Random barbers cause injury as they cater to pilgrims in Mina

RIGHT AND PROPER: Some pilgrims went on to pay SR10 to get an haircut laden with risks instead of paying around SR30 for a proper shave.
Updated 14 September 2016
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Random barbers cause injury as they cater to pilgrims in Mina

MINA: Whether they are bleeding from their heads down to their necks or not, for pilgrims this really did not matter much; the only thing that mattered was to get their ihram properly after God the Almighty blessed them with standing on Arafat on Sunday, and to stone the Jamrat (throwing pebbles on the devil).
A great number of pilgrims just surrendered their heads, even to the least qualified of barbers, applying the famous Arab proverb “learn how to become a good barber by cutting the hair of the orphans.”
A group of people, who in fact deserve to be described as butchers, carry their razors in black suitcases and set up their locations away from supervision and the eyes of the municipal controls, to learn how to become barbers and begin practicing the profession on pilgrims’ heads using shaving razors from unknown sources, and without any regard to the cuts they might cause on pilgrims’ heads.
Their main objective is to get their hands on money, disregarding any health and environmental standards.
One Haji named Osman Abu Bakar, who actually bowed his head to such butchers, refused to talk about why he was trapped into this random haircutting process, but noted that waiting or looking for a qualified barber would take a longer time.
Meanwhile, a barber called Haroun Issa who was wearing ihram clothes so that he would not be discovered was so busy chatting with other pilgrims that he actually made serious cuts in the head of his customer. He did not care, just grabbed his payment and left the Haji bleeding, then moved to another location to offer his services saying “come quickly and hurry.”
The market for random barbers in Mina was active and several barbers were busy working on the heads of Asian and African pilgrims who preferred to pay SR10 to get a haircut laden with risks, instead of waiting and paying around SR30 for a proper shave.
A number of doctors earlier warned against the random practices of barbers after scientific studies confirmed that such practices are one of the causes behind hepatitis and AIDS, especially because of using the same shaving tools and razor on more than one head.


Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2018
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Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • Forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.