Two women appointed to board of tawafa body

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Nijoud Haidar Jamal Al-Lail and Hanadi Abdul Qadir Ramadani attend a meeting of the board of directors of the Tawafa Establishment for South Asian Pilgrims.
Nijoud Haidar Jamal Al-Lail and Hanadi Abdul Qadir Ramadani attend a meeting of the board of directors of the Tawafa Establishment for South Asian Pilgrims.

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH
— Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Saleh Benten issued a decision appointing two Saudi women as members of the board of directors of the Tawafa Establishment for South Asian Pilgrims.

Based on the decision, women mutawwifs Nijoud Haidar Jamal Al-Lail and Hanadi Abdul Qadir Ramadani have assumed their positions on the board.

Deputy Minister of Haj and Umrah Abdul Fattah Sulaiman Mashshat said the decision was aimed at encouraging female mutawwifs serving the guests of God. "This was within the Kingdom's Vision 2030, which aims to increase the women's participation in all service sectors," he added.

Chairman of the board Raafat Badr said the two women were not strangers to the profession as they both were descendants of mutawwif families that served the pilgrims for many decades.

He said Ramadani was made in charge of the general affairs while Jamal Al-Lail was assigned the responsibility of the affairs of women volunteers.

As many as 662,051 Haj pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom from abroad until Thursday since the season started on July 14, the Passport Department said in a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Saturday.

The agency said the number of pilgrims in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah was more by 39,714 pilgrims or about 6 percent over their number during the same period last year.

According to the passport authorities, a total of 647,087 pilgrims arrived by air through King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.

It said 7,969 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom by land and 6,995 by sea.

Meanwhile, Director General of Civil Defense Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amr said about 18,000 personnel consisting of privates and officers will be dealing with all kinds of possible hazards that the pilgrims may face during this year's Haj.

He said the forces are being supported by more than 300 equipment and tools to carry out rescue and fire-fighting operations, among others.

"The Civil Defense has already started its work in Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites and has taken all measures to preserve the safety and well-being of the guests of God," he said.

The local Haj companies have employed 2,500 male security guards and 2,000 women guards to protect the tents of the domestic pilgrims in Mina and Arafat.

Mohammed Saad Al-Qurashi, member of the companies' coordination council, said the men and women guards will protect the pilgrims and guard their properties throughout the day and night.

He said more than 1,000 surveillance cameras will be installed to watch the tents of domestic pilgrims against intruders or thefts.

The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has established six centers in the central area around the Grand Mosque to guide lost pilgrims and transport them to their accommodations in Makkah.

Nasser Bin Wadyan Al-Qurashi, supervisor of the centers, said there is a fleet of cars to transport the old and disabled pilgrims to their places of stay.

He said the centers are distributed all over the central area and work 24 hours a day through shifts of eight hours each.

Qurashi said more than 150 well-trained and highly qualified Saudi young men and women are working at these centers, which have instant electronic interpretation services in many languages to communicate easily with the pilgrims.

He said each pilgrim will be wearing a bracelet containing personal data including name, nationality, age, mutawwif and the place of accommodation.

"The lost pilgrims will not take more than 10 minutes in the center before they are transported to their accommodation," he said.


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