Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures

Rapid intervention teams had been positioned to cover important sites, the central area and densely populated buildings. (SPA)
Updated 08 May 2019

Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures

  • An emergency plan has been rolled out

RIYADH: Civil Defense chiefs in Makkah have put in place strict security measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims and Saudi citizens during the month of Ramadan.

An emergency plan, approved by Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, has been rolled out, with specially trained personnel deployed to deal with any potential threats to safety over the fasting period.

Brig. Abdullah Al-Qurashi, director of Civil Defense in Makkah, said there were 38 fixed civil defense centers, supported by 24 seasonal centers, in addition to 27 intervention points and 30 civil defense posts stationed in The Grand Mosque in Makkah to provide aid and assistance to pilgrims.

He added that rapid intervention teams had been positioned to cover important sites, the central area and densely populated buildings.

“Preventive supervision teams were deployed in markets, malls and holy sites supported by vehicles and technical equipment,” the brigadier said. 

Scout volunteers

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, met Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Abu Dujain, head of the scout camp being used to serve pilgrims in Makkah, and a number of scout volunteers who will be working in The Grand Mosque.

Al-Sudais hailed the efforts of the scouting organization during Ramadan. “The volunteering services offered by the scout members in the Two Holy Mosques have contributed, along with the other efforts exerted by the competent government sectors and entities, to enable visitors to perform their rituals with ease, tranquility and spirituality,” he said. 

Abu Dujain thanked Al-Sudais for his encouraging words and highlighted the excellent cooperation between the Saudi scouting association and a number of sectors that has helped to ensure the comfort of pilgrims, visitors and worshippers.

Quality services

Pilgrims at the Prophet’s Mosque have thanked King Salman for the services provided for them by government agencies in Madinah.

Visitors praised security measures, comfort facilities and the guidance they received during their journeys.

Al-Ibrahimi Yaalu, from Algeria, expressed his joy at visiting the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, and praised the Saudi government for the services he had encountered since his arrival in the Kingdom.

Yazid Rashid, from Iraq, praised the services in the health centers set up to take care of visitors from around the globe. In addition, he highlighted the organization of the country’s transport and communications links, especially those connecting the nation’s airports to the center of Madinah.

Dr. Fahim Babu, who had traveled from India, stressed that the  good services were the outcome of years of consistent efforts and good planning. Magdy Dabbas, another pilgrim from Jordan, who resides in Jeddah, said that he visited the mosque annually, and that the transport links and assistance on offer improved every year.

There was also high praise for the king, government and local authorities from pilgrims from as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan, with many thousands of Muslims traveling from across the world to Saudi Arabia to attend prayers at the mosque during Ramadan.


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 42 min 24 sec ago

Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

  • “There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” says Abdullah Al-Joghiman

DHAHRAN: Saudi portrait photographer Abdullah Al-Joghiman has a message for everybody: You are beautiful just the way you are.

If you don’t believe him, let him take your picture.

“Even if you’re not photogenic, or think you look bad in pictures, I can always turn your frown upside down,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is a full-time financial analyst for the Saudi Electricity Co., but allows plenty of time for his work as a freelance portrait and event photographer on the side.

“I started off doing landscape photography, but I love portrait photography more. Landscape photographers have to travel a lot, and I wasn’t able to commit to that lifestyle for many reasons. But since I was a child I’ve always loved taking pictures of people. There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” he told Arab News.

The 34-year-old was born in Al-Hofuf and now lives in Dammam, but his passion for photography has taken him all over the Kingdom and to other areas of the world.

Al-Joghiman at the 2018 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai. (Supplied)

Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

“It was amazing, I met people from around 20 countries who came to take part,” he said. “It was a great experience.”

Completely self-taught, Al-Joghiman caught the photography bug at college and has been training himself ever since. “I’ve been dabbling in photography since high school, but I started taking it more seriously in college. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012 or 2013,” he said.

Al-Joghiman started off humbly, with a camera-centric smartphone, but has since expanded his collection significantly, and now shoots with a variety of high-tech cameras from Sony. Now he is attracting interest from both local and international sponsors, especially in the gaming and cosplay areas.

“Cosplayers are kind of difficult to shoot because they can be perfectionists, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they see the final pictures. That makes it worthwhile,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is happy that social restrictions on photography in Saudi Arabia are easing, allowing him to find more opportunities to do the work he loves.

“It’s difficult to take pictures of people here, especially strangers, but I can’t really blame them, considering that they are not really used to that in our culture. But things are changing and it’s much easier to be a photographer in Saudi Arabia now,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Abdullah Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

He is grateful for the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to revive the Kingdom’s art scene, and has long hoped that photography will become more regulated in the country.

“The market for photography and videography really needs to be regulated. It’s hard enough putting a price on one’s work without scoping out the competition and finding that someone else is charging thousands for just a headshot when I’m doing shoots for two or three hundred,” he said.

“I love my work, and I’d love to be able to do it for free, but at the end of the day I still need to eat,” he said.

Al-Joghiman doesn’t want to limit anyone else’s opportunities but simply wants the playing field evened out a little.

“As a photographer, I just want a fair chance for everyone. More importantly, a client should know exactly what they are paying for,” he said.

His advice to young Saudis looking to become photographers is this: “If you pursue photography, don’t worry. Just do what you love, and if people tell you that they don’t look good in pictures, convince them by taking a picture of them.”

AlJoghiman’s work can be found on Instagram and Twitter (@finalecco), and on his website, https://www.eccofantasyph.com