Saudi Arabia: Former imam of Grand Mosque in Mecca appears in promotional video
Video receives 5m views; Al Kalbani attacked by social media users
Dubai: The former imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Adel Al Kalbani, has sparked a controversy not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the wider Middle East after taking part in a promotional video clip as part of the Riyadh Season 2021.
Al Kalbani appeared in a military uniform (in link) as he led a battle in a promotional clip for the famous virtual game “Field Combat”, which will be one of the activities of the Riyadh season.
Al Kalbani was seen along with some football stars and artists, such as Mohammad Al Deayea, Saeed Al Owairan, Khaled Abdul Rahman, and astronomer expert Khaled Al Zaqaq.
Turki Al Sheikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), shared the clip on his Twitter account, and within hours, it received more than 5 million views.
Al Kalbani was attacked by social media users.Others saw that what Al Kalbani was doing “contravenes the orders of Allah and His Messenger.”
Some asked: “Is it appropriate for a former imam of the Meccan Grand Mosque to appear in this view when Al Kalbani is supposed to be a role model?”
However, Al Kalbani commented the video saying: “Do you think I can go to Hollywood?”.
Indonesia, Pakistan Among Others Allowed Direct Entry To The Kingdom
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has allowed direct entry of travelers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and India starting from next Wednesday corresponding to December 1st, 2021
Travelers will require to quarantine for 5 days at a government approved facility irrespective of their immunization status outside the Kingdom
The countries were under a travel ban due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Coincidently, Indonesia, Pakistan and India sends the largest numbers of pilgrims for Umrah and Hajj which due to the travel ban imposed were not allowed to send pilgrims directly.
Direct Flights remain banned from 4 countries which include: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Turkey and Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia allows foreign Umrah pilgrims to stay up to 30 days
Foreign pilgrims will also no longer have to undergo institutional quarantine if they received approved vaccination
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that foreign Umrah pilgrims can now once more extend their duration of stay to 30 days from the previously allowed 10 days, the Saudi Gazette has reported.
"Before the travel ban following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, foreign pilgrims were allowed to stay up to 30 days in Saudi Arabia. When the temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims was lifted and the service resumed on November 1, foreign pilgrims were allowed a 10-day stay in the kingdom," the report noted.
Additionally, as long as the foreign pilgrims are from countries which do not fall under a travel ban, and as long as they have been inoculated with the approved vaccines, they can now directly arrive in Makkah and perform Umrah without the need for institutional quarantine.
However, foreign pilgrims will be subjected to a 3-day institutional quarantine if they are immunised with two doses of vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"Such pilgrims have to carry out PCR laboratory test after 48 hours of institutional quarantine, and will be allowed to perform Umrah directly if they submit a negative PCR report," the publication said.
Under the new relaxations, all foreign pilgrims aged 18 and above will be given a permit to enter the kingdom and perform Umrah, subject to the terms set by the ministry.
Among domestic pilgrims, those aged 12 and above are allowed to perform Umrah.
(This may change very quickly as 1 strain of the Omicron variant has been allegedly detected in Saudi Arabia)
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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