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Grand Mosque gets more female guides for Ramadan

By Hayam BukhariOkaz/Saudi Gazette
MAKKAH – The Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has intensified the duties of the Grand Mosque’s female guides in preparation for Ramadan. More female guides have been hired in view of the large number of Umrah pilgrims expected to reach around four million this year.
The tasks of the female guides include serving and guiding female visitors, and preserving the cleanliness of the Haram to provide a proper environment that matches the site’s sanctity during the holy month when various courtyards and aisles see higher-than-usual crowding.
The guides said they are honored to work in the Grand Mosque and showed their determination to increase their efforts to provide comfort and peace to the visitors, despite the difficulties of dealing with pilgrims of different nationalities speaking a variety of languages.
“I am satisfied with my work in the Grand Mosque,” a female guide said. “We confront difficulties in dealing with some visitors who don’t speak Arabic and that gets much harder during Ramadan and Haj, but we are about to increase the number of workers doing three shifts – morning, afternoon and evening – to be able to cover all parts of the mosque and prevent the spread of trash left by some visitors.”
Another female guide said the Guides Affairs Unit recruits temporary guides to work at certain locations of the mosque, including Safa and Marwah hillocks and the circumambulation (Tawaf) area.
“During peak seasons, many women wander outside the areas of the mosque designated for them,” she said, adding that monitoring the mosque is increased in Ramadan to deal with begging, protecting visitors and guiding those who get lost.
Another guide from the unit’s Cleaning Department said its employees supervise cleanliness and return copies of the Holy Qur’an to the shelves.
Source: SaudiGazette