| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Pilgrims flock to Holy Site of Arafat

More than two million pilgrims, both men and women, are gathering on the plains of Arafat on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic year 1444.

They are fulfilling their religious obligation and performing rituals in an atmosphere of faith, under the comprehensive care and support of Saudi authorities, which have been mobilized under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

As the sun rises on the ninth day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the sacred grounds of Arafat have been completely prepared to welcome the pilgrims of the Holy Kaaba.

The Kingdom’s Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, and the General Supervisor of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Hajj Guests Program, Dr. Abdullatif Al Al-Sheikh, announced the successful implementation of the ministry’s plans to facilitate the arrival and reception of 4,951 pilgrims from 92 countries around the world to the holy sites for the day of Tarwiyah.

Pilgrims will then climb to Arafat to perform the most significant pillar of Hajj, following a comprehensive system of services provided by all the committees involved in the program.

Media Minister Salman Al-Dossary paid an inspection visit to the press operation room of Hajj season 2023, which is overseen by the ministry with the participation of 50 government agencies that work around-the-clock to facilitate the work of reporters covering the annual pilgrimage.

Al-Dossary was briefed on the services and work mechanisms of the room. He has also checked on the work progress at the Virtual Press Center (VPC), which provides media services, including videos and images, to more than 1,100 local and international reporters covering this year’s Hajj.

Since its launch, the VPC has made more than 1,500 press materials available to journalists and will also be airing Hajj press conferences in five languages for three days starting Monday.

The minister has also paid a visit to the press operation room of the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), through which supervision and coordination are maintained with field reporters at the holy sites. The room is one of four other media centers established by SPA at the holy sites of Mina, Arafat, and Al-Awali that also support international news agencies. Al-Dossary was briefed on SPA efforts.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of Health, in a later announcement on Monday evening, declared the absence of any infectious diseases among the pilgrims, affirming the overall healthiness of the Hajj season.

As temperatures soar during this season, the ministry has promptly taken various measures to alert the pilgrims about the risks of heat exhaustion.

They emphasize the use of sunshades, increased fluid intake, avoidance of physical exertion, adherence to health guidelines, and adopting proper behaviors to prevent heatstroke and heat-related fatigue.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat