Over 222,000 pilgrims are in Madinah

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 07 August 2017| 14 Zhul Qadha 1438

As many as 222,444 pilgrims have assembled in Madinah until Saturday, the Private Establishment of Guides said in a statistical report on Sunday.

The report said 26,931 pilgrims have arrived by air via Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport and 1,823 by land.

It said on the same day, some 16,326 pilgrims left for Makkah bringing the total number of pilgrims who have so far left the Prophet’s City for Makkah to 37,007.

The report said currently there are 185,416 pilgrims in Madinah to pay homage to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and pray at his mosque.

The Indonesians, with 48,497, constitute the largest number of pilgrims still remaining in Madinah.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has started implementing programs of warm welcome to the pilgrims at the airports and entry points in Jeddah and Madinah.

The ministry’s staff, wearing a unified uniform and covering their faces with beautiful smiles, welcome the arriving pilgrims with flowers, Zamzam water and dates.

“The welcome process starts on arrival at the Kingdom and continues until the pilgrims arrive at their accommodation places in the Two Holy Cities,” a ministry’s official said.

The official, who did not want to be identified, said the warm welcome accorded to the pilgrims would continue until they depart for their respective homes after performing their Haj rites.

“As a result of the warm welcome programs, the pilgrims will return to their homes carrying positive impressions about the Kingdom, its leadership and people,” he said.

On the other hand, the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has deployed more than 15,000 of its permanent and seasonal workers to supervise the implementation of its Haj plan aimed at ensuring the guests of God with consummate services that would enable them do the rites in ease, peace and comfort.

The presidency said the third expansion of the Grand Mosque (King Abdullah’s Expansion) would be open for the pilgrims to ensure them with sufficient space in and outside the Grand Mosque.

Maha Fitaihi, chairwoman of the volunteering female guides to help lost children reunite with their families, expected a less number of children to be lost during this Haj season due to the bracelets to be worn by all the pilgrims.

The bracelet contains information about the pilgrim, name, nationality, place of accommodation and name of the tuwafa company so that he or she will not lose their way in the Holy Sites.

Fitaihi said as a result of the bracelet, there would be less women guides this year because the number of the lost children is expected to be much less.

She said most children lose their way in the toilets in Arafat and the Jamrat area in Mina. She recalled that the women guides last year rescued 26 lost children of whom 10 were handed over to the parents in less than two hours and 16 others after a day or two.

Source – Saudi Gazette