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Toll reaches 11 as nine more Indians die in Mecca mosque accident

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: In the crane crash accident at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, nine more Indian Haj pilgrims have died, taking the toll to 11 so far, the external affairs ministry said on Sunday.

Vikas Swarup, ministry spokesperson tweeted – “after opening of mortuary on Sunday evening, officials working with relatives have confirmed that nine more Indians have unfortunately died” in the accident.

He said the Indian mission in Jeddah was extending all possible assistance to the families of the 11 deceased pilgrims to complete the formalities in Mecca.

source: nbcnews
source: nbcnews

Indian officials in Mecca were continuing to provide assistance to the 19 injured Indian pilgrims, he added.

The ministry released a list of nine dead pilgrims — Mohd Hanif, Tabassum, Hassan Kharaj, Zafar Sheikh, Zakira Begum, Mohd Abdul Khadar, Fatima Begum, Shameem Bano, Khader Bee.

In Hyderabad, Telangana State Haj Committee’s special officer S.A. Shukoor told IANS that a couple, namely Abdul Khader (38) and his wife Fatima Begum (32), hailing from Krishna district in coastal Andhra Pradesh had died. They were among the nine Indian pilgrims who were identified in the mortuary.

The number of dead in the crane crash has gone up to 111 so far, while 331 people are injured.

The ministry statement revealed that the Indian mission has published its 24/7 helpline — 00966125458000, 00966125496000 — and toll free number 8002477786 for pilgrims within Saudi Arabia.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Egyptian Artist Celebrates Haj Pilgrimage by Painting Murals on Houses in Cairo

Sometimes he volunteers to paint scenes that celebrate the haj and religious stories and lessons, other times he is paid

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haj, murals
Salwaawi said the haj scenes he saw on the walls of houses in his home village as a child in northern Aswan captured his imagination. Wikimedia Commons

Eid Al Salwaawi, 69, paints murals of the rituals of the haj pilgrimage on the walls of a house in Cairo’s Sayeda Zainab neighbourhood. Sometimes he volunteers to paint scenes that celebrate the haj and religious stories and lessons, other times he is paid.

Every year, Muslims travel from around the world to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to complete the haj, one of the five pillars of their faith. This year’s haj will conclude on Sunday.

Salwaawi said the haj scenes he saw on the walls of houses in his home village as a child in northern Aswan captured his imagination. “So I draw camel caravans and soldiers wearing traditional hats guarding them,” he said. He uses simple tools like a handmade palm frond brush and a mixture of paint, vinegar, rosewater, gum Arabic and glue.

haj pilgrimage, murals
The artist Eid Al Salwaawi paints murals about the holy Kaaba and the rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, in Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2019. VOA

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One mural depicts women as they embark on the pilgrimage, dressed in bright colours, another shows a caravan carrying the tapestry that covers the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam.

It was built by the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim), with the help of his son, Ishmael. (Ismail). Salwaawi adorns his works with prayers and Koranic verses. Each mural takes him between two and three hours to finish. (VOA)