More than 7,000 teams to serve pilgrims during Hajj 2019

For the 15th year in a row, the Youth of Makkah at Your Service program has maintained its role in serving pilgrims with the participation of 500 young men. (SPA)
Updated 31 July 2019

More than 7,000 teams to serve pilgrims during Hajj 2019

  • The staff are carrying out awareness initiatives to guide the worshippers in religious and organizational aspects in order to help them perform their rituals with comfort

MAKKAH: The operational plan of the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque is being implemented by 7,720 teams to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.
The agency’s teams are providing their services in all aspects of the plan. These include service, engineering, technical, technological, cultural, information, social aspects and oversight functions.
The staff are carrying out awareness initiatives to guide the worshippers in religious and organizational aspects in order to help them perform their rituals with comfort.
The service aspect is one of the most important field tasks in the operational plan of the agency. Staff working on these tasks are responsible for cleaning the Prophet’s Mosque, supplying all sites with carpets and Zamzam water, cleaning machinery and equipment, transferring older persons and people with special needs, providing guidance services, preparing portable containers for distributing Zamzam bottles, and ensuring the cleanliness of prayer areas and other facilities.

FASTFACT

For the 15th year in a row, the ‘Youth of Makkah at Your Service’ program has maintained its role in serving pilgrims with the participation of 500 young men.

Moreover, the staff responsible for service tasks open and guard the mosque’s doors, organize the movement of crowds as part of the initiative for clearing paths, maintain the security and safety of the mosque and its facilities, oversee parking areas, and allocate medical emergency sites and provide them with the necessary equipment.
For the 15th year in a row, the Youth of Makkah at Your Service program has maintained its role in serving pilgrims with the participation of 500 young men, who are undertaking activities during the season in partnership with several government bodies.
The acting director general of the Project for the Glorification of the Sacred City, Saud Al-Rehaili, said its activities aim to guide those who get lost inside the Grand Mosque and help older persons and those with special needs perform the Tawaf and Sai.


US Secretary of Defense Esper meets King Salman, asks NATO to protect Saudi Arabia from Iran

King Salman receives US Secretary of Defense. (SPA)
Updated 22 October 2019

US Secretary of Defense Esper meets King Salman, asks NATO to protect Saudi Arabia from Iran

  • The meeting with King Salman tackled joint security and defense issues
  • Esper will urge allies to contribute more to the defense of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region to counter Iran’s threats

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in his office on Tuesday to discuss strategic cooperation between Riyadh and Washington, state news agency SPA reported.
“Today, I discussed the deployment of US forces and equipment to #SaudiArabia with @KingSalman,” Esper tweeted following the meeting. 

The meeting, where top officials from both countries were also present, also tackled joint security and defense issues and the situation in the region.
“We agree with the need to take a firm defensive stance in the region to deter Iranian malign behavior and promote stability,” he added.
Esper then met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to review bilateral relations, particularly in the military and defense sectors, as well as a number of issues of mutual interest and regional and international developments.
The US defense secretary arrived in the Kingdom a day earlier on an unannounced visit, with tensions simmering between Washington and Tehran, and Russia seeking to boost its influence in the Middle East.
US-Iran tensions have risen to new highs since May 2018, when the Trump administration withdrew from an international accord that put limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.
As reinstated sanctions put pressure on Iran’s economy, there have been a series of attacks which Washington and close allies blame on Tehran. Iran denies responsibility.
Also on Tuesday, the US defense secretary visited the Prince Sultan Air Base, where he met with troops and assessed the capabilities that the US has deployed to the region to help defend Saudi Arabia, deter Iran and prevent conflict.

Esper got a look at one of the Patriot batteries as he toured the military base.

Esper said he will urge allies later this week to contribute more to the defense of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region to counter threats from Iran.
The plan is part of a broader US effort to get NATO allies to take on more responsibility for Gulf security. That has included US pleas for nations to send ships, aircraft and air defense systems to the region.
The US has already agreed to send three Patriot missile batteries, dozens of fighter jets and other aircraft to Saudi Arabia. 
He says the Saudis will “help underwrite” some of the US costs for the additional aid, which includes about 3,000 American troops.