Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hajj 1427 report - Day of Arafah

Arafah, KSA - More than 3 million muslims reached the plains of Arafah on Friday to seek forgiveness from God for their past sins & promised to turn over a new leaf in an emotionally charged atmosphere. The grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia advised muslims to return to the precepts of the Quran & Sunnah for success in this world & the Hereafter. He also advised them to stay united in the face of challenges facing the Muslim world. He mentioned that the enemies are causing untold misery & suffering in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechenya, Somalia & Palestine. He advised people to stand firm in the face of such injustice and asked them to overlook their personal differences which led to disunity.

The pilgrims retired to the valley of Muzdalifah after sunset & spent the night in Zikr ie remembrance of God. Tomorrow, the pilgrims will start the ritual of 'Stoning the devil' in
the valley of Mina.

Hajj 1427 report - Day 2

By A Matin

Mina, KSA - Pilgrims reached the tent city of Mina and spent the day in preparation for the 'Day of Arafah'. Traditionally, the stay at Mina was used to rest the camels and quench their thirst. However, as no camels are used anymore, the pilgrims utilised the time to refresh themselves and stocked up on supplies. The Saudi authorities have mounted a huge logistical operation to ensure that the pilgrims dont face any difficulties in the coming days. Their efforts will be tested in the next few days especially during the ritual of `Stoning the devil' when pilgrims throw pebbles at a wall symbolizing the devil where Patriarch Abraham & his family were tempted by Satan.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hajj 1427 Day 1 report part 2

Muslim men & women circumambulate around the Kaaba, which was built by Prophet Abraham along with his son Ismail. This ancient place of worship is the direction muslims face while performing their prayer & it signifies the unity of muslims. Male muslims wear 2 pieces of unsewn cloth & women wear modest clothing which erases any barrier of class or wealth which may have existed previously.

Saudi authorities are doing their best to help more than 2.5 million muslims complete their pilgrimage safely. Their preparation will be tested after friday and the following days when the ritual of 'Stoning the devil' takes place. The authorities seek to prevent any problems during this ritual, God willing.

Muslims moved to Mina (few kilometeres from Makkah) to spend their day
in a tent and remember God in preparation for the 'Day of Arafah'.

Hajj 1427 Day 1 Report part 1

By A Matin
Makkah, KSA - Large crowds of pilgrims converged upon Islam's holy city as the 'Day of Standing' on the plain of Arafah, which falls on Friday, drew close. Makkah resembled a global village on Wednesday with people of all nationalities as diverse as the Bosnian & Ethnic Chinese Muslims. It was heartening to see both Sunni & Shia, Kurd & Turkmen and other people standing shoulder to shoulder without any problem. A feeling of universal brotherhood was in the air & people who were intractable enemies were now bosom friends.
However it was the Turkish Muslims who are in the spotlight this Hajj due to their massive presence in Makkah. It signifies the return of Turkey to the Islamic fold after decades of experimentation with the European way of life. Turkey's Muslims seem to have realised that Europe will not accept them even if they discard their religon & have come back in large numbers to their basics. The Haram Sharif or Grand Mosque was packed with pilgrims performing the rites which celebrate patriarch Abraham & his wife Hagar's sacrifice in the path of God. - continued

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saudi Girl Students Explore New Career Options

By Lulwa Shalhoub, Arab News

JEDDAH — Architecture student Lama Al-Zoghibi won the “I Matter” prize in the third and final night of the activities that took place at the Equestrian Club here recently.

More than 2,500 applications were received from women who made presentations of ideas that would help empower Arab women.
Al-Zoghibi was declared the winner of this contest of innovation with her proposal to create a firm that would bring together women involved in the production of apparel and jewelry, and female business and advertising executives.
“I want to help provide more career options for women in different fields,” said 18-year-old Al-Zoghibi. “I didn’t expect to win the contest. Exchanging knowledge and experiences among the 10 finalists was the thing that I really enjoyed.”

