Monday, September 5, 2011

The Ramadan Umrah Crisis : When Jeddah Airport was rocked by Egyptian protests !!

There is a crisis between Egypt and KSA that has not finished yet despite the official Saudi and Egyptian attempts to end it. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Umrah pilgrims were stuck in the Jeddah airport for days till they returned back to Cairo to find their luggage lost in one most the chaotic scenes ever. For the first time since its inauguration the Jeddah airport witnesses a protest , an Egyptian protest like a mini million man protest in its lounge !!

Jeddah airport : 1,2,3 Where is the dignity of the Egyptian !?
Jeddah : The protest goes on

To be honest when I see these protests , I know that the revolution made it.

Jeddah : Egyptians stuck for four days now

Many Egyptians especially the pilgrims believe it was intentional action to punish the Egyptians for putting Mubarak on trial. Some pilgrims say the airport’s employees and officials insulted them because of the revolution and because of the Mubarak’s trial.It is worth to mention that this Ramadan Umrah many Egyptians including our family friends complained from how they were treated badly by some Saudis because of the Mubarak’s trial ‘You treat your old president bad !!’

Jeddah : The Egyptians at the airport

Of course one must wonder how on earth and heaven such crisis happens when Saudi Arabia organizes even bigger event with millions of pilgrims from around the globe during the annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land !! I just could not figure out to the level that I thought the Saudi officials decided to punish the Egyptians not for Mubarak but for that hashtag “Tal3omark”. “Tal3omark” was originally started by Saudi tweeps who were criticizing their own king , of course Egyptian tweeps found it a good opportunity and decided to have a party of their own. Other Saudi tweeps who supported the king and other Gulf tweeps who supported Saudi Arabia against those bad Egyptian who did not respect their father Mubarak. Needless to say it turned in to a pathetic race between the two teams. It started just before that crisis and of course I could be mistaken.

Jeddah : Egyptians at the airport

Saudi friends tell us that Jeddah airport and Saudi airlines got a bad record and we should not be surprised , I do not know if it is administrative chaos or what for real.

As usual the Saudi Ambassador Ahmed El Qatan denied that this had got anything with politics and the Mubarak trial not to mention he put the blame on the Egyptians despite other Saudi officials blamed Jeddah airport and the Saudi Airlines.

Added to the humiliation the Egyptian pilgrims faced , we found out an Egyptian engineer called Hamed Mohamed Ali whose nickname Hamza was detained by the Saudi authorities at the Jeddah airport where he was last seen heading with officers to the Saudi ministry of interior !! Up till now there is no official explanation what so ever from the Saudi authorities regarding that man as if he is not a human at all. We do not know why he is being detained and his family knows nothing about him. Sadly enough his wedding was supposed to be next Friday. Hamed Mohamed can be considered from the Islamist Salafist in Egypt. I do not know and I am not sure if he has got a political activity or not but he knows Asmaa Mahfouz according to his twitter account. I do not understand how a person is being detained in another country already and his embassy does not move a muscle.

Many Egyptians are demanding an official apology from the airport and Saudi airlines Now Egyptians had a small protest in front of the embassy yesterday for the same demands.

The crisis has not ended yet.


  1. Off-topic but right now the Drudge Report headline is LIBYA REBELS ROUND UP BLACKS and it links to this AP story.

  2. Ahavat Eretz Israel9/05/2011 03:57:00 AM

    Now it get's funny. Are we going to witness Spiderman snatching the Saudi flag too? Shall KSA now issue an official apology?

    I think the Saudi King should apologize personally, because he carries the title of "Khadeem el Haramein esh-Sherifein". he is responsible that Hajj and Umrah can be performed without problems. He failed miserably to be blunt.

    Israel could organize this much better.

  3. I think the SA forgets that Mecca is for all Muslims and does not belong to the King or to them and Allah swt has given them to make money from this and their job is only to accommodate Muslims who came to perform their duty and yet they mistreated and abused people! Allah swt will punish them insyallah for this.

  4. << Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Umrah pilgrims were stuck in the Jeddah airport for days till they returned back to Cairo to find their luggage lost in one most the chaotic scenes ever.>>

    I am taking issue with this number, and wonder if it is true? How many people from Egypt go to 3omra each year? How many people go to 7egg? Is there is no restrictions on the number of time people go to each? Going to 3omra didn't use to be that common years ago.

    I know people who go now to 3omra almost every year. There families need that expense to have better housing. Their children need it for schooling and/or for marriage. Their mothers and fathers are living on very limited income and can use the help. The country is full of hungry and homeless people and can benefit from some generous donations. Why can't people limit their visits to S. Arabia to once or twice and save themselves the cost and the humiliation they encounter in these visits? Do they need a law to impose that on them?!

    I am a Muslim too, but I feel sick seeing what other Muslims are doing to themselves, their families, and their country!

  5. I 100% agree with LuluW. For SA it is just a source of income. In earlier times, before they made billions from their oil, the tribes around Macca & Madinah made a living from plundering pilgrims who could not even defend themselves, because you may not hurt anyone while on Hajj.

    It seems, the Saudis of today are reverting to the plundering habits of their ancestors. Shame!

  6. an apology from Saudi airlines

  7. I went to hajj in 2008. This airport is chaotic and a nightmare. They lost my luggage when I arrived. I recovered it 1 day before leaving Mecca. I have never seen such a poorly organized airport or such incompetent airlines. For the amount of money that is made out of Hajj this airport should be run much more efficiently. They put 4 people to a room that is meant for 1 or 2 and it is not even spacious. I paid around 6000 dollars at the time from the USA. They are making money hand over fist.

    Transportation to and from the haram is a logistic nightmare. I spent another 500 dollars on cabs because the crooked locals use their cars and jack up prices to screw over the pilgrims. The vendors which are primarily bangeladeshi or pakistani are also very greedy and money hungry.

    This should and could be so much better organized. The airport is horrible. When we left, they airline clerk put a chicago tag on my bag despite my telling him we were going to Miami so of course the luggage got lost on the way home. Also, we had a stop over in Doha that was supposed to last 2 weeks. More incompetence by the airlines which had to be fixed in Doha.

    Even if the Egyptians hadn't had their revolution, the Saudis just don't run the pilgrimage well. They should spend more money expanding and improving the Jeddah airport instead of building stupid skyscrapers nobody will see since you can't enter the country as a tourist anyways. They need to improve Mecca's infrastructure and create some sort of transportation system that works and can accomodate the large amount of people that go. Honestly, I loved being in the Haram but the rest of the pilgrimage was extremely stressful and troublesome. I can't wait til their oil runs out and they go back to living in tents with their goats and camels.

    Mecca is for everyone and not just these redneck bedouins.

  8. Great post! Thanks for sharing. There is a crisis between Egypt and KSA that has not finished yet despite the official Saudi and Egyptian attempts to end it. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Umrah pilgrims were stuck in the Jeddah airport for days till they returned back to Cairo to find their luggage lost in one most the chaotic scenes ever.

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  10. Recently, I read this article (Ramadan Umrah Crisis: When the Jeddah Airport was shaken by Egyptian protests). But after reading this I am still in shock at what happened. If it really happened according to this article, it was a very sad moment for the Egyptians. People should recognize that they are slaves of God and who are watching every moment that happened in the past and what will happen in the future. (Hajj and Umrah) both are spiritual trips for Muslims. People should fear of this day when each one will be rewarded for his good or bad deeds.


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