JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Monday 7 October 2013
Last update 15 October 2013 3:25 am
Authorities have set up advanced cameras around the holy sites to monitor pilgrim movement and ensure their safety, said Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al-Zahrani, commander of the Command and Control Center for Haj operations.
“We are using powerful digital cameras for the first time this year. These cameras can monitor events taking place 60 km away. They can also operate under difficult weather conditions,” he said.
Al-Zahrani said that the director-general of public security has instructed his department to acquire the latest technology to carry out their mission effectively. “We have installed about 4,200 cameras in important locations at the holy sites. This number will increase with the expansion of the holy sites,” the general told reporters.
He said his organization provides government departments with critical information.
Ali bin Saleh Al-Barrak, CEO of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), has approved the company’s Haj plan to ensure a continuous supply of electricity to the holy sites.
The SEC plays a vital role in the successful management of the pilgrimage, when nearly 2 million pilgrims gather in Makkah and the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.
Al-Barrak visited the SEC’s office in Makkah to inspect preparations ahead of Haj.
“We have made arrangements to provide a continuous and reliable supply of electricity,” he said, adding that the SEC would make efforts to meet the growing demand for electricity in Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites during the Haj
Al-Barrak met with Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and briefed him on the company’s achievements during the past five years and its future projects. In the next five years, there will be a 8,405MW increase in electricity in the next five years, which will be made possible by the 200 new projects worth SR51 billion.
The International Organization for New Muslims (IONM) and International Qur’an Memorization Organization (IQMO) have invited 25 new Muslims from different countries to perform Haj this year.
They will also assist a group of different nationalities who have memorized the Qur’an to perform Haj with the support of the Hassan Sharbatly Foundation.
Khaled Al-Romaih, secretary-general of IONM, said his organization helps people who have recently embraced Islam to further their understanding of the religion.
“We also work to bolster their relations with other Muslims,” he said. His organization has helped 500 new Muslims perform Haj in the past.
Ibrahim Sharbatly, deputy chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, stressed the importance of undertaking social work during Haj.