Their mission is the safety and security of every pilgrim — but safety and security take many forms.
Which is why the Saudi security forces on duty at the Hajj this year could be seen carrying out a raft of tasks, from helping the disabled, pushing wheelchairs and providing directions to anyone who was lost, to comforting children and spraying cool water over pilgrims’ heads as temperatures soared past 40 C. And as if that weren’t enough, they also oversaw the birth of nine babies.
Mohammed Al-Shaidi, from Hafar Al-Batin, who is with the emergency services, told Arab News it was a privilege to assist guests during their pilgrimage.
Another worker, Khalid Al-Majrashi, said that his 70-strong team of volunteers had come from Gazan to help the pilgrims.
Jameela, a pilgrim from Indonesia who was performing the ritual with her family, was thankful for the help of the special emergency forces as they helped to transport her mother via wheelchair to the first-aid center in Mina after she twisted her ankle.
Normally, there are more than 100,000 security personnel employed by the Saudi Religious Affairs to oversee the whole event.
Owais, from Pakistan, said there was nothing better for fighting off the heat than to be sprayed by water while walking among thousands of pilgrims during a hot August day performing his Hajj ritual.
“I am truly thankful for all the efforts that I have witnessed by all the service men and women from the Kingdom.”
Nabeela, from Senegal, said she had heard about the services provided during Hajj, but had never realized how many men, women and facilities were provided. She said,
“When you come to Makkah you fully appreciate what Saudi Arabia does for Muslims around the world.”
Bilal, 32, from England, who was performing his second Hajj, said he was very impressed at the expansion of Makkah.
“The last time I was here, I was 15 years old and came with my family; to me, Makkah and the holy sites seem like a new and different place.”
And at the end of the day, our bravehearts working tirelessly in the heat would collapse on the floor for a much needed rest. May Allah accept and reward them all immensely.