Each contestant was evaluated out of 30 grades. The 10 contestants were Areeb Yasine and Lamees Basfar, both psychology students; Hudaybia Tarek, a business administration student; Eman Janbi, who works for Tamer Group; Nima Ahmed, an Arabian Entertainment Company Ltd. employee; Sara Marzouki, interior design student; the winner Al-Zoghibi and Rana Al-Amawi, both architecture students; Shaza Ahmad, a student of economics, and Nourazn Abu Taleb, an Effat College employee.

Al-Zoghibi, who is now in her freshman year studying architecture at Effat College, said that she hopes to implement her idea of an integrated fashion company after she graduates. The winner has been offered a one-month MBC internship in Dubai next summer.
“I’m happy for this opportunity,” she said. “That will be the first time for me to practice a real job and training.”


Call for Peaceful End to Iran N-Row

By Khaled Almaeena

Muscat — Saudi Arabia and Oman yesterday called for a peaceful resolution of the standoff between Iran and Western countries on Tehran’s nuclear program. They emphasized the right of all countries in the region to possess nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but reiterated that the Middle East must be made free of weapons of mass destruction.

King Abdullah arrived in Jeddah yesterday from Muscat after holding extensive talks with Sultan Qaboos on major regional and international issues as well as ways of boosting bilateral ties. Abdullah held a final round of talks with the Omani leader before returning to the Kingdom.

Sultan Qaboos underscored King Abdullah’s efforts in strengthening the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and his support for joint GCC action in order to achieve greater progress and prosperity for GCC citizens and reinforce peace and stability in the Gulf region.

Ethiopia invades Somalia, Students join resistance

By Abdul-Rahman Yusuf, IOL Correspondent

MOGADISHU - Students in several schools and universities have signed up to defend their homeland after the SICS postponed school exams to allow willing students to fight the invading troops.

"Was I supposed to wait the soldiers of Habasha to invade my house?" asked student Abdullah Hasan.

He told IOL he volunteered to fight so that his country wouldn't become "a new Palestine" occupied by what he described as "Africa's Israel," in reference to Ethiopia. Hasan joined 600 other volunteers in a truck making their way to the frontlines. War drums also paralyzed life in the capital, as shops and markets were closing doors. Residents lamented the recently-found peace they have been enjoying since the SICS came to power.

"Our fear is that the ongoing war will shatter our security and jeopardize the future of our children," one Somali woman told IOL.

Thousands of terrified civilians were fleeing the conflict that was raging on several fronts.

IslamOnline Report

Hajj 1427 report (one day to go...)

By A Matin

KSA (TC-Press) - Tomorrow is the big day. The day when our journey begins. The day when we leave for Makkah. The Road to Makkah beckons ....

Breaking News - Ethiopian jets strike Somali airports

Somali Muslims prevented from performing HAJJ by ETHIOPIAN AIR BOMBING

By Guled Mohamed

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - "This latest attack has come at time when so many people are traveling to attend haj", witnesses said of the Mogadishu air raid. "It is a shocking attack!"

Reuters report below ...

Coming Soon - HAJJ 1427 - The Journey of a Lifetime!

By A Matin

KSA (TC-Press) - Starting tomorrow, our correspondent will travel along with pilgrims from all over the world to Makkah and bring you a day-by-day account of this amazing spiritual and temporal journey as it unfolds.

HAJJ 1427

Watch this space for more …..

For Info on Hajj, go to Islamcity Hajj Information Center

Ethiopian warplanes bomb Somalia's Capital

Somalia: Ethiopian Warplanes bomb Mogadishu’s main Airport

- Aweys, Mogadishu 24, Dec.06 ( Sh.M.Network) – Ethiopian warplanes have bombed Mogadishu’s main airport.

Witnesses said number of people were killed and dozens injured.

Sheik Abdirahim Aden Wehliye, has told Shabelle by cell phone that Ethiopian fighter jets dropped two bombs in to the airport. He did not say the exact number of casualties.

“The (US backed) Ethiopian migs dropped two missiles in the airport and fired automatic machinegun at the neighborhood near the airport”, he said.