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Minister of Hajj and Umrah to launch post-pandemic edition of Grand Hajj Symposium

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah will inaugurate the 46th edition of the Grand Hajj Symposium on Sunday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The Grand Hajj Symposium, held under the title ‘Hajj after the Pandemic… Ritual and Care,’ will include the attendance of scholars and intellectuals from the Kingdom, the wider Middle East region, and other Islamic countries.

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The symposium, set to take place for two days, will kick off on Sunday and include a speech from the minister entitled ‘From Hajj to the World’ which will be attended by President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz al-Sudais; the Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments in Algeria Youssef Belmahdi; the Minister of Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony in Pakistan Mufti Abdul Shakoor; the Minister of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places of the Kingdom of Jordan Dr. Mohammed Ahmed al-Khalayleh, and the session will be moderated by the Advisor at the Royal Court, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, Dr. Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid.

The ministry said that it aims to highlight the role the Kingdom has played in serving Hajj pilgrims over the years.

Pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in their holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 8, 2019. (File photo: Reuters)
Pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in their holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 8, 2019. (File photo: Reuters)

The Hajj season began on July 1, marking the first post-pandemic pilgrimage season after two years of major disruption caused by COVID-19.

Wrapped in white robes, with some carrying umbrellas against the burning desert sun, hundreds performed the first ritual of the Hajj, which involves walking in a circle around the Kaaba, the sacred building at the center of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, has enabled foreign travelers to perform Hajj this year. Only a few thousand Saudi citizens and residents attended the annual pilgrimage in the last two years as COVID-19 wreaked havoc across the global economy and curtailed travel.

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