Minister of Pilgrimage Iyad Madani inaugurated in Makkah today the Ministry's annual seminar. A number of ulama (Muslim scholars) and men of literature from several Arab and Muslim countries will participate in the three-day seminar, which is entitled 'Makkah: the cultural capital of the Muslim world'.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information Dr. Fuad Al-Farsi held a meeting today in Jeddah to review media coverage of the 1423 hajj season. Acting Director-General of the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Dr. Ayedh Al-Raddadi said that SPA plans to focus on the services extended to pilgrims by the Government of Saudi Arabia to facilitate their performance of the rituals of both hajj and umrah (minor pilgrimage) in Madinah as well as Makkah and the holy sites.
President Mamoun Abdel-Gayyoum of the Maldives arrived in Jeddah yesterday to perform hajj. Other Arab and Islamic leaders arriving for the 1423 hajj include Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Tunisian President Zain Al-Abidine Ben Ali.