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Thursday 30 June 2016
MAKKAH: Pilgrims taking selfies and recording video clips were obstructing others performing the tawaf around the Kaaba, according to a report by an online publication on Wednesday.
This was particularly troublesome in Ramadan because of the large number of pilgrims circumambulating on the mataf in Makkah’s Grand Mosque, the report said.
Hasan Al-Ghamdi, a pilgrim, said some people cause a great deal of trouble by stopping during the tawaf to take images of themselves and their children. People bump into each other, which was particularly bad for the elderly and those with disabilities.
Abdullah Al-Saudah said he was performing tawaf when people stopped suddenly. “I thought somebody fell in the rush. After much effort, we discovered that some people performing Umrah were taking selfies near the Maqam Ibrahim.”
He said photography should be prohibited during the tawaf and saie, the walking between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa.
Naif Al-Hamd, a judge at Riyadh’s appeals court, said the Qur’an prohibits people from engaging in activities that divert their attention away from their devotions, as outlined in Surat Al-Zumar, verse 11. This applies to photography, he said.
Friday 1 July 2016
JEDDAH: The government is providing all necessary facilities to the pilgrims and visitors of the Grand Mosque through the expansion of the Haram and the implementation of the new navigation system, which guides pilgrims.
Seventy-five electronic screens have been installed inside and outside the Haram, explained Faris bin Mafooz Al-Saadi, the director general of the Operations and Maintenance Department of the Grand Mosque.
He explained that the screen system, which displays information in different languages, was designed for Ramadan with the help of a special team which worked around the clock to make sure it was ready on time.
Additionally, the “Al-Maqsad” navigation application was executed by Makkah Valley Company from Umm Al-Qura and was installed as part of the electronic screen system inside the Haram, with the cooperation of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Development Council.
“Al-Maqsad” contains geographical information about the Haram and helps pilgrims to find their way toward Kabba and other key sites, as well as toward the exits. The app can be installed on any smartphone.
Nabil bin Abdul Qadir, vice chairman of the Makkah Valley Technologies Corporation, said that “Al-Maqsad” is one of the most important applications that works to facilitate the movement of pilgrims and visitors around the Grand Mosque.
He praised the efforts of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques for the implementation of this application and for demonstrating their concern for the safety of pilgrims.
Saleh Bisalamh, CEO of the company, said Al-Maqsad will show the mobile users their location in Arabic and English and will help pilgrims find their way. It works without the need for Internet.
The application has been installed on the ground floor of the Grand Mosque and will soon be installed on the second floor.
Jul 14, 2016
MAKKAH — There are 30,000 users of the Grand Mosque navigation app Al-Maqsad, Makkah newspaper reported.
Amjad Al-Hazmy, director at the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Projects, said that the app is designed to guide users to places inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
The application does not need internet connection to determine location.
“Users can easily navigate to important areas and service checkpoints in all floors of the Grand Mosque. The app was downloaded by 30,000 users on various devices including Android, iPhone and iPad,” said Al-Hazmy.
Umm Al-Qura University Businesses and Information Creativity President Nabil Kowshak said his company Wadi Makkah for Technology designed the app.
“The app aims to facilitate the navigation of users in the Grand Mosque.
The app provides information on the services offered at the ground level of the mosque. The app was developed in cooperation with the Internal Navigation Company,” said Kowshak.
CEO of the Internal Navigation Company Saleh Basalamah said the app depends on core blue low energy sensors that send signals to the mobile phone of the user to determine the user’s location.
“The app can then instruct the user by voice where to go in order to reach the desired destination. The app also provides 3D maps to help users,” said Basalamah.
He also said there are 1,500 sensors dispersed all across the first floor of the Grand Mosque.
“The company will be working on the second phase of the project soon.
The app has eight features including offline usage. The app, which is in Arabic and English, is available in iOS and Android. A tour guide of the Grand Mosque works on Bluetooth,” said Basalamah.
He said the app also provides navigation to the main roads in Makkah, the Grand Mosque and its arenas, special needs services, the gates of the Grand Mosque, bus stops and other facilities.
Planning on going for Haj or Umrah soon? Now here's your latest accessory.
A Saudi-Palestinian company has invented 'smart umbrellas' featuring a navigation system and a solar-powered fan for Muslim pilgrims to use during the hot days of the Haj in Makkah.
According to Reuters, the multi-purpose smart umbrella transforms sunlight into electricity, which is the used to generate power for the parasol's different features.
Manal Dandis, Co-Founder of Smart Umbrella, explained that the umbrella is equipped with solar panels which absorb solar energy and transform it into electric energy.
The smart umbrella called 'Kafya' was created in the Kingdom's holy city of Makkah, the brainchild of Saudi Arabian scientist Kamel Badawi.
Reuters reports that since Badawi has volunteered to help facilitate Muslim pilgrimage since he was a boy and through his years of service, he understood what pilgrims need the most, and thus the smart umbrella was born.
With the help of his Palestinian partner, Manal Dandis, the two set off to create a product they hope will add value not only to the experiences of Muslims in the annual haj season, but also to people around the world.
"Umbrellas are always in demand especially in Europe. They are also being used in haj. However the pilgrims only use the umbrella as a form of protection from the sun. No one has considered the umbrella could be used for more than one purpose. When we started thinking about this, we found that we could install a built-in fan to keep the user cool," he said to Reuters.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.