80,000 beneficiaries leave Hafiz after finding jobs

Updated 04 February 2013
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80,000 beneficiaries leave Hafiz after finding jobs

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said 80,000 beneficiaries have already left the Hafiz scheme after they found jobs.
The Hafiz is a scheme introduced by the ministry to provide incentives to the unemployed youth to find jobs. The incentives include a monthly allowance of SR 2,000 and job-training programs.
“Some youth have voluntarily stopped taking the unemployment grant because they do not need it. This indicates the rising level of people’s awareness,” the minister said in a press meeting after attending a function in Jeddah on Saturday.
Fakeih said the ministry is concerned with the quality of employment rather than the number of people entering the workforce. Moreover, he stressed that salary issues should be discussed between the worker and the employer, until an agreement is reached between both parties.
“The Ministry of Labor is concerned when the salary of a Saudi employee is below SR 1,500, because in that case the worker will only account for half an employee when calculating the Saudization level of the company. Any salary below SR 1,500 will not be considered when we monitor Saudization levels,” the minister said in his statement.
The ministry has plans to increase salaries to SR 4,000 with the help of the additional revenue generated by the new SR 2,400 expatriate levy.
When asked about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ministry and the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) on women’s employment, Fakeih said establishments that do not adhere to the instructions of the ministry and the Haia will be punished. Such companies will be listed in the red category and the ministry will stop most of its services to them, in addition fines will be imposed on them and some will be forced to discontinue work. He added that the Haia would deal with any incident of harassment or blackmail within female establishments.
Regarding the increasing criticism against the ministry’s programs, especially those encouraging female employment, Fakeih said the ministry is facing a number of challenges but it will keep striving to solve the unemployment problem amongst Saudis.
“The ministry is open to criticism and seeks to rectify its mistakes,” the minister said, stressing that concerted efforts are needed to find a lasting solution to unemployment.
Meanwhile, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh made it clear that there are no objections against men dealing with women in shops.
“A man may sell to a woman or buy from her in a dignified manner. He should lower his eyes, not speak more than necessary, and they should not be alone,” the mufti said while speaking on the topic of ‘deviation from the religious path.’
In another development, a report published by the Ministry of Education stated that the 2013 budget will provide 48,000 jobs in security and administrative positions across the Kingdom’s provinces.
The initial cost of the project is estimated at SR 2.8 billion and the implementation process will start with the appointment of security guards at girls’ schools.
The ministry will also appoint 902 male and female nurses in school clinics.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.