haj

Saudi Prince Warns Iran Against Using Force to Pursue Rivalry

DUBAI, Sept 15  – A senior Saudi official, responding to Iranian criticism of Riyadh’s management of the hajj pilgrimage, urged Iran to end what he called wrong attitudes towards Arabs and warned it against any use of force in its rivalry with the kingdom. Mecca province governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal, in remarks likely to be

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For Illegal Pilgrims in Mecca, God’s Blessings Transcend Secular Law

By Dahlia Nehme MINA, SAUDI ARABIA, Sept 14  – Fear of getting caught is not enough to deter Abu Ahmed and up to 200,000 other illegal pilgrims from attending this year’s hajj in Mecca, despite a clampdown by the Saudi authorities aimed at preventing deadly overcrowding. The hajj, which every able-bodied Muslim is required to

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Saudi King: Use of Hajj for Sectarian Aims Abhorrent

MINA, Saudi Arabia, Sept 13  – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said on Tuesday hajj should not be used to achieve sectarian or political aims, remarks likely to be seen as aimed at rival Iran, which is involved in a public quarrel with Riyadh over the management of the pilgrimage. Speaking to dignitaries from Muslim countries

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Amid Strains, Qatar Urges Iran, Gulf Arabs to be Good Neighbors

DUBAI, Sept 13 – Qatar’s Emir called for good neighbourly relations between Gulf Arabs and Iran in a telephone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Qatar media reported, amid fresh strains between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran over the haj pilgrimage. Tensions have been rising since Gulf Arab allies variously cut or downgraded ties

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Haj Slowdown Hits Saudi Businesses

By Dahlia Nehme MECCA, Sept 12 – Saudi businesses catering to haj visitor have taken a hit this year as far fewer pilgrims arrive and those who come have less cash to spend. Saudi authorities say only about 1.86 million pilgrims, including around 1.3 million coming from outside the country, are attending this year’s haj,

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Saudi Arabia Strives to Prevent Repeat of Fatal Crush at Hajj

By Katie Paul RIYADH, Sept 4 – A year after the worst hajj disaster in a generation, Saudi Arabia is issuing pilgrims with electronic bracelets and using more surveillance cameras to avoid a repeat of a crush that killed hundreds and damaged already strained ties with Iran. The world’s largest annual Muslim gathering, bringing some

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