ThePlace: Hail’s rock art

Hail rock art. (Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage)
Updated 16 October 2018
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ThePlace: Hail’s rock art

  • It includes two components: Umm-Sinman mountain in the city of Jubbah, and Al-Manjoor and Raat at Shuwaymis
  • This site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015

Preserved history enhances the image of a country. It is a treasure the value of which cannot be measured in financial terms. Saudi Arabia has a rich history, preserved in the tales of the many communities that have lived in the region throughout the centuries, and the artifacts they left behind. After long being ignored, many Saudi historical sites have been rediscovered in recent years, attracting curious minds from all over the world.

One such site that encapsulates history is the rock art in the Hail region. It includes two components: Umm-Sinman mountain in the city of Jubbah, and Al-Manjoor and Raat at Shuwaymis. The sites contain some of the best examples of Neolithic rock art. The petroglyphs — images created by carving away part of the rock — include images of the men and women from an era dating back as far as 10,000 years, providing clues to their activities, hairstyles and clothing. Differences in social status is also suggested by a few large figures wearing unique ornamentation, and there are images of animals and hunters.

All of this helps us to understand the past and make connections to modern-day cultural norms that might have originated in that era. These petroglyphs are very well executed and detailed and must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to carve.

The Om Sinman Mountain site, near the city of Jubbah, is the better known of the two sites. There are relics there that suggest there was once a river in the southern part of the Great Narfoud that was a source of fresh water for the people of the area.

In 1879, Lady Anne Blunt, the daughter of Lord Byron, summed up the location and its rich array of ancient art in her quote: “Jubbah is one of the most curious places in the world and to my mind one of the most beautiful.”

This site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015, and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has made further efforts since 2016 to preserve the site, such as increasing the buffer zone, repainting and refurbishing the petroglyphs and developing a monitoring system.

Saudi Arabia already has five sites already on the World Heritage List — Al-Ahsa Oasis (added in 2018), Al-Hijr Archaeological site (Madain Saleh) (2018), At-Turaif District of Ad-Dir’iyah (2010), Historic Jeddah (2014) and the rock art of the Hail Region (2015) — and is working to double that number by 2030.

The rock art site is a great resource to help us understand the significance of life and appreciate the fact that the imprints of people endure through the generations, and also to awaken a sense of belonging, as such culturally rich places help to tell an epic tale of the journey of humans as citizens of the world.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.