2007 News Story

Hajj begins today as pilgrims move into Mina

Pilgrims moved into Mina today for the day of tarwiyah (watering), marking the formal beginning of the Hajj rituals for this year.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims progressed smoothly without any major difficulty, supervised by a special traffic command.

So far more than 1.7 million pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj, in addition to pilgrims from the Kingdom. They include Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who arrived in Saudi Arabia today for the pilgrimage.

The pilgrims will camp in Mina today. Tomorrow, they will head to the plains of Arafat for the Day of Standing at Arafat, the high point of the Hajj rituals.

Saudi authorities have ensured that all the required services and facilities are available for the pilgrims at the holy sites, including fresh water, foodstuffs and communications services.

Health care is also widely available for Hajj pilgrims who need it, the Ministry of Health said today. Mina alone offers four hospitals and three health centers.

So far, more than 161,012 pilgrims visited the hospitals and health centers in Makkah. There have been no epidemics or medical cases requiring quarantines, the Ministry noted.

More than 10,000 medical personnel have been mobilized to provide care to Hajj pilgrims. For the first time, specialists from Muslim countries including Turkey and Pakistan are available to provide specialized care as needed. In addition, medical teams are working around the clock at the Grand Mosque in Makkah to treat pilgrims.