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Large number of pilgrims throng Jabal Al-Rahma in Arafat.

Hajj pilgrims

Source : Saudi Gazette / 25 Feb 2014

The holy city is witnessing an unprecedented increase in the number of pilgrims and visitors during the current Umrah season.

There has also been a big rise in the number of pilgrims visiting the holy sites of Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah as well as Islamic historic sites in Makkah including the caves of Hira and Al-Thawr, according to a report in Makkah daily.

A large number of pilgrims throng Jabal Al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy) in Arafat.

These pilgrims include several elderly men and women who struggle to reach the top of the mount, which is 70 meters high.

Two women pilgrims, Fatima Abdul Fattah and Nahed Mustfa, said elderly pilgrims are enthusiastic about reaching the top of the mountain without taking into consideration their poor health.

Some of them collapse before reaching the top of the granite hill and most often other visitors help them.

Abdul Rida Jaleeli, another pilgrim, said visitors were not helping to keeping the site tidy.

He said: “They throw litter everywhere and this is in violation of the holiness of the place.”

Mahmoud Hyder, another pilgrim, said he and his wife were forced to take tayammum (dry ablution using sand or dust, which may be performed in place of ritual washing or ablution in the absence of water) to perform the evening prayer.

Tareq Ahmad, another pilgrim, underlined the need to operate some toilets at the holy sites for the benefit of visitors during the Umrah season.

Osama Zaitouni, director of the media and publishing department at Makkah Mayoralty, said the local authority is keen to ensure the tidiness of the holy sites.

He said: “I will personally supervise in maintaining the cleanliness of the mountain by appointing a special division at the mayoralty and in cooperation with the contracting company that is in charge of cleaning the holy sites.

“Making water available at the toilets of the holy sites during the period other than the Haj season falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Water and Electricity.”

Makkah Police spokesman Abdul Mohsen Al-Mayman said there are security teams are arresting street vendors and illegal foreigners who cash in on pilgrims by offering services from Jabal Al-Rahma and other places at the holy sites, he said.


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