6 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/04/2006
SAUDI ARABIA
Bird flu and terrorism cast a shadow over pilgrimage to Makkah
Some 2.5 million people from around the world are expected for Hajj which begins on January 8. Saudi authorities are on maximum alert. Preventive measures have been taken against contagious diseases such as cholera but little has been done for the bird flu.

Riyad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In addition to terrorism, Saudi Arabia has to worry about the Avian or bird flu this year as it gets ready to receive some 2.5 million pilgrims for Hajj in Makkah. The annual pilgrimage is one Islam's five pillars that every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it should undertake during his or her lifetime.

Hajj rituals begin on January 8, the eighth day in the month of Dhu Al-Hajja, the final month in the Islamic lunar calendar which began last Sunday.

Already about 1.5 million pilgrims have arrived from around the world. Today is the last day for people to fly in for the event and should see many more arrivals. Any plane carrying pilgrims after that date has to pay a fine of 200,000 riyals (US$ 53,000). For pilgrims travelling by boat or overland the deadline expires tonight.

Terrorist attacks are at the top of Saudi security concern. Any incident might cause panic and spark a deadly stampede as happened in the past, leaving hundreds dead.

A 10,000-strong force has been mobilised in Makkah. Soldiers protect the perimeter of Jeddah airport, whilst security force personnel man checkpoints along the highways to Makkah and Madinah, Islam's second holiest site, which many pilgrims will visit as well.

The main concern though at the airport and in the other points of arrival is disease. Special measures have been undertaken for example in the case of pilgrims from certain African countries affected by endemic diseases such as cholera and meningitis or from the Indian subcontinent and neighbouring countries like Yemen.

"Once a plane from a plagued country lands, we dispatch two inspectors," said Mohammed al-Harthi, director of Jeddah's health control centre in. "Inspectors collect a written certificate from the pilot confirming that the plane has been disinfected and check for empty spray canisters as proof."

Passengers are then bussed to a special pilgrims' terminal where they are required to produce a clean bill of health from their home country and are given supplementary vaccinations against meningitis.

However, a glossy poster at the entrance to the airport clinic seems to be the only measure taken against the spread of the avian flu. The clinic does never the less carry drugs like tamiflu.

Despite the preventive measures, many pilgrims cover their mouths and noses with masks in public spaces.

However they get to Saudi Arabia, all pilgrims are Makkah-bound. There, in the early hours of January 8, they will travel to the nearby town of Mina, about 10 kilometres away.

In this arid valley, a tent city will emerge to house the pilgrims who will spend the day in prayer. Hajj will thus have begun.

At dawn of the following day, pilgrims will walk to the Mount of Mercy, another place of prayer, to ask God for his forgiveness. The function symbolises waiting for the Final Judgement and is the key moment of the pilgrimage

Upon returning to Mina, the faithful will sacrifice a goat in remembrance of Abraham's submission to the Will of God and Isaac's sacrifice setting off celebrations for Eid el-Adha on January 10. As the last act of the pilgrimage, in Mina people will throw pebbles at the stone pillars that represent the devil to show their rejection of evil.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/24/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
End of Hajj in Makkah
01/12/2006 SAUDI ARABIA
Hajj to Makkah ends in bloodshed
12/29/2006 SAUDI ARABIA
Hajj: millions of pilgrims commemorate Muhammad’s last sermon
07/23/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Swine flu pushes authorities to warn pilgrims to be prudent about pilgrimage to Makkah
08/06/2009 IRAN – SAUDI ARABIA
Tehran bans pilgrimage to Makkah because of the swine flu
ASIA
WHO denies exaggerating bird flu pandemic threat
HONG KONG
Avian flu: chicken farms to be inspected in Hong Kong
TURKEY
Bird flu risks stopping Turkey's economic growth
CHINA
There is no evidence that Tamiflu works against bird flu
CHINA
Bird flu: more than 1.5 billion dollars needed to stem infection
TURKEY
Avian flu: Between good and bad news
indonesia
Indonesian 13-year-old girl dies of bird flu
CHINA – VIETNAM
Bird flu risks rise as Chinese New Year approaches
China
Two people in China sickened by bird flu have died
TURKEY
Bird flu reaches Istanbul
TURKEY
EU says Turkey's bird flu is lethal H5N1 strain
TURKEY
Bird flu at the gates of Europe, second death in Turkey
CHINA - HONG KONG
Bird flu: Hong Kong stops poultry imports from Sichuan
ASIA
Bird flu feared more virulent in Eastern Europe than in Asia
ASIA
WHO: China may have unidentified bird flu outbreaks
CHINA
Bird flu: in China WHO says many human cases unreported
CHINA
Sixth human case of bird flu in China
ASIA
Five-year old boy is Thailand's 14th bird flu victim
CHINA
Farmer who blew the whistle on bird flu outbreak is arrested
CHINA
WHO urges China to share H5N1 virus samples
ASIA
Bird flu kills again in Indonesia
HONG KONG - CHINA
Bird flu 38 times more infectious than SARS
CHINA
Bird flu: "Impossible" for China to vaccinate 14 billion birds
Vietnam
New human bird flu case confirmed in Vietnam
ASIA
Two more suspected avian flu deaths in Indonesia and Vietnam
SOUTH KOREA – APEC
Asia-Pacific Rim leaders urge common action against avian flu
ASIA
More outbreaks and human bird flu cases expected in China
CHINA - VIETNAM
China admits to first human case of bird flu
ASIA – CHINA
Avian flu: China might not be reporting every outbreak
ASIA
Bird flu: scientists fear the virus has become "more contagious"
ASIA
New human bird flu cases suspected in Vietnam and China
ASIA
Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia
CHINA
Prime Minister admits bird flu contagion peril
ASIA
A new death from bird flu in Vietnam
CHINA
China admits to three possible human cases of bird flu
INDONESIA
Fifth bird flu victim in Indonesia
ASIA
Bird flu pandemic would cost Asia 300 billion dollars
ASIA
Pandemic would be a disaster for Asia's economy
ASIA
In China newspapers can report on the bird flu only if authorised
THAILAND - ASIA
Thai woman tests positive for bird flu
CHINA - ASIA
Bird flu in China very serious, say official sources
VIETNAM - CHINA
Two more bird flu deaths feared in Vietnam
CHINA – ASIA
In China no information about the dangers of the avian flu
ASIA
Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
ASIA
More birds infected in China but world leaders have few suggestions
ASIA
Pandemic inevitable, say experts from around the world meeting in Canada
ASIA
Bird flu: China and Thailand want tighter controls on bird farming and human housing
CHINA
Beijing acknowledges bird flu situation is grave
ASIA
Bird flu spreads and claims new victim in Thailand
ASIA
Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
ASIA
Asian battleground key to beating bird flu virus
CHINA
China: an incubator of bird flu
ASIA - EUROPE
World ill-prepared to face bird flu pandemic
ASIA
Suspect death in Jakarta fuels global bird flu fears
TURKEY – INDONESIA
Bird flu: Ankara tries to allay western fears
ASIA
Avian flue pandemic could kill up to 300 million people
INDONESIA
Indonesia's bird flu toll is rising
Asia
Bird Flu: Are there risks, cures?

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.