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#61 [Permalink] Posted on 13th August 2011 18:36

Saudi Press Agency
Jamarat Bridge - Hajj 1431/2010

 


 

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#62 [Permalink] Posted on 14th August 2011 23:30

Red Crescent's Ramadan volunteers to get SR1,000 each

 





By ARAB NEWS

Published: Aug 13, 2011 23:09 Updated: Aug 13, 2011 23:09

JEDDAH: President of the Red Crescent Authority Prince Faisal bin Abdullah on Saturday announced his plan to giveSR1,000to each Red Crescent volunteer in Makkah and Madinah.

Khaled Al-Habshi,administrativedirectorof the organization in the Makkah province, said there are 419 men and women working as volunteers with the authority in the two holy cities during Ramadan.

Al-Habshi thanked the volunteers for dedicating their valuabletime to pilgrimswho visittheGrand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

“We value your contributions as it reflects good cooperation between citizens and the nation,” Al-Habshi said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency. He said the SR1,000 was given as an encouragement to volunteers.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article488049.ece

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#63 [Permalink] Posted on 15th August 2011 16:19
27,000 Malaysians get to perform haj this year



Crystal Mosque, Malaysia
 
14 August 2011

KOTA BAHARU - Saudi Arabia has set the haj quota for Malaysia at 27,000 this year, accordind to Pilgrims Fund (Tabung Haji) chairman Tan Sri Abi Musa Asa'ari Mohamed Nor.

He said they would leave for the Holy Land in stages with the first flight scheduled to depart on Sept 29 and the last on Oct 30. ''The first will be a dirst flight from the KL International Airport to Mecca,'' he told reposters after handing over Tabung Haji aid in conjunction with Ramadan to needy recipients here.

He said that Tabung Haji had paid up RM2.3 million in business 'zakat' (tithe) this year to the religious authorities.

The biggest recipient were the religious authorities in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, he added.

http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/ne....php?id=608103
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#64 [Permalink] Posted on 15th August 2011 16:20
80,000 Iftar meals served daily at Prophet's Mosque

Alhamdulillah... The scene out side the Mosque is amazing (image removed)

15 August 2011

Iftar arrangements in full swing at the Prohpet's Mosque in Madina, Saturday. About 80,000 Iftar meals are served daily to the visitors and worshippers. Charitable societies and philanthropists normally organize the Iftar meals at the mosque.

MADINA - About 200 supervisors oversee the distribution of 80,000 Iftar meals in the courtyards of the Prophet's Mosque for visitors. The distribution begins immediately after the conclusion of Asr (afternoon) prayers.

Abdul Aziz Al-Raddadi, Acting Director of the Prophet's Mosque Courtyards and Parking Administration, said that supervisors ensure that dining cloths made of plastic (Sufras) are placed with enough distance for pedestrians and services such as ambulances to move about. He also said that men and women are segregated during Iftar.

The Iftar meals to visitors of the Prophet's Mosque are served by charitable societies and philanthropists, he said. Contact details of the donors are registered. To ensure smooth distribution of meals, donors are required to meet certain conditions. They are required to use good quality and clean dining cloth. The only liquids allowed to be distributed are water, laban and sealed fruit drinks, which must be purchased from stores licensed by the mayoralty.

The meals must be brought only an hour-and-a-half before the call for Maghrib (sunset) prayer and must be served on the dining cloth only. In addition to this those who bring meals and serve them should wear gloves.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110815107393
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#65 [Permalink] Posted on 16th August 2011 04:15
unsafe hotels to.be evacuated

16 August 2011

MAKKAH - Unsafe hotels housing Umrah pilgrims may have their power cut and residents evacuated. This was the warning from Lt. Col. Abdullah Eid Al-Qurashi, Director of the Safety Department at Makkah Civil Defense.

Penalties will be"commensuratewith thegravity of the violations," Al-Watan Arabic daily quoted the official as saying.

Al-Qurashi, according to the report, said Civil Defense teams have inspected 445 Umrah-licensed buildings and hotels since the beginning of Ramadan. Since the beginning of the year, the Civil Defense has covered 7,600 establishments including hotels, commercial centers, restaurants, gas stations, warehouses, furnished apartments, wedding halls and health centers.

Over 160 safety violationswerefound and action was taken against violators before the onset of the holy month of Ramadan.

He said a total of 250 police officers and Civil Defense personnel inspect alarm systems, emergency exits, fire extinguishers and staff readiness. To monitor safety measures, the Safety Department studies the architecture and designs of building before and during construction.

