Saudi Arabia begins official registration of foreign pilgrims for Hajj 2024

Agencies
December 26, 2023

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Jeddah: Saudi Arabia has begun official registration of foreign pilgrims for Hajj 2024. “Muslim pilgrims from all over the world can now register along with their families for Hajj 1445/2024 through the Nusuk Hajj application under the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah,” the Center for International Communication (CIC), under the Ministry of Media revealed on Monday, December 24.

Pilgrims from the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania can apply for the pilgrimage through Nusuk Hajj application. 

More details about the registration can be had from hajj.nusuk.sa website.

Nusuk Hajj is the gateway to a journey of a lifetime. It is the one-stop-shop platform, overseen by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. It offers pilgrims a variety of Hajj packages offered by authorized service providers, ensuring a seamless lifetime spiritual experience.

The pilgrims can register their names through the website after creating their own personal account with giving an email address and select the current country of residence from the provided list, which includes all countries served for Hajj 2024.

Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is sacred and obligatory for every able adult Muslim. Just like the other important practices in Islam, Hajj comes with its own set of rituals to be followed diligently during this sacred journey.

It is noteworthy that the Hajj of 2023 was the first full-capacity annual pilgrimage in the post pandemic period. A total of 1,845,045 pilgrims, including 1,660,915 foreign pilgrims and 184,130 domestic pilgrims, performed last Hajj. Among them, the number of male pilgrims accounted for 969,694 while the number of female pilgrims reached 875,351. Pilgrims from Asian countries totaled 1,056,317, accounting for 63.5 percent while the number of pilgrims from Arab countries stood at 346,214, representing 21 percent of the total pilgrims.

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News Network
February 27,2024

A new report has published details of a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, under which the occupying regime will free 400 Palestinian abductees in exchange for the release of 40 held in captivity by the Gaza-based resistance group.

The swap deal, which will be accompanied by a six-week truce, came as part of the recent talks in the French capital Paris between Israeli, American, Egyptian and Qatari representatives. Al Jazeera reported.

Citing unidentified sources involved in the discussions, the report said Israel has agreed to free 400 Palestinians held in the regime’s prisons in return for 40 Gaza captives. 

Israel has also agreed to the gradual return of displaced Palestinians to northern Gaza – with the exception of young men, who are "of recruitment age," and the entry of further aid and temporary shelters into the besieged territory, including heavy machinery and equipment.

The regime has further agreed to halt its warplanes over the Gaza Strip, including intelligence-gathering ones, for eight hours.

The report came after an Israeli delegation traveled to Doha, where Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani separately met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said that he hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza by next Monday, when asked when he thought a truce could begin.

“Well I hope by the beginning of the weekend. The end of the weekend. My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet,” Biden said when asked when he thought a truce could begin.

“And my hope is that by next Monday [March 4] we’ll have a ceasefire.”

Israel waged a genocidal US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

However, almost five months into the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has failed to achieve its objectives of "destroying Hamas" and finding Israeli captives despite killing 29,782 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 70,043 others.

A week-long humanitarian ceasefire in late November saw an exchange of 240 Palestinian abductees held by Israel with 105 captives, including 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners, in Gaza.

Israel believes 130 captives still remain in Gaza, while there are thought to be 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, many detained without charge.

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News Network
February 27,2024

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Abu Dhabi, Feb 27: The first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, will be opened to the public from March 1, according to the temple authorities.

The temple has been built by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.

The grand temple was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on February 14 during a dedication ceremony attended by over 5,000 invitees. From February 15 to 29, overseas devotees who had registered in advance or VIP guests were allowed to visit the temple.

“The temple will be open to the public from March 1 from 9 AM to 8 PM. The temple will remain closed for visitors every Monday,” a temple spokesperson said.

Constructed with 18 lakh bricks and 1.8 lakh cubic metres of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan, the temple has been made in the Nagara style of architecture, just like the recently inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

According to the temple authorities, the grand temple has been built as per an ancient style of construction and creation mentioned in the Shilpa and Sthapathya Shastras, Hindu scriptures which describe the art for mandir design and construction.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf. The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is the largest in the entire Gulf region. The UAE has three other Hindu temples in Dubai.

Seven spires representing the seven Emirates of the UAE, carvings of camels, and national bird falcon, are part of the architecture of the stone temple, to give equal representation to the host country.

“The seven spires have idols of deities, including Lord Ram, Lord Shiv, Lord Jagannath, Lord Krishna, Lord Swaminarayan (considered a reincarnation of Lord Krishna), Tirupati Balaji and Lord Ayappa. The seven shikhars represent the seven Emirates of the UAE,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of international relations for BAPS, had told PTI.

To give equal representation to the host country, along with animals like elephants, camels and lions that occupy an important place in Indian mythology, the UAE’s national bird, the falcon, has also been included in the temple design.

Apart from 15 tales from India, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories from Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Arabic, European, Chinese and African civilisations have also been depicted in the temple.

While the outer walls of the temple are made using sandstone from India, the interior, made of white Italian marble, is adorned with intricately designed and carved columns and walls.

Other noteworthy architectural elements include two ghumats (domes), 12 samrans (dome-like structures) and 402 pillars. The two ghumats are the “Dome of Peace” and “Dome of Harmony”.
On the two sides of the temple, holy water flows from Ganga and Yamuna, which was brought from India in huge containers.

The temple’s facade features exquisite marble carvings set against a sandstone backdrop, crafted from more than 25,000 pieces of stone by skilled artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat. A substantial number of pink sandstone were transported from northern Rajasthan to Abu Dhabi for the temple.

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News Network
March 1,2024

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A far-right Israeli minister has hailed the regime's soldiers who killed more than 100 Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“We must give complete support to our heroic fighters operating in Gaza, who acted excellently against a Gazan mob that tried to harm them,” Itamar Ben-Gvir, the so-called “national security” minister, said in a statement on Thursday.

He also reiterated his demand to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza, claiming that it “endangers” Israeli soldiers.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid near al-Nabulsi roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 112 people and injuring hundreds of others.

The latest massacre of Palestinians by Israeli forces has been met with strong condemnation from different states and international organizations. 

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani slammed the "barbaric attack", noting that "The shame of supporting and remaining silent towards the mass killing and genocide of Palestinians by the criminal Zionist regime will be evident on the foreheads of the false champions of human rights in the United States and  Europe."

Israel waged its genocidal war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed 30,035 Palestinians and injured 70,457 others.

The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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