Random barbers cause injury as they cater to pilgrims in Mina

RIGHT AND PROPER: Some pilgrims went on to pay SR10 to get an haircut laden with risks instead of paying around SR30 for a proper shave.
Updated 14 September 2016

Random barbers cause injury as they cater to pilgrims in Mina

MINA: Whether they are bleeding from their heads down to their necks or not, for pilgrims this really did not matter much; the only thing that mattered was to get their ihram properly after God the Almighty blessed them with standing on Arafat on Sunday, and to stone the Jamrat (throwing pebbles on the devil).
A great number of pilgrims just surrendered their heads, even to the least qualified of barbers, applying the famous Arab proverb “learn how to become a good barber by cutting the hair of the orphans.”
A group of people, who in fact deserve to be described as butchers, carry their razors in black suitcases and set up their locations away from supervision and the eyes of the municipal controls, to learn how to become barbers and begin practicing the profession on pilgrims’ heads using shaving razors from unknown sources, and without any regard to the cuts they might cause on pilgrims’ heads.
Their main objective is to get their hands on money, disregarding any health and environmental standards.
One Haji named Osman Abu Bakar, who actually bowed his head to such butchers, refused to talk about why he was trapped into this random haircutting process, but noted that waiting or looking for a qualified barber would take a longer time.
Meanwhile, a barber called Haroun Issa who was wearing ihram clothes so that he would not be discovered was so busy chatting with other pilgrims that he actually made serious cuts in the head of his customer. He did not care, just grabbed his payment and left the Haji bleeding, then moved to another location to offer his services saying “come quickly and hurry.”
The market for random barbers in Mina was active and several barbers were busy working on the heads of Asian and African pilgrims who preferred to pay SR10 to get a haircut laden with risks, instead of waiting and paying around SR30 for a proper shave.
A number of doctors earlier warned against the random practices of barbers after scientific studies confirmed that such practices are one of the causes behind hepatitis and AIDS, especially because of using the same shaving tools and razor on more than one head.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 31 min 24 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.