"Residential buildingsand towers are connected to the Civil Defense's Operations Room which will detect any danger and respond immediately. "Moreover, the Civil Defense conducts drillsto improve the performance of staff and their ability to respond quickly to emergencies," he said.

Al-Qurashi commended the role played by the committee in chargeof residential buildingsto ensure compliance with safety standards.

During the coming Haj season, Civil Defense will ensure that all housing units of the pilgrims adhere to the set regulations, he added.

www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110816107451
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#66 [Permalink] Posted on 16th August 2011 10:39
Haram’s northern courtyards to be completed by mid-2012
 
 

Image from 13 August 2011
 
16 August 2011

MAKKAH – The massive expansion of the Grand Mosque’s northern courtyards will be completed by the middle of next year, Abbas Qattan, Assistant Deputy Mayor for Construction and Projects and Chairman of the Committee for the Development of the Northern Courtyards (CDNC), said here Monday.

The project will see the construction of four floors with parking lots and restrooms, Qattan added. It will be as high as the new Masa’a, with three circle-shaped courtyards, each with an area of 40 meters. Underneath the courtyards, there will be floors with police stations, Civil Defense offices, ambulances, security forces and large restrooms, Qattan said.

“The huge King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Gate will be in the northern part. On top of the gate there will be two huge minarets engraved with Islamic decorations.”

Dr. Yousuf Al-Wabil, Assistant Deputy President for Services at the General Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said the expansion plan has taken into consideration the requirements of the presidency and the security forces and built facilities and offices for them. There are also modern mechanical and electrical systems, fountains for drinking water, waste disposal equipment and security systems. The outside courtyards will be covered to provide protection from the sun and will be connected to the Masa’a by several bridges. There will be escalators and elevators that save energy and resources. When the expansion is complete, over two million people will be able to pray in the courtyards.”

The total area of the new expansion project is 356,000 sq. meters. The previous expansion projects covered an area of 152,000 sq. meters, Al-Wabil added.

Muhammad Abdullah Idris and Abdullah Muhammad Fodah, researchers at the Department of Urban and Engineering Research, recently conducted a study called “Urban Study to Develop the Grand Mosque’s Northern Courtyards” which revealed that the courtyards are connected to the roads and paths of the Central Area. These courtyards play a major role in reducing overcrowding in the Grand Mosque because they accommodate large numbers of worshippers.

The study has also revealed that although enormous projects have been implemented in the northern courtyard of the Grand Mosque, it is the smallest area possibly due to topographic reasons. The area is 10 to 40 meters higher than the ground of the Grand Mosque.

Idris and Fodah said that the study looked at further development of the northern courtyards without changing the natural environment of the area.
To produce the right vision, the study has taken into consideration economic and architectural factors and traffic flow into the area.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110816107437


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#67 [Permalink] Posted on 16th August 2011 21:31

Mumbai: More rich Muslims from city perform mini-haj
 

TIMES OF INDIA
16 August 2011

MUMBAI: Currently, if you are missing some of your Muslim friends in the city, chances are they may have gone to Mecca to perform umrah ( minihaj). Unlike haj, which is performed annually, umrah can be performed round the year. But umrah in the holy month of Ramzan is a big draw. And a lakh of Muslims in the city will have performed umrah by the end of Ramzan.

"It is believed theProphet said an umrah during Ramzan would mean as if a devotee performed haj with Mohammed," said Tabrez Rubberwala, a Mumbai Central resident who has done umrah during Ramzan for the last six years. Thisyear again hewill spend thelast halfof theholy month in Mecca,almost insulated from the world outside. "Once there, I will switch off my mobile phone, almost cut myself off from the world and try to concentrate on prayers," he says.

Builders, businessmen, tour operators-those who have surplus money-are braving Saudi Arabia's scorching summer heat (around 50 degree C) to soak themselves in the spiritualatmosphere.

It is like entering the sea of humanity and enduring obstacles during the pilgrimage rated second only to the haj in importance.

"My friends in Mecca tell me that the ACs installed in the mosque near Kaba are not working properly and the crowd is swelling as Ramzan enters the second half. The journey is arduous, but I will keep my date with umrah as I have done for the last 10 years," says Dongri-based hotelier M A Khalid.

Senior cleric MaulanaShoeb Koti says the reward for any good work done during Ramzan gets multiplied 70 times and prayers at the two mosques in Mecca and Medina during Ramzan brings in countless blessingsfor the faithful. Koti warns against turning a sacred ritual like umrah into a fad. "Rich Muslims should not use umrah as an occasion to spend holidays in Mecca and Medina. They should use surplus money on charity," says Koti.

