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China to build a high-speed railway between Mecca and Medina

China to build Mecca rail system

China has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to build a new railway system linking the main sites of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Hajj.

The new railway will connect the city of Mecca with the pilgrim destinations of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.

Saudi Arabia also plans to build a high-speed rail link to take pilgrims from Mecca to Medina, Islam’s two holiest cities, in 30 minutes.

The journey time by road can take anywhere between four and five hours.

Millions of Islamic faithful descend on Mecca during the annual mass pilgrimage.

The new network in Saudi Arabia is expected to be ready within three years, with one section of the line due to be completed in time for the 2010 Hajj, officials said.

The contract, worth almost $1.8bn (£1.24bn), was awarded to the China Railway Company and a French firm.

The project was announced during a three-day visit by the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, to Saudi Arabia.

China is becoming a key contractor on infrastructure projects in the oil-rich kingdom.

Source via Ismaeel

More information here.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

إخوتى الكرام في الإسلام

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز،  أحييكم بتحية السلام والبركة داعيا الله عزوجل لكم بتمام الصحة والايمان والهداية إلى الصراط المستقيم. آمين

أما بعد

إن الاحوال التي يمر بها إخواننا  في فلسطين لا تخفى عليكم و باعتبارالمملكة الدولة الأقوى والأكثر تأثيرا في العالم الاسلامي فإنني أهيب بكم أن يتم اتخاذ الإجراءات السريعة بوقف جميع صادراتكم إلى أن تتوقف اسرائيل عن هياجها وقمعها وظلمها وقتلها للابرياء في غزه. أوقفوا جميع الصادرات حتى يتمكن اخواننا الفلسطينيين من تلقي الدواء والغذاء والمساعدات الإنسانية. أوقفوا جميع الصادرات حتى تتوصل إسرائيل وفلسطين إلى نتيجة سلمية بحيث يستطيع الطرفان العيش بسلام دائم

لقد منّ الله على المملكة العربية السعودية بنفط وفير لسنوات عديدة. هذا النفط يستخدم في عديد من جوانب الاقتصاد في جميع البلدان في العالم وبدونه يشل الاقتصاد . كل شيء من السفر الجوي إلى الأرضي الى إنتاج البلاستيك إلى تغليف الأغذية يتوقف مع ايقاف النفط . هذه هي فرصتكم لاستخدامه ضد أولئك الذين مارسوا الظلم على الأمة الإسلامية. هذا السلاح الاقتصادي أقوى من اي سلاح نووي وأي مدفع وأي صاروخ

وإني أدعو الله أن يوفق قادة المملكة العربية السعودية في التصدي ضد الأنظمة الظالمة و قطع جميع الصادرات حتى تتوقف اسرائيل عن سياستها القمعية   .

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته،،

إبن محمد هارون الرشيد

English here.


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Asalamualykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

My respected elders and brothers in Islam. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the custodian of the the two holy masajid, I greet you with the peace and blessings of Allah. I pray to Allah that you and the members of the KSA government are in the best of health and state of iman. I pray that we are all guided upon the straight path. Ameen.

As you are aware of our brothers and sisters in Palestine and their current situation I ask you as the most powerful and influential Muslim country in the Muslim world to take action. I ask you to completely halt all exports until Israel stops it’s rampage. Halt all exports until all Palestinians are able to receive medicine food and humanitarian aid. Halt all exports until Israel and Palestine come together to formulate a peaceful outcome where both groups can exist without any problems.

Allah has blessed Saudi Arabia with abundant oil for many years. This natural resource is used in every single country and without it many aspects of the economy would fail. Everything from air travel to ground travel to plastic production to food packaging will have to put on hold if the supply of oil were to be reduced. Now is your chance to use it against those who have caused oppression upon the Muslim ummah. It is an economic weapon greater than the gun or missile.

InshaAllah I pray to Allah that leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia step up to the oppressive regimes and cut off all exports until Israel stops.

Walykumsalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

ibn Muhammad Harun-ar-Rashid


I doubt anyone from the government will read this, but I’ll give it a try inshaAllah. Can someone translate this and type it in Arabic?

Zuber commented below the contact info of the KSA government:

Contact them.. They will listen, insha-Allah:

Ministry of Foreign Affaires – Riyadh

Tel: 009661 4055000 / 4067777
Fax. 009661 4030645
Jeddah P.O.Box 55937 Postal Code 11544
Ministry of Foreign Affaires Jeddah branch: 0096626690900
Ministry of Foreign Affaires Dammam branch: 0096638683310

Saudi Arabia.
1. Number (991), direct Number (01-4082669) and Fax Number (01-4082558, 01-4052579): For Inquiry or report for any security emergency situations.

Condoleezza Rice got that Arab money

Giving gifts is nice, but giving gifts to Condoleezza Rice?  Come on!

While Bush himself didn’t fare nearly as well, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raked in at least $316,000 in gem-encrusted baubles from the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia alone, making her one of top recipients among U.S. officials of gifts from foreign heads of state and government and their aides in 2007.

In January, Jordan’s King Abdullah II gave Rice an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings estimated to be worth $147,000, according to the State Department’s annual inventory of such items released Monday just in time for Christmas.

The king and his wife, Queen Rania, also gave Rice a less expensive necklace and earrings along with a jewelry box valued at $4,630, the document shows.

Not to be outdone, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia presented Rice with a ruby and diamond necklace with matching earrings, bracelet and ring worth $165,000 in July. The inventory also includes a $170,000 flower petal motif necklace the Saudi monarch gave to Rice in 2005, which the department says was not previously disclosed.

Are there orphans in Saudi Arabia?  They could sponsor them all.

Source: Yahoo News

Sheikh Ibrahim al-Gaith, head of the feared Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, made the concession after last week’s breakthrough public showings in Jeddah of the comedy feature “Manahi”.

“A movie could possibly be acceptable if it serves good and is suitable under Islam,” Sheikh Gaith said.

Gaith pulled back from comments he made two days earlier branding movies “an absolute evil” in the wake of screenings in the Red Sea port city.

“I did not say that we reject all cinema, but I said that we were not consulted during the organisation of these movie showings,” he explained.

For more than a week from Dec 9, the Rotana entertainment group, controlled by Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, showed “Manahi” to rapturous audiences in Jeddah and nearby Taif.

The screenings, approved by the provincial governor, Prince Khalid al-Faisal, sparked hopes that Saudi Arabia would soon allow public cinemas.

Before the first projection of the film, local religious police inspected the facility, a 1,200 seat conference hall, to make sure that men and women would remain separated, adhering to the country’s strict laws on separation of unrelated members of the opposite sexes.

For the three showings daily, women sat in the balcony of the hall while men and boys were on the ground floor.

There are no cinemas in Saudi Arabia, but some coffee shops surreptitiously put on movies for customers and many Saudis enjoy films at home on DVD and satellite television.

To experience a cinema, they have to travel to nearby Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates or other countries.

Hope the good outweighs the bad with this move, inshaAllah. Has anyone heard of the movie, “Manahi”?


Aqim Salatak – Saudi Arabian Prayer Campaign

One of my relatives from Saudi Arabia fowarded me a link to this website called Aqim Salatak. It’s a group of Muslims in Saudi Arabia producing videos to promote the prayer of Salah. MashaAllah, some of them are really good. The most popular one that many of “western” Muslims have seen is this one. I’ve uploaded the ones that I have never seen before here:

Read the rest of this entry »

The photos of Mecca you don’t see on walls

Welcome to New Mecca City:

Read the rest of this entry »

This is an interesting video of an Indian physician and philosopher, Deepak Chopra, who blames America’s policies on the rise of terrorism:

The Future of Makkah

This may be a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing will be that the accomodations for hajjis will be easier to control and maintain. The bad thing would be it will turn Makkah into an urban city taking away that traditional village vibe.

The Future of Makkah

[Click on image to enlarge]

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