We take pride in our service, say female guides in Madinah

The number of female Hajj volunteers has risen dramatically this year. (SPA)
Updated 16 August 2018
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We take pride in our service, say female guides in Madinah

  • The female guide monitors all the data for the pilgrim and records them in the automated system
  • In the event of death, she reports it to officials in the health care office, who complete the necessary procedures

MAKKAH: Female guides in Madinah expressed pride in their work as part of the Kingdom’s care of pilgrims during their time in the country.

Riham Husni told Saudi Press Agency (SPA) about her first experience of serving visitors to Madinah, the city of the Prophet. 

“I hope to continue for the next few years and to make my family and the National Guides Establishment, which has given me the chance to do this noble job, proud.”

Majida Habash said she has worked in this field since 2005, and now, female guides offer more services as part of a comprehensive plan for female visitors. 

Majida said every female guide has a role to play in health care, including accompanying a female pilgrim when she goes into hospital and following up the case until she receives treatment, leaves the hospital or is transferred to another facility. 

The female guide monitors all the data for the pilgrim and records them in the automated system. In the event of death, she reports it to officials in the health care office, who complete the necessary procedures. Majida stressed the keenness of all involved to develop the role of the teams working in this field. “Our main duty is to serve the pilgrims and offer them a helping hand,” said Hala Samman. “The job is different from any other job, and I hope to work in the years to come and to serve the pilgrims better,” she said.

“The female guides follow their health conditions in the hospital. It is a great honor to do this humanitarian work every day and provide the necessary requirements to help pilgrims perform their pilgrimage.”

Hayat Hawalah said she works in the morning shift, and records patients’ data in the system. It is an honorable experience that she hopes she can do for years to come.

Wedian Fakhrani said the work is done in coordination with all the other female guides to provide the best services for pilgrims and visitors during the pilgrimage season. Abrar Mahmoud said she provides care for pilgrims at King Fahd Hospital in Madinah and follows up their cases until they leave the hospital.

Inas Al-Fal praised the efforts of all female staff during the pilgrimage season, while Samah Abdel-Hafiz said she conducts her work through statistically monitoring sick pilgrims in King Fahad Hospital.


India and Saudi Arabia take bilateral relationship to new heights

Updated 21 February 2019
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India and Saudi Arabia take bilateral relationship to new heights

  • Indian PM Narendra Modi heralds Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit on a day that delivers a strategic partnership

NEW DELHI: India and Saudi Arabia have taken their bilateral relationship to new heights with a decision to set up a Strategic Partnership Council and hold a summit meeting every two years.

The move was agreed during discussions between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday that yielded five memorandums of understanding in investment, tourism, housing, and information and broadcasting. 

The Saudi crown prince also announced a $100 billion investment in India in areas including energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing. 

Saudi Arabia is also investing in the IT industry, and India can help the Kingdom expand and strengthen its “IT footprint,” he said.

Meanwhile, New Delhi announced e-visa facilities for Saudi citizens to promote trade and tourism. 

The two leaders spoke one-on-one before the start of delegation-level talks. The Saudi crown prince’s visit has “given a new momentum to our age-old relationship,” Modi said in a joint press conference after the meeting.

Modi told the media that Saudi Arabia has agreed to become part of the International Solar Alliance, a group of “solar resource-rich countries” initiated by India to promote solar energy.

The “time has come to convert our energy relationship into a strategic partnership,” he said. “The biggest refinery in the world and Saudi participation in India’s strategic petroleum reserve elevate our relationship from a mere buyer-and-seller relationship.”

Speaking at the joint press conference, the Saudi crown prince agreed. “We are now diversifying our interests in petrochemicals and building storage capacities. We want to cooperate with India, and this will give a new momentum to our relationship,” he said.

The crown prince said that the tie between India and Saudi Arabia goes back in history and “flows in our blood.”

Recalling the visit of Modi to Riyadh in 2016, he said that “since then we have made great strides, and Saudi Arabia has made the investment of $44 million.”

Earlier in the day, the crown prince met with the media at the presidential palace. “The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is in our DNA,” he explained. “Today, we want to be sure that the relationship is maintained and improved for the sake of both countries, and with the leadership of Mr. President and the Prime Minister, we can create good things for both countries.”

The crown prince expressed his admiration for Modi. “He is the elder brother and I am his younger brother.”

On the sidelines of yesterday’s talks, 400 business leaders from India and Saudi Arabia gathered in the capital under the banner of the Saudi India Forum to discuss opportunities for business cooperation.

“India and Saudi Arabia are undergoing a paradigm shift, and both countries need to cooperate strategically to realize the potential of the change,” said Dr. Faisal Al-Sugair, head of the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships, in his inaugural address. 

“We want Indian companies to become strategic partners in Saudi Arabia’s march to realize (the) 2030 Vision.”

Yousef Al-Benyan, of the Saudi petrochemical company Sabic, said that “both India and Saudi Arabia are undergoing transformation, and at this stage we can do so many things together to realize the potential of the young generation.”

Azim Premji, of the Indian IT company Wipro, underlined the importance of “using India’s IT know-how” to access the knowledge and service industry in the country.

Indian foreign policy experts see the crown prince’s tour as a landmark development. “Mohammed bin Salman’s visit marks a paradigm shift in the relationship between New Delhi and Riyadh,” said Dr. Zakir Hussain, a New Delhi-based foreign policy expert. 

“The visit reveals  a mature partnership, and underscores the importance both countries place on each other’s growth and prosperity,” he said.