Work on mataf expansion begins

Updated 17 November 2012
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Work on mataf expansion begins

MAKKAH: Preliminary work for the expansion of the mataf (the circumambulation area around the Kaaba) started yesterday with the installation of huge cranes at the northeastern courtyard of the Grand Mosque. The contractor undertaking the expansion has sought the evacuation of preachers’ offices in the mataf and the command office of the Haram Security forces close to Al-Safa Gate.
The expansion is being undertaken on the basis of a study prepared by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj and Umrah Studies.
The study focuses on using the available space and potential of the mataf to the maximum while maintaining the architectural features of the Grand Mosque using advanced technology.
According to the study, the mataf will be separated from prayer areas and it will be linked to different floors of the mosque and facilitate entrance to and exit from the mataf. It will also takes care of the crowding at the entrances to the mataf and nearby passages and will also give direct access from the mataf to the masaa.
The mataf on the second and third floors will have cable cars to carry aged and disabled pilgrims and there will be direct access to these floors from outside. The topmost floor of the mataf will have automated walkway revolving around the Kaaba.
The study said the original mataf is a circle with a diameter of 95 meters.
Currently the capacity of the mataf is 28,000 pilgrims in an hour or four persons in a square meter area, though at peak days it rises to 40,000 people or six people in a square meter in an hour.

Muhammad Idris, who prepared the study, said the first Saudi expansion of the facility was undertaken 60 years ago and then roof was not made for prayers.
He said factors such as the change in the level of ground water and impact of salt on the foundation and the shaking caused by the rock blasts for the nearby projects are affecting the mosque building’s strength.
The study said many efforts have been made to strengthen the pillars of the building. The new project will also take steps to make the building tremor proof.
Authorities have made it clear that the new works will not affect the upcoming Umrah season.


The rights Saudi women did not know of

Updated 25 April 2018
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The rights Saudi women did not know of

  • Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi Justice ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles
  • No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father

JEDDAH: Despite the great steps taken by the Saudi Ministry of Justice to give women a freer and more secure life, many Saudi women still do not have enough knowledge of their rights. 

Therefore, the ministry has started a campaign in cities all over the Kingdom to spread awareness among women of their legal rights. A female-only staff runs public exhibitions to enlighten them about how they are protected in different areas so they can lead their lives in a better way.

“We are using every possible channel to communicate with women to enlighten them about their rights, support them in all aspects to assure their ability to enjoy a secure rightful life,” said Majed Alkhamis, head of media and communication at the Ministry of Justice.

Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles. Despite all the obstacles, the ministry has succeeded in several areas.

A wife’s rights

The system not only grants the woman the right to sue her husband or ex-husband for alimony or acknowledgment of paternity, but it also allows any women legally living on Saudi soil, regardless of her citizenship or religion, to prosecute her current or former husband even if he is outside Saudi Arabia at the time of the lawsuit. Moreover, the new systems now support divorced women to a whole new level. For example, the system gives priority to a woman’s alimony over her husband’s personal debts.

Marriage agreements

No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father. This arrangement grants a woman the freedom to accept a marriage proposal without any influence or coercion. In addition, if a woman is not happy with her marriage, she is free to leave the house of marriage and walk out of the agreement with no law to force her to come back. If she chooses to abandon the marriage her right to alimony will be dropped, but she is still entitled to custody of the children.

No delays

The Ministry of Justice has designed a full female service within its courthouses. 

These services include advisory people who provide free consultations on everything. In addition, these departments support women at all stages up until the execution of any court order to avoid delays and procrastination.

Speedy justice

The law emphasizes the speedy execution of justice in women-related cases.