Humanity in the heart of Saudi holy sites during Hajj

Updated 31 August 2017

Humanity in the heart of Saudi holy sites during Hajj

MAKKAH: During Hajj, humanitarian work grows significantly among everyone at the holy sites and people devote themselves to charity, racing and competing to do so despite the hot weather.
Many scenes reflected the presence of humanity as pilgrims started arriving in Mina to spend the day of Tarwiyah. Arab News cameras caught many of these moments during the first day of this year’s Hajj season.
Egyptian pilgrim Saber Mohammed told Arab News, as he was pushing his son in his wheelchair: “I came from Egypt to perform Hajj. My son had a car accident and can’t move so we came here asking God to heal him.”
Another Egyptian pilgrim, Abed Al-Alim, was spotted pushing his mother in her wheelchair. He said: “My mother wanted to perform Hajj this year despite her illness and her old age. However, as she insisted on coming, I accompanied her. Despite the hot weather I don’t feel any difficulty in pushing her, thanks to God. We ask Him to facilitate and accept our Hajj journey.”
Arab News also spotted a security man standing next to a pilgrim, answering all of his questions, opening the Mina maps for him and guiding him on the road to his camp.
Moreover, an Indian woman carrying her 18-month-old child despite the hot weather, was also spotted by Arab News. When she saw the camera, she started clapping to express her joy of being there. The Indian woman and the Arab News reporter couldn’t communicate due to the language barrier, but she kept repeating the word “Hamdullah.”

SEC inspects Mina camps to ensure electrical safety
The Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) inspected the camps at Mina to ensure electrical safety before pilgrims arrive on the Day of Tarwiah. The director of the department of electricity in Makkah, Walid bin Hamid Al-Ghamdi, revealed that specialized technical teams from the SEC have conducted awareness sessions for those responsible for the camps and their employees.
“Electrical wiring connections were inspected, in addition to testing their quality. Advice and guidance on appropriate technical methods for dealing with electricity services was introduced,” Al-Ghamdi said.
He also said this advice included “awareness of how to deal with any emergency breakdown in the camp, and appropriate means of dealing with any electrical incidents, fires resulting from connections or cables, or other emergency situations.”

Al-Ghamdi has also revealed that these tours aim to ensure the full compliance of all camps with electrical safety standards, technical readiness, and to provide the necessary support in regard to any electrical issue.
The SEC has mobilized more than 1,500 experts, engineers, technicians and administrators to Makkah, Madinah and the holy places to implement the electrical operational plan for Hajj this year.
New electrical projects worth SR4.25 billion ($1.133 billion) have been implemented to ensure safe and reliable electrical service for pilgrims during all stages of the Hajj.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”