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Saudis Announce July 29 Start to Scaled-back ‘Hajj’
Pilgrims are shown during the 2018 ‘hajj.’ (Adli Wahid/Wikimedia Commons)

Saudis Announce July 29 Start to Scaled-back ‘Hajj’

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have announced that this year’s hajj pilgrimage to Mecca will get underway on July 29 and be limited to just 1,000 people already in the kingdom, which closed its borders to foreigners months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual event for devout Muslims usually attracts some 2.5 million people, about 80% of them from abroad. This year, according to officials who oversee the hajj, the only participants will be medical personnel and others who are fully recovered after having been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. They will be required to undergo testing for infection before their departure for Mecca, and will have to enter 14 days of quarantine upon their return home. Mecca’s holy sites have been closed to everyone, including local residents, for several months, with Saudi authorities having blocked foreigners from arriving for the year-round umrah pilgrimage in late February. It is estimated that together, the hajj and the umrah pour some $12 billion into the kingdom’s coffers.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
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