Egypt to host African Development Bank 2023 annual meetings    Field Marshal Tantawy 'led Egypt wisely in the most difficult circumstances and played a key role in protecting the country': Sisi    Greece: Firefighters contain wildfire at resort near Athens    President Sisi witnesses inauguration of several national projects in Sinai    Egyptian Armed Forces mourns Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy    LIVE: Ahly v Talae El-Geish (Egyptian Super Cup)    Field Marshal Tantawy was 'a military leader of a unique calibre': Al-Azhar    It's a shame: Barcelona's Araujo after Granada draw    Sudanese officials say coup attempt failed, army in control    Egypt mourns death of former Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawy    Biden easing foreign travel restrictions, requiring vaccines    COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu    Egypt's stocks close lower on Monday as benchmark EGX 30 slid 1.64%    Volvo EMEA, VOLVO Egypt teams at Ezz Elarab Automotive Group celebrate leap in sales this year    Egypt's CIB bank mandated to Net-Zero Banking Alliance Steering Group    Tennis: Belgium recovers from 2-0 down to beat Bolivia in Davis Cup    Communications ministry allocates EGP 1.1bln for digital capacity building    UAE-based Alameda to invest around $318 mln in Egypt in five years    Egypt to be removed from England's red travel list on September 22    Egyptian archaeologists unearth collection of religious ritual tools at Temple of Pharaohs north of Cairo    Tunisia 'astonished' by Ethiopia's reaction on UNSC statement on GERD dispute    The Egyptian Mawlawiya troupe's concert at Al-Gumhouriya Theatre is a must go    Borhane Alaouié (1941-2021): The auteur's shadow    Jordan hosts energy meeting today to discuss transporting Egyptian gas to Lebanon    Russia permits airlines to resume flights from 49 cities to Egypt    Egypt's Abu Soma Development partners with KOMPASS Education    Sisi: coronavirus vaccines in Africa 'far less' than actual needs    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    Egypt denounces Ethiopia's move to start second filling of giant dam    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilized pebbles
Published in Ahram Online on 07 - 07 - 2020

Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an experience that will be unlike any before because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pilgrims will be only be able to drink holy water from the Zamzam well in Mecca that is packaged in plastic bottles, and pebbles for casting away evil that are usually picked up by pilgrims along hajj routes will be sterilized and bagged ahead of time. Pilgrims will also have to bring their own prayer rugs.
The guidelines were announced on Monday as Saudi authorities prepare to carry out a very limited hajj, which for the first time will not include pilgrims from outside the country. Instead, the kingdom said that 70% of pilgrims allowed to participate this year will be from among foreign residents of Saudi Arabia while 30% would be Saudi citizens.
Saudi pilgrims will be selected from among healthcare workers and security personnel who have recovered from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. The government said their selection represents a ``token of appreciation for their role in providing care`` during the pandemic.
Saudi Arabia has one of the Middle East's largest outbreaks of the virus, with infection rates rising by 3,000-4,000 cases daily. More than 213,000 people have contracted the virus in the kingdom so far, including 1,968 who have died.
The new guidelines also mandate that foreign residents in Saudi Arabia who want to participate in this year's pilgrimage should be between the ages of 20 and 50, and that have not performed the hajj before. The pilgrims will have to quarantine before and after the hajj, and they will be tested for the coronavirus. Those eligible have until Friday to submit an application through the kingdom's Hajj Ministry's website.
The hajj is not only a once-in-a-lifetime requirement for Muslims but also a chance to wipe away past sins and connect with Muslims from different walks of life.
Saudi Arabia dramatically scaled back the hajj due to concerns about overcrowding at the annual pilgrimage, which usually draws 2.5 million people. The crowds move, pray and stand in extremely close proximity, often squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder, as they carry out five days of rites around Mecca.
Saudi Arabia said its decision to curtail the hajj was aimed at preserving global public health because of the risks associated with large gatherings.
Pilgrims normally crowd and push their way toward the cube-shaped Kaaba, which is Islam's holiest site and the metaphorical house of God. This year, authorities said anyone participating in the hajj will not be allowed to touch the Kaaba as part of the new safety measures.
Pilgrims this year will also have to wear masks, maintain physical distance during prayers and sleep in tents that follow guidelines on social distancing.


Clic here to read the story from its source.