Holy Journey

Last year, 60,000-70,000 Muslims from Mumbai went for umrah during Ramzan, says Zakaullah Siddiqui, MD, General Sales Agent of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The figure is likely to rise to around one lakh this year. Around 25-30 lakh Muslims from across the world perform umrah during Ramzan.


timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...ow/9618428.cms

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#68 [Permalink] Posted on 17th August 2011 04:07

Haram expansion to accommodate 1.2m more worshippers

 



A general view of the Grand Mosque in Makkah



By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS



Published: Aug 16, 2011 23:10 Updated: Aug 16, 2011 23:18



JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will lay the foundation stone for a new expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday, it was announced on Tuesday.

The new project, covering 400,000 squaremeters,will create prayer space for an additional 1.2 million worshippers.

“The new project, named the King Abdullah Expansion,will becarried out using the most advanced mechanical and electricalsystems,” said Muhammad Al-Khozaim, vicepresident of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Affairs. “Once completed, the new facility will beableto accommodatenearly 1.2 million worshippers,” he said.

The new expansion will also havebasic facilitiesincluding modern garbage disposal systemsand security monitoring systems. Sunshades will also be established on thenorthern courtyards of the mosque. The new annex will be linked with the existing mosque and masaa with a series of bridges. It will also provided with air conditioning systemsand electric stairs.

Al-Khozaim disclosed plansto expand themataf (the circumambulation areas around the Holy Kaaba) and provide air-conditioning for all parts of the Grand Mosque, adding that the two projects would be carried out shortly along with the new Haram expansion project.

Speaking about other projects implemented at the directives of King Abdullah, he said the newly expanded masaa (the running course between Safa and Marwa) could now accommodate 118,000 pilgrims per hour instead of 44,000.

He described the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Towers as one of the largest real estate projects in Makkah. It comprises six residential towersand a five-star hotel. The frontal towers are 28 stories high while the rear ones are 35 stories. Side towers are 45 stories while the hotel tower is 60 stories. The entire complex with 11,000 rooms and suites can accommodate 35,000 pilgrims.

Al-Khozaim commended the king for taking the initiative to implement a number of vital projects for the welfare of pilgrims.They includetheMashairRailway connecting Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah,theHaramain Railway to link thetwo holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the Jamrat bridge complex, the Central Zone Development project, the King Abdul Aziz Road, new ring roads in addition to flood drainage projects in the holy sites.

The Jamrat Bridge project, which was carried out at a cost of SR4.5 billion, was instrumental in preventing stampedes during the stoning ritual. It is designed to accommodate 5 million pilgrims.TheMashairRailway will becomefully operational before the upcoming Haj in November. The metro service will operate 17 trains with 12 coaches in each train. A train will carry 3,000 pilgrims.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article489579.ece

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#69 [Permalink] Posted on 17th August 2011 04:08

Gilani, Malik to be named in Haj scam

By AZHAR MASOOD

Published: Aug 16, 2011 23:40 Updated: Aug 16, 2011 23:40

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday moved to name Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilaniand Interior Minister Rehman Malik in connection with an alleged Haj scam.

The petition filled by AdvocateTariq Asad under Article 204 of thePakistani constitution accuses the prime minister and interior minister of contempt of court for not reinstating the main investigator into thecase, Hussain Asghar at the Federal Investigation Agency(FIA),asearlierdirected by thetop court.

Asghar was promoted and transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan as inspector general while spearheading investigations. The Supreme Court had ordered that his transfer orders be withdrawn and he resumes the investigation into the multi-million rupee corruption case.

The FIA informed the Supreme Court that he could not be contacted. Asghar had, however, assured the court that the investigation would be handed over to him once he reached Islamabad. Even after this reassurance, nothing happened.

Asad stated in the petition that Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq had informed the Supreme Court that the government refused to relieve Asghar until his successor's appointment. He has requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the prime minister and the interior minister for flouting court orders.

On July 29 this year the Supreme Court had given seven days' notice to the government to provide a report on the scam that allegedly entailed illegal charging of extra residential rent from pilgrims and alleged corruption that led to improper accommodation arrangements being put in place.

