Crush cause: 300 Iranians violated rule

Updated 27 September 2015

Crush cause: 300 Iranians violated rule

JEDDAH: As the probe into the stampede in Mina continues, an Iranian official has confirmed that a group of 300 Iranian pilgrims coming from the opposite direction caused the crush, according to media reports quoting Iranian sources.
Quoting the Iranian official, Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, said: “Violations began when a group of 300 Iranian pilgrims started moving from Muzdalifa straight to Jamarat, instead of first going to their camps as is generally practiced by Haj pilgrims, to wait for the time of movement of their group. Then they moved in the opposite direction on Street 203 where the painful incident took place.”
As per the guidelines, this group did not wait for the stone-throwing ritual in Jamarat Al-Aqba in their camp until the fixed time. This group decided to return from the opposite direction which also coincided with the movement of other groups as per their set schedules for pelting pebbles, resulting in the tragedy, said the website citing Iranian sources.
They said the group of Iranian pilgrims waited for some time and did not move in the opposite direction. This increased pressure and pushed the pilgrims to exit on the road, which is no wider than 20 meters.
The Asharq Al-Awsat report said that there were cameras in Jamarat, which revealed the details of the incident and confirmed the Iranian group’s wrong move. That actually was time for Turkish pilgrims to come out.

The sources said there is a set plan for Haj, which is implemented thoroughly with the help of government agencies and the Interior Ministry. But there are some groups who do not abide by this. This is what happened in the case of the 300 Iranian pilgrims who did not abide by their set schedule and came out in morning hours which was time given to other nationalities.

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 15 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.