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British ambassador to Saudi Arabia converts to Islam, attends Hajj

Simon Collins, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has confirmed his conversion to Islam after a lifetime of diplomatic work in Muslim countries, including Iraq and Syria.

Collins, whose wife Huda Mujarkesh is a Syrian Muslim, is the first British diplomat to perform the revered pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj.

He was pictured with his wife dressed in the traditional white robes worn by pilgrims in a photo shared by Saudi women’s rights campaigner Fawziah al-Bakr via social media on Monday.

“The first British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to do the pilgrimage after his conversion to Islam: Simon Collins with his wife Huda in Mecca. Alhamdulillah [Praise be to Allah],” she tweeted.

Collins has been posted to Riyadh since 2015 after fleeing Syria where he was Britain’s representative until the civil war there escalated in 2011/12. He had previously worked as the UK’s ambassador to Qatar and part of the diplomatic corps in Bahrain, Tunisia, India, Jordan and Dubai.

The diplomat thanked


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