Wheelchairs enable disabled pilgrims to perform Hajj

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The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 14 August 2019

Wheelchairs enable disabled pilgrims to perform Hajj

  • Health Affairs Directorate in Makkah has provided some 819 wheelchairs of different types this year alone
  • In Islam, a disabled pilgrim can ask another pilgrim to do the stoning on their behalf

MINA: Hajj is obligatory for all Muslims who are physically and financially capable to perform it. Some worshippers with certain illnesses, injuries and disabilities are exempt, but insist on performing it anyway. One invention, that of the German watchmaker, Stephan Farffler, has made it easy for them to do so.

The Saudi government and private philanthropists have made thousands of wheelchairs available to Hajj pilgrims.

Through its social department, the Health Affairs Directorate in Makkah has provided some 819 wheelchairs of different types this year alone, worth SR229,320 (over $61,000). These included self-powered chairs for those who needed them, as well as assistants.

Security forces assigned special paths at camps to the Jamarat for wheelchair users to ensure their safety while performing their Hajj rites. Boy scout volunteers have also exerted great effort in helping these pilgrims and those found exhausted after long treks.  

Social contribution supervisor, Mahasen Shuaib, told Arab News: “The program includes many gifts and services to the pilgrims, including clothes and hundreds of thousands of drinking water bottles. These were all made available for all pilgrims in need.”

Saleh Abdussalam, a Hajj service company provider, said that private companies were also providing pilgrims in need with wheelchairs for free.

“They use them to go to Jamarat. We also help in grouping them during non-peak hours or when they like to go out. We have some 150 wheelchairs distributed in our camps.”

In Islam, a disabled pilgrim can ask another pilgrim to do the stoning on their behalf. However, some pilgrims are keen to do it by themselves, despite all the difficulties they can go through.

Last year, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques announced the launch of an application to help elderly and sick pilgrims, who were estimated at about 250,000, electronically book wheelchairs.


Saudi Arabia to host massive defense exhibition to rival IDEX

Updated 36 min 39 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to host massive defense exhibition to rival IDEX

  • World’s largest arms importer seeks to develop its own manufacturing sector
  • Former Farnborough Airshow CEO Shaun Ormrod has been hired as chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s biennial World Defense Show

LONDON: Saudi Arabia plans to host a massive international defense show as the world’s largest arms importer seeks to develop its own manufacturing sector.
Currently the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, is the region’s largest industry gathering, with the next one due to be held next February.

Former Farnborough Airshow CEO Shaun Ormrod has been hired as chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s biennial World Defense Show which will be held for the first time in March 2022.
Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and the UAE are investing heavily in their domestic defense industries to reduce their reliance on imports and increase the number of prized manufacturing jobs. The Kingdom, currently the third biggest spender on defense globally, aims to localize half of its military spending by 2030.
“The World Defense Show is a key milestone for Saudi Arabia as it continues to develop a sustainable local defense industry,” said Ahmad Al-Ohali, the governor of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI).
The show’s venue, that will accommodate about 80,000 square meters of floor space, will feature demonstration facilities and the latest military kit used across land, sea and air.