The Zardari-Gilani-led government allegedly made every effort to eliminate evidence that could have proven that Gilani's son Abdul Qadir had direct involvement in the corruption through his front man Zain Sukhera.

http://arabnews.com/world/article489559.ece

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#70 [Permalink] Posted on 17th August 2011 10:49
Charity to organize Umrah for 2,500 new Muslims in the Kingdom

 


 
17 August 2011

RIYADH — The Alanoud Charitable Organization will organize Umrah for 2,500 newly-converted Muslims during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Dr. Yousif Bin Othman Al-Huzaim, the organization’s secretary general, said the program will include transportation, accommodation and daily expenses. He said the program is taking place with the support of Dawah and community organizations. The organization organized Umrah trips for 1,550 new Muslims in the Kingdom last year.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index...20110817107508

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#71 [Permalink] Posted on 18th August 2011 01:21
''Foundation stone'' on Friday 19 August

Haram expansion to accommodate 1.2m more worshippers


By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS

Published: Aug 16, 2011 23:10 Updated: Aug 16, 2011 23:18

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will lay the foundation stone for a new expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday, it was announced on Tuesday.

The new project, covering 400,000 squaremeters,will create prayer space for an additional 1.2 million worshippers.

"The new project, named the King Abdullah Expansion,will becarried out using the most advanced mechanical and electricalsystems," said Muhammad Al-Khozaim, vice president of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Affairs. "Once completed, the new facility will beableto accommodatenearly 1.2 million worshippers," he said.

The new expansion will also havebasic facilitiesincluding modern garbagedisposal systems and security monitoring systems. Sunshades will also be established on the northern courtyards of the mosque. The new annex will be linked with the existing mosque and masaa with a seriesof bridges. It will also provided with air conditioning systemsand electricstairs.

Al-Khozaim disclosed plansto expand themataf (the circumambulation areas around the Holy Kaaba) and provide air-conditioning for all parts of the Grand Mosque, adding that the two projects would be carried out shortly along with the new Haram expansion project.

Speaking about other projects implemented at the directives of King Abdullah, he said the newly expanded masaa (the running course between Safa and Marwa) could now accommodate 118,000 pilgrims per hour instead of 44,000.

He described the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Towers as one of the largest real estate projects in Makkah. It comprises six residential towersand a five-star hotel. The frontal towers are 28 stories high while the rear ones are 35 stories. Side towers are 45 stories while the hotel tower is 60 stories. The entire complex with 11,000 rooms and suites can accommodate 35,000 pilgrims.

Al-Khozaim commended the king for taking the initiative to implement a number of vital projects for the welfare of pilgrims.They includetheMashairRailway connecting Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah,theHaramain Railway to link thetwo holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the Jamrat bridge complex, the Central Zone Development project, the King Abdul Aziz Road, new ring roads in addition to flood drainage projects in the holy sites.

The Jamrat Bridge project, which was carried out at a cost of SR4.5 billion, was instrumental in preventing stampedes during the stoning ritual. It is designed to accommodate 5 million pilgrims.TheMashairRailway will becomefullyoperational before the upcoming Haj in November. The metro service will operate 17 trains with 12 coaches in each train. A train will carry 3,000 pilgrims.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article489579.ece
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#72 [Permalink] Posted on 18th August 2011 22:18

[spam attempt]

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#73 [Permalink] Posted on 19th August 2011 15:11
Official describes daunting task of keeping Grand Mosque clean

By MD HUMAIDAN | ARAB NEWS

Published: Aug 18, 2011 23:04 Updated: Aug 18, 2011 23:04

JEDDAH: The Director of the Cleaning Department at the Grand Mosque, Hamoud bin Saleh, has appealed to pilgrims and visitors to cooperate in the directorate's efforts to maintain the cleanliness of the holy mosque's floors and courtyards.

Saleh said a daily average of 100 tons of garbage, which could rise to 120 tons during peak days, is removed from the Grand Mosque and its courtyards.

The large quantity of garbage is attributed to the huge number of pilgrims and visitors coming to the mosque. The number of visitors is estimated at between 1.5 and 2 million a day during Ramadan.

"Pilgrims should not throw any waste on the floors of the Grand Mosque or courtyards. They can easily find dust bins close to them because 2,500 of them have been placed in the mosque and its courtyards," Saleh said in a statement on Tuesday.

The officials also appealed the pilgrims not to use the Zamzam taps to perform ablution as that could make the floors wet and slippery.

Saleh said his department is very keen to maintain the cleanliness of the Grand Mosque and its surroundings round the clock and that is why it contracted a cleaning company, which employs 3,000 workers operates 300 pieces of equipment.

Iftar meals are supplied in the mosque under the strict supervision of the cleaning department, which has instructed all meal-supplying organizations to provide only dates and coffee so that the mosque can be cleaned within minutes after breaking the fast before the prayer starts.

