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Passion Islam I August 2010 Ban on buses in central Madinah

With increasing numbers of visitors to Madinah expected in the runup to Ramadan, the Ministry of Haj has prevented buses from entering the central area around the Prophet’s Mosque to avoid congestion. The ministry has issued a circular directing all Haj and Umrah companies not to allow their buses from entering the central area. The ministry said all buses will be allowed to park in the car park for land pilgrims on the outskirts of Madinah. The Shoura Council recently made a proposal to ban all vehicles carrying less than 25 people from entering the holy city of Makkah during the Haj season. Muhammad Al-Ghamdi,

secretary-general of the council, said the arrangements should be made in the interest of both pilgrims and residents. A reduction in the number of vehicles entering the holy city

will help facilitate the smooth operations of ongoing expansion programs, he said. Currently vehicles carrying less than nine people are banned from entering Makkah and the holy sites during the peak pilgrimage season. Meanwhile, Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed issued instructions

that visitors to Madinah should only be accommodated in hotels and apartments approved and classified by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA). He added that anyone who violates this rule risks being punished.

Preparing for an increased number of visitors, the Madinah

US chain store boycotts Israeli goods

An American chain store has boycotted sales of Israeli products to protest at the policies of the Tel Aviv’s regime against Palestinians. The board of directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Washington decided that no more Israeli goods will be sold at its two grocery stores in the city. “We met last Thursday for the board members meeting and a pretty large group - about 40 people - presented the boycott project and answered our questions,” board member Rob Richards told Ha’aretz. “A couple of board members were concerned about what will

be the financial effect on the organization, but it’s minimal,” he added.

Richards also said that two members on the board were from the Jewish community who supported the boycott. The co-op grocery stores carried Israeli products including ice cream, crackers and a line of baby wipes.

Olympia is the hometown of Rachel Corrie, a US peace activist who was run over and killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she attempted to prevent a Palestinian home from being demolished.


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municipality last week opened a two- kilometer long pedestrian road for joggers and walkers. The road has been made welcoming and includes seating areas.

The Madinah Summer Festival also opened recently and will continue for an entire month. More than 200 various activities will be held during the festival.

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