Saudi Arabia: Hajj cancellation spells frustration and empty pockets
07 July 2020 | 11:00 am
The effective cancellation of this year's hajj pilgrimage due to COVID-19 has sparked grief among pilgrims, upending lifelong dreams. But it is also a blow to Saudis dependent on the trade it brings.
13 Jun 2021
Here are a few reasons to pick up a copy of The Guardian on Sunday. Find these stories and much more when you grab a copy of The Guardian on Sunday.
14 Jun 2021
No foreign pilgrims will be able to attend this year's hajj. Saudi Arabia's leading religious council has decided that protecting the population is the most important goal.
28 Jun 2021
The pace of reforms is picking up in the Gulf state. A pattern is emerging that seemingly sidelines religion but consolidates political power with Saudi royals.
11 Jul 2021
In the ancient Syrian village of Maalula, whose residents still speak the language of Jesus, volunteers rake stones and scrub graffiti in preparation for the return of Christian pilgrims after years of war. Nestled among towering cliffs in the mountains north of Damascus, Maalula is one of the world's oldest Christian settlements.
5 Aug 2021
The human rights group has used a new report to warn that Riyadh is cracking down on dissidents now that it is no longer chairing the G20 group of leading world economies.
9 Aug 2021
Saudi Arabia will begin receiving requests for umrah pilgrimage from abroad for vaccinated worshipers starting August 9. The move comes 18 months after a border closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
3 Sep 2021
Despite temperatures exceeding 48 degrees Celsius, Bedouins from the al-Shammari tribe in the Al Nufud Al Kabir desert, in the northen part of Saudi Arabia, continue to live the traditional desert lifestyle, residing in tents and raising camels, keeping to the same routines to cope with the heat for generations.
4 Sep 2021
Once allies, Saudi Arabia and the Taliban have been divided by war, betrayal, and 9/11. As Afghanistan changes and Middle East relations shift, the two won't rekindle ties, but another nation is looking closely at Kabul.
2 Sep 2021
As the war in Yemen continues, lawyers have called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into the Saudi-led coalition, accusing it of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We speak to British barrister Toby Cadman, co-founder of Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers. He tells us why he filed the request at the ICC.
8 Sep 2021
Michael Fawcett has stepped aside to allow a probe into allegations that he offered to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a wealthy Saudi businessman.
1 Oct 2021
This week on The Observers, we start with the story of Ethiopian migrants who have been kept in Saudi Arabian prisons for months in poor conditions, with dirty surroundings and little to eat or drink. We spoke to Arafat Jibril Bakrii, a human rights activist who has been helping migrants to share photos and videos of their living conditions.
20 Oct 2021
Icy relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are thawing — and may lead to renewed bilateral ties. Realistically, diplomatic offices might open soon but it is unlikely that the countries will become close allies.
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