and Cobra: electrification and electromechanical equipment
Talgo: high-speed trains
Siemens (formerly Invensys Dimetronic) and Indra: ancillary and control systems
Renfe and Adif: operation and maintenance under a 12-year contract
Ineco: engineering
Al Rosan: construction
Al Shoula: finance.
Other notable contractors
DB International: construction consultancy services
Alstom: onboard signalling equipment
Kapsch CarrierCom: GSM-R
Al Rajhi Alliance (China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Al Arrab Contracting Company and Bouygues, France): first phase civil works
Station contractors
Foster + Partners and Buro Happold joint venture: design
Construction was carried out by a joint Venture between Saudi Oger & El Seif Engineering for (KAEC (Rabigh) and Jeddah), Saudi Bin Laden (Mecca) and Yapi Merkezi, Turkey, (Medina).

https://www.railjournal.com/in_depth...s-expectations


Saudi transport authority gets
update on Haramain railway


April 19, 2019

RIYADH: The Haramain High-Speed Railway linking Makkah and Madinah, and its strategic role in developing the Saudi transport industry was discussed during the monthly meeting of the Public Transport Authority at its headquarters in Riyadh.

Rayan Al-Harbi, the director general of operations and maintenance for the railway, which began operating a little over six months ago, discussed the main features of the megaproject, which is the largest of its kind in the region and the sixth-largest in the world, and how it helps to promote the transport industry in the Kingdom.

He also talked about the strategic locations chosen for the five stations served by the railway, in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. The Jeddah station is the biggest of its kind in the world, which gives the project additional value through the state-of-the-art services it provides to travelers.

Al-Harbi praised the use of technology in the railway’s operational processes and electronic services, including online reservations. The huge national project relies on a highly qualified national workforce, and many important jobs have been Saudized, he noted, from work teams and leaders to maintenance and operations staff.

He said the project is one of the largest rapid-transport projects in the world in terms of infrastructure. It includes six giant power generators and a large number of bridges that are specially designed to be safe and secure in case of sand drift or floods.

More than 700 trips have been completed and more than 300,000 passengers have traveled on the Haramain railway since it was officially opened by King Salman in Sep. 2018. It is expected to carry up to 60 million passengers a year.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1484726/saudi-arabia
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Old April 21st, 2019, 02:29 AM   #11940
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Completion of 41% of the service lines
of Zamzam well under the Kaaba


إنجاز 41% من خطوط خدمة بئر زمزم تحت الكعبة

السبت 14 شعبان 1440 - 20 أبريل 2019

فيصل السلمي - مكة المكرمة

بلغت نسبة الإنجاز في مشروع تأهيل بئر زمزم بالطواف لإمداد خطوط الخدمة من بئر زمزم تحت الكعبة نحو 41%، حيث وصل إمداد خطوط الخدمة إلى أجياد وباب الملك عبدالعزيز.

وأوضحت الرئاسة العامة لشؤون المسجد الحرام والمسجد النبوي لـ «مكة» أن العمل تضمن تركيب مواسير زمزم من البئر إلى محطة المياه بكدي وتركيب حوامل المواسير وغيرها من الأعمال.

وكان مكتب إدارة المشاريع بوزارة المالية باشر العمل في مشروع تأهيل بئر زمزم خلال أكتوبر 2017 بالتنسيق مع إمارة منطقة مكة المكرمة، والرئاسة العامة لشؤون المسجد الحرام والمسجد النبوي وهيئة المساحة الجيولوجية السعودية، وجرى الانتهاء منه في مدة تقل عن 6 أشهر على الرغم من التحديات الكبيرة لتنفيذه بسبب موقعه الحساس في صحن المطاف.

يذكر أن المشروع الخاص بمشروع تأهيل بئر زمزم مكون من قسمين، الأول استكمال إنشاء عبارات الخدمات الخاصة بزمزم وعددها خمس عبارات من جهة المطاف الشرقي، وعرض العبارات الإجمالي 8 أمتار وطولها 120 مترا، والقسم الثاني استكمال المرحلة الأخيرة من تعقيم ومعالجة البيئة الخاصة بالمناطق المحيطة ببئر زمزم من بواقي الخرسانات والحديد الخاص بقبو المسجد الحرام القديم للتقليل من نسبة المواد الضارة بمصادر مياه زمزم قدر الإمكان ووضع نوعية خاصة من البحص المعقم.

أعمال منجزة بالمشروع:

41 % نسبة الإنجاز

وصل إلى أجياد وباب الملك عبدالعزيز
تركيب مواسير زمزم من البئر إلى محطة المياه بكدي
تركيب حوامل المواسير
أعمال ميكانيكية وكهربائية وإنشائية

https://makkahnewspaper.com/article/...B9%D8%A8%D8%A9

Google translation:

The completion rate in the project of rehabilitation of Zamzam well in Tawaf to supply service lines from Zamzam well under the Ka'bah reached about 41%. The supply of service lines reached Ajyad and King Abdulaziz Gate.

The General Presidency of the Holy Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque told «Mecca» that the work included the installation of Zamzam pipes from the well to the water station Bakdi and installation of pipe mounts and other works.

The Project Management Office of the Ministry of Finance started work on the project of rehabilitating the Zamzam well in October 2017 in coordination with the Emirate of Makkah Region, the General Presidency of the Holy Mosque, the Prophet's Mosque and the Saudi Geological Survey. The project was completed in less than 6 months despite the great challenges Because of its sensitive position in the bowl of the end.

The Zamzam Well Rehabilitation project consists of two sections: the first is the completion of the construction of the five service ferries for Zamzam from the Eastern side, the total ferries width of 8 meters and 120 meters length, and the second section to complete the final phase of sterilization and treatment of the surroundings of Zamzam well Of the concrete and iron shacks of the old Haram Mosque to reduce the proportion of harmful substances Zamzam water sources as much as possible and to develop a special quality of sterile sterilizer.

Completed Projects:

41% completion rate

Arrived at Ajyad and Bab al-King Abdulaziz
Installation of Zamzam pipes from the well to the Bakdi water station
Installation of pipe racks
Mechanical, electrical and structural works
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