Saudi volunteers step up to serve pilgrims at the Two Holy Mosques

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - MAKKAH: Each year, Saudis from all throughout the Kingdom volunteer their time to assist pilgrims and make their visit to the Two Holy Mosques as easy as possible.

In Makkah, visitors witness the creativity and dedication of these young Saudi men and women, who use their knowledge, abilities, and skills to deliver exceptional services.

As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom is encouraging volunteer activity with the goal of reaching 1 million volunteers by 2030.

Volunteering in Makkah encompasses a broad range of tasks, including assisting pilgrims with their transportation to and from the Grand Mosque, managing airport transfers, distributing water bottles, serving meals, and translating for non-Arabic speakers.

Rania Shodri, a pilgrimage guide and volunteer, said that volunteer work in Makkah is a great opportunity for those who want to contribute to society.

There is a host of opportunities for volunteers in the Kingdom across a variety of sectors, such as social services, healthcare, education, humanitarian aid, and dawah and guidance, Shodri said. People can also volunteer at hospitals, schools, social service offices, and the Two Holy Mosques.




As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom is encouraging volunteer activity with the goal of reaching 1 million volunteers by 2030. (Supplied)

Volunteers can also contribute to organizing events and programs, offering psychological and social support for those who need it, and participating in awareness and educational campaigns, she added.

Those wishing to volunteer can join local organizations in Makkah or contact the authorities responsible for organizing volunteer work and training volunteers.

According to Shodri, volunteer work in the Kingdom requires the highest level of discipline and commitment and, in some sectors, has specific requirements related to permits and training. Security procedures and special protocols might also be applicable due to the nature of the place and the event.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques told Arab News that there are three levels of volunteer work at the Great Mosque, depending on the skills required to carry out the tasks involved.

The first level is open to all as it requires a simple set of skills. The second level involves carrying out assignments based on skills acquired through practice and experience. The third is the professional level, which involves carrying out assignments that require expertise and a certain educational level.

The authority said that it aims to reach 2,500 volunteers by the end of Ramadan.

Entities involved in volunteer work span governmental authorities, licensed charitable and private associations, and universities and institutes, the authority added.

Information within the Great Mosque and courtyards is available in 50 languages, including English, French, Malay, Farsi, Urdu, Russian, Chinese, Hausa, Turkish, and Bengali. Teams at these sites also provide information regarding prayer times, lectures and exhibition visit dates.

Live translation for sermons and lessons, online live streaming, and wireless headphones are also among the services and amenities provided to visitors.

Barcodes on information cards facilitate access to the electronic services provided by the language and translation agency, including to the Manarat Al-Haramain platform, on which pilgrims can listen to the live translation of sermons and scholarly lessons in many languages.




As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom is encouraging volunteer activity with the goal of reaching 1 million volunteers by 2030. (SPA)

 

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