‘Makkah a paradise on earth’

Updated 01 October 2015
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‘Makkah a paradise on earth’

DAMMAM: At this time of strife and conflicts in some Arab and Islamic countries, pilgrims travel to perform Haj in the Kingdom where a sense of safety and tranquility makes up for what they may not be familiar with in their own countries.
In this regard, some pilgrims of different nationalities spoke about their experiences and the sense of security and faith they felt in the land of the holy places.
Rahmatullah Mohammed Haj, a Rohingya from Myammar, described Makkah as a paradise on earth. He said that the mental images of murder and blood and the memory of the sounds of guns and bullets disappeared completely once he stood before the Kaaba.
Fatimah Ahmad, an Egyptian pilgrim, said that Makkah and Madinah were places of spiritual treatment for the psychological and social pains suffered by some pilgrims. She hopes that the two holy cities will continue to provide a real sense of security.
Mohammed Bakri, a Syrian pilgrim, said: “In the midst of bloody conflicts which have been accompanied by a decline in security, the continuing disruption of peace and stability and unemployment and poverty in our country, the scene in Makkah is completely different. It provides security and stability for all pilgrims.”
Along the same lines, Abu Salman, an Iraqi pilgrim, said: “Once we put our feet on the soil of the Kingdom, we feel the safety and security that we lack in Iraq.” He praised the Saudi leadership for providing such security and safety for its visitors.
Another Iraqi pilgrim said that Makkah provided a sense of safety, stability and peace of mind, after a journey fraught with danger and difficulties. The pilgrim prayed for the end of conflict in Iraq so that its citizens could feel safe in their own country.
Tayyib Muhammad Ali of Kirkuk said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman deserved praise for all services provided to pilgrims which enable them to perform the rituals.
Abu Mazen from Baghdad said: “This is an opportunity for us to escape from the explosions of bombs and cars and the sound of aircraft which has turned our lives into a kind of hell.”


All eyes on Mina as Hajj begins today

A Hajj security man takes care of a child. Security forces have been deployed around the clock to deal with all emergency cases. (SPA)
Updated 19 August 2018
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All eyes on Mina as Hajj begins today

JEDDAH: Around 2 million pilgrims arrived in the Holy Land from outside and inside the Kingdom in preparation to set out from Makkah for Mina.
They will retrace the noble tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and spend the Tarwiyah Day on Sunday in Mina. Here they will make final preparations for the Standing (Wuquf) at Arafat, which marks the climax of the annual pilgrimage, on Monday.
To be able to serve the pilgrims and enable them to perform Hajj rituals with ease and comfort, the government and private sectors concerned with Hajj and pilgrim affairs intensify their preparations, under the direct supervision of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman, the governor of Makkah region and chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, and followed up by his deputy, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar.
The Ministry of Health will provide intensive and continuous health services supported by skillful human cadres and state-of-the-art medical technologies, in order to provide the best health services for pilgrims. The Ministry of Health has employed a total of 29,495 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and technicians to provide extensive health care to the pilgrims.
According to the ministry, its manpower during the Hajj consists of 780 consultants in various medical specializations, 1,248 specialists; 2,718 general practitioners; 1,428 pharmacists; 3,553 nurses; 1,173 technicians and lab specialists; 198 specialists in nutrition; 5,587 administrators; 165 engineers; and 1,491 ambulance drivers.
The General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque will operate and maintain all technical devices and systems of lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation, sound and control systems, cameras, communication devices and electrical stairs, buildings and libraries in the Two Holy Mosques.
Air-conditioning has been installed in the basement and ground floor and many other areas. Thousands of fans have been installed in the Two Holy Mosques and their yards.
The area around the Two Holy Mosques has been equipped with more than 8,441 toilets, as well as more than 6,000 ablution units. All power supply lines have been prepared to make sure there is power 24/7.
More than 10,000 male and female employees will be available to follow up on work and monitor it during Ramadan, in addition to a large number of cleaners.
Among the services also provided by the Presidency are translation of Friday sermons into 10 languages, organization of various scientific programs, and competitions.
A total of 210 doors in the Grand Mosque and 100 doors in the Prophet’s Mosque have been prepared, as well as 28 escalators in the Grand Mosque and four escalators in the Prophet’s Mosque. There are 38 doors for people with special needs and seven for women.
The Saudi Red Crescent deployed 127 emergency centers, 361 ambulances, 20 motorbikes, and more than 1,861 people to work in the ranges of Makkah and Madinah.
There will be 22 operational hospitals in Madinah and the holy sites, 15 temporary emergency centers, supported with more than 87 ambulances and 653 paramedics.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs mobilized its human and mechanical capabilities to enable pilgrims to perform their duties in a safe and healthy environment by employing more than 26,000 individuals and 717 mechanisms to implement the hygiene plan in Makkah and the holy sites, as well as specialized field teams to control 33,069 food facilities in Makkah.
Civil defense teams will be deployed around the clock to deal with all emergency cases, where the injuries will be transferred using stretchers and wheelchairs to several medical evacuation sites inside and outside the mosque.
These teams will also be carrying out extraction and rescue operations inside the Holy Mosque and the surrounding area, in addition to providing urgent first aid, and transferring critical cases to the nearest hospitals and health centers, in coordination with the Red Crescent teams around the Holy Mosque. The Hajj security forces leaderships announced their readiness to maintain the security and safety of pilgrims during the pilgrimage season.
The General Command of the Air General Security is supported by all the security services and various government sectors.
In preparation for the Hajj season, the Saudi General Security Aviation Command announced that it has started implementing the first phase of its security plan to ensure the safety of pilgrims in the Kingdom. The aviation command will commence security operations over the holy sites, where special helicopters will monitor the activities surrounding the Hajj season this year. The planes are stationed in the designated locations in Makkah and Madinah from various bases to carry out the tasks assigned to them, namely traffic and security, logistical support for other security bodies, humanitarian services and the monitoring of pilgrims not following the rules.