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Students Confront Uncertainty Due to Diplomatic Row in Canada Hajj Pilgrims

Aug 17, 2018

Students Confront Uncertainty Due to Diplomatic Row in Canada Hajj Pilgrims

Canadian Muslims making a trip to the Hajj journey confronts delays coming back due to a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia that is also prompting thousands of students from the kingdom to scramble to sell their assets and return home to meet a month-end deadline. Canada is calling upon the United States and European Union, to rally support, and talking to Saudi Arabia to resolve the dispute. Riyadh unexpectedly severed diplomatic and trade ties s not long ago in light of Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland's tweet requesting the release of civil society activists in the kingdom. Riyadh additionally ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada, resulting Saudi students here hustling to return home. Yard sales were organized by Ummah Masjid in Halifax to help students sell their furniture, electronics and even cars. Abdallah Yousri, the mosques’s imam stated that 'some of the students came a week ago and some are in Saudi Arabia for summer vacation so they came to sell their products in order to leave for home.

A real estate broker in Hamilton, Jawad Chaudhry, said of his mother, who is traveling via Saudia for Hajj that ‘they are nervous as a family because they don’t want to be stranded at the airport’. Many Canadian Muslims had booked flights with Saudia, the Kingdom’s official airline, to perform the Hajj pilgrimages in the Saudi city of Mecca, which takes place from August 19 to 24 this year. As of the end of June, there were more than 5,100 Saudi students with valid study permits for post-secondary institutions in Canada. While Saudia trips to Mecca before August 13 were not affected, returns home prove to be a concern for many. A spokesman for the foreign minister disclosed that Freeland has talked with authorities of the European Union, Germany, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates with an end goal to discover bolster, and that an ongoing dialogue is on with the Saudis; therefore there is a need to maintain an open dialogue with them to resolve this issue. 

The U.S. State Department last week urged Canada and Saudi Arabia to use diplomacy to resolve their dispute, which did not come up during a phone call between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Weave Rae, previous pioneer of the government Liberal gathering, said Canada must be more vital about how to push its human rights plan.

Source: Business Ghana

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