Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today as we have a most generous matching 2:1 grant.
Thank you!

We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

For those observing, may we wish you a healthy, safe, and sweet 5781.

This Year’s ‘Hajj’ Could be Limited to Just 1,000 Saudis, Top Official Says
A tent city about a mile outside Mecca housed some of the more than 2 million pilgrims who attended the 2016 ‘hajj.’ (Seeley International/Wikimedia Commons)

This Year’s ‘Hajj’ Could be Limited to Just 1,000 Saudis, Top Official Says

Muhammad Benten, Saudi Arabia’s minister for pilgrimage affairs, says this year’s hajj, scheduled to begin toward the end of July, might be limited to as few as 1,000 pilgrims, all of them from the kingdom. “The number, God willing, might be in the thousands. We are in the process of reviewing, so it could be 1,000 or less, or a little more,” Benten stated on Tuesday during a video conference with journalists. In most years, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca attracts some 2.5 million people, about 80% of them from outside Saudi Arabia. This year, however, the holiest city in Islam has been closed off even to Saudi Muslims due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, the kingdom lifted a nightly curfew that had been in effect for about three months in just about the entire country. Saudi Arabia has seen just over 161,000 coronavirus infections and, as of Monday, 1,307 deaths that can be attributed to the pandemic. According to officials, those attending this year’s hajj will be required to undergo quarantine both before and after the pilgrimage. In addition, no one above the age of 65 will be allowed to take part. “This is a very sensitive operation and we are working with experts at the Health Ministry,” Benten told journalists.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.