Published: Sun, August 19, 2018

Saudi blocking hajj access to Qatar citizens

Saudi blocking hajj access to Qatar citizens

"But another dimension to it is that majority of those affected are passengers of the travel agencies and, as you know, NAHCON will consider all pilgrims from states first as a matter of priority". Approximately 125,000 Bangladeshis are among this year's pilgrims.

Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, the spokesman of the Saudi Interior Ministry, told journalists Saturday that over 2 million Muslims from overseas and inside the kingdom would be taking part in this year's hajj.

But for hajj, which takes pilgrims across Makkah and Mina - two cities in western Saudi Arabia home to the holiest sites of Islam - the pods were also inspired by the rising popularity of car- and bike-sharing. The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God in Islam.

"War destroys everything. Life in Turkey is hard and I barely earn enough".

A translator helps pilgrims find information on a poster displaying helpful smartphone applications in the Saudi holy city of Makkah. While rituals like Sa'ee and Tawaf are not strictly related to Prophet Mohammed, the one practice that follows the prophet is climbing Mount Arafat. The hajj is seen as a chance to wipe clean past sins and start fresh.

Those on the hajj said they hoped for better relations across the Muslim world.

The hajj also features a symbolic stoning of the devil ceremony, marking the start of Eid al-Adha, a three-day feast.

With the latest, 37,746 Nigerian pilgrims have now joined about 1.6 million pilgrims worldwide performing the Hajj in the Holy land this year.


- Some 18,000 civil defence employees, among tens of thousands of security personnel, are helping safeguard pilgrims, officials say.

- Twenty-five hospitals backed by 180 ambulances and more than 30,000 health practitioners have been mobilised to provide emergency services to pilgrims, according to the hajj ministry.

- Around 14,000 worldwide and domestic flights have so far transported pilgrims, according to official figures. Many walk, while others use buses.

- Eight million copies of the holy Koran and their translations as well as other religious books will be handed out to pilgrims, official figures show.

Providing accommodation for two million pilgrims is no small feat, with travellers staying in everything from five-star hotels to tents pitched in empty lots.

Although 1,200 Qataris are eligible to perform the hajj under a quota system, Qatar says it has become impossible to get permits, blaming the campaign by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut trade and diplomatic ties with the country.

This year's pilgrimage comes with the oil-flush kingdom witnessing unprecedented change, including an end to a ban on women driving.

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