UK minister tries hand at Kaaba’s Kiswa embroidery

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi says ‘huge opportunities exist for British firms’ in Makkah

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A British minister visiting Saudi Arabia took part Wednesday in the challenging and intricate process of embroidering a Kiswa, the black silk cloth that covers the Kaaba.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the UK’s senior minister of state at the Foreign Office and Minister for Faith and Communities, made the attempt during a visit to a factory that produces the Kiswa.


During her tour of the facility, Warsi was given a detailed lecture on the history and advances in the manufacture of the cloth that veils the Kaaba, a building revered by many Muslims worldwide.

In a Twitter post, Warsi described her taking part in the making of the cloth as a “huge privilege.”

“Visited Kiswah factory in #Makkah. Huge privilege to take part in making of #Kaaba cloth for #hajj 2014,” Warsi tweeted.

She said she was on an official visit to the kingdom and to perform the pilgrimage of Umrah, noting that “huge opportunities exist for #British firms” in Makkah.

“Great to see British @pbworld win major contract to support #Makkah infrastructure programme,” she added.

Engineering consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff won a deal last year to work on the new Makkah Public Transport Program (MPTP), which will include a new metro line and a major bus network.

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