Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

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The Jamarat facilities in Mina have completed preparations and are waiting to receive the Hajj pilgrims for the ritual stoning of the devil. (SPA)
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The Jamarat facilities in Mina have completed preparations and are waiting to receive the Hajj pilgrims for the ritual stoning of the devil. (SPA)
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The Jamarat facilities in Mina have completed preparations and are waiting to receive the Hajj pilgrims for the ritual stoning of the devil. (SPA)
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The Jamarat facilities in Mina have completed preparations and are waiting to receive the Hajj pilgrims for the ritual stoning of the devil. (SPA)
Updated 21 August 2018
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Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

  • Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival
  • Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year

JEDDAH:  Jamarat facilities in Mina are fully prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims during the throwing of stones.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has deployed sunshades, cooling systems, escalators, closed-circuit TV, guidance and awareness-raising signboards and facilities, and information services.

The ministry’s projects include the installation of fixed and mobile cameras along the paths leading to the holy sites to monitor and manage pedestrian movement.

Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival.

 

Amenities

Many organizations and entities have provided amenities to help pilgrims on Arafat. Umbrellas have been distributed to provide shade and avoid heat stroke, cold water has been provided to quench pilgrims’ thirst, and food and beverages have been handed out. 

Holy Qur’ans have also been distributed to help pilgrims perform an Islamic ritual that abolishes worshippers’ sins.

Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year.

 

Live broadcast

The Media Ministry has launched a live broadcast of Hajj rituals on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as on YouTube.

The ministry has provided 19 channels transmitting in Arabic, English, Urdu, Malay, French and German.

 

Free internet

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has announced it will provide 1GB free for every pilgrim who uses its prepaid services as a gift to pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season. The gift is aimed at facilitating their experience during Hajj on the day of Tarwiya and Arafat.

STC chairman, Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, explained that the company’s gift came as a result of instructions from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to all governmental and private bodies related to the service of pilgrims.

 

Educate pilgrims

Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said the ministry has launched an awareness campaign in six languages — Arabic, English, French, Russian, Chinese and Persian — to educate pilgrims on Hajj regulations, provide them with health advice, and help them follow schedules in order to avoid overcrowding.

The ministry has launched the Manasikana smartphone app to provide pilgrims with services in eight languages, Mashat added.

The app informs pilgrims of grouping and transport plans, helps them find camps, lodgings and companions, and enables them to send reports and complaints to concerned authorities at the ministry.


How Saudi women are getting ahead of men as STEM graduates

Dr. Fatima Alakeel, cybersecurity expert. (AN photo)
Updated 20 March 2019
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How Saudi women are getting ahead of men as STEM graduates

  • ‘Securing a job after the degree remains the challenge,’ says Dr. Fatema Alakeel of King Saud University in Riyadh
  • ‘Saudi women are ambitious,’ says one graduate. ‘We are acquiring high degrees and seeking successful careers’

DUBAI: More and more girls in Saudi Arabia are opting for an education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and now the challenge is finding them employment, said Dr. Fatima Alakeel, a cybersecurity expert and faculty member at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh.
“In the Kingdom, STEM-related jobs are limited at the moment, as the economy is primarily oil-based and there are few technical jobs available,” said Alakeel, who is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability Group (CIAG), which focuses on information security training and research in Riyadh.
According to a government report on the labor market situation in the third quarter of 2018, more than 30 percent of Saudi women aged between 15 and 65 are unemployed.
Among them, the highest rate of unemployment is among 20-24-year-olds (more than 70 percent) and among 25-29-year-olds (55 percent).
According to the report, there are 923,504 Saudi jobseekers, of whom 765,378 are women (82.2 percent).
“We have more girls in STEM education compared to Western countries,” said Alakeel, who completed her doctoral degree in computer science in the UK at the University of Southampton in 2017.
According to a report prepared by the Saudi Education Ministry, girls accounted for 57 percent of undergraduates for the year 2015-2016 in the Kingdom.
That same year, women outnumbered men in graduating with a bachelor’s in biology, information technology (IT), mathematics and statistics, and physics.
According to a survey Alakeel recently conducted on social media, “almost 80 percent of (Saudi) girls were keen to study STEM, but securing a job after the degree remains the challenge,” she said.
Maha Al-Taleb, 22, graduated earlier this year with a degree in technology from KSU, specializing in IT networks and security.
“It’s common for girls in the Kingdom to opt for STEM education,” said Al-Taleb, who now works in a public sector company in Riyadh as a junior information security analyst.
“Saudi women are ambitious. We’re acquiring high degrees and seeking successful careers. I don’t know why the world assumes that Saudi women are a backward tribal species who have no say in these matters. This entire perception is flawed.”
Al-Taleb got a job offer immediately after university, but realizes that not all her peers are as fortunate. Women “are facing problems in securing jobs, not because companies don’t want to hire us, but because employment for Saudi youths is a major challenge,” she said.
“In today’s Saudi Arabia, parents are encouraging their daughters to get a degree not just in the Kingdom; they also want them to go to Western universities. It has become a common phenomenon. Things have changed. Women are a crucial part of the nation’s development process.”
Not all women graduating in the Kingdom are as lucky, among them Razan Al-Qahtani. “It has been several months since I graduated, yet I haven’t been able to find a job. It has been a struggle so far,” said the 25-year-old IT graduate. “We have more talented and qualified girls, especially in the field of technology, but there are few jobs available. It’s a difficult situation, but we’re hopeful things will change very soon.”
Al-Qahtani expressed confidence that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan will bring opportunities for qualified Saudis.
As part of Vision 2030, the government has committed to raise employment among Saudi women.
Alakeel said the government is working hard to find a solution, and it is only a matter of time until more such jobs are on offer.
“As per Vision 2030, there will be more jobs, including technical jobs, available in the country. Once we have more jobs, women will eventually get their due share,” she added. According to Alakeel, female empowerment and promotion to leading roles have made huge progress in Saudi Arabia, and this may affect existing STEM job opportunities.
“We’re glad to see Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud becoming the first female ambassador of the country. It only suggests change is on the way,” Alakeel said.
Al-Taleb expressed pride in the way her parents have supported her, saying: “My father isn’t educated and my mother has basic literacy, but both provided me with the education I desired. They want their daughters to be as successful as their sons.”
Like women in any country, the transition from university to the workplace is not always easy, even for young Saudi women with technology degrees. Yet they are not losing hope.
“We realize these are difficult times in terms of employment, especially in technology-related fields, but things will change,” Al-Taleb said. “Saudi women will soon be ruling the fields of STEM all over the country.”