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Prince of Makkah Launches Campaign on Hajj | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Prince Khaled al-Faisal during the launching of the two Hajj campaigns. SPA

Jeddah- On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, emir of Makkah and advisor to King Salman, handed over the kiswa (cover) of the Holy Kaaba to Saleh al-Shaibi, senior keeper of Kaaba, at a ceremony held at his emirate office in Jeddah on Wednesday.

Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, deputy emir of Makkah, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and several other officials attended the ceremony.

On the other hand, Prince Khaled, who is also chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, has launched two campaigns initiated by the presidency for the affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.

The campaigns are titled “serving the pilgrim and visitors is our pride” and “hajj is worship and reverence not slogans and politicization.”

The presidency has worked out a host of programs as part of the campaigns.

Dr. Sudais explained that the campaign aims to give a dignified image for this religion, which is known for its moderation.

The campaign is launched in several axes and focuses on showing the honorable image of the good preparation, respect and care for the guests of God by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Sudais noted.

He added that it seeks to provide all services in a system of security, safety, ease and reassurance so that the pilgrim is fully focused on performing his rituals.

Notably, the Holy Kaaba will be adorned with the new kiswa on Arafat Day. As an annual custom, the new black fabric will be placed on top of the Kaaba, at the center of the Grand Mosque, as about two million pilgrims converge on the nearby vast plains of Arafat in the climax of Hajj.

The kiswa, which is considered one of the most exquisite works of Islamic art, is 14 meters high, to match the height of the Kaaba, and 47 meters wide, enough to cover the four sides of Islam’s holiest site.

Its upper half is decorated with a 95-centimeter wide strip featuring verses from the Holy Qur’an, inscribed in gold plated silver thread, which weigh 120 kilograms.

Nearly 650 kilograms of natural silk was required to make the Kiswa, which is made of five pieces.