08 Apr 2018 – 18:54

Pilgrims angry as Saudi asks for fees to carry Zamzam water; video goes viral

Screenshots from the viral video, which can be viewed at the end of the report.

The Peninsula Online

Doha: “This is from God, not from them,” says a Jordanian pilgrim, who was filming his compatriots emptying several cans of Zamzam water at the Saudi Arabian border on their way back from performing Umrah.

In an unprecedented move, the pilgrims were told to pay an exorbitant fee at the border by Saudi officials for transporting Zamzam water cans to Jordan. This infuriated the pilgrims and in protest they emptied all the cans at the border.

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One of the pilgrims shot a video of the protest act and circulated it in social media and it has gone viral in the Arab world.

The video has ignited intense discussion on social media and has infuriated many believers.

“The new Saudi government is preventing pilgrims from carrying Zamzam water,” one of the pilgrims was heard saying in the video.

“Water that people have been drinking for thousands of years for free is now forbidden unless you pay for it,” he added.

In response to the video, the Saudi embassy in Jordan called on pilgrims to ensure that Zamzam water is obtained from official sources. According to the statement, a passenger is only allowed to carry one packet from King Abdullah’s project of Zamzam water.

Saudi Arabia have imposed 5 percent VAT on Zamzam water at the beginning of March 2018, coinciding with the rise in electricity and fuel prices, which have caused anger among many in Saudi Arabia.