‘Be Helpful’ initiative: A beneficial learning experience for young Saudi volunteers

Roya Tambosi with her workmate Hamza Hindi during their the ‘Be Helpful’ initiative. (Supplied)
Updated 30 August 2018
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‘Be Helpful’ initiative: A beneficial learning experience for young Saudi volunteers

  • The program has assigned volunteers of both genders to different locations based on their skills and experience, and is part of the Vision 2030 plan to encourage young people to join voluntary programs

The “Be Helpful” initiative, which is run under the Hajj Ministry, has helped young people serve pilgrims in this year’s Hajj.

The program has assigned volunteers of both genders to different locations based on their skills and experience, and is part of the Vision 2030 plan to encourage young people to join voluntary programs.

Roya Redah Tambosi has set a good example for volunteers. The 30-year-old mother-of-four left her children behind to work voluntarily for pilgrims in the holy sites. Her husband was also stationed at Muzdalifah as a security man, so the couple relied on their 12-year-old daughter, Hoor, to look after the children.

It is the first time Tambosi has been able to get away from her youngsters for a noble duty. However, she is determined to do it again for the next year’s Hajj, and burden Hoor once more. The latter will surely become a good caring mother.

When she was young, Tambosi told Arab News, her family used to take her to the mosque to help them distribute food and water to pilgrims during Hajj. 

This might have been the seed of humanity Tambosi’s family had planted in her heart.

Tambosi is now a leader at Be Helpful,  one of the many initiatives the Hajj Ministry has supported and adopted. She is a new media supervisor overseeing team field tasks.

Tambosi recalled a rescue case she witnessed during the Hajj, an incident that made her feel that what she was doing is purely human. 

“A female pilgrim suffering from hyperthermia was brought in on a stretcher. It was the first time I had seen an unconscious person. If rescuing procedures had not been provided for minutes, the woman would have died. In fact, that experience made me strongly believe in what we are doing. It was like seeing a dead person come back to life again,” she said. 

“Our initiative has four teams as we have four main programs within the initiative. These are health, translation and guidance, new media and educational programs,” Tambosi explained.

Tambosi added that each field team consists of a physician, a savior, two people whose job is to document trips, and a leader.

“Seven teams left this afternoon to help pilgrims. They get back to the camp an hour before midnight,” she said. 

Another female volunteer, Sumaiyah Hafiz, told Arab News her work in the initiative had taught her how to work within a team and how better to serve pilgrims from all walks of life.

“It has taught me how to work in a mixed environment where both genders confidently cooperate to give a service. We also succeeded in acclimatizing ourselves to working with strangers, people at the workplace who we knew nothing about before. This has also added to our experience,” Hafiz said. 

According to the executive director of the initiative, Hani Abu Al-Saud, the idea started with the
aim of institutionalizing the voluntary work provided to worshippers, not only during Hajj but also to Umrah performers throughout the year.

Handy services

The idea came about to voluntarily provide the guests of Allah with different services they may need when they performed their rituals. He pointed out that some 185 volunteers of both genders took part in the initiative. He noted that 537 pilgrims had benefited from their medical clinic.

“Some 414 pilgrims have taken advantage of the services of our ambulatory emergency teams, while more than 1,240 other pilgrims have done well from of our translation and guidance services,” he said. 

The teams have given more than 160,000 gifts to pilgrims this year, according to Al-Saud.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
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US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.