JEDDAH: SIRAJ WAHAB & IBRAHIM NAFFEE
Published — Sunday 20 October 2013
The Saudi government takes great pride in serving the guests of God, said Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja here on Friday.
Speaking at a reception for foreign journalists covering the Haj, the minister said the government was constantly exploring ways to improve services and facilities.
“All the plans for this year’s Haj were successfully implemented,” he said. “The massive expansion at the holy sites and the Grand Mosque are for the benefit of pilgrims coming from all over the world.”
Khoja congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman for the extraordinary success of this year’s pilgrimage.
He said it has been a Saudi tradition to care for pilgrims since King Abdul Aziz established the Kingdom. “This noble tradition continued with his sons,” said Khoja. “King Abdullah pays a great deal of attention to the welfare of pilgrims. May Allah reward him for his tireless efforts.”
Members of the Arab, African, European and Asian media delegations thanked the Ministry of Culture and Information for supporting them during their coverage of Haj 2013.
Among the prominent journalists at the event were Qamar Abbas Jafri of Voice of America’s Urdu Service; senior Indian journalist Qurban Ali; Pakistan television journalist Aijaz Khokhar; Tunisian journalist Nasr Al-Din Muhammad Bin-Saeeda; African television presenter Hamza Mohammed Kasongo and Bosnian television director Alma Pendik Drendo.
“I can’t describe my feelings and experiences in words,” said Qurban Ali. “Performing Haj in one’s lifetime is a profound desire of every faithful. I’m thankful to Allah and the Saudi government for fulfilling my life’s desire.”
He said the greatest message from Saudi Arabia is that Islam is the religion of peace, love and prosperity for the entire human race.
Jafri said the Saudi government has provided excellent services for the guests of God.
“We have seen with our own eyes the smooth conduct of this year’s pilgrimage,” he said. “The government and all Haj agencies deserve accolades.”