Hajj Ministry, Misk launch program for volunteers to serve pilgrims

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The program encourages the culture of voluntary work and gives individuals greater space to participate in charitable work. (SPA/Photo)
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The program encourages the culture of voluntary work and gives individuals greater space to participate in charitable work. (SPA/Photo)
Updated 24 July 2019

Hajj Ministry, Misk launch program for volunteers to serve pilgrims

  • It aims to raise the level of volunteer performance in providing a professional service and high-quality practices

RIYADH: The Initiative Center at the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk Foundation) has launched a program to prepare volunteers for the Hajj season in 2019, in cooperation with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. 

The program, called Misk Al-Mashair, which launched its first workshop in Jeddah, encourages the culture of voluntary work and gives individuals greater space to participate in charitable work.

The program includes workshops in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Alkhobar, Jazan, Al-Jouf, Al-Ahsa, Abha, Tabuk and Qassim, as well as other cities across the Kingdom. The one-day program is attended by volunteers to learn about volunteering in Hajj.

The workshop includes an introduction to dealing with emergencies, problem-solving, communication skills, dealing with pilgrims of different cultures, working together in crowd management, and the ethics and values of voluntary work, all linked to the honor and value of participating during Hajj.

Thousands of registered volunteers and several other official bodies are taking part in the training program through the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Health, and the Directorate of Civil Defense to unify efforts to support young volunteers, improve the quality of services provided and benefit from the expertise provided by the program.


IN NUMBERS

673,000 - The number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the current Hajj season.

650,000 - pilgrims came by air.

15,000 - pilgrims entered by land.

7,735 - pilgrims arrived by sea.


Through this program, the Initiative Center aims to raise the level of volunteer performance in providing a professional service and high-quality practices that reflect positively on pilgrims and contribute to improving their experience in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 to promote volunteering and increase the contribution of Saudi youth volunteers in the service of their community and their country.

Volunteer work in this initiative is centered on the reception of pilgrims, guidance, translation, medical volunteering, honoring the elderly, helping people with disabilities and volunteering to monitor and document the feelings and attitudes of the pilgrims.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the current Hajj season has reached 673,104, according to statistics issued by Saudi General Directorate of Passports. Most pilgrims — 650,294 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 15,075 entered by land and 7,735 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.


Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.

 

GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”