Iranian Pilgrims Praise Hajj Services

Iranian pilgrim Tahereh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Iranian pilgrim Tahereh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Iranian Pilgrims Praise Hajj Services

Iranian pilgrim Tahereh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Iranian pilgrim Tahereh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Iranian pilgrims have praised the services provided during this year’s Hajj season as they participated in the stoning of the devil ritual in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

Following their prayers on the plains of Arafat, they experienced an atmosphere of faith and spirituality, supported by efficient services that made their rituals easy to perform.

Zahra, a 41-year-old pilgrim, praised the excellent organization, highlighting the ease of movement within the holy sites.

“Despite the large crowd of people from different cultures and ethnicities, everything was well managed, and the services were wonderful,” she said.

“This is my first time performing Hajj,” she revealed.

“It’s a new experience, and I hope to come again. I loved the city’s atmosphere, and it wasn’t far from Makkah. Everything was good,” she added.

Zahra also appreciated the friendly and welcoming interactions during the Hajj journey, describing the environment as “warm and hospitable.”

She also expressed gratitude to the Saudi government for organizing the Hajj, highlighting the challenge of managing pilgrims from various countries.

Shamima, 43, shared her happiness with Asharq Al-Awsat after performing the Hajj. She praised the numerous services that made the movements of pilgrims in holy sites comfortable and easy.

Speaking from the Jamarat site, she said: “The place and atmosphere are beautiful.”

“Everyone is throwing the stones without difficulty, thanks to excellent organization. I thank the Saudi government for the great services provided,” she added.

Tahereh, from Qom, Iran, expressed her indescribable joy at being in the holy sites. She noted the special feeling of seeing Muslims from around the world.

“The organization is exceptional,” she said.

“Groups are organized efficiently at the Jamarat site, with no crowding, making the stoning ritual easy and smooth. It is wonderful,” she added.

The movement of pilgrims between holy sites was smooth, with direct oversight from various security sectors managing vehicle and pedestrian routes according to plans.

This year’s Hajj season saw over 1.8 million pilgrims, according to Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

More than 1.61 million pilgrims came from abroad, while over 221,000 were from within the Kingdom.



Mohamed bin Zayed, Burhan Discuss Means to End Sudan War

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan meet in Abu Dhabi on March 11, 2022. (AFP)
United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan meet in Abu Dhabi on March 11, 2022. (AFP)
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Mohamed bin Zayed, Burhan Discuss Means to End Sudan War

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan meet in Abu Dhabi on March 11, 2022. (AFP)
United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan meet in Abu Dhabi on March 11, 2022. (AFP)

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan held telephone talks on Thursday to discuss a proposal by Ethiopia to end the war in Sudan, said diplomatic sources.

This was the first telephone call between the two leaders since the Sudanese army openly criticized the UAE for its alleged support of the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a claim repeatedly denied by Abu Dhabi.

During the call, Sheikh Mohamed "affirmed the UAE's keenness to support all solutions and initiatives aimed at halting escalation and ending the crisis in Sudan in a way that contributes to enhancing its stability and security and fulfilling the aspirations of its people", reported the UAE’s state news agency (WAM).

He stressed the importance of peaceful dialogue and prioritizing reason to preserve security and stability in Sudan.

Sudanese diplomatic sources said the leaders discussed a proposal by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to end the war that erupted in April 2023.

The PM had visited Sudan earlier this month to mediate ending the conflict, which broke out over disputes over the transition to civilian rule.

Speculation was rife in Sudan over the telephone call between Sheikh Mohamed and Burhan.

Aide to Burhan, Yasser al-Atta, accused the leaderships of the UAE and Chad of supporting the RSF militarily during the war.

He added however that the telephone call was a positive step that may boost the chances of ending the war.

In June, Sudan filed an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council accusing the UAE of supplying the RSF with weapons. The UAE denied the claim.

A leading member of the Forces of Freedom and Change said the telephone talks between Sheikh Mohamed and Burhan did not come as a surprise.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he added that Ahmed’s visit to Port Sudan earlier this month "took place in complete coordination with regional and international powers to persuade the leaders of the Sudanese army to choose peaceful solution" to end the conflict.

"We are fully aware that there is a movement within the army that is influenced by the Islamist movement that is impeding any effort to end the war so that it could return to power once again," he went on to say.

Moreover, he remarked that all efforts to end the fighting in Sudan, whether on the African or Arab levels, are taking place in complete coordination with the efforts carried out by the European Union and United States.