Poor Haj service angers Governor
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal last month called the time of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be treatment from us.”
for a 10-year program to solve Haj-related upon him).” He said Custodian of the Two Holy
problems. “Protecting the dignity of the Considering the significance of the Haj, Mosques King Abdullah has always urged
guests of God (pilgrims) should be our Prince Khaled emphasized the need Haj-related agencies to provide the best
main objective,” he told officials attending possible services to pilgrims. “We as Haj
a workshop on Haj. officials should bring the Kingdom’s policy
The governor criticized Haj-related into practice,” he added.
agencies for delaying their preparations Prince Khaled, who is chairman of the
for the annual pilgrimage, the largest Central Haj Committee, said Haj-related
global gathering of Muslims. “We mobilize departments would not face the same
our resources for Haj after Ramadan, as if problems every year, if they had worked
we are doing it for the first time,” he said. out a well thoughtout plan to tackle them.
Referring to criticism in the way pilgrims “Every year we face the problem of a
are received at the Kingdom’s airports, lack of accommodation, a lack of transport
Prince Khaled asked why they are delayed and traffic bottlenecks in roads leading
for four to five hours after arriving in and to the holy sites. We should have a five-
before leaving the Kingdom. “I think this year or 10-year program to solve these
criticism is genuine... We treat pilgrims as problems.
mere travelers,” he added. “I will not accept that we cannot do
The governor said there was no shortage better... I will say that we can do a
in human and material resources. “The thousand times better,” he said, urging
government provides us with whatever Haj officials to learn lessons from their
we demand. We have men and money, forefathers who united the Kingdom and
and we don’t have a shortage of brains developed it into a modern state.
or thinking power. What we need is will The workshop was being attended by a
power to improve our services,” he said. select group of experts and top officials.
Speaking about the poor services offered Makkah Mayor Dr. Osama Al-Bar said
by irresponsible Haj companies, he said, such workshops would be conducted
“Why do we see thousands of pilgrims to provide services in a more orderly regularly to boost Haj services. Dr.
squatting in public places in Makkah, Mina and organized manner. “We honor our Osama Tayyib, president of King Abdul
and Arafat? Haj services are not a new ordinary guests and provide them with full Aziz University, called for joint efforts to
thing for this Ummah. It started during care; the guests of God deserve better improve the standard of services.
Saudi ministry holds
Madinah to host
The Ministry of Haj held a symposium frameworks of directives of the
titled “Hajj Between Originality and leadership to provide best services
Contemporary, Distinguished Reality for pilgrims.
and Bright Future” last month. The minister noted that the
In a statement to Saudi Press symposium will discuss the possibility
Agency (SPA), the Minister of of benefiting from the experience
Haj Dr. Fuad Al Farsi said that of pilgrim guides organisations on
the symposium comes within the further development of Haj services.
The International Knowledge Forum will be held on
June 22-24 in Madinah. The forum will be held under
the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.
This was announced by the Governor of the Saudi
Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Amr
bin Abdullah Al-Dabbagh in a press conference last
Al-Dabbagh said that the Forum brings together
a number of scientists, intellectuals and senior
investors, adding that the first session of the Forum
will be held under the title of “Knowledge Investment”
and will focus on health and information technology.
Al-Dabbagh thanked King Abdullah for patronizing the
Forum, pointing out that the leadership pays special
attention to promoting investment in knowledge-
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