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The Ministry of Commerce and Investment is continuing with its campaign in Makkah against the business of selling souvenirs of the Kaaba, Al-Haram Al-Makki and Maqam Ibrahim because of “preserving its sanctity” after the local shops around the Grand Mosque in Makkah were informed via inspection tours.

As per the sources at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment branch in Makkah, mementoes and antiques of Al-Haram were seized and the shops breaking the rules were notified of the consequences that they may have to face in case they would try to sell the souvenirs. This campaign is being launched for preventing the sacredness of these places.

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Many centrally located setups have partnered with the international factories for the selling of these mementoes of the Kaaba and Maqam Ibrahim as it is profitable.

As per the economists’ point of view, gifts and antique industry in Makkah and Madinah would be opening many employment chances for both the men and women and would also have extensive manufacturing opportunities.

Ali Al-Twaim—an Islamic Jurisprudence professor while talking to Arab News informed that selling such mementoes having the images of Kaaba and the holy mosques in an insulting gesture towards the holiness of the place and is a wrongful practice.

He stressed that these souvenir makers must consider the sacredness and honour these holy places possesses as granted to them by God, moreover, the fact that these mementoes could be placed at inappropriate locations.

Al-Twaim added that some of the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and other visitors who are fond of the place are ready to buy anything that is available for sale in Makkah just to have with themselves as a reminder of the place, not to mention whether the souvenir looks like the actual Kaaba or Maqam Ibrahim. He added that these souvenirs do not even reflect the amount of attachment and affection one has for these places.

Abdel Moneim Bukhari—the owner of the business for Antiques and Gifts mentioned that these replicas are something that many visitors keep with themselves and is like a connection for them to the place they have admired.

He added that economically these goods have a good effect on the GDP. Many of these products are imported from the countries likes India, Taiwan, China and Pakistan.

He said that anything that is from Makkah should be made in Makkah and must assist in the economics of Hajj and Umrah. One of the objectives of the Vision 2030 is to increase the count of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims to thirty million by 2030.

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