US moves to limit contagion if Middle East coronavirus Mers arrives via haj

Asian staff nurses walk towards the King Fahad hospital in Hofuf, 370km east of the Saudi capital Riyadh. Photo: AFP

In a war room of sorts in a neatly appointed government building, US officers dressed in crisp uniforms arranged themselves around a U-shaped table and kept their eyes trained on a giant screen. PowerPoint slides ticked through the latest movements of an enemy that recently emerged in Saudi Arabia - a mysterious virus that has killed more than half of the people known to have been infected.

Tuesday, 2 July, 2013, 3:16am

Rail firm expects loss from Mecca project

China Railway Construction Corporation expects to incur a total loss of roughly 4.15 billion yuan (HK$4.82 billion) from the Mecca Light Rail Project, a metro light railway designed to serve Muslim pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The contract value of the project is 12.07 billion yuan, but the total cost is estimated at 16.07 billion yuan.

26 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Architectural wonders built to inspire awe

Sacred Mosque, Mecca

The Al-Masjid al-Haram, or the Sacred Mosque, in the holy city of Mecca is the largest mosque in the world and the largest house of worship of any faith. It is the place that every Muslim endeavours to visit at least once in their life.

9 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Massive display of human unity

Every year, on the 12th and last month of the Muslim Lunar calendar, what is one of the world's largest displays of unity among humans takes place in Saudi Arabia as more than 2 million Muslims perform their obligation of a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca.

6 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Concern for pilgrims' safety drives modernising of Mecca

PLANS ARE AFOOT to upgrade and modernise the facilities in the holy city of Mecca to ease crowding during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has invited tenders for the construction of the Jamarat terrace project at Mina, expected to cost up to US$1 billion.

23 Sep 2004 - 12:00am

The immense power of Islam's centre

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has recently returned from a successful tour of three important western capitals - Washington, Paris and London. In all three, much was made of Malaysia's ability to manage civil society issues and multiracial politics, as well as a majority Muslim population.

5 Aug 2004 - 12:00am

Haj scandal

The death of 54 Indonesian haj pilgrims during the stampede in Saudi Arabia this month has put the spotlight on the government. Initially, the blame for the deaths was laid at the feet of the Saudi authorities after at least 244 pilgrims died during a ritual stoning of the three pillars, symbolising the devil, in Mina.

11 Feb 2004 - 12:00am


Stone Age Columbus

Pearl, 9.30pm

America has its own established history of how it was populated around 11,000 years ago by people from Siberia. However, a remarkable new theory is emerging that 17,000 years before Columbus, Europeans crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

Inside Mecca

National Geographic, 8pm

27 Oct 2003 - 12:00am

Saudis step in to Mecca date-palm battle

The Government of Saudi Arabia has stepped in to help a grandmother save Hong Kong's only fully grown date palm.

The 47-year-old tree, brought from Mecca, faces removal from Ma Yuk-lan's Yuen Long home to make way for a road project.

14 Apr 2001 - 12:00am

Tightening the Koran belt in Islam's biggest nation

The harsh cry of the muezzin calls the faithful in from the streets. Elderly men, shuffling women, and the odd teenager enter a dusty mosque squeezed among the homes, businesses and traffic that saturate the district.

27 Apr 1996 - 12:00am

Muslim leader flies in

WHEN the chief priest of Muslims touched down in Hong Kong last night on his journey from Mecca, the trip was not as comfortable as it could have been.

The King of Saudi Arabia's jet carrying the Imam of the Holy Mosque had to be left behind in Bangkok because of congestion at Kai Tak airport, said a community leader.

29 Dec 1995 - 12:00am