Woman ends life at Makkah shelter

Updated 26 August 2015

Woman ends life at Makkah shelter

JEDDAH: A young woman was found hanging from the ceiling of her room at a shelter in Makkah recently, triggering a debate on social media about conditions at such facilities.

A note, purportedly written by her, saying “I decided to die to escape hell” and circulated by activists on social sites such as Twitter, has created a stir, local media reported on Tuesday.
The woman reportedly took the extreme step following a quarrel with a number of female inmates in the Social Affairs Ministry shelter. She used a piece of cloth to commit suicide, the report said.
Cap. Fahd Al-Malki of the Makkah police was quoted as saying that the security authorities received information about the incident on Saturday evening. “The body was sent to a hospital morgue for further procedures.”
It may be mentioned here that a female inmate of a shelter in the Eastern Province had earlier talked about the “days of oppression and darkness experienced at the shelter. “Dying is more merciful than living in the shelter. Food, which is supposed to be the easiest thing to get, does not come easily.”
A worker at another shelter was quoted as saying by a local publication that some children suffer the worst kind of psychological and physical torture. “With my own eyes I saw a worker beating on a child not more than 13 years of age. The child was badly beaten and he just went to sit in his room, as if he was used to be humiliated and beaten.”

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.