He added that 11 charities supply daily 9,300 kilograms of dates for iftar. He put the cumulative length of the lines of pilgrims that participate in the iftar meals at 11 kilometers.

More than 3,500 toilets on the mosque premises are cleaned and disinfected several times a day.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490512.ece
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#74 [Permalink] Posted on 19th August 2011 18:26
Mashallah nice updates
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#75 [Permalink] Posted on 21st August 2011 19:52
King Abdullah launches SR80 billion Haram expansion project


By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA | ARAB NEWS

Published: Aug 20, 2011 01:13 Updated: Aug 20, 2011 15:53

MAKKAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Friday launched the largest expansion of the Grand Mosque in history, which will increase the mosque's capacity to more than 2.5 million worshippers and cost SR80 billion.

Before laying the foundation for the new expansion, King Abdullah inspected models of the expansion project as well as other development projects implemented in Makkah and other holy sites.

King Abdullah dedicated the new expansion to the Islamic world.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf announced the new expansion project would cost SR80 billion, which would include the money required to pay compensation to owners of real estates appropriated for the project.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal commended King Abdullah's endeavors to develop the two holy mosques and said Muslims all over the Islamic world appreciate these efforts and holds the king in high esteem.

Saleh Al-Hosain, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, praised experts at Saudi universities for preparing the best, environment-friendly designs for the expansion while incorporating high safety standards.

"As King Abdullah wished, the whole Islamic world would be proud of the new expansion project," Al-Hosain said.

A documentary screened during the ceremony said the expansion's main gate would be named after King Abdullah and will have two minarets, bringing the mosque's total number of minarets to 11.

The new project, covering 400,000 sq. meters in the northwest and northeast of the mosque, is the project of the century, said Muhammad Al-Khozaim, vice president of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Affairs.

Al-Khozaim disclosed plans to expand the mataf (the circumambulation areas around the Holy Kaaba) and provide air-conditioning for all parts of the Grand Mosque, adding that the two schemes would be carried out shortly along with the new Haram expansion project.

Abdul Mohsen Bin Humaid, director of projects, said the new project would be completed in a year and a half.

According to informed sources, the total area of the existing Haram Mosque is 356,000 sq. meters accommodating 770,000 worshippers while the new expansion covering an area of 456,000 sq. meters will accommodate 1.2 million faithful.

The new project will comprise three parts: construction of a new building; expansion and development of courtyards around the mosque, including walkways, tunnels and toilets; and development of service facilities for air-conditioning, electricity and drinking water.

A 1,200-meter tunnel will be constructed from the end of the expansion passing through Jabal Hindi while another tunnel with a length of 1,100 meters will be built under Jabal Madafie. An emergency 700-meter tunnel crossing the other two tunnels will be constructed from Jabal Al-Kaaba.

King Abdullah also inaugurated the Makkah Tower Clock, considered the largest in the world; the Makkah Time, the newly expanded masaa (the running course between Safa and Marwa); the King Abdul Aziz endowment towers; the Jamrat Bridge complex in Mina; and the Mashair Railway linking the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa as well as the sunshades around the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah by pressing buttons.

Makkah Mayor Osama Al-Bar said the new projects launched by King Abdullah would boost business in Makkah and help the holy city attract new investments worth SR100 billion.

"Every SR1 billion spent by the government would encourage the private sector to invest an additional SR5 billion. This way the public investment would have a multiple effect on the economy," the mayor said.

Nawaf Al-Jowharji, a member of Makkah Provincial Council, described the King Abdul Aziz endowment towers as one of the largest real estate projects in the Kingdom, adding that it would help accommodate about 50,000 pilgrims and visitors.

Economist Aabid Al-Abdali of Umm Al-Qura University said the spending of SR40 billion, which is given to owners of real estate properties appropriated for the expansion project, would trigger an unprecedented economic boom in the holy city.

He estimated Makkah's gross domestic product at SR123 billion. "The volume of spending on Makkah projects equals one third of the whole economy," he pointed out. He said the multiple effect of government spending in new projects would generate SR133 billion.

Maher Jamal, a member of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke about the increasing flow of investment to Makkah, especially from Saudis. He estimated total investments in the ongoing development projects in Makkah at SR100 billion.

Yousuf Al-Ahmadi, director of Afkar Development Company, underscored King Abdullah's efforts for the development of the two holy mosques and welfare of pilgrims. "Development of the two holy mosques is the king's main agenda," he told Arab News.

arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article491057.ece

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