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Situation after Endowments Directorate Meeting: Either Opening Obsequies for Ashura Commemoration under Health Requirements or Popular Commemoration in Houses, Farms without Restrictions

2020-08-19 - 9:03 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Jaffari Endowments Board Chairman Yusef bin Saleh Al-Saleh held a remote meeting (through the Zoom Program) with representatives of the obsequies and Husseiniyas (religious congregational halls), in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Interior, representatives of the four governorates, the Ministry of Health and members of the National Taskforce for Combating COVID-19.

A number of obsequies officials expressed a unified position, including representatives of Al-A'ali and Al-Zabar obsequies. They put the authorities in front of two options.

First: They demanded the need to open the Husseiniyas and commemorate Ashura under the instructions requested by the Ministry of Health, such as determining the distance required between the attendees, determining the number allowed to enter according to the available space in each obsequy, and that the commemoration be held without the accompanying events that lead people to come close to each other, such as meals and others. Husseiniyas representatives confirmed that the administrations will cooperate in a way that Ashura season will end without any infection.

Second: Representatives of Husseiniyas clearly spoke about the second option, "Preventing us from opening obsequies will lead to a greater disaster, due to the commemoration of Ashura indoors and in farms, which means a commemoration with no guarantee of sterilization and social distancing and therefore will lead to high number of infections.

Jaffari Endowments Board Chairman Yusef bin Saleh Al-Saleh said that the final decision will be issued by the competent health authorities, and that he cannot meet the appeals addressed to him personally because he is not the decision-maker, but he is the head of an official department affiliated to Ministry of Justice, pointing out that what was discussed about the duration of broadcasting in Ashura, which is 20 minutes, is adjustable and not a final decision. He added that this decision was issued after a meeting between the Waqf administration and chairman of the Supreme Council of Health. "We are in contact with the relevant authorities and we are working on dealing with the remarks we have received through social media outlets and direct messages."

He stressed that his administration is merely an "executive body affiliated to the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and works within the government department agencies and commits to its decisions, especially the medical authorities, due to the Coronavirus pandemic."

However, Deputy Chief of Public Security, Abdullah Al-Zayed, only said that he supports everything Al-Saleh said, and that the situation in the world is exceptional at the economic, security and health levels.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health called for distancing, saying that the holidays that passed and the month of Ramadan had a negative impact on the significant increase in Coronavirus cases.

At the end of the meeting, the head of the Waqf endowments confirmed that the decisions will be taken by the National Taskforce for Combating COVID-19.

Arabic Version