Grand mosque mecca umrah scouts
Director-General of Education in Mecca Abdullah Al Ghanam inspects scouts who serve worshippers and Umrah pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Around 900 scouts have volunteered to help worshippers at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, in Mecca during the current month of Ramadan.

Director-General of Education in Mecca Abdullah Al Ghanam this week inspected the duties undertaken by the scouts and their leaders in serving worshippers and Umrah pilgrims at the mosque.

Some 900 male and female scouts as well as 40 scout leaders are engaged in offering voluntary services across the mosque, a destination for an influx of worshippers in Ramadan. The scouts help push carts carrying elderly worshippers, distribute fast-ending iftar meals to the faithful, organise crowd management, and support security services and humanitarian work there.

Al Ghanam said the voluntary work done by the scouts is an extension of the government efforts to upgrade services provided for worshippers at the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina.

Ramadan traditionally marks the peak season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque. Muslims from inside and outside the kingdom flock to the Grand Mosque, which houses the Holy Kaaba, to perform Umrah and offer prayers.

To cope with the expected influx, Saudi authorities have unveiled a series of measures to help worshippers perform rites smoothly and comfortably. The circumambulation courtyard of the mosque around the Holy Kaaba and the ground floor are designated for Umrah pilgrims during Ramadan.

Likewise, authorities have allocated certain gates of the sprawling mosques for pilgrims’ entry and exit to stave off overcrowding.