Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Sudanese Pilgrims Yearn for Safe Homeland

Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)
Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)
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Sudanese Pilgrims Yearn for Safe Homeland

Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)
Saudi security efforts aimed to organize pilgrims and ensure their safety (Photo: Adnan Mahdali)

With hearts heavy from the turmoil back home, where ongoing conflict has led to worsening security and economic conditions, Sudanese pilgrims departed from Saudi Arabia after completing Hajj rituals.

Taking different routes to the holy sites in the Kingdom, the journey of Sudanese pilgrims began at N'Djamena International Airport in Chad and Port Osman Digna in Sudan.

Crossing through barren deserts and remote wilderness, they traveled with silent tears in their eyes and faces weighed down by sorrow. Their hopes choked with longing for a homeland of peace and security.

From El Geneina in West Darfur, Sudan, Mohammed Issa Adam began a tough and exhausting pilgrimage journey with a group from the Sudanese Hajj mission.

Their trip spanned several days and involved various modes of transport: donkey carts, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and buses.

They traveled to Chad’s capital, flew to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and finally landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Adam, 46, described to Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt how Sudanese pilgrims departed for the Kingdom through Chad due to security concerns.

“Leaving from El Geneina in western Sudan, instead of the usual route eastward to Port Sudan, was unexpected,” he said.

“Despite road closures and security challenges, the determination of Ahmed Serr El-Khatim, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Hajj and Umrah, ensured pilgrims could complete their rites,” he added.

“We packed and traveled west by truck to the border, about 30 kilometers away.”

“After completing entry procedures and paying fees, we traveled in groups with donkey carts to Adre, then switched to four-wheel-drive vehicles for another leg. Buses awaited us on our journey to N'Djamena, Chad’s capital, where we arrived after a challenging trip,” Adam continued.

“From there, we flew out via its airport to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah,” he noted.

Adam, speaking with a heavy heart and halting words, expressed concern over Sudan’s security situation and said: “Security instability undermines civil life, crucial for all Sudanese. As pilgrims, we see Sudan’s safety as our collective responsibility.”

Reflecting on the pilgrimage, Adam said: “From stepping onto Saudi soil to completing Hajj rites, we were warmly welcomed and graciously hosted, easing our journey’s fatigue and hardships.”

“Arriving at Jeddah Airport, procedures were swift, welcoming us with warmth and efficiency.”

“Hajj was performed smoothly without major issues; everything was accessible, with excellent services. At Arafat, we prayed for Sudan’s well-being, hoping for peace to restore it to its former glory.”

Adam also praised this year’s Hajj regulations: “The campaign for ensuring that pilgrims have permits was well-implemented.”

“We noticed strict enforcement from the moment we arrived at the airport. We received identification bracelets, accommodation cards, and ritual cards, all closely monitored.”

“The campaign greatly eased pilgrims’ movements during rituals, ensuring their comfort with excellent services and efficient organization.”

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Al-Sadiq Al-Hilou, coordinator for the pilgrims’ campaigns in the states of East and West Darfur, reported that the number of Sudanese pilgrims who performed Hajj this year reached 8,533.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Arabia Reiterates Need to Reach Just Solution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Reiterates Need to Reach Just Solution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)

The Saudi government reiterated on Tuesday its welcoming of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) advisory opinion on Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories and the court’s confirmation of the illegality of the Israeli presence in the territories over the past 57 years.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the cabinet meeting that was held in Jeddah.

The government renewed the Kingdom’s position on the need for practical and credible steps to be taken to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict according to the 2002 Arab peace initiative and international resolutions.

The cabinet was briefed on the telephone talks held between Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

The calls focused on joint relations and ways to boost and develop them.

The cabinet reviewed the latest regional and international developments and Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to end the war on Gaza and support peace in Yemen to achieve regional security and stability.

It urged the international community, particularly active and influential parties, to assume its responsibilities and stop tensions in the region.

At the domestic level, the cabinet reviewed the latest economic developments and key indicators, including the stabilization of inflation in recent months due to the robustness of the Kingdom's economy and the effective measures and policies implemented to address the ramifications of rising global prices.