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Saudi rejects quota hike for Kuwait Hajj quota for Bedouns remains protected: Al-Falah

KUWAIT CITY, May 2: The Hajj authorities in Saudi Arabia have rejected the request of Kuwait to increase its quota from 8,000 to 14,000 pilgrims this season in order to allow the expatriates to perform Hajj from here, reports Al- Seyassah daily quoting sources. Sources disclosed the Kuwaiti delegation, headed by Ministry of Awqaf Undersecretary Dr Adel Al- Falah, met with the concerned officials in Saudi’s Ministry of Awqaf recently to discuss the request but the discussion did not yield the desired results. Sources said the Saudi authorities agreed only to maintain the same number of pilgrims for Kuwait - 8,000 nationals and 1,250 Bedouns. Sources also unveiled the plan of Kuwait’s Ministry of Awqaf to conduct a study in order to find solutions for the expatriates, such as the submission of a recommendation to allow foreigners residing in Kuwait for more than 30 years to perform Hajj from here, since it is difficult to obtain a visa from their home countries.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Dr Adel Al-Falah affirmed that Hajj quota for Bedouns remains protected and that nobody will prevent them from performing the rites of the pilgrimage, thus their fate is not under suspense whether Kuwait’s quota is increased or otherwise, reports Al-Qabas daily. Dr Al-Falah said the ministry is striving hard to start the procedures for issuing Bedoun visas early, even ahead of the time their visas were issued last year. He assured that Bedoun pilgrims will have enough time to join the caravans and will receive all necessary services while in the Holy Land. He noted the ministry will increase penalties against violators of Hajj regulations this year and warned that erring caravans will be excluded from the program. He also enlightened the pilgrims on the need to avoid on such caravans and reiterated that violating caravans will cause their pilgrims a lot of stress and danger; hence avoiding them is important. He advised that paying additional money to travel with the authorized caravans guarantees a pilgrimage without stress

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