KuwaitOther News

Awqaf Ministry to handle Hajj process for ‘illegal residents’

Saudi Arabia unveils Manasikana app for pilgrims

MAKKAH: Muslim pilgrims arrive at a rest stop between Taif and Makkah yesterday in preparation for their annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Makkah. —AFP

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs announced yesterday that it has set up an emergency team to help illegal residents perform the Hajj pilgrimage without facing any inconvenience. Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri, who doubles as the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, ordered the formation of the team after Saudi authorities decided to permit illegal residents to carry out the annual Islamic pilgrimage, a statement by the ministry noted.

The statement added that it has launched a special website to allow all illegal residents who plan to attend this year’s Hajj to register their details. The ministry will also put together five Hajj campaigns to accommodate them, the statement pointed out. Meanwhile, Saudi Ambassador to Kuwait Dr Abdelaziz Bin Ibrahim Al-Fayez said that Prince Abdelaziz Bin Saud bin Nayef Al-Saud agreed to allow 1,000 bedoons from Kuwait to perform hajj. He said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubair informed the embassy about the decision. He added that the embassy will issue visas accordingly.

Malaria-infected cases
Saudi Ministry of Health announced yesterday that 58 cases of malaria were detected among pilgrims from eight countries. In a press statement, the ministry said 56 of cases were treated and two people still hospitalized. It added that all cases were reported for incoming pilgrims as hajj areas are free of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

4 Iranian pilgrims die
In another development, four Iranian pilgrims passed away from a heart attack while 20 others were hospitalized for other ailments, an official said yesterday. Around 70 Iranian medical facilities have been set up in Saudi Arabia, where the annual Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj is taking place, Iran’s Fars News Agency quoted Ali Marshai, an Iranian health official as saying. He pointed out that the number of Iranian pilgrims suffering from health issues was “very limited”, citing statistics showing that four Iranian pilgrims have thus far met their demise in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. As per an agreement between Iranian and Saudi authorities, some 86,500 Iranian pilgrims are expected to attend Hajj this year.

Manasikana app
Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has launched the upgraded version of its Manasikana (our rituals) application for smartphones. The app, designed to educate pilgrims on the rituals of “hajj” (pilgrimage) and “umrah” (minor pilgrimage), offers a package of electronic services for the guests of God during their stay at the holy sites, the Ministry said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). These services includes satellite-based maps of the holy sites in Makkah and Madina and guidelines on how to perform the rituals orderly and safely, as well as emergency phone numbers and feedback on anything relating to hajj. The new easy-to-use version of the app is available in seven languages; these are the Arabic, English, French, Urdu, Malay, Turkish and Bengali, according to the statement. – Agencies


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