MAKKAH: Worshipers packed out Makkah’s Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah for prayers on the eve of the 27th day of Ramadan.
The night, considered by many as Laylatul Qadr — a blessed Islamic night — sees visitors to the Two Holy Mosques fill most of the spaces reserved for prayers.
Mosque authorities said they had plans in place for the increase in numbers to the mosques, which are Islam’s first and second holiest sites.
The eve of the 29th day of Ramadan is another busy time for organizers as imams conclude the reading of the Qur’an which they began on the first day of the holy month.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, through its Services Agency, provides all facilities for worshipers, starting with easing the opening of doors and organizing the entry of worshipers to the site. This is in addition to opening the mosque corridors and squares, operating the escalators leading to the mosque and rooftops, and providing cooled Zamzam water and guidance services to create a pleasant atmosphere of worship.
In addition, the General Directorate of Health Affairs in Makkah confirmed the increasing preparations for the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to witness an increase in the number of worshipers.
Authorities said that they will continue to provide preventive, curative and ambulatory services to pilgrims through hospitals and primary health care centers in Makkah and health care centers in the Grand Mosque.
This comes as an implementation of the plan prepared by the authorities, which includes preventive measures, epidemiological investigation procedures, and response to infectious diseases of an epidemiological dimension.
The official spokesman for the region’s health department, Hamad bin Faihan, told Arab News that 18,000 practitioners are working around the clock to provide the best services to pilgrims and to ensure their comfort, underlining the increase and improvement of services.
Faihan said that there is an integrated plan to provide health care for pilgrims through its ten hospitals and King Abdullah Medical City and primary health care centers located within the corridors of the holy mosque.
The spokesman said that Makkah’s hospitals are fully operational during Ramadan, as well as a new health center in the Grand Mosque and two centers that previously worked to provide health care for emergency cases. This in addition to the Al-Haram Emergency Hospital and permanent health care centers within Makkah and EMTs stationed around the main area.
The General Directorate of Civil Defense intensified preventive inspection and safety patrols in the holy capital during the last ten days of Ramadan, which will last until Eid Al-Fitr. This is to improve preventive safety and ensure that the safety requirements and fire protection systems are met and that there are no obstacles within the emergency lanes.
The directorate stressed its commitment to the safety of elevators and escalators and the availability of safe assembly points outside the facilities to achieve the highest levels of security, and to reduce accidents.
In turn, the Services Agency in the holy capital’s municipality, represented by the General Cleanliness Department, has prepared for carrying out emergency work in anticipation of the expected rain during these days in Makkah.
Mohammed Bahareth, undersecretary of the Services Agency in the holy capital’s municipality, confirmed that it has increased the number of teams and equipment designated to mop up rain puddles and follow up on places where water gathers, in prior coordination with the authorities.
He added that the teams were intensively prepared and supported with large numbers of workers and equipment — monitoring neighborhoods, valley streams and mountainous neighborhoods, and distributing labor forces to sub-municipalities to conduct fieldwork.
The Bader Scout Volunteer Center of the General Directorate of Education in Makkah provided its services to pilgrims, especially on the 27th night, in cooperation with the General Presidency and the Security Forces of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, by harnessing all the workforces of the center — from scouts to their chiefs — regularly throughout the past ten nights.
By providing these services, the scouts confirmed the keenness of Saudi youth to serve others, their love for volunteer work, and that they serve as role models for their fellow citizens who cherish the service of the Two Holy Mosques and